Cooking – Arts or Crafts?

This is more of a philosophical post, written in response to someone trying to convince me of the artistry of cooking.

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve played on the periphery of the arts. Sometimes I have been paid for my endeavors, but most times not. In my earlier life, I’ve also studied various media and mediums in a larger context.

As such, I’ve arrived at a very precise definition of what is art and what isn’t. People may debate it, and that’s fine. These definitions work for me, but may not work for others.

For me, art is the ability to use a medium to convey and/or elicit any number of emotions, be it sadness, joy, angst, whetever. The medium’s function is to convey a wide range of emotions. Whether these emotions are effectively conveyed are limited strictly by the skill of the person using the medium.

Crafts, on the other hand, are media that have a limited amount of emotions that can be effectively be elicited. For example, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to elicit sorrow or anger or any other of a wide variety of emotions in, as an example, a well made rug. The rug’s primary function is not to convey emotion, but to provide warmth.

Using these defintions as my guidelines, I don’t believe that cooking is an art. Food’s primary function is not to convey an emotion, and the amount of emotions available to be conveyed through the various cooking media are severly limited.

So if you’re saying that cooking is an artform – I ain’t buyin’ it.

(updated for spelling errors)

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