Roasting 101: What it is, What it’s Not, and How to Get it Done
If you wish to create an impressive full meal, party victory line-up of tasty goodies, or just something delicious to get you through the day, it all depends on what moves your senses to stand up and dance! Whether it’s The Bee Gees greatest disco hits, the Gypsy Kings contagious rhythm, Brooks and Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”, or the crooning voice of Frank Sinatra…
Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?
…You can almost taste it, right?
Well that same toe-tapping, dance-inspiring, hootin’ and hollerin’ feeling you get from your perfect music, is the same thing I want you to feel from food.
Just like your favorite music, you can’t wait to share an awesome dish or full-blown menu with your lover, friends, family, and soon-to-be acquaintances. You want your food to speak where words can not.
Bottom line is…you want to share your love. And in return, you get to feel their love in the form of appreciation…like uncontrollable moaning, eyes rolling back into their heads, true satisfaction appreciation.
You want to give your food so you can take their hearts. It’s the power of love!
Or to put it more simply, in case you’re not as passionate as I am juuuuuust yet, you want people to love your dish at the potluck, you want your lover, partner, or spouse to swoon at every meal, and you want your family to worship your dinner delicacies.
So you may be wondering, “How can I do that?”, “What if I don’t know how to cook?”
That’s what I’m here for! There are so many ways you can ignite, fire up, and get your groove on in the kitchen to create sexy looking and super tasty food. It takes bravery to cook fearlessly and I’m going to help you navigate the jungle.
But to start, we’ve got to get on the same page. Keep reading to discover my four philosophies on food and cooking. You may see something that speaks to you!
Chef Gerrie’s 4 Philosophies on Cooking and Food:
#1: Food is life.
Food is the foundation of our lives. We need it to nourish our bodies, satisfy our taste buds, reward our hard work, and keep us happy day in and day out. We MUST eat food to stay alive, which means cooking is essential…and (to me anyway) just damn fun!
You may not feel quite the fun sentiment just yet, but stick with me and you’ll be freaking and peaking in the kitchen in no time. When you think of the necessity of food in our lives, you realize that this cooking thing isn’t going away anytime soon, so why not learn the basics and enjoy restaurant-quality flavors every day?
Sure, you can eat out everyday, use those boxed meals sent to your home, or rely on your partner but you’re bound to gain weight, lose money, get bored, and if you’re relying on your partner for every meal, you also risk becoming single.
Take ownership of this essential art form and give it a new spin in your mind.The rewards will benefit your mind, body, and soul because food is life.
#2: The Fabulous Five are Key.
When I think about culinary expressions of art, it all comes down to the five basic cooking methods I call, “The Fabulous Five”:
Each of these simple techniques result in a finished product with its own “mise en place,” a French culinary phrase meaning “everything in its place.” The Fabulous Five also provide a unique flavor profile, texture, and appearance depending on which you use. The magic that these cooking methods produce are universal, globally speaking, used within every culture and cuisine and serve as the foundation for cooking just about anything.
With The Fabulous Five tucked in your repertoire you can cook seasonally, buy locally, and establish relationships with the people at your grocery store, farmer’s market, bakery, etc. I promise that you’ll learn something new and they’ll keep you updated on the latest food trends. It’s a lot more enjoyable than talking to the box…aka, drive-thrus.
The Fabulous Five not only speaks to the actual act of cooking, but also the fringe benefits of cooking…creating relationships with people through the connection of food.
#3: Tap into Your Cultural Connection.
Obviously, food is big connector for people all over. We eat it at gatherings, we bring it to people during hard times, we reward people with it for triumphs, and we build events and holidays around it. With this common denominator I encourage you to use food to tap into your cultural connection.
First off, don’t doubt your skills in the kitchen or your ability to learn something new. Release your inhibitions while embracing your inner-chef no matter what level you’re at. A recipe is just a guide, like a road map. There may be many roads that lead to Rome, so don’t worry about being perfect — the destination of a delicious dish can be reached in a variety of ways.
Secondly, once you open up to the magical possibilities of food, you’ll discover how herbs and spices work to build flavor profiles, you’ll become familiar with the sensations they provide, and the connection to culture they extend.
The brilliance is that you can access a piece of your ancestral past with the right flavor combinations. You can respectfully welcome someone with a different background than you using a specific method of cooking or recipe. The love will show up in your finished product and you’ll have a better understanding of the world around you.
As always, don’t forget about your own cultural connection either…have a blast in the kitchen, share the love you feel, and reap the benefits from the miracles you create – no reservations needed!
#4: Eat Mindfully with Appreciation.
It’s not just what we eat that matters, but how we eat. As I said above, food is for the mind, body, and soul which means it’s pretty important for life…again, food is life. So as a budding chef, or experienced guru, it’s necessary to like food in order to eat food, in order to want to cook it.
But how do you give homage to a memorable meal? Close your eyes and imagine your favorite finished dish…the right balance of flavor, aroma, texture, and visual appeal. That “flavor memory” is written in your mind as you see, smell, savor, and swallow each bite.
Food is way too important to be eaten without noticing. Don’t blindly eat without taking heed of why do or don’t like the dish. Appreciate what you do like about each bite and think about what could be done differently to make your taste buds happier. The more you do this, the more you’ll be inclined to get in the kitchen and get dirty.
I’m so excited about the opportunity to share my love of food with you through Chef Gerrie. And one of the best parts about this is that you’re here too. This is a team effort, so I want to hear your kitchen and culture secrets, mysteries, and ways of life.
Let’s untangle one harsh character of meal preparation at a time using humor and courage to cook fearlessly outside of our comfort zones!