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Happy New Year Everyone!! One of the main reasons that I started Season to Taste was to give back to the world that had given me so much in this life with the skills and knowledge that I learned in my chosen path. The most obvious impact of learning this knowledge is that whenever I want to eat healthily, I can and it is always super delicious. One great side effect of cooking healthy (and delicious) food for myself and my family is that my grocery bill is dramatically reduced because I just buy simple ingredients, vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein, and put them together in creative ways.

I created The Essential Series because I realized that so many folks didn’t understand the basics of how to cook. Since having taught so many to cook, I have realized that most home cooks, because of not knowing basic techniques and how to execute them well, were in effect, just cooking food very poorly. Cooking with poor techniques leads to food that is very lackluster and is one of the reasons that people gravitate towards pre-made/packaged foods and restaurant food. It only stands to reason that if the food that you make yourself at home doesn’t taste good and is hard to make (why I also focus on efficiency in the kitchen, but that is a topic for another post), you won’t want to eat it. In addition, through years of cooking food for folks in restaurants, I came to the realization that most folks have their aversions to many healthy foods (beets, cabbage, brussel sprouts, salads, soups just to name the most consistent offenders) because their experience with them came from having them, for the first time or consistently, cooked poorly at home.

One of the main goals of The Essential Series is to change this because for the majority of my life, I was just like so many out there; I didn’t like to eat healthy food. When I was growing up, I hated vegetables and had to be bargained with to eat literally any vegetable. It wasn't until I went through culinary school and had spent many years in the industry not even worrying about if I personally liked certain foods, I just had to taste them and cook them well, that I came to the personal realization that all foods were good if they were simply prepared well! Then after I started liking all foods and I was the one cooking for others, I started hearing the same phrase over and over again. “Man, I hate XXX (food), but THIS (whatever I had just cooked for them) is good!!” This got me to truly believe that pretty much everyone actually does like all foods (even and especially healthy foods) when they are just prepared well- with good sourcing, good techniques, good seasoning, and good flavor pairing. And these are all simple foundations of cooking.

As I was building Season to Taste and The Essential Series, I kept these ideas in the forefront of my mind because the goal was to help as many folks as possible improve their food through improving their knowledge and skills in the kitchen. The original idea was to build a facility that had multiple streams of revenue so I could offer all my classes on a sliding scale so those with the least income (who typically would be affected the most) would be able to come for free or at a subsidized rate. I still have this ideal as a goal of Season to Taste, although the form for how to attain this has gone through multiple iterations since our inception. Nonetheless, the effects of learning how to cook has persisted and has only been reinforced as the business has grown; if you learn the fundamentals of how to cook, you can cook healthy food and it will lower your food bill. Plain and simple…

I am living proof of this because I literally cook just about all of my own meals (I eat 3-5 meals a month that I don’t personally cook). I cook for my wife and for myself and don’t often make any “fancy” meals that utilize my fine dining skills because, quite frankly, I work a bit too much and don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen making multi-step dishes. This is another reason why I truly believe anyone can cook very similarly to the way that I do and fully see the benefits of doing it with my health and my wallet. We spend, on average, $85-90 per week at the grocery store. So in 30 days, cooking 3 meals a day for 2 people, we average about $6-6.50 per meal per person. And let me tell you, WE EAT GOOD!!! We don't go for the most expensive of items all the time, but it is always delicious! And because I have a basic (or, more than basic) understanding of cuisines, I literally cook around the world. And why I designed The Essential Series to teach these same ideals.

With this being the time of the year that many of us are trying to “tighten the belt” both literally and financially, I thought I would put it out there how learning the fundamentals of food can help you on both of these fronts. Because really, if the first wealth is health, why can’t we also help the second wealth (actual money) while building the first? Welcome to the core idea of why I created The Essential Series and why I am so passionate about the fundamentals