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What is Cooking?


Cooking involves a lot of influence from science as well as an eye of an artist. Today cookery
has achieved its height because of the amount of thought being put in the preparation of food.
Scientists are constantly researching for modern techniques to be applied in food production. The
chefs implemented these techniques in their kitchen along with their creativity to reach the height
of excellence.

It is always said that “eye eats first’ – which means that when the food is well presented. there is
an appetite for consumption. The presentation effect gives the first impression of the food. A food
well presented and nicely garnished attracts the customer or the guest. and there lies the skill of
the chef as to how good the can be delivered. As an artist uses his paint brush on the canvas and
explores his skill of creativity. similarly a chef does the same with different ingredients available
in the kitchen making sure that the dish looks brilliant when presented. A chef masters this artistic
sense and produces the same on the plate. A chef is like a magician when he works with food. He
prepares a variety of different tasty dishes from the same ingredient. Colour is where he is obsessed
to and so uses different ingredients of various during the presentation. He also works on different
flavours and textures of food and all these are actually expressions of an artist. Considering all
these it is rightly said that cooking is an art.

Cooking involves a lot of scientific method. Boiling. freezing, smoking. etc. are used at various
stages in cooking. which relate to science. A good chef should be aware of the boiling point.
freezing point, smoking point. etc. to work better with different ingredients and even the action of
food in contact with different metals. so that there is no reaction thus causing food borne diseases.
A good knowledge of food safety policies and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
is required by food handlers to control over the pathogenic micro – organisms thus preventing food
spoilage. Food Production will always be grateful to the renowned scientist Louis Pasteur for his
research work regarding pasteurization. It is still an indispensable method of preservation thus
helping to keep food longer without getting spoilt. A good chef knows the action of heat on
proteins, vitamins. carbohydrates, fats, minerals, etc. and the subsequent change in their properties.
A chef not only cooks good tasty food but also sees to keep intact the nutritional value of the food.
A pastry chef should be well aware of the different temperatures at which sugar changes its state
while performing sugar work. To cook the most important factor is fuel. which is gas. electricity
or solar. The invention of these has changed the entire concept of food production. Automation is
another blessing of science to food production. From the very primitive era man has been
discovering and introducing items needed to work more efficiently in the kitchen. Today it is
beyond imagination to have a kitchen without the modern equipments. Ovens. Bratt pans. Boilers.
etc are the most versatile kitchen equipments which helps to make food more conveniently and
fast. Microwave and solar cookers can be considered as one of the best gift of science. All these
factors prove that cooking is not only art or science but a combination of both which has put it at
its peak.



If we trace the history of cooked foods, we usually think of spit roast, on which hunted game birds
or animals was cooked. The origin of cookery in general goes back, to prehistoric era, where
humans began eating the product of their pickings or their catch and eat their flesh. They found a
pleasant odour of charcoal mixed with animal flesh. At once, with inherent primitive instinct, they
tasted the meat, and found it to be agreeable and easily chewed. This could have led to the spit
roasting of game.
Animals had already been domesticated and contributed greatly to the daily diet by supplying both
milk and meat. Wheat was the important grain. Great things happened by accident when someone
dropped his share of meat in the fire and discovered that the meat tasted better. The same happened
with the use of salt when someone dropped his food on a piece of rock where seawater had
evaporated. The Romans also taught the French how to bake bread and brew wine.
Experimentation on food never stopped and each day was a new day with something different. The
urge for more in humans is the biggest reason for the advent of cookery.

The best of the ingredients from round the globe found its place in every household_ Probably that
was more global than we are today as we see the influence of all cuisines in every cuisine. The
best of spices came from Asia and was used even by the Europeans. Even the names of the dishes
has influence over others as the origin of the word Soup may come from the Sanskrit words SU
(well) PA (Feed) giving SUPA good food. Others are of the opinion that the word has been taken
from the old French language where a SOUPE was a slice of bread.


Learning about the popular foods, dining preferences and cooking styles of the past, it is interesting
to discover the delectable secrets of the chefs of long ago. It is interesting to learn how food was
prepared before the age of microwave ovens and refrigerators, and consider the origins of mealtime
and table manners. It will be very surprising to know that most of the renowned delicacies today
had happened as a mere accident which even costed lives Lot of them committed suicide as that
were sure they won’t be pardoned by their masters and that their lives would be taken as a
punishment of their fault. Vatel is the first victim of Cookery (1671). He was the Head cook of the
Prince – brother of the King- and committed suicide when the fish delivery for the king’s banquet
did not arrive in time.

Historians figure that the earliest prehistoric peoples trapped and ate insects, snails, and other sea
creatures, lizards and birds. The New Testament records that the prophet John survived in the
desert on locusts and honey, a balanced diet of proteins, fiber, fats and sugar.

