Craft or Art?

Joined Jul 28, 2001
I'm just curious if chefs think this is a craft or art.
My production seems to be a craft and my creativity seems to come near art sometimes.
Joined Nov 10, 2001
I was taught,during my early training,that professional cookery is where art and science meet.I think that it is a combination of art,craft and science for the following reasons:
1) Food preparation is a craft,there are certain techniques that need to be adhered to and skills that need to be acquired.
2) Whilst attaining the aforementioned skills,you need to understand the scientific aspects e.g. cooking processes,nutritional values,vitamin loss,etc.
3) Once the presentation stage is reached,the food needs to pleasing to the eye.This is where artistic flair comes to the fore.
There are probably very few people, who would like to have a meal put in front of them that looks like it has been hit by a bus!
Hence the old saying "people eat with their eyes".
We all like food that is colourful,has a good combination of flavours and is well presented.We,as chefs, do these things with pride and passion,at least i hope we do.


Joined Jun 15, 2003
The old saying the way I heard it, was, "You Taste Food Three Different Ways, You're Eyes, Then You're Nose, Then You're Mouth. If this order is proper, the end results are priceless". Each one enhances the other to achieve the ultimate finish.

Chef Hogan
Joined Nov 29, 2001
I'd vote for art - as in culinary arts. But then, don't all artists craft?

Further to that - cooking is an art - baking is a science.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I just got an e-mail today that said, "To work with your hands your a laborer, with your hands and brain your a craftsman, with your hands, brain and heart your an artist."

Cooking can be either craft, art or just labor, depends on how you approach it.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
To be good at what you do, it takes both.
My defination is that an artist takes known methods and materials and puts it together is a new way, creating an original or a newer interpretation. The craftsman is the one who can faithfully reproduce that thing over and over again. Like in music, there are composers and musicians, each has their own defination of what makes them great.
To go further- a great artist is one who redefines how we look and feel about something- illiciting a response- good or bad. Or possibly comes up with a fresh new allegory to replace an existing one that we all see as more relevant or in line with our current world view or human condition.
I like to use the analogy that somewhere out there is someone in their craft who has been able to elevate what they do to an artform. Even ditchdigging. Somewhere in this world is a person, who, undeniably is the best at what they do, regardless of the actual task. A ditchdigger who comes home every night without a speck of dirt on him, digging ditches so perfect, so beautiful, people are sad to fill 'em back in.

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