Knives out, chefs! - Padma Lakshmi
Not everyone considers themselves a chef per se - it's always "I can cook from a recipe" or "My mom taught me how to make this." Those that really do call themselves a chef I - admittedly - get very nervous to bring food to or cook a meal with. It's so intimidating! What if they don't like my store-bought cookie dough or attempt at a lasagna?
Then one day, I felt brave enough to go to a cooking class with a dear friend of mine. After getting weird looks for asking why a chopping style was named Julia (aka "julienne"), I went up to the chef and said "What gives? I legit can't figure all this out." She kindly smiled at me and walked back to my cooking station, picked up the knife, and started to talk as she julienned the carrots.
She reminded me that being a chef isn't about knowing definitions or perfecting cooking styles, it's all about being creative in the kitchen. It's about figuring out what food combinations work well and what doesn't, what makes something taste as yummy as it is nutritious. "The most important part," she said, "is to keep it simple. Don't try to get fancy - it's all about the flavors combining well in your mouth." What a good reminder!
It's so easy to get insecure about our cooking ability that we revert back to fast food choices or get stuck in a PB&J rut. I'm not trying to say "Anyone can cook!" as our favorite Parisian Ratatouille did... but Remy does make an excellent point: anyone can cook, but it's the emotion and thought behind the food that matters most.
That's why in this spirit, I wanted to share a few of our chef-inspired recipes to get your creative juices flowing:
Filet Mignon may sound super fancy, but don't be fooled - it's one of the easiest recipes to follow. We've broken down each step for the best meat flavors a chef could ask for. A sweet berry butter also adds that salty sweet flavor combo that everyone loves to try. Take THAT, Home Economics teacher!
Toasted bread, yogurt, and berries - oh my! This recipe is so deliciously easy that even a novice like me can do it. You already have these ingredients in your refrigerator, so bring out the chopping board and top with these cute little appetizers!
There's never a baaaaaaaaaad time for these goat cheesy sweet bites! Mint and parsley herbs combine to make the perfect connecting base to sweet blueberries. You can make these balls in a cinch when friends pop over unexpectedly or on the way to a party.
Which one are you creating in the kitchen? Check out our 2019 Chef Invitational finalists for more recipe inspiration!