Early records also make mention of onions, olives and pomegranates. Around 4000 B.C.. onions,
radishes and garlic were the mainstay of the diet of Egyptian slaves who built the Great Pyramid
at Giza. A century later, olives were introduced to ancient peoples in Asia and Asia Minor Olives
were cultivated in the Mediterranean for about 5,000 years. making them one of the oldest fruits.
Egyptians considered olive oil sacred, and the Sumerians used the oil for their bodies as well as
for cooking. Pomegranates are believed to have originated in Persia. Their skins were used to dye
wool and the fruit was a fertility symbol in many ancient cultures, undoubtedly because it has so
many seeds.

During the period between 3000 B.C. and 1000 B.C., the Romans discovered the process of
fermentation and began making primitive wine and beer. In Egypt. this led to leavened bread. The
agricultural revolution during this period brought the shift to a largely grain diet. Settlers clashed
with the more aggressive, meat-eating nomads. Forms of salting and drying, as well as the use of
snow and ice, were developed for food preservation.
During the Ancient period. food often reflected one’s social status. In ancient Rome. for example,
slaves and soldiers ate simple meals, while the wealthy landowners and senators enjoyed more
diverse and lavish foods. Generally, meals were eaten three times a day. with dinner being the
main meal.


During the Medieval era, dinners were served in courses Usually, the first course included soups,
fruits and vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage. Herbs and spices were used in the first course,
as they were believed to be good for digestion. Following this first course were the meat dishes of
beef, pork, fish and nuts. Finally, desserts of fruits, cakes and sweet liquors were served. Wine and
cheese were always served during the entire meal.

Pasta, the Italian word for “dough” was introduced to Italy by Germanic tribes, who invaded
throughout the 5th century. Our word for “noodle is derived from the German word for pasta.
“nude Venetian traveler Marco Polo was believed to have brought pasta, as we know it, back from
China in 1295. However, macaroni is mentioned in writings from as early as 1200 so it is probable
that pasta in fact dates back earlier than the thirteenth century.


Dunng the period of the Renaissance, many foods were introduced in Europe from newly-
discovered lands in the West, including maize, potatoes, chocolate, peanuts, vanilla, tomatoes,
pineapples. lima beans, chili peppers and turkey. In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus
discovered pineapple on the West Indies island of Guadeloupe. The people there called pineapple
“nana” meaning fragrance. Catherine of Medici in 1575 brought in France the art in the dining
style. Menus became more balanced with more vegetables and less meat. At this period
Champagne was created and chocolate was introduced at this stage as a beverage as well as coffee
and tea An Italian Procopio Dei Collelli opened the first coffee bar in Paris in 1675, which still
exists today.


During the Baroque era. English cuisine consisted of various breads, meat pies, fresh fruit. sweets
and desserts. Many residents of London ate four square meals a day. Forks were introduced at that
time as utensils for eating meat. In Europe, the pleasures of a formal dinner reached new
gastronomic heights with the discovery of different and exotic foods and the creation of new
recipes. The tables became more exciting and elaborate with tableware such as tureens, sauceboats
and centerpieces and even wine glasses found its way onto the table.

Dining in 17th century Europe was hierarchical and stratified by economic background and the
type of occasion. It was then that at each course all the different dishes were placed on the table at
the same time and in exactly prescribed locations. Perhaps the most famous meal in American
history occurred during the seventeenth century on the first Thanksgiving dinner which was
celebrated by the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony in 1621 when they celebrated a successful harvest,
after a devastating winter in 1620.
Prior to the late 18th century, all meals were cooked on open fires or in special bake houses. During
the Georgian era, closed ovens became common in kitchens throughout Europe. Because the
thermostat was not yet available, cooks and bakers relied on their instincts and experience to
determine where and for how long to place food in ovens. In 1742, the first American cookbook
was published. It was called “The Complete Housewife” or “Accomplish Gentlewoman’s
Companion” by Eliza Smith, and became so popular that it was reprinted in 1764.

Dinner, until the later part of the 18th century, was served at midday. Lower-class people prepared
dinner during the day because it was cheaper to cook, to serve and to eat the main meal of the day
in natural light. As the upper-class people became idler, dinner hours were later which set the
upper-class members of society apart from the lower class.

Cultural customs of dining abounded during this period. There were cultural rules that dictated
everything from dressing for the meal to leaving the dining room. Upper-class women could spend
over an hour dressing for dinner because it was customary for women to change their entire outfit
for the evening meal.

