It’s time to move away from hanging out in the grocery store check out lines with baskets overflowing with frozen dinners, pizzas, boxes, cans and jars of prepared “food” items. Fear of cooking, lack of time, too many slices of burnt toast or making wall art out of pizza. None of these are excuses to abandon the gifts that mother nature has provided us with.

I hope to provide you with some tools to get you over the hump and into a new groove. One in which will catapult you into a new appreciation of what you are capable of in your own kitchen. You can do this!

Go ahead and cop an attitude when cooking. Allow for the supposed mistakes to turn into a culinary adventure, a creative journey full of unique flavors, textures and colors. Your families and friends will be lining up to the door of your kitchen once they’ve experienced the new you! Food after all, is a pivotal turning point for all kinds of occasions. Hold your head high, enjoy the journey and open yourself to a fresh, new world of culinary exploration.

Here are some of the tools to help you in establishing a joyous, healthy relationship with food and cooking. Next time you are at the grocery store (especially a store like Whole Foods), cruise the parameter of the store. Make yourself aware of all the “Parts” that are there. Notice the different colors, textures and diversity of produce available. Then move on to the dairy section and you’ll find all kinds of fascinating things there. Milk, eggs, butter, cream, and a bazillion kinds of cheeses. Next comes the meat department with beef, lamb, buffalo, turkey and chicken in their various cuts. The seafood section is usually right next door with an array of fish including local trout and other delectable items such as shrimp, scallops, crab and lobster. Ending up at the bakery, bring home a nice warm French baguette, an artesian loaf or focaccia. Shop the middle of the store for staples such as flour, sugar, oil, spices, pasta, etc. Make it a point to buy as local, organic and seasonal as you can.

Find a cookbook you really like. One that has simple recipes and lots of full page color photos. Remember when you couldn’t finish what you ordered and your mom told you that your eyes were bigger than your stomach? She was right! We tend to eat with our eyes first. Pick a recipe that is visually appealing to you. 

Make cooking an event (no matter how large or small). Have family members and friends chip in to dice, slice and mix ingredients. Kids love to help! This is also a fun way to get to know someone.

Cook from your heart. Use all your senses: Look at contrasting colors, shapes and appeal. Feel the various textures: the softness of flour and the prickliness of a pineapple. Smell the spices and the stock simmering on the back burner. Listen to the sauté pan sizzle and sputter. Then taste the hot, sour, salty or sweet of your culinary creation.

Share with your with family, friends and loved ones. Food is what nourishes our bodies, let’s consider nourishing our imagination and spirits too.


Chef Trusan