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représentation AI d'une image de Simon Fortin qui cuisine avec passion et fait la critique de recettes

Recipe Review & Cooking: A Personal Food Journey

Recipe review isn’t just an activity for me; It’s a passion that accompanies me in my culinary journey.

From a young age, I was fascinated by the magic of cooking and how different flavours and textures blend to create delicious dishes.

“Thank you, Mom!”

I also have a diploma in hospitality, for what it’s worth in my professional life… A big ZERO. Ah!

I already did mystery shopper contracts for restaurants for a few years, around 2005.

However, beyond the simple tasting, it was the criticism of these culinary creations that truly captivated me.

By sharing my passion for recipe reviews and cooking today, I want to take you on a gastronomic journey, where each dish tells a story and each bite is a discovery.

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What makes recipe reviews and criticism so captivating to me?

To begin with, it allows me to explore the world of gastronomy in-depth, analyzing not only the flavours but also the techniques, ingredients and innovation behind each recipe.

Simon cooks with passion in the kitchen. Reproduction AIIt is an art form that requires sensitivity, knowledge, and great attention to detail.

In the following sections, I’ll share with you the reasons why I consider food reviews and criticism to be an art, the key elements I look for in a good recipe, as well as my own experiences and techniques for effective criticism.

Get ready to immerse yourself in a world where food reviews and criticism meet to form an exquisite duo.

Let yourself be guided into this world of taste where each dish has a story to tell.

Why I Consider Food Reviews and Criticism an Art

Cooking with art. A painting that depicts the art of cooking
AI Representation

The art of food criticism goes far beyond simply tasting a dish.

For me, it’s a careful exploration of every aspect that goes into a recipe: from the ingredients and their freshness to the way they’re combined, cooked, and presented.

Food reviews and criticism are an art because they require a keen sensitivity and a deep understanding of gastronomy.

The subtlety of the flavours

The first step in my review of a recipe is flavour analysis.

How do the different components of the dish fit together?

Is there a balance between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour flavours?

The complexity of a recipe often lies in the subtlety of its flavours, which must complement each other without overpowering each other.

Technology and innovation

Another crucial aspect is the technique used.

Does the recipe follow traditional methods or does it introduce bold innovations?

For example, the use of modern techniques like sous vide cooking or molecular gastronomy can turn an ordinary dish into an exceptional dining experience.

For my part, I admit that I am not yet at the point of molecular gastronomy at the moment.

Presentation and experience

The presentation of a dish is also essential.

Presentation of food on a plate. Attention to detail, chic restaurantA dish can be delicious, but it’s the presentation that creates the first impression and stimulates the appetite.

The overall sensory experience – the visual aspect, the aroma, the texture – plays a major role in my critique.

Cultural and personal context

Finally, I look at the cultural context and history behind the recipe.

“At the end of each review, I do a little research on the history of the dish or an ingredient and explain a cultural fact or anecdote for it.”

Each dish has an origin, a story to tell, which enriches the culinary experience.

Understanding this context allows me to fully appreciate the recipe and offer a more nuanced critique.

To conclude, food reviews and criticism is for me an art form that combines sensitivity, knowledge and appreciation of culture.

It’s an approach that transforms every meal into an enriching experience, a journey through flavors and traditions.

The Elements I’m Looking for in a Good Recipe

Photo taken from above of a person searching for recipes. There are plenty of books on the table
AI Representation

When I dive into a recipe review, several key elements catch my eye.

It’s these aspects that I think turn an ordinary dish into a memorable culinary creation.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

1. Originality and creativity

The first thing I look for in a recipe is its originality.

Was the chef able to bring a unique touch, a new perspective to a traditional dish?

Creativity can manifest itself in the choice of ingredients, in the cooking method, or even in the way the dish is presented.

2. Flavour balance

A dish should have a harmonious balance of flavours.

Whether it’s in the sweetness of a sauce or the strength of a seasoning, each element should contribute to the whole without overpowering it.

all the ingredients cut and ready to cook the maple syrup caramelized tofu

Balance is key to making every bite a complete taste experience.

3. The quality of the ingredients

The quality of the ingredients is crucial.

Fresh, local and seasonal products bring an incomparable richness of taste.

I value recipes that highlight quality ingredients and respect their natural flavour.

4. Culinary technique

Mastery of culinary technique is another important aspect.

Zoom of a wooden spoon with goopy caramel filament

Whether it’s the perfect cooking of a steak or the finesse of an emulsion, the chef’s technical skill is something I particularly appreciate in a recipe.

5. Presentation and aesthetics

A dish should be visually appealing.

Presentation plays an important role in the dining experience.

A beautiful presentation can awaken the senses and make the dish even more appetizing.

