As made prevalent by the ever growing number of culinary shows on TV today, the art and joy of cooking has made a come-back. With the kitchen un-officially designated as the primary room in the house, even children are getting involved in cooking. (Have you seen MasterChef Junior!?) So get your cooking game on with these top cooking trends from professional chefs.
Water is a fundamental element of our lives – its power harnessed for a variety of uses, from hydrating our bodies to generating electricity. If water can bring life to our bodies and our homes, why not our food? Enter the steam oven – one of the most sustainable, upcoming cooking trends according to BSH Professional Chef, Robbie Rensel.
Steam cooking infuses food and activates its natural juices. The hot moisture within as well as the hot steam surrounding it enables food to cook evenly. And unlike traditional cooking technology which draws moisture out of food and evaporates it, steam keeps all the juices and nutrients in place. The result? Plump, flavorful food cooked to perfection.
“Steam cooking allows even the most novice cooks to create a delicious and moist piece of lean chicken or pork.” insists Rensel. “Five years ago these cooking techniques were only found in restaurants, but now thanks to innovative kitchen appliance manufacturers like Bosch, Thermador, and Gaggenau, it has come to the home user in an easy and intuitive way.”
2. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Following the demand for organic, unprocessed foods, a focus on simplicity is growing in kitchens across the country. Professional Chef and star of Cookin’ with Carol, Carol Ritchie, believes when it comes to ingredients, more is not always better. “I am trying to simplify, using a few ingredients of the best quality and freshness, and taking care in the preparation.” Says Ritchie.
Minimalist cooking is not only budget friendly, it’s usually healthier and keeps cooks focused on bringing out a food’s truest flavor. Locally grown foods rich in color often yield a higher quality taste, eliminating the need to add heaps of calorie and cholesterol filled spices and sauces.
If farmer’s markets are in short supply, try modern cooking appliances and techniques such as steam or sous-vide cooking to help revive and retain natural moisture and flavor. Or try a new combination of just two or three items for a unique flavor such as avocado and chocolate over cauliflower, or complimenting a meat with pomegranate.
3. Tap into the Past
While the Food Network channel, Bon Appetite Magazine and Epicurious.com can be great resources for perfecting your cooking technique, Chef Juan Rodriguez, owner and executive chef of Magdalena’s Cocina Mexicana Local, believes the best dishes come from heartwarming memories of home.
Think of Grandma rolling and pressing dough, surrounded by a floury aura. The sizzle of bacon and sweet aroma of Dad’s famous pancakes on a Sunday morning. Mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup with the power to cure any ailment.
“Cook from the cook.” Juan explains. Conjuring fond pastimes and kitchen moments brings forward the traditions and heritage which create true comfort food. You may even recall the techniques applied to ensure a dish turns out just as it should. Whatever the recollection, Rodriguez insists cooking from memories of your upbringing gives your food more flavor and love.
To get your memory juices flowing, check out Thermador’s video series “Real People. Real Food Moments.” which shares inspirational stories of people, cooking and the loving memories they make together.
Want to see these methods live in action? Check out the FBS annual Epic Eats cooking event September 30 & October 1. Watch as Chef Ritchie, Chef Rodriguez and other professional chefs demonstrate these principles and more in our live kitchens while competing for the title of Epic Eats Champion. Visit epiceatscelebration.com for more information.