Plants and animals are a generous bunch.
We ask a lot from them. And no matter how we treat them, we receive much in return.
Except for the time that food spends on the shelf or the farm stand table, it is always in motion: growing, swimming, foraging; under the blade; on its way to your kitchen; getting chopped, braised, broiled, boiled, baked or tossed.
Nevertheless, those plants and animals have been holding back on us. Not because they are selfish. No, as many of us are discovering, it’s the same problem at the root of many of our relationships – lovers, spouses, siblings, parents, friends: Basically, because we haven’t taken the time to appreciate them – fully and honestly.
I’m not asking you to bare your soul to a parsnip. (Although cooking a good meal for any of the above-mentioned ‘relationship groups’ will go a long way to patching up old wounds.) I’m asking you to bring your appetite – to share your hunger for discovery with me – here at CambridgeCooks.
This is an exciting time to be cooking. A new generation of kitchen visionaries is emerging: they are neither celebrity chefs nor the “personalities” competing for TV time on the Food Network. They don’t run restaurants with three-month wait lists. Many of them don’t even blog (gasp!) or twitter.
They are visionaries and teachers. They simplify our approach to food and their emphasis is on technique, not recipes. Although recipes often make it easier for us to follow their thinking.
They are growers and innovators. They spend long hours in the field, in the lab, talking, listening, pondering, with nary a camera or computer in sight.
If you listen, they will change the way you think about food. Shop for food. Prepare food. Use food. Toss out food. And if you are relatively new to the kitchen, or your ineptitude is on par with mine, they will give you the courage to cook with a capital C; to use a recipe as a guidebook, not a GPS. To fully appreciate what is in your fridge, or awaiting you on the cutting board.
Pull up a chair, grab your plate, and dig in.
– Lee Goodwin