6. Coherence and Theme

I like it when recipes follow a consistent theme, whether it’s through a main ingredient, a season, or a geographic region.

This consistency gives a strong identity to the dish and enhances the tasting experience.

7. Is the recipe easy to understand?

Menu that shows a four-step recipe

I also evaluate the ease of making the recipe, whether it’s with HelloFresh, GoodFood or Chefs Plate meal box reviews or recipes in general found on the Internet.

I follow the instructions to the letter but modify it as needed to give you the easiest version.

In summary, these elements are the pillars of my critique.

They allow me to evaluate a recipe not only for its taste but also for its creativity, technique and visual impact.

My Experiences and Techniques of Effective Reviews and Criticism

Man in a kitchen with a blue shirt and a pizza out of the oven
Image acquired from Envato

Over the years, my passion for recipe criticism has led me to develop a set of techniques that allow me to fully analyze and appreciate each dish.

Here are some of the methods I’ve refined that form the core of my critical approach:

The Complete Sensory Approach

For me, every dish is a sensory experience.

Hand touching an orange in a basket

When I review a recipe, I engage all my senses: sight for presentation, smell for aromas, taste for flavours, touch for texture, and even hearing for the sound of baking or crispy crust.

This holistic approach allows me to fully appreciate the complexity of a dish.

Methodical tasting

I take the time to taste each dish methodically.

I start by tasting each component separately to appreciate its individual qualities, and then combine them to assess how they interact.

This gives me a complete understanding of the dish as a whole.

Reflection on the context

Food on a world map depicting where food comes from and its history

I’m also interested in the context of the recipe: its origin, its history, and the chef’s vision.

Understanding this context allows me to appreciate the recipe on a deeper level and offer a more nuanced and informed critique.

Technical analysis

As a food lover myself, I pay close attention to the cooking technique used.

Zooming in on ingredients on a table that represents the sensory analysis of food

I’m interested in cooking methods, seasoning, and how the different elements of the dish are prepared and assembled.

Note-taking and reflection

During and after the tasting, I take detailed notes.

This allows me to reflect on the experience later and offer a thoughtful and balanced critique.

Exchange with other enthusiasts

Finally, I enjoy discussing my culinary experiences with other enthusiasts, friends and loved ones.

This exchange of opinions allows me to see dishes from a different perspective and enriches my own understanding and appreciation of gastronomy.

By sharing these techniques, I hope to inspire you to explore the world of food criticism with a more in-depth and methodical approach.

Now, I’ll conclude this article by reflecting on the importance of criticism in my culinary journey.

The Chefs I Admire the Most

On the American side, I worship Gordon Ramsay.

Exaggerated caricature of Gordon Ramsay
AI creation (sorry Gordon!)

Although he likes to play tough guys on TV, he is generous and well-liked in real life.

You either love it or hate it, and unless you live in a cave, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard its name.

I have a lot of recipe books from him, and I watch all of his TV shows religiously.

For Canada, well, our famous national Ricardo (Larrivée), of course.

Caricature by Ricardo Larrivée
AI creation (sorry Ricardo!)

Who hasn’t made a Ricardo recipe?

Whether it’s your “Nany” Theresa, the neighbour or grandma, everyone has already made one of their recipes… Guarantee!

A big PS :

“I would never dare criticize a recipe from one of these chefs. On the other hand, a small modification for… improve? Why not! It’s not an insult, it’s a compliment! »

My Favorite Recipe Sites

Here are some of my go-to recipe references: English versions available online. I have others, but these are by far my favourite.

Ricardo Cuisine

Gordon Ramsay

Recettes du Québec

Les recettes de Caty: for my vegan side

In Conclusion

As I reflect on my journey as a recipe reviewer, I realize how much this passion has enriched my life.

Food reviews and criticism is not just a way to evaluate a dish, it is a way to connect more deeply with the art of cooking, to understand the chef’s vision, and to appreciate the richness of cultures through their dishes.

A Deeper Connection with Food

Through criticism, I have developed a more intimate and respectful relationship with food.

Each dish becomes a story, a journey through the senses, and an opportunity to learn and grow as a food lover.

Appreciation of the culinary art

Criticism has also helped me recognize and appreciate the art and creativity in cooking.

Behind each dish, there is a thought, an emotion, a technique, which deserves to be celebrated and shared.

A never-ending journey

At the end of the day, recipe criticism is a never-ending journey.

There are always new dishes to discover, new techniques to learn, and new stories to tell.

And it’s in this relentless quest for discovery and appreciation that the true beauty of food criticism lies.

I encourage you to explore the world of recipe criticism, whether as a reader, critic, or cook.

There is so much to discover, so much to enjoy, and so much to share.

To learn more about me, go to my About Me page.

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