The practice of home cooking has all but vanished from U.S. culture. Now, it's largely a pastime for those with the money and inclination. Retaking control of our food supply and carefully choosing what we eat can have startling consequences on our health and our finances. Taking the time to unplug from the blistering pace of modern life reconnects us to our deep, ancestral humanity. Since the dawn of time we have sat facing another, sharing food and drink.
I've been cooking since my Mom made the questionable decision to hand me a knife and let me help her prep veggies for a dinner party in 1987. I was 4 years old.
When I was 10, I would ratchet up instant ramen noodles adding soy sauce, miso, rice wine vinegar, scallions, and sesame oil. At 12, I got into making killer microwaved nacho platters. Then, at 15, after a first time trip to Italy, I started hunting down perfect pastas, sourcing porcinis, and real tomato sauce. Throughout high school, I'd have people over for my Dad's expert salads and the home-style Japanese fare my Mom taught me. By college, I was convincing my friends' parents to let me prepare their dinner parties, including cocktail and wine pairings. I played with strange and wonderful ingredients, failed miserably at times, but mostly was wildly successful. As an adult, I've thrown scores of dinner parties, catered tasting dinners and backyard blowouts, and taught friends and strangers alike how to perfectly roast a chicken and make epic mash.
My peak experiences have always revolved around sharing and discovering food. I've resented the fact that these moments were rare and often very expensive - experiences monopolized by high-end, local restaurateurs and distant, foreign street food vendors. It's taken me close to 20 years, but I've learned how to recreate everything I've ever eaten, and I can do it at home.
As many beautiful things in life are, the best meals are the intersection of simplicity and love. I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with everyone who was interested. Like Chef Gusteau from the movie Ratatouille said, "Anyone can cook!" He's right, and there's no excuse to be unable or unwilling to feed yourself.
Nate Uri works as a Food and Beverage Consultant in Minneapolis, MN. He's taught cooking classes on regional Asian cuisine and Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Diabetic eating. Nate also writes about food and travel. Some of his articles have been featured on Serious Eats and Heavy Table. Nate plays guitar professionally with set lists ranging from Green Day to Django Reinhardt. When the work day is over, Nate loves to sit down with a fine wine and play Bossa Nova.
Justin has spent the past few years traveling to the far corners of the world creating and delivering content for online consumption, most notably for Earthducation and Hank Bought A Bus. When not behind the camera, Justin has a passion for back-country exploration, world travel, music, yoga, good food, and really good coffee. You can find more about Justin at justinevidon.com.
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