Salt is a preservative. It really holds flavor. For example, if you chop up some fresh herbs, or even just garlic, the salt will extract the moisture and preserve the flavor.
I'm a serious eater and a seriously hungry person, so I set out on that path to figure it out for myself, and of course it really resonated with other people.
Confit is the ultimate comfort food, and trendy or not, it is dazzling stuff.
Generally a chef's book is like a calling card or a portfolio to display their personal work.
To write a book about improvisation is partly a contradiction in terms. Improvisation is spontaneous. It's in the moment.
You don't have to stick with these recipes. They're guides. As I say, they're a way in. Have fun with them. It's an easier way to cook in a busy life, once you get the hang of it.
But all that being said about modulation, if you're serving people delicious food, they won't complain.
So many people think they need to have serious equipment. In the magazines and the media, they see all this stylish stuff, especially on TV, and they think, That's what I need to make it work. You don't. I'm attempting a little bit of liberation here.
You know, this is really a way of cooking. It's not my way. I'm deeply influenced by the Mediterranean way of being. I've spent a lot of time there. And I've sort of translated it; I've tried to make it available to people in this country to whom it might not be familiar.
I had all kinds of food issues, including health concerns and weight concerns.
A lot of people love the idea of improvising but are terrified of it, so I tried to make a book that was not a chef's book about improvising but a real home cook's book with a real home cook's pantry, supermarket ingredients, that sort of thing.
I realized I didn't want to be a photographer. I gave it up, but I still worked that job in the restaurant and I found myself constantly hanging out in the kitchen.
Often for hors d'oeuvres, I serve room temperature vegetables, something like that, so that the main course might be quite rich but the first course has balanced it out.
There are so many things that come into writing a recipe, and it's really important if you're writing for home cooks to be cooking like you are at home.
That being said, I often write into recipes techniques I learned in the restaurant kitchen. There are ways of organizing your prep and so on that are immensely useful. Those are woven into all the recipes I do.
I also think it's very important to consider how the food will feel to the person eating it.
This book is pointing the way into it for people that see it as daunting or a mystery. Some people just do it, but others need help with the mindset, permission almost to listen to themselves. Understanding how things work is the key.
Using lots of fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, helps to keep the menu buoyant – I don't know if that's the right word, but it keeps a balance of freshness and health.
I was aiming for the cooks that I've talked to by teaching an online course and by traveling, listening to people who are really busy and harried but want to be cooking.
The restaurant chefs in Spain are breaking ground, but in terms of the everyday cooking in Spain I still hear people coming back and saying they were disappointed. I think it's because they're expecting the chef stuff.
A lot of people who want to cook with less fat are surprised by that. You can cook vegetables in a little water in a covered pan and then throw the fat into the residual liquid to coat them.