Every meal consisted of two courses and a dessert. However, a course in eighteenth-century upper-
class society consisted of between five and twenty-five dishes. In one course, soup or creams, main
dishes, side dishes and pastries would be placed on the table all at once. Unfortunately, this type
of presentation meant that by the time the guests finished eating the soup, the other foods had to
be eaten cold. The dishes were placed on the table with a certain balance. In the center of the table
meat dishes were placed, while accompaniments were placed on the sides and corners. On one
end, the soup was placed and on the other, the fish would be placed. Vegetable, fish or custard
dishes were never placed at the center of the dinner table. Dinner was so elaborate that it almost
took two hours to complete.


Victorian meals consisted of as many as nine courses, although many dishes were light and petite-
sized. Fine ingredients, such as exotic spices imported from distant countries, were used in lavishly
prepared meals. Culinary schools were established for the first time in history, while popular recipe
books by chefs became all the rage in England. Detailed measurements and instructions were
written down for the first time during this era. New kitchen gadgets such as the can-opener were
introduced. In addition, the first take away shops opened at this period and are also the beginning
of outdoor catering.


The Edwardian era saw the beginning of the modern American food industry, largely due to
inventions such as the steam tractor, which transformed farming into a grand-scale operation. The
United States passed its Food and Drug Act, giving the government increased control in regulating
food quality in the marketplace. Self-service grocery stores and supermarket chains opened for the
first time in history. A host of brand-name foods emerged during this period. Finally, the invention
of the refrigerator, toaster oven and other dishware brought time-saving convenience and
efficiency to the modern kitchen.
Alexander Dumas. also known for the Three Musketeers- wrote his grand dictionary of Cookery
Many famous names appear ESCOFFIER – The Founder and Father of Modem Cookery’ Foyot
Marie, creator of the famous Crepe Suzette was the prominent in the industry. On the 1st day of
the 20th century, a banquet of 22.000 was served (125 tables of 10m each) by 2000 waiters. Later
on banquets of 30.000 and 40.000 were organized Nouvelle cuisine began in the 1970’s with Chef
Bocuse and was popular in all fine dining outlets for quite some time.


The first civilizations of the world also had food as its origin. At this time the Egyptian. the
Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley civilizations constituting what is known as the ‘fertile
crescent’ were just coming into their own. each developing individually but with similar basic
needs. If seen closely, all the civilizations started near water bodies. for the simple reason of easy
access to the water for drinking, as it meant life and also the silt deposited on the banks made the
soil fertile for cultivation. The water was also used for the ease of transportation. Even though
technology was not so developed but still the early humans had found their easiest way of survival
and settlement.

There is even a controversy in the name of soup and some believe that there is a Sanskrit influence.
Sanskrit, though not widely used today, had a very strong base in the earlier days. Some believe
that the word soup has come from the word ‘Sum – which in Sansknt means Nvell fed”. If this is
true. we all have to understand the great impact that India had on the global cuisines of the yester

Talking about the food habits in the Indian sub continent, we have found a lot of specimens dealing
with food in the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilization. Tandoor has also been found in
excavations of Harappa and pre¬Harappa sites, which suggests the long use of this brilliant
equipment which till date has no substitute. A lot of ovens. including the most modern combination
oven and micro wave cannot cook a meat as good as the original tandoor dating centuries back.
Ovens of both underground and over ground type found in Punjab and Haryana.

The origin of the word -TANDOOR” is as fascinating as that of the oven itself. The word tandoor
is said to have derived from the word “kund” which means a large bowl shaped vessel, either
counter sunk or above ground, and could be used for the storage of water and grain. The word
kund became kandu in colloquial usage, and from kandu it became kandoor, also kandoora. Then
the ‘k’ became T. and so we have the word tandoor.


Indus valley or Sind valley civilization unearthed at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa is nearly 5000
years old, which leads to a wonder if tandoori fowl was as popular then as it is now Although the
tandoor had been discovered earlier in the pre- Harappa culture, it is quite certain that in Egypt the
evolution of the tandoor and grinding stone took place simultaneously. It is thought that during the
construction of the great pyramids, there was a sustained demand for vast amounts of food and
bread. Since the Egyptians knew all about fire and how to raise it, all they needed was finely
ground grain
While we study the gastronomical changes in different era we can clearly seen a huge
transformation that has taken not only in the formation of new recipes but also in the cooking
methods and style. In the early days. entertainment in life was not only limited to different art and
culture but has a great impact on food and food habits. History says that the kings were great
connoisseurs of food and had the best of the cooks employed to produce delicacies every day. If
this patronage was not done by the kings and the elite of the society then, we might not have seen
this great transformation today. The great Indian stories of Gopal Bhaanr to Birbal and their witty
gestures revolved around food. The richness was portrayed in two ways, by means of assets and
dining habits More the rich elaborate will be the dining experience with elaborate buffets and
countless number of dishes. Most of the wars had ended with the formulation of new recipes, either
during the fight when resources were limited or as a victory celebration where the demand was to
have something new and extravagant. The real credit goes to those cooks of the kings who were
king of chefs to innovate new dining experiences. From the Vichy carrots to the Biriyani, there is
a story behind its origin. Food has also been the cause of many dynasties and rules. Taking the
example of the British invasion in India, the initial interest of the British was to trade spices in lieu
of salt. The Spice Route was opened for trade which was later responsible for the 200 years of
British Rai in India.

From the discovery of fire to the use of salt, there have been a lot of accidental events, but real
thought about food and ingredients cannot be eliminated. Few of the trends of the ancient world
regarding food habits can still be seen amongst the aborigines in Africa, Latin America and in the
indigenous forest population in parts of Asia. From the early agricultural habits to domestication
of animals in the early civilization, the crude means of cooking to the exotic tableware of today
along with different service techniques. food production can never have an end. The use of new
ingredients into dishes has a great past where we have seen the well known of the society had to
be involved to promote the dishes. Potatoes were popularized by Parmentiere as a cheap food for
the poor. Tomatoes, which originally came from Peru to Italy and Spain. were first treated
poisonous and ornamental fruit and were not consumed till the 18th century.

There is still a long way to reach the summit or maybe there is no end to the tunnel. The present
gastronomic experts are already talking about organic, genetically modified and molecular
gastronomy. We may call it the end of an era of simplicity or the beginning of modernization,
where food will be drunk and drinks be eaten. Humans have never been contemplated and their
wish to have more is one of the reasons that there has been a constant thought for food. From the
very explicit and elaborate Grande Cuisine to the authentic Haute Cuisine, from the Nouvelle
Cuisine to the Fusion Cuisine and now the Molecular Gastronomy, the culinary spectrum has
shown huge variation in the trend of food from the recent past.

It is important to be aware of the recent and most happenings in the culinary world, but as a student
of the trade it is also important to know the growth of how these food and styles have evolved.
Nothing has shown a permanency and today sauces are no longer poured but are drizzled on the
plate. Height of the food and portion sizes has no connection to the authenticity of classical food
presentation. New styles have been accepted widely. It is rightly said that ‘Eye eats first’ and the
trendy designer service apparatus, along with a free mind to act as an artist on the plate as like a
painter on the canvas has given immense opportunity to the chef to portray the culinary skills.
Even sky is no limit and we have been witnessing a lot on the use of sauces as foams using liquid
nitrogen at – 170°C to imaginary presentations. The modern chefs do deserve an exemplary
compliment for such achievements and the world waits anxiously to see more in the future. This
is one reason why today Chefs have come out of the kitchens and attained a celebrity status in the
modern society. They have rightly proved that lo win the heart is through the stomach”. Cheers



KITCHEN: Kitchen is a specific place in a hotel where the chef is prepared different type of food
according to guest order that is called Kitchen.
CHEF: Chef is a Latin term means a professional and technical person who makes the different
types of raw materials within a specific time of period.
PRODUCTION: Production means produced anything using of raw materials within specific
time of period and motion is profit.
Cooking is a “Chemical process”. The medium of transfer of heat from its source could be
water, air or oil. This will be dealt with in detail at a later stage. First let us understand why
we need to ‘cook’ food. Cooking is the act of preparing food for eating by the application of
heat. It encompasses a vast range of methods, tools and combinations of ingredients to alter
the flavor or digestibility of food. It is the process of selecting, measuring and combining of
ingredients in an ordered procedure in an effort to achieve the desired result. Factors
affecting the final outcome include the variability of ingredients, ambient conditions, tools,
and the skill of the individual doing the actual cooking.


1. Cooking helps to sterilize the food.
2. Cooking preserves food for a longer time.
3. Cooking helps to make food more digestible.
4. Cooking food is often split into simple substance.
5. Cooking retains, as far as possible, the nutritive and flavouring ingredients.
6. Cooking also increases the palatability of food dishes.
7. Cooking makes food more attractive in appearance and appetizing.
8. Cooking introduces variety.
9. Cooking helps to provide balance meal.

The following are the advantages of cooking:-

1. Cooking makes the food easy to chew.

2. Cooking softens the connective tissues in the meat and makes animal foods more digestible.
3. Cooking makes the complex foods split into simpler substances.
4. Cooking helps to kill harmful bacteria. It makes the food safe to eat.
5. Cooking preserves the food.
6. Cooking increases palatability. It improves taste and enhances the flavour.
7. A wide variety of dishes can be made by different methods of cooking – boiling, frying,
roasting, microwaving, baking, smoking, etc.
8. Cooking makes the dish more colorful. It develops new flavors in food.
9. Cooking makes the food to appreciable texture.
10. Cooking makes food more appetizing
11. Cooking provides balanced meal.
12. Cooking adds more nutritive value to food.