Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inspirational Chefs

So I really love to cook.  I didn't realize this until I got married.  I think I see cooking as an expression of love.  Ask Aaron-I get pissed when people refuse my food.  That's like refusing me!  Thankfully, usually people like my food (and like me).  As a chef, I'd rate myself about a 6 on a scale from 1-10.  Not bad, but not great.  I'm probably better than most of my friends, but I want to be great.  I want people to be excited to come over for dinner and holidays.  So this post is dedicated to the chefs in the world that inspire me and help me be a better cook.

In no particular order...

Curtis Stone
Take Home Chef was the first cooking show I ever watched.  He cooks pretty advanced so at age 15 everything I made by him was a disaster.  However he sparked my flame.

Paula Deen
Controversy aside, Paula Deen is a great chef.  She's the Queen Bee.  The Southern Cooking Bible is truly that-a cooking bible.  The recipes don't require you run out and buy a million ingredients - just keep butter, sugar and flour on hand.  There's a reason why this lady made it big.  She knows what she's doing in the kitchen!

Trisha Yearwood
From the show, Trisha genuinely seems like a sweet and true person.  All of her recipes have a story which help me connect to them.  Cooking her recipes not only teach me how to cook specific items, but they teach me the technique to cook so many meals.  If she ever did a meet & greet book signing, I would be there- and to say I'd like to meet her means a lot.

Katie Lee
I didn't know who Katie Lee was until I saw her on The Kitchen.  She's Billy Joel's ex, can she really cook?  The answer is YES.  I gained a lot of respect for her when I saw her win Chopped.  She cooks simple, homestyle dishes and they always seem to be delicious.  I've done a few of dishes and I am sold.  I own her cookbook too.

Robert Irvine
If this military drill sergeant turned chef taught me anything, it's don't take "shortcuts" in the kitchen.  Making things with quality and fresh ingredients doesn't mean it has to be time obliterating and exhausting to make.  Seek a balance between fast cooking and quality cooking.  Thanks Chef!

Amanda Marshall
This girl's blog is amazing.  I think that like me, she sees food as a sign of love.  She cooks with a lot of love for her growing family.  It's apparent in her carefully crafted recipes.  My favorite recipe of her's is here.

My Mom
My mom is actually not that great of a cook haha.  She has recipes she rocks - fried chicken, cube steak, corn pudding- but she is not very adventurous and takes many shortcuts.  However, she cooked dinner almost every day of my childhood so that in itself is an inspiration!

 Grandma O
My grandma is a great, classic Southern chef.  She likes to know you're coming so she can put food on the stove.  When you get to her house she sends you to the freezer to pull out whichever homemade cake or pie you like.  Choose from sweet potato, apple cake, coconut cake, chocolate cake, German chocolate cake.  Her fried chicken and mashed potatoes are everything.  This year I went to her house before Thanksgiving and took notes so I can cook more like her!  She cooks with love and talent.  I can't imagine a Thanksgiving without her stuffing.

So that's my list of chefs that everyday inspire me cook. :-)  Who are your favorite chefs?

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