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Monday, November 22, 2010

Why do YOU bake, Irvin Lin?

AJ, Irvin and his prize-winning pie
While Irvin Lin is a relative newcomer to food blogging, having launched Eat the Love earlier this year, he has quickly been embraced by bakers, cooks and food lovers. He's extremely talented as a baker, having won various competitions, including the Food Wars:Pie or Die, also this year. Lin does it all with a sense of joy and humor that is positively delicious.

"There is something slightly schizophrenic about being a home baker.

It’s a soothing zen-like solitary experience where precision measurements are needed to ensure a perfect end result. It’s a bit magical, when you put that batter or dough into the oven, at the correct temperature, and it comes out a baked good, something worthy of sharing with the people you love. Baking may be a lot of science (as well as a lot of art – don’t let anyone tell you any differently) but it’s also a magic that everyone can access. Few things in life create the warm happy feeling I get when I smell something baking in the oven.

But baking is also an act of social engagement, as all my baked goods are meant to be shared with friends, family and loved ones. I enjoy cooking, but to me, cooking is something I do to survive. Everyone needs to eat, and cooking is one of the ways that I provide sustenance to my body. But baking…baking is about pleasure. It’s about providing an experience to not only for yourself but for others as well. Cooking is a necessary. It’s a need. Baking is special. It’s a want.

I bake because I love to give joy to others. I love to watch other people eat. I love to watch their reactions when they take a bite of pie that I’ve made, or break off a piece of cookie and put it in their mouth. I love watching their eyes light up as they see the dessert placed in front of them. I love to see their eye roll to the back of their head as they savor that rich butter and sugar that I use in my sweet baked goods. I love hearing about how a specific dessert reminds them of their trip to France, or their wedding day, or of their childhood kitchen. I love talking to them about desserts and baked goods, because inevitably, every single person has a story about their favorite cookie, their favorite cake, and/or their favorite pie.

It is not everyday that people eat desserts. However, every time someone bakes, a normal occasion is turned into a special occasion. I strive to have as many special occasions as possible. I bake because baking is a way to connect with others. Baking is a joy. And we all need a little more joy in our lives."