Peter Clarke (1929 - )
A Good Cook

mixed media
50 x 35cm

Haute Cuisine, Escoffier, Mrs Beeton, Cordon Bleu, André Simon, Elizabeth David, Paul Bocuse, Silwood,
Prue Leith, Cas Abrahams, Fusion, Topsi Venter, great chefs, minor chefs, changing fashions
in the preparation of dishes for the table, with all of these she is unfamiliar. She is unacquainted
with culinary terminology.
Of course she is interested in recipes often with the intention of perhaps trying them out sometime
or other. But she doesn't subscribe to any of the glossy food magazines in order to keep
abreast of trends. She only looks into a cookery book when she needs to check up on something
specific like the exact amount to be used of a particular ingredient.
She fondly remembers her grandmother as being a great cook. There were always aromas
of old fashioned roasts & gravy & rich crusty pies & tomato soup & puddings in her grandmother's
house. Her mother too taught her a great deal about the preparation of food.
No matter how hard she tries - & she is a good cook - she feels the food she cooks
doesn't taste the same as the food that her mother prepared, the boontjiekerrie, tamatiebredie,
braised liver & onions, the pastries, the bread pudding, the orange, watermelon &
fig konfyt.
But she is generally regarded as a superb cook, having a particular way of doing
things in her kitchen, her utensils always shining clean, dishcloths never discoloured,
never wearing a greasy, grubby apron. She never licks things or wipes off drippy edges
with a finger. She has style. When she cooks, your nostrils pick up gorgeous smells
something to taste, a slice of bread freshly baked, warm & spread with butter melting, a
small plate of this or that. It tastes so good that it colours your attitude favourably to
the world.

© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.