Simplicity

Jan 19, 2018 | Cooking Tips

Keep it simple stupid.

My philosophy on cooking is that as a chef it is my job to take quality ingredients, pair them with complimentary ingredients, and complementary techniques, and do my best not to screw it up. It is my opinion that cooking is much more about subtraction than addition. What I mean is that if I am thinking about a dish I want to create I imagine all the possibilities, and then I start striping away. I do this until all I have left is the simplest, most delicious version of the dish. The more things you add, the more complicated the dish is and the more muddied the flavours become until you can’t even distinguish the original ingredients at all.

It is more difficult, and requires more skill, to know what not to add to a dish than what to add. Simplicity, is incredibly difficult but it is to me, the key to being a great chef or a great home cook. If you don’t believe me, if you are sitting there thinking of all the dishes you love that are loaded with ingredients, and you think I’m full of shit, think about Italian food. Real Italian food. Not the meat sauce that you make using fifteen herbs and spices from you cupboard. I mean real Italian food. The key to Italian food is exactly as I just described. Delicious ingredients, simply prepared, and not messed with. There is a reason why Italian food is loved the world over.

What does this all mean and where is it coming from? Well, I’m telling you this because you need to starting thinking about food not as a daily hurdle that needs to be overcome so you don’t die, but rather as an enjoyable relaxing part of your day. The key again, is simplicity. The more complicated you perceive cooking to be the less you are going to want to do it. Now, as I said simplicity takes skill. You need knowledge in order to really make this work. Not a lot of knowledge, but enough. That comes from practice and research. Practice by cooking regularly, and thinking about your food in terms of what you can take away to make it delicious rather than what you can add. Research not by sitting in a dusty library for hours on end, but by googling how to videos, or reading blogs, or anything.

Cooking is a part of who we are, it a massive piece of what separates us from other animals on this planet. Stay connected to yourself and your heritage through cooking. Most importantly, keep it simple stupid.

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