I’ve come to believe that mathematics, as an investigative science, as a practical discipline and as a creative art, shares many characteristics with cookery.
It’s not just spaghetti alla carbonara, it’s the whole business of inventing dishes and preparing them. It’s an analogy with many parts, and it has consequences.
To introduce myself: I’m a professional mathematician, an amateur cook and an enthusiastic eater. The ideas in this essay are distilled from years of formal reasoning, mad culinary experiments and adventurous meals. In short, I’ve found that:
I do mathematics for much the same reasons that I cook.