“There is literally no one thing that you can do that’s more
beneficial to your health, both physically as well as financially,
than cooking at home.” – Chef Elizabeth Buckingham
Engaging with local, whole foods requires a skill and that skill
is cooking. For many of us, it’s a skill we haven’t mastered but
for all of us, it’s a skill we can master. It takes practice,
confidence and a few tips from an expert chef and teacher.
Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native; she earned a
Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A spontaneous scuba
diving trip to the Bahamas following her culinary school graduation
led to a passion for the ocean and the next eight years of her
career, first cooking aboard dive boats and later progressing to
head chef aboard private yachts worldwide. In 2009, Elizabeth
returned to Colorado and started her own private chef venture,
Moveable Feast Colorado through which she offers all kinds of
fun and useful services from in-home classes to edible garden
setups. Elizabeth is also a certified Master Gardener and runs a
tiny urban homestead complete with chickens and a large vegetable
garden. She is an avid home canner and preserver, a passionate
advocate of local food and thinks everyone should know how to cook
at least a little bit.
– BONUS AUDIO –
– IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN –
- Chef Elizabeth’s top tips to increase your confidence and
success in the kitchen TODAY!
- Check out cook books from the library instead of buying them.
Trust Julia Child. Don’t trust Internet recipes unless
they’re reputable sources like Food & Wine, Bon Appétit
and America’s Test Kitchen.
- Have a small dish of kosher salt wherever you’re cooking.
Season as you go, in layers. Taste as you go. Salt is tops but
fresh ground black pepper is another key ingredient. You can always
underspice or undercook because you can fix that. You can’t fix
overspiced or overcooked.
- Read the recipe BEFORE you start. Does it need to braise for
4-6 hours? Do you understand all the ingredients and techniques it
calls for? Is this recipe appropriate for your ingredients and
- Know your oven. Ovens vary so learn to test doneness
beyond simply cooking it as long as the recipe specifies.
(Also, everything takes longer to cook at elevation, if you didn’t
- Cook everything to the doneness you like, not that the recipe
- Let meat rest. Generally, leave it covered for at least 5
minutes for something small but as long as 30 minutes for something
big like a big roast or turkey. Don’t cut in to meat to test
doneness. Use the “touch test” using the skin between the thumb and
pointer finger or drop some coin on a serious meat thermometer.
America’s Test Kitchen recommends Thermapen. Meat, as well as
most things, keep cooking after being removed from heat. Don’t wait
until it’s done but a bit before it’s done and pull it then. It’ll
keep cooking a few more minutes.
- Cut your ingredients into similarly sized pieces. Vegetables
should be sliced or cubed to similar sizes. Cuts of meat of varying
thicknesses should be cut or pounded to a similar thickness. Think
chicken breasts that are super thick at one end and half that at
the other. Salmon steaks can taper from belly pieces to tail
pieces. Uniform thickness means uniform cooking.
- Hone your knife skills. Cooking shows demo assembly but not the
skills that enable that assembly. Pre-chopped ingredients abound
but to really know and appreciate your food and reach true
independence, you need knife skills. They’re also much more
expensive by weight. Also, your CSA isn’t going to chop your
veggies for you.
- Trust yourself and practice. It’s about what you like, not
about what the chef or cookbook writer thinks you should like. And
if you don’t like what you get, learn from it and try again. But
keep practicing, be confident and be patient. Cooking takes
– LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
– THANKS FOR LISTENING –
(#20) comes from Mile High Locavorist.