One of my all-time favorite food flicks is Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. I used to watch the opening scene, with the precise chopping and enviable kitchen skills, on repeat when my love for food was budding. I was always saddened by the part in the movie where the chef relies on his friend as his tester because he has lost his sense of taste; it’s a testament to just how large a part the five senses play when it comes to cooking.

So you can imagine how frustrating it is when a cold settles in for a test-kitchen worker—with a lack of taste and smell, you’re about half as useful. As I’ve been battling a never-ending cold, I’ve had to, like the chef in the movie, call in my coworkers for tasting backup. Luckily, we’ve all been working together long enough that we know each others’ preferences and palates. So no matter what illness we’re tackling we can be sure we’re collectively producing recipes that are up to CHOW standards.

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