Humana Mente 13 (38) (2020)

Andrea Baldini
NanJing University
Can there be improvised recipes? This paper argues that improvised recipes are possible. I call them instantaneous-recipes. They emerge at the same instant where a dish is also prepared. The improvisational freedom of instantaneous-recipes is displayed in the spontaneity of using what is available in terms of ingredients, tools, utensils, and techniques. Similar to what graffiti writers do while tagging – that is, leaving their signatures on – a wall or the side of a train car, in creating their signature dishes, improvisers of the kitchen are forced to adapt on the spot to changing contextual conditions just like a missing or newly available ingredient, a technical failure, or a mistake. Analogously to tags, improvised recipes are formally imperfect: they do not comply with established ones and are often rough, unpolished, broken, and disordered. But their imperfections are not aesthetic flaws, but merits. Imperfectionism in cooking, as I call the view rejecting the idea that only perfect instantiations of pre-existing recipes afford positive aesthetic experiences, is linked with three values: aesthetic, humanistic, and sustainable. By bringing imperfect features within the domain of gastronomic appreciation, instantaneous-recipes broaden the range of our aesthetic palette, while also reminding us of our finitude as humans. By encouraging creative uses of available ingredients and leftovers, improvisation in the kitchen also embodies a more sustainable approach to food waste.
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References found in this work BETA

The Arts of Action.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (14):1-27.
The Motivational Structure of Appreciation.Servaas van der Berg - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):445-466.
What Is a Recipe?Andrea Borghini - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (4):719-738.
On Musical Improvisation.Philip Alperson - 1984 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 43 (1):17-29.

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