Tonight I have passed my personal first-level acid test on Thai food, i.e. the ability to recreate a dish without a recipe -- level 0 being the mere ability to follow a recipe, level 2 being able to create something new. I have prepared a Yam Neua (beef salad) out of gustative memory from what I used to order at the now defunct Bali Bar restaurant in Paris, and knowledge of the basic ingredients that are used in Thai food. My
judges guests where pleased, especially the better half.
My approach to food is quite identical to my approach of music. To comprehend and interpret (i.e. cook or play) them, you need knowledge and practice to decipher their components (taste ingredients, ear notes), understand their harmony, play the instruments, execute and eventually create. I stopped practicing music (big mistake) but I kept improving on the cooking side. Mixing art and pleasure is enjoyable and France is not the worst place on earth to do that, at least on the food part :-).
Too tired for blogging the recipe. Ahem, OK, the real reason is that I need a dictionary for the food terms and it's really time to go to bed. Manifest yourself if you want it.