Can I have the recipe?

Yesterday, Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) talked about his film, A Place at the Table, one-on-one with with Chris and then as part of a larger panel. He also gave me a makeover.

After the show, Chris tweeted:

Predictably, some folks asked for the recipe.

I get it. The reasoning is you get the ingredients and you too can make the delicious pastry at home. Yum, yum. But there is no recipe because there are far more ingredients than just the list of stuff you combine this way and that. There is Tom’s vision, his perfected technique, the endless hours of practice, the countless failures and the wisps of his soul he has poured into the food that is also part of the recipe. These are ingredients he could never put on a shopping list. In the end, the chorizo-gruyere savory scones you make at home would not taste nearly as satisfying as the ones Tom made for the show.

Really. They wouldn’t and not because you are a bad cook but that Tom is much more than a cook; he is also an artist.

This is also the same reason Up with Chris Hayes works. Anyone can read off a teleprompter and talk with a few guests every weekend, right? Not as easy as it looks. What people don’t see are the hours of practice, the endless mental wrangling over complex issues, the millions of words written but never published and the anguish over segments fought for but get rejected. In the end, though, what #uppers see every weekend is the very best product as a result of the struggle. When Chris is on vacation and the show has a guest host, something seems a bit off. The scones don’t taste quite as good.

We are each our own recipe. Bake it well.


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