The Connection between Cooking and Engineering: The Importance of Quality Components

The Connection between Cooking and Engineering: The Importance of Quality Components

For those who know me personally or have delved further into my website, it is no secret that I have a passion for industrial electronics, computers, networks, and... food. Yes, you read it right, food! I enjoy a simple sandwich or a Döner kebab just as I can enjoy a 10+ course tasting menu at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The chef is the Engineer:

At first glance, these two interests may not seem to have any connection. However, there are more similarities than meets the eye. If we consider a chef as an engineer, then the ingredients used in a dish can be seen as the components used to build a(n industrial) product. Just as one can throw together a bunch of ingredients and call it food, one can also connect a Raspberry Pi here, a standard power supply there, add a display and a few sensors, and call it a working product.

Components/Ingredient Selection:

But in both the culinary and industrial worlds, the quality of the ingredients used matters. For less critical applications, a pre-packaged, fast-food solution may suffice. However, for applications where the safety of people and the environment or the production of a factory are at stake, the selection of components becomes a critical factor. The way the ingredients interact with each other and their impact on the final product must be considered. Of course, cost is also a factor, but quality and reliability should be the top priority.

Just as a "masterchef" is preferred in the kitchen for a fine-dining experience, a knowledgeable engineer who carefully selects and integrates high-quality components is preferred for critical applications. In both cases, there is a time and place for different levels of quality and specificity of components. One would not order fish and chips at a Michelin-starred restaurant, just as one would not use subpar components in a mission-critical system.
The selection of components is an essential aspect of both the culinary and industrial worlds. A successful product or dish requires the right ingredients, carefully selected and integrated with the end goal in mind. As in any field, quality and reliability should always be a top priority.