Chefs must master the ability to develop flavor to produce great-tasting cuisine. The flavor is created through balanced combinations of complementary foods, condiments and cooking techniques. The perception of these flavors occurs through all the senses when we eat, but particularly through the flavor, aroma and textures of food. Each person's ability to distinguish taste is different, and some people are more sensitive than others.
While the critical analysis of a dish comes naturally to some, most chefs must train their palates to distinguish the characteristics of the ingredients and learn to combine them in certain proportions to achieve a harmonious result. The flavor profile of each ethnic cuisine is identified through unique food combinations, condiments and cooking techniques. Whether it's the distinctive spice blends (masala) of Indian cuisine, the flavor combinations of corn tortillas, beans and chilies in Mexican cuisine, or the unique technique of wood-smoked barbecue, successful recreation of authentic ethnic foods is achieved by following some fundamental guidelines when preparing them. Sophisticated chefs create flavors one on top of the other to give variety and depth to dishes.
In food processing, designers can apply this same technique to improve the flavor profile, thus adding distinction to the product and enriching the eating experience. Being an expert chef begins by understanding the ingredients and the diverse possibilities offered by the cooking methods you choose. Chef Brian Poe, from Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge and Parish Café and Tip Tap Room in Boston, believes that chefs should approach the plate and the presentation of food in the same way that an artist would approach his next piece.