I ponder this on a regular basis. Doesn't something become modern the moment you prepare it because you can't exactly replicate the experience of the past? Also, modern approaches for me mean using cooking implements like food processors and maybe reducing the amount of fat, salt, or sugar in dishes. However, it doesn't mean letting go of or forgetting the past.
Simon Bao sent me his observations from watching recent episodes of Top Chef. As usual, Simon's acerbic wit makes for a terrific read. Take a look and let us all know your thoughts: