Friday, February 27, 2009

Eating Real Food


I can't agree more with the post found below by Tom from Top Chef.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/even-top-chefs-have-picky-kids/

The topic of eating real food, versus powdered, stabilized junk is something that I just can't get my head around. Why is there even a debate? When I hear about kids getting served some of the junk they're given in school cafeterias, I am shocked. Point is, eat real food.

I don't have kids, and I know I'm going to take some heat for this. I know what some people will say. Sure Bryan, I can't cook like you. But then again I can't cook like some other chefs, so that's pretty much a non-issue. What matters is that you're willing to spend a little time buying and practicing with ingredients that are fresh and REAL. Real food being vegetables, produce, meat, fish.

I don't generally eat at home, what I serve at Okoze. Even for our dinner before work time, Jason sometimes whips up a classic stew he has eaten for years. We love it. It's a slice of his upbringing that we can share in. It's got some scraps of octopus, spicy sauce, and vegetables in there. The aroma is so good. It didn't take precision knifework. It was just placed in a pot and cooked.

For example, tonight, I made matzoh ball soup. I love it. I had a rough week and it's something that makes me happy and is also real food. I added in some leeks, fresh carrots, and spices. And of course, you don't need to follow a recipe. Recipes are good for general guidance, but ultimately you can't escape the underlying technique. So learn the technique. Watch the videos online at the Food Network. When you have some decent basics, you can just pick stuff up at the market and make it at home. For example, I didn't work much with cauliflower before this winter. Now that it's always around in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box, I have put it in my soups, made purees...etc. I just looked up some instructions on google, and practiced. This is not me as a professional, this is me just hungry and trolling for a decent meal, just like anyone else. I'll even make food for the week in the form of a nice bold stew, so I can focus on the menu for the weekend and on my day job too.

To give you an idea, I'll work about 12 hours a day for my day job both in the office and at home. Saturday I'm out at the range practicing or competing...on non dinner party days. And then I'm working at Okoze for nearly a full day. I get back from Okoze close to midnight on Sunday. Like Tom says, it's not practical to make a gourmet meal. I'm dead tired at that point. But I'll have a fridge full of fruit that I hit up. Or some greens and some protein, that I'll put together and season. It probably takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Hope that generates some ideas and perspective.

Food pic above is a collection of spices from SF Herb Co.

2 comments:

Eujin said...

Well said, Bryan. Amy and I often do the same thing. I'm especially fond of making stews and other "one pot" meals that can last part of the week. And there's also tons of stuff that's easy to make that can be done from scratch in one hour or less.

Bryan Yeung said...

What kind of stews do you like to make? Perhaps we can feature some easy cooking on here.