Excerpt from John Mariani’s column in Esquire.com

“”If chefs ate their own food,” said Paul Bocuse, “we’d have a better cuisine,” and the first duty of any cook is to make delicious food, to make his or her guests happy, sometimes surprising them with a novel idea, sometimes keeping them guessing with a bit of trompe l’oeil. The French have always recognized this distinction, emphasizing again and again simplicity in cooking, just as did da Vinci when he said of art and craft, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” When a chef goes to deliberate extremes to dazzle on the plate, he or she is violating the cardinal principle French gastronome Curnonsky insisted on: “Cuisine is when things taste like themselves.” In cooking, form follows function, not vice versa, in the same way that the designer of a beautiful airplane has, by necessity, to make sure the wings stay on.