jeudi 3 février 2022

The difference between a technician and a technologist


Today, a friend of mine is asking if cooks are technologists. And my answer is very clear: no, a cook is not a technologist, but (generally) a technician. Let's avoid confusions ! 
Here, I explain the difference as clearly as possible :

1. When you do something, you are doing technique, from the Greek word "techne", which means "to do". A cook is producing dishes, a shoe maker is producing shoes, an electrician repairs electricy devices. And even a physician is a technician.

For cooking, the issue is that there are two kind of cooks
- some are just producing food for the body : when you are doing food that you eat for lunch, when you don't have much time, for exemple ; by the way, you can compare this with a painter who paints walls
- some cooks are artist, and the issue is now very different, because it is the same as for Picasso, or Rembrandt : the issue is not to speak to the body, but to the spirit.
Of  courses, even the painter for buildings and walls tries to do something "well done", but this is not the same purpose as Rembrandt. And even the cook in the street tries to do something "good", but it is not what some artists as Pierre Gagnaire are doing.

2. Now, for technology : the word comes from "techne" and "logos" : a technologist studies cooking in order to improve it, not in order to make it.
For sure, some cooks can try to improve their practice... but this is very new, and it was introduced by molecular gastronomy and molecular cooking !

3. And finally, sciences of nature have nothing to do with all this, because it means more or less solving equations.

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