Confit is the ultimate comfort food, and trendy or not, it is dazzling stuff.
Using lots of fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, helps to keep the menu buoyant - I don't know if that's the right word, but it keeps a balance of freshness and health.
I also think it's very important to consider how the food will feel to the person eating it.
To write a book about improvisation is partly a contradiction in terms. Improvisation is spontaneous. It's in the moment.
I was working in restaurants as a captain and as a waiter.
I'm a serious eater and a seriously hungry person, so I set out on that path to figure it out for myself, and of course it really resonated with other people.
I had all kinds of food issues, including health concerns and weight concerns.
But all that being said about modulation, if you're serving people delicious food, they won't complain.
A lot of people who want to cook with less fat are surprised by that. You can cook vegetables in a little water in a covered pan and then throw the fat into the residual liquid to coat them.
A lot of people love the idea of improvising but are terrified of it, so I tried to make a book that was not a chef's book about improvising but a real home cook's book with a real home cook's pantry, supermarket ingredients, that sort of thing.
This book is pointing the way into it for people that see it as daunting or a mystery. Some people just do it, but others need help with the mindset, permission almost to listen to themselves. Understanding how things work is the key.
The restaurant chefs in Spain are breaking ground, but in terms of the everyday cooking in Spain I still hear people coming back and saying they were disappointed. I think it's because they're expecting the chef stuff.
Generally a chef's book is like a calling card or a portfolio to display their personal work.
You don't have to stick with these recipes. They're guides. As I say, they're a way in. Have fun with them. It's an easier way to cook in a busy life, once you get the hang of it.
I realized I didn't want to be a photographer. I gave it up, but I still worked that job in the restaurant and I found myself constantly hanging out in the kitchen.
I often write into recipes techniques that I learned in the restaurant kitchen. There are ways of organizing your prep and so on that are immensely useful. Those are woven into all the recipes I do.
I was aiming for the cooks that I've talked to by teaching an online course and by traveling, listening to people who are really busy and harried but want to be cooking.
Often for hors d'oeuvres, I serve room temperature vegetables, something like that, so that the main course might be quite rich but the first course has balanced it out.
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