Monday, October 8, 2012

Cooking with Statistics

I received my copy of "La Cucina - The regional cooking of Italy" from Accademia Italiana Della Cucina today and I can't wait to dig into all 2000 Italian regional recipes in the book!

I have always believed that everything has a mathematical form, and they are every where in our life.

Take cooking for example, a recipe is a model, ingredients are like data, and the chef turns the ingredients into magnificent dishes just like how a statistician would turn data into useful insight.

Furthermore vegetables, meat and all other inputs just like data are not always the same. Time-series data are subject to sampling frequency, and surveys are prone to non-response. Ingredients can also be good or bad and have a distribution they follow.

A bad cook like me would have blindly follow the recipe and make a terrible dish. On the other hand, a good chef would analyse the ingredients by looking, smelling and even taste it to determine the state of the ingredients just like a good analyst would plot the data to grasp the feeling of the data.

The only difference is that a statistician would analyse all these information with a computer, while the chef analyse all these in his personal computer (brain and senses).

I wonder would it be possible one day that when we can measure all the aspects of taste, a terrible cook like me can turn into a Master chef!

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