Check out this fantastic New York Times Magazine piece by Pete Wells about the nonsense professional chefs dish out to home cooks–namely, the idea that all the prep work must be accomplished before cooking can begin. The concept even has a French name, mise en place. The problem is, what home cook has time for that? Not to chop the peppers while the onions are frying, but to chop them ahead of time? Only one who is unemployed and has a staff, that's who.
This piece interested me because it reminded me of all the nonsense advice pros try to push off onto amateur gardeners, too, particularly in the vegetable garden. The advice that drives me most crazy revolves around soil preparation: till every spring and add some carefully calibrated mix of bagged soil amendments. Wrong. In any vegetable plot small enough to be mulched by wheelbarrow, mulch is the easy answer to all questions: fertility, soil conditioning, weed control, water conservation.
How about you? Is there any advice designed for commercial applications–but not domestic life–that makes you crazy? I'm asking the landscape professionals, too. What's the worst advice you've ever heard a peer give an amateur?Posted by Evelyn Hadden on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 am, in the category Eat This, Everybody's a Critic.