Our amazingly talented cook and cousin, Liz interviewed her hubby about his experience cooking. He's got some really intelligent answers and tips that can really help someone who is new to cooking. You know Liz from our bake sale at Sophie's Sale. Her incredible vegan cupcakes wowed everyone. You can also read Liz's testimonial about how The Bitch Stopped Cooking helped her relationship with her husband and her own experience in the kitchen.
Liz: Do you like cooking?
Andy: Yeah, sure, I like cooking. It depends. I really don't like it in a small kitchen. It is not nearly as good as when I have room do to stuff.
L: What about cooking do you like?
A: Figuring out what combinations work with others, making healthy meals, sharing a healthy meal with others. Trying to make something that others like is part of the fun. Part of the goal is you want to make something others like or appreciate. If it doesn't happen the way you wanted, you move on. Another chance will come again.
L: What about cooking do you dislike?
A: Manterviews! Just kidding. Timing – having everything come out poorly because of lack of experience with a new dish – being able to time the steps accordingly – it never goes by the book if you don't have the experience; improper equipment - not being able to experiment without the proper array of kitchen equipment; Hofstadter's Law
L: What advice would you give to men who are just starting in the kitchen?
A: Don't bite off more than you can chew to start. Start with small recipes that you are familiar with. Learn about your ingredients. Watch good home cooks and help them. Sous Chef at family gatherings. Something simple can be as good or better as something complex. Simple can be really pleasing to others.
L: What is your favorite dish that I make?
A: Hmmmm It is between the lemon-caper tofu and the tofu with mushrooms and pasta. That's a tough one. There are a lot of things that you make really well that I wouldn't say is favored one over another.
L: What is your favorite thing to make?
A: LoMein. That's a lot of fun. Its a project, but it is fun. Because it is a project you don't get to do it very often, which makes it even better when you do get to have it. It satisfies a wide variety of culinary desires. The things that make a meal satisfying, the LoMein has checkmarks in a lot of those boxes. It is juicy, unctuous because of the oil combinations, it is crisp because of the veggies. It is a balanced meal all by itself – carbs, proteins, wholesome array of veggies.
L: What is one of the biggest challenges that you have overcome as you have gotten more comfortable with your cooking?
A: Being able to improvise and having the knowledge not to totally offend or malign the food that I am improvising with. That comes from my earlier statement about understanding your ingredients. For example, now I know it is preferential to roast potatoes. I used to fry my potatoes all the time, but now I roast them. It is much easier to do and healthier. That is what I mean about understanding your ingredients.
L: Do you think that women belong in the kitchen?
A: Yes! Barefoot, pregnant, and makin' me a sammich! Actually, no, but traditional gender roles have offered me an experience of women being culinary mentors. You know, your mom taught you how to cook and her mom probably taught her and her mom's mom and so on.
L: Is there any question that I should have asked you but I didn't?