These remarks from Mark Erickson, Vice President Dean of Culinary Education at The Culinary Institute of Education, struck me as particularly profound and representative of what is at the heart of Cleveland Ethnic Eats.
The challenge for chefs today is to not only be aware of authentic cuisines, but to truly understand them. Our customers are now well-traveled and culturally savvy, and they have come to expect a variety of world flavors, whether they’re dining out or shopping at the supermarket.
At the same time that we learn about new cuisines, it becomes our responsibility to protect and maintain our culinary heritage. Many traditions that have been passed from generation to generation are in danger of disappearing because of the fast-paced world in which we now live. Therefore, our approach to ingredients, cuisines and fundamental cooking techniques continues to be key to all culinary professionals — no matter how innovative and experienced we may be.
We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the work of those who came before us, and one can say that the past and the future are equally important to the culinary arts. That’s why our chefs and instructors are exploring both, through diverse, innovative research initiatives. They’re seeking to shed new light on the underlying science of our craft, preserve the art of time-honored culinary traditions, and share those results with the industry.