The genesis for the Way of Cooking came following an epiphany 3 years ago while watching a friend make chicken sandwiches. Having decided what she wanted to eat, V reached for a cookbook and carefully measured out the ingredients for the chicken salad — chicken, apples, celery, seasoning, mayo. At the time I was amused and intrigued that she would go to such trouble to make a sandwich filling. What I knew about this friend was that she loved good food, and that she was a reluctant though accomplished cook.
My “aha-moment” was the understanding that she, like so many, equate cooking with following a known recipe. This may seem self-evident, but I am an inveterate improviser in the kitchen — a legacy of my upbringing — so the idea that it might be necessary to always use a recipe was truly an epiphany. For my friend, cooking was neither easy nor an enjoyable every day activity — find a recipe, buy the ingredients, prep the food, cook it. Cooking was something to be short-cut, circumvented or saved for special occasions.
The Way of Cooking was developed to encourage all people who love good food to cook more often, and to cook instinctively and naturally from what is on hand and readily enjoyed. We will distill the basics of classic recipes — understand their structure — so the cook is free to improvise and be creative around that foundation. We are going to start with some very basic recipes: fried rice, salsa, chicken soup, etc.