Why I love cooking. Why I love teaching cooking.
In my younger years, I spent some time whooshing down the slippery slope of emotional eating. Luckily, a few very good meals in Paris changed that mindset for me. A week after that trip to France, I was signed up for chef school as a beloved second career and ever since I have exchanged emotional eating for emotional cooking; it is sooooo much more fun, nurturing and pleasurable!!
Almost 25 years into this journey I still happily consider myself fully engaged as a life-long student of cooking. Studying the infinite varieties of ingredients, techniques, artistry and cultural culinary traditions – I am continuously energized and in awe.
Please understand that this is not to say I am constantly energized by the thought, act and responsibility of cooking. I have a busy family and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to execute a from-scratch meal. Conflicting nutritional information about ingredients can be very confusing and a little bit daunting for everyone. But, whenever I have had my most rewarding homemade food experiences – professionally and personally – I am renewed. My best food experiences are consistently founded on the same philosophy:
These tenets have served me very well in addressing root issues for nourishment and I have observed that people happily eat what I serve! This philosophy is how I teach my kids to cook and take care of themselves; it has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight despite the built-in pitfalls of my industry. It is a sustainable practice for mind, body, spirit and Mother Earth and I guarantee it will elevate your own kitchen experiences.
Let me speak a bit about connecting while there is still a chance in September and October to fully engage in purchasing locally grown foods from local hardworking farmers. Connect with your inner foodie, family, friends and community through food! Eating local, seasonal foods and shopping at local farmers markets is good for us all. Supporting your local food/farming community with your dollars speaks volumes instead of trucks trekking volumes. Connecting yourself to eco-friendly eating helps our ecosystems flourish longterm.
Garnered from my years of teaching and thousands of hours deep in the cooking trenches, I know now that anyone who wants to cook better can. The skills and artistry are already within you to grasp. Think about it positively – and it is done. Making a conscious effort to connect to all of your senses when cooking will give you hints and gifts all the time on your forays and in the kitchen. Connect to creating! Great cooks/chefs do not develop their artistry through recipes. They observe and hone hands-on skills, use common sense, have a passion and commitment to quality and follow through. It is a relationship between themselves and good food. Good relationships are good for your health! There is nothing better than long conversations over long meals. Real cooking, real food, real people, real conversation – no element has to be trendy, complicated, lofty or expensive in order to create a magical meal.
Connect all these dots and see the magic unfold within and around you!
Update: We’re so proud of the work we’ve done in our hands-on teaching and dinner party classes. Working with you, our clients has played such an important part in the new direction of Tree House Kitchen as a food literacy company, specializing in problem-solving skills and resources for busy families, and community members – like you! We hope you enjoy reading about our past classes, and also where we’re headed in 2017, and beyond.