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Open Cuisine

Open cuisine is an approach to cooking that does not use fixed recipes. It is centered on the notion about the cooking ingredients, the relations between them, cooking procedures and creative improvisation.

The emphasis in open cuisine approach is on deconstructing recipes and understanding their ingredients and the relations between them. That enables to use the recipes in a totally different way, combining/fusing different recipes, cooking procedures and cooking styles, using different ingredients (replacing them) and adding new ingredients.

The transformation of food culture on the horizon

It is a response to recent transformations of food culture such as increased globalized interchange of ingredients, cuisines, recipes and ideas and the change in the perception of cooking. Cooking is no longer considered as labor but as creative leisure.

Additionally it is a response to a last decade's market phenomenon - craft consumer. The craft consumer is someone who transforms commodities into personalized objects. Cooking is clearly one of this transformations. Home cooks are not satisfied with only following recipes anymore. They want to engage in the recipe itself, select ingredients, define preparation in order to get their personalized object - a meal.

Open cuisine cooking approach was partly initiated and enabled also with the use of information technology that provides a faster exchange of ideas and information. For now it is limited to more experienced cooks and professionals.

Recipe generators

In future information technology will be probably used for further development in the direction of interactive recipe generators that will enable open recipe style of cooking even for the less experienced cooks. One of the first attempts in this direction is the Foodizmo project.

Eventually this recipe generators that are still in the experimental faze will probably in many ways serve as a replacement for traditional cookery books and recipe collections.

The foodizmo project now running...

This is the place where cooking revolution is going to start. An innovation that is forever going to change the way you think about food, recipes and cooking. Cooking is nothing less than art. Who dares to differ doesn't know much about cooking nor art.

With the foodizmo project we want to enable every person to be able to express him/herself in that way while cooking. But art in the kitchen isn't necessary about making fancy and expensive recipes it is all about creativity and passion.

With our interactive food and recipe gizmo we are going to help you put your heart into your food with what ever ingredients you have at hand and with whatever inspiration that might cross you mind.

If you want to participate in our experiment we invite you to stay tuned. With this blog we are going to show you how we think food and cooking and keep you informed on the development of the foodizmo project.

Foodizmo team

Cooking beyond recipes

In modern cooking recipe has always been associated with food and cooking. The connection is even so strong that majority people cannot imagine food and cooking without them. But we are about to commit “the ultimate cooking blasphemy” and suggest cooking without fixed recipes.

The word recipe comes from Latin word recipere, which means to receive in this case an instruction how to cook and which ingredients to use. That is why we don’t like the word recipe. When we cook we always create and invent and don’t just blindly follow instructions. If we use a certain recipe we always try to add a new dimension to it. We deconstruct it and draw same ingredients, some cooking procedures or ideas out of it, add some new or replace some ingredients with our own. Even if you are making a classical dish you always have to acknowledge that a certain dimension cannot be included in the recipe.

Blind spots in recipes

Every kitchen that you cook in, every pot and every ingredient that you use has specific properties that can’t be simply subjected to recipes. Try to see, understand and cook bringing out the best in them. Recipes have so many blind spots. If you fill them with enough cooking experience/knowledge and creativity you can use them to your advantage and bring the dish to a new level, otherwise even millions of recipes won’t help.

The foodizmo project is all about that. It will help you to develop knowledge and creativity to generate, follow and eventually go beyond recipes. If you already have what it takes to successfully follow recipes, why only blindly follow them? Use you imagination and experiment, fuse recipes and cooking styles and start making real art in the kitchen.

Is cooking art?

How can food qualify as art? Did food became art when Andy Warhol put his famous Campbel's soup on display or is food art every time a crazy postmodern artist squeezes a bottle of ketchup on canvas?

Is art a fancy "slowfoodish" arrangement on a plate? Even the most glamorous shape or colors of food is only craft if there is no creativity, inspiration and passion of the cook. So when does food become art? One could debate on and on about whether one particular food or one particular food arrangement can qualify as art or not, but one thing is certain the real art is not so much in what you cook but how you cook it.

Drop the recipes

It is interesting that cooking is usually regarded only as craft and connected with recipes. We believe it should be the opposite. For us cooking becomes art when you know how to drop recipes. When you know how to cook without them. You have no recipes and you can cook everything.

Of course that doesn't mean that you just throw everything you have into a pot. It means that you know the ingredients and the relations between them, you know the cooking procedures and you know the soul of a particular cuisine. You know the structure and the matrix and you just have to add the magic touch, the creativity.

Just as a sculptor sees a beautiful body so a cook can take all the inspiration he needs from a nice and fresh pumpkin flower. That is why we love markets but that is another story.

You see what ingredients you have at hand and let your imagination run wild and than you can write a recipe after the meal is finished. Did Da Vinci have a recipe how to paint Mona Lisa?

OK we are exaggerating a bit to make our point. Recipes are useful to extrapolate some ideas on ingredients and cooking procedures. Plus who dares to drop classical recipes that will always stick around. What we want to do is present this other creative dimension of food and a different way of cooking. Some of you will probably say that you don’t have enough knowledge and experience to cook in that way. If you already cook in that way you can still stay tuned share some of you knowledge and ideas with us and check out how we make art from food.

Dare to be an artist in the kitchen!

Fast and good cooking

In the modern hectic society life has reached an incredible fast pace. We are occupied with many stuff thus lacking the time for one of most important things in life - food. The easiest solution and at the same time a consequence to that is stuffing yourself with all sorts of fast and junk food. Even though some fast food like falafel for example can be nice but in the long run eating like that is not such a good idea.

Cooking at home rules

The next thing you can do is eat out but that has its downs as well. A good meal in a restaurant can be quite costly otherwise they just serve you plain shit. Come on they can’t top a home cooked meal. But what to do if you have a time limit or you are to tired to make a nice meal when you get back home from work?

To go on changing the system is a bit hardcore, leave that to politicians and anarchists. What you can change is how and what you cook. You can cook instant food. Nooooo, just kidding, no thanks for plastic, taste enhanced and chemically preserved excuse of a meal you can buy in supermarkets.

Some people try to eat their way through the week eating out and getting the occasional fast food here and there and than they take their time and cook something nice on weekends. That is one way to go but the best way is to start cooking food that is prepared quick and still tasty, interesting and healthy. Believe it or not but you can make a culinary master peace in half an hour or so.

Italian and Asian is quick

If we are in a hurry or to tired to get down to serious cooking we just make something Italian or Asian, Mexican can be quick too. Obviously, because these cuisines are based on quick cooking procedures. You know that Asian food is prepared in a wok which gives its best on high heat and short cooking time. The best food for fast cooking is pasta, rice and all sorts quick soups.

Eventhough Italians have their specialities that take their time one can find many really nice and tasty meals like quick pastas and rissoto. Italians like to use the best ingredients that’s why they have lots of recipes that really want to express them in their purest way. So you have simple ideas with short cooking time and maximum gourmet effect. For example the famous pasta Olio, aglio et peperoncino (Oil, garlic and chili). Just take the best quality olive oil and fry same garlic and chili on it. Cook spaghetti al dente and mix. Sprinkle with some cut parsley and grated parmigiano.

So get your pasta going in 30 minuts and forget about fast food on the street.