This was confirmed when I hit professional kitchens, where my tutelage down in the pan hollows continued. At David Bouley's Danube, my first line-cooking gig in Manhattan, fellow cooks taught me how to properly add the tomato paste, common to the goulashy braises of the place: "No, no, no, you don't just add it to the caramelized veg and deglaze. You have to cook it until it lays down a copper film on the bottom of the pan. Until it clings." Sure enough, a few minutes after I added a lump of tomato paste, it obediently left a bright, fake-tan-like patina on the bottom of the pan. Only then was I to add the sweet and hot paprika, stirring until the powder softly detonated—or "bloomed"—in the hot fat, and finally, the deglazing liquid. I learned that 10 minutes of careful attention paid to the pan bottom created about 90 percent of the flavor of the finished goulash.