When religion, morals and health force chefs to forgo their own fare

04/30/2012 | Wall Street Journal, The

How can chefs create delicious dishes without ever tasting them? Alison Barnett, whose religion bars her from eating nonkosher food, must rely on instincts. "I can kind of estimate and learn about the actual components of the food, like how much salt and spices I can put inside of a thing to make it taste great without actually tasting it," she said. Brendan Walsh, dean of culinary education at the CIA, said the school often has to work around dietary restrictions. "Obviously if you're going to teach fundamental cooking ... they still have to be exposed to all of these things so they have an understanding."

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