In 2009, I set about a project to understand what keeps people from cooking at home, an experience that turned into the book The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons turned Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks.
I discovered that cooking has evolved into something of a spectator sport in modern cultures. As one person in my project confessed, “I’ve eaten Tuna Helper while watching Gordon Ramsey.”
That’s a funny line, but it underscores a serious issue. The food industry spends billions of dollars to convince us that cooking is too difficult, it’s something beyond our grasp. The problem is this: if you agree and you don’t cook or you can’t cook, then you leave yourself at the mercy of others to feed you, and increasingly, this falls to multinational companies whose interests are primarily financial. That’s where fast food and convenience foods come into play – the heavily engineered stuff in boxes that you microwave or throw together with a couple of ingredients.
Studies show that the more people cook at home with real ingredients, the longer they live, the healthier they are and often, the less they weigh.
If I learned one thing from writing my second book, it’s that arming people with the good, solid information and a bit of inspiration can go a long way toward coaxing them back into their kitchens. I want to help teach the world to cook, to foster a sense of confidence – no, more than that – the ability for people to once again be fearless in their kitchens.
That’s where this site comes in.
The Internet is a big, wildly difficult place to navigate. Your mileage will vary. That’s why you need a curator.
People always ask me where I find recipes, or where they can take cooking classes or what kind of knife to buy. I’ve brought people together to help home cooks discover the great content and recipes that exist online but you might not otherwise find.
So, be fearless in your kitchen – and in your life.