A recipe is basically a fixed set of actions and ingredients, while cooking techniques are just the possible actions. If we invent cooking patterns – an abstraction on top of each ingredient / action pair – we could have more understanding of the dish we are preparing while keeping the flexibility in ingredient and technique choice.
Let’s take fritters as an example. Wikipedia says the following:
Fritter is a name applied to a wide variety of fried foods, usually consisting of a portion of batter or breading which has been filled with bits of meat, seafood, fruit, or other ingredients.
A pattern in its most obvious form. Notice the “wide variety”, a fixed ingredient (batter) and a list of possible variables (meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit) that could influence the fritters you end up making.
I find this idea very exciting, because I enjoy cooking and am also in the process of learning more about software design patterns.
Cooking patterns seem like an accessible way to introduce beginners to more abstract ideas about software, too. Algorithms are often described as “recipes,” and this is a nice way to build on that concept.
For leveling up your cooking skills, ChefSteps looks promising. Their resources include classes, projects, and an ingredients wiki. I have signed up for one class and plan to follow up on this recommendation after completing it.