“Cookery is an art which requires much time, intelligence, and activity to be acquired in its perfection. Every man is not born with the qualifications necessary to constitute a good Cook. The difficulty of attaining to perfection in the art, will be best demonstrated by offering a few observations on some others. Music, dancing, fencing, painting, and mechanics in general, possess professors under twenty years of age, whereas, in the first line of cooking, pre-eminence never occurs under thirty. We see daily at Concerts, and Academies, young men and women who display the greatest abilities; but in our line, nothing but the most consummate experience can elevate a man to the rank of Chief Professor. It must be admitted, that there are few good Cooks, though there are many who advance themselves as such. This disproportion of talent among them is the cause of the little respect in which they are held; if they were all provided with the necessary qualities, they would certainly be considered as artists.”
Ude, Louis Eustache. Preface. The French Cook. New York: Arco, 1978. Xix. Print.