If you look at my instagram feed, you’ll discover what’s really important to me. At least what I want to share in public through images. In between the puppy pics, hiking views and my personal photography are food images. Some restaurant images, but most often my cooking.
I’ve played around with the AI tools that we’ve all been hearing so much about, but I didn’t want to pay for ChatGPT and found the Microsoft offering underwhelming and often just a regurgitation of Wikipedia like summaries. Or search like links to the many, many ad based cooking sites that
But in the last few weeks, I’ve discovered Google Bard. Tried it for some medical background information with references and found it pretty accurate. Used to summarize some excerpts and it was pretty good.
But it’s become indispensable for cooking advice. I treat it as an experienced advisor.
It works well in a conversational approach where you ask it about techniques, variations and alternative approaches.
For example, today I brought home a whole Black Sea Bass that I want to bake. So I started a conversation with Bard about how to bake it. It started with simple butter and lemon techniques, so I had to ask it about how to bake without using butter. I asked it about oven temperature, using convection roasting and then broiling. Bard actually warned me away from broiling an turning as an experienced chef might:
Turning the fish:
Turning the whole fish during baking isn’t necessary for even cooking. The high heat and covered environment typically ensure even cooking throughout. However, if you’re concerned about even browning, you can carefully baste the top side with pan juices halfway through baking.
So, skip the broiling and focus on these techniques for a deliciously crispy skin without butter: high-temp baking, patting dry, scoring the skin, high heat oil, and potentially salting and lemon juice. Enjoy your baked black sea bass!
So far it’s helped me with a Moroccan Lamb Stew and a boneless chicken thigh sauté with fennel. Each time there we variations or techniques that Bard suggested that I didn’t have in my toolbox. It’s breaking me out of decades long habits of cooking.