Ep 19 Featured Image Podcast

Cooking Art – Joanne Weir – Ep 19  

March 2, 2022


It hit me the other day why I love artists so much. It has to do with the fact that these are the people walking around the planet who are riding passion fiercely into whatever they’re involved in. It doesn’t even matter what they’re making. You can see it when you see their art. You can feel it when you talk to them. It is simply IN them. 

Today’s guest is a perfect example of this. Joanne Weir is an amazing world-renowned chef whose art in life is cooking. From PBS cooking shows to destination cooking classes, designing restaurants, and of course…preparing an extraordinary Sunday supper for her friends, Joanne is the most delicious example of what creativity combined with inspiration can look, feel, and taste like.

If a citrus tangelo sorbet with a passion fruit and kiwi compote followed by chocolate macarons sounds even mildly yummy…you’re going to love my conversation with Joanne. Join me, as we catch up with her in San Francisco, California. And a little warning…you WILL be hungry after you listen.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Getting to know Joanne Weir [3:30]
  • Cooking as an artform [4:59]
  • Using the five senses when creating in the kitchen [9:13]
  • Balancing control and creativity in cooking [14:14]
  • What cooking has taught Joanne about herself and how her style has evolved over the years [19:35]
  • Taking risks and saying yes to possibility [27:46]
  • Exploring the logistics of Joanne’s food creation [33:25] 

You art what you eat

There is an intrinsic beauty to enjoying food as art in that it only lasts till the final bite. It forces you to cherish and appreciate the art while it’s here, unlike a painting that can be visited and revisited with ease. Sure, you could always make that dish again, but as Joanne points out, there is more to making a meal than just the food you serve. It’s an entire experience akin to performance art. You’re thinking about the people coming, where they’re going to sit, what the vibe is, the feeling, and then, of course, the food. Instant feedback is the most reinforcing part of the art-making experience for Joanne. Unlike staring at a painting endlessly to see what it evokes, food usually provides an immediate and visceral response when you experience it. It’s so encouraging for her to see an expression of pure bliss the moment a friend bites into one of her creations for the first time.

Cooking up creativity

Something that would seemingly differentiate Joanne’s art form from others like drawing or painting is that she has a recipe to help guide her in the act of creation. Yet, using a recipe is not much different than understanding the techniques required to bring a painting to life. They both serve as the architecture for you to build off of and improvise. Joanne uses a recipe like how I would use a sketch as a guide to creating a larger painting. There is a level of call and response that happens in both mediums where you know what’s expected, but you want to see if you can defy that by doing it better and more creatively. Joanne loves to ad-lib in the kitchen. She says that if you know technique, you can cook and improvise with whatever you have. That’s good because she often rotates the ingredients she uses with what is seasonally available. Like a painter intentionally using a limited palette, she loves embracing the challenge and tasting the results.

Just say yes

Joanne acknowledges that she’s taken big risks in her career and feels quite lucky for how things have turned out. I believe that bravery almost creates luck. Moving towards things you are passionate about can be scary, but opportunities won’t happen unless we’re willing to say yes to them in the first place. Being willing to say yes more will do more for your creativity and the development of your art than almost anything else. However, it’s our egos that get in the way. When we create with our egos we create from a place of fear. We worry about the significance of our art, what other people will think, and if it’s good enough. But ultimately, art that comes from that place is not our most authentic work because it’s created with every other voice in mind except our own. What I admire so much about Joanne’s work is that it’s not wrapped up in ego, but a raw passion to share her creativity and impact others. She just says yes, to everything she can, and you can feel the fire and possibility radiating from her a mile away.  

Connect with Joanne Weir

Connect with Nicholas Wilton

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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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