Burning Q: Is cooking an art or a trade?

Things you wonder when you've had like, one day off this month and you're entering a special mental space.

August 19, 2016 ● 1 min read

Q: Is cooking an art or a trade?

Justin Wills | Restaurant Beck, Depoe Bay, Oregon 

That’s a pretty loaded question! I think it depends on the type of establishment. I would definitely say in the type of restaurants that I own and operate it would be considered an art. However, for some its considered a trade. I think it depends who you ask, quite frankly. I would say though, when it comes to the operation side, you want both types of people in your kitchens. You want someone who maybe starts out as it being a trade and then might leave appreciating cooking as an art form. I think a trade would be something you do out of necessity. With art, you do it because of passion and love. 

Eric Werner | Hartwood, Tulum, Mexico

Cooking is both an art and a trade. I first started cooking at the age of 17 because I needed to learn a trade in order to financially support myself.
As I grew older and began to learn, and become disciplined in cooking, then it became an art. I needed discipline before creativity. 

Bonnie Morales | Kachka, Portland, Oregon 

Neither. It's a craft. It requires the creativity and inspiration of an art as well as the specific skill set of a trade.  The most successful cooks are craftsmen.  If it were just a trade, you could just have cooking robots.  But we all know there is a creative element to it.  However, it drives me bonkers when I hear chefs call themselves "artists".  Major eye roll.  This is a business.  And if you aren't running your kitchen like a business, you don't get to keep doing it (unless of course you have a sugar mama or papa). So this makes it a craft. You know, like a designer: form meets function and all that jazz.

Collage by ChefsFeed | Image of Wills by Blake Smith