"You must eat so well at home." "Oh my God, you must have the best kitchen!" There's a myth out there that chefs have amazing home kitchens where they cook and eat gourmet every day. I'm sure some do. But the truth is that most of us don't do a lot of cooking at home and when we do we prepare simple meals with what's in the fridge...if there's anything in there at all (gasp)! If you don't believe me just check out the Home Cooking episode of David Changs' Ugly Delicious series on Netflix.
In Home Cooking, we see Chang cooking for his wife in his small galley kitchen, Diep Tran with her empty fridge and Evan Kleinman using an old hand-me-down oven at home. Other famous chefs throughout the episode talk about the nostalgia of simple comfort foods they ate growing up and that they themselves prepare today. "I've just reached a point where I'm O.K. making really ugly food.", Chang says. I get it!
In our professional lives, it’s our job to prepare food that's delicious and beautiful. And thanks to food TV a lot of home cooks put that same pressure on themselves. We get caught up in the details of creating authentic, Instagram worthy trendy dishes. But at the end of the day the kitchen and aesthetics don't matter. What really matters is the meaning behind the food – who cooked it for whom, the culture, comfort, and memories associated with the dish – and enjoying it with people who are important to us like we did back in the day at Grandmom’s house.
The more I cook, the more I cherish “ugly delicious” home cooking. We’ve turned this into a Sunday ritual in our home. Friends and family are quickly catching on and dropping by to share a meal, a bottle of wine and conversation. We hope you’ll be inspired to try it in your home too!