Animism in the Kitchen

Chef Sarah Grueneberg
Chef Sarah Grueneberg

I was watching the cooking show Simply Ming on Friday, which is hosted by Boston chef Ming Tsai. He always has a guest chef — or occasionally his parents, who started him on his career — and in this episode, his guest was a Chicagoan (via Texas), Sarah Grueneberg.

She is showing him how to make the pasta dough for Tortilli Verdi, “her restaurant Monteverde’s signature dish,” and at one point she says something like, “The pasta knows when you’re afraid.”

Oh no, I thought, not dough too! It’s alive in a yeasty sense, of course but it can sense your fear? Ah, the animist world —so complicated! I reckon that is why we like it.

One thought on “Animism in the Kitchen

  1. I once read a kids book with a (rather stereotyped) Italian mother claiming that her tried and true cookware must be respected because it has taking the time and practice to learn to cook the various dishes. I find this perfectly relatable in regard to some of my skillets and woks.

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