I really like this concept for teaching people how to cook... and how to think about cooking. Reminds me a bit of Ratio, but a little more approachable for someone who is a complete novice in the kitchen. I feel like if you did work through that matrix... and tried some variations... you'd really understand the building blocks of a good soup. I kinda wish this is how I started cooking, instead of going the recipe-by-rote... route. (Sorry I couldn't help myself) Not too shabby for his first New York Times Magazine piece... you'd almost think he'd done this sort of thing before.