The Art of Writing Recipes

René Redzepi, owner of Noma in Copenhagen holds the number 1 spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list. Redzepi is also the man behind MAD, A non-profit community of chefs, cooks and farmers with an appetite for knowledge. "Mad" is also the Danish word for "food."  EATER recently did an article about a tour of the Culinary Science Bunkers of Noma. MAD also has a resource site called MADFeed which has great articles and videos.

One of their recent articles was about writing recipes. In the piece Christine Muhlke, executive editor of Bon Appétit and co-author of Eric Ripert’s On the Line and David Kinch’s Manresa explored different styles of communication and addresses topics I have always thought about while writing my own recipes.

I have spent most of my career writing recipes for Chefs and Cooks who are located 100's or even 1000's of miles away. This article really hit home with me because it addresses how much intuitive cooking ability you should rely on from the end user, or what are some visual markers that reduce any misinterpretations about the cooking process embodied in these recipes.

Here is one style provided:

Get a frying pan very hot, pop in your knob of butter, followed by the hearts, and fry them for 4 minutes, rolling them around occasionally. Apply a splash of balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, season, and let the hearts get to know the liquor for a couple of minutes. Place the hearts on the toast, leave the sauce on the heat to reduce for a moment, and pour over the toast and duck hearts. Eat. The hearts have an amazingly ducky quality. — From “Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking,” Fergus Henderson.