Post # 12 Favorite Cooks

June 27, 2012 at 7:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

People ask me fairly often who my favorite chef is.  Well, really, my favorite chef is me cuz I cook exactly the way I like.  My next favorite chef is my partner/spouse who cooks very nearly the same way, but with a bit more spice.  My third favorite chef is just about anyone who’s cooking so I don’t have to.  Well, that being said, who is my favorite chef that I’ll sit and watch all day?  There are actually several, and depending on my mood, it could be nearly anyone.

I’d have to start with Julia!  She brok the ground and created the path that all celebrity chefs follow today.  She had style, humor, and self deprecation by the barrel.  She also had a sense of humility that allowed other chefs to shine and teach her.  That’s the thing that I like best about her.  All the way to the end, no matter who was working with her, she always knew that she could learn something.  For her, it was a journey, not a destination.

I also like Jaques Pepin.  I first saw him when he was working with Julia Child and his sense of fun, his playful antics, and his grin that sparkled in his eys drew me right in.  He’s a natural born teacher and easily makes accessible those things that we think are complex.  The love he has for food and for his family are so apparant that you can’t help but love to learn when you watch him.

I watch MaryAnn Esposito whenever I can.  She reminds me a lot my mom, except my mom wasn’t Italian.  MaryAnn hosts the show Cioa Italia.  She has a very motherly way of teaching and her recipes typically don’t take more than a few minutes.  And all the ones I’ve tried have tasted amazing!

I watch Cook’s Country and America’s Test Kitchen, to the point that I have all the episodes from the last three years memorized.  I’ve got their cookbooks, DVDs, and magazines.  I take their suggestions for my kitchen gadgets and for my ingredient choices.  I use their recipes all the time.  While the recipes can be kind of involved, with many steps, if you follow them exactly, you will always have great tasting food!  Always!  I’ve never had one of their recipes fail on me.  Ever.

I have the Food Network on all the time in my house.  I “discovered” the network about six years ago and liked all the programs I saw.  Several chefs stood out as favorites.  Bobby Flay was a rebellious sort of guy who went from high school to cooking school before he could vote.  He was running multi-star kitchens by the time he was 22.  His style runs to spicy, Mexican flavors of the type that I grew up with and enjoy!  Paul Deen is pure fun, but boy! that accent will drive ya nuts!  However, hers is a rags-to-riches tale that will make you fall in love with her.  There are many others that I like and watch because their style or their personality match mine and I get a lot of good ideas.  My current new favorite is Pioneer Woman just cuz she’s so unashamedly a pantry chef.  Whatever is in the pantry is what she’s cooking.  She doesn’t mind short cuts and it all tastes good.

My complete favorite chef on Food Network is Anne Burrel.  I watch all her shows.  I like her no-nonsense attitude, and I like the tips she gives.  She’s the first television chef who actually showed me how to hold a knife.  Turns out I’d been doing it wrong my whole life.  Her food is delicious and looks five star quality.  She looks, acts, and cooks like a rock star.  A lot of fun to watch, and a lot of fun to learn from.  I’ve included one of her recipes on the right, Anne Burrel’s Asparagus Salad.  Try it.  It’s a winner.

Enjoy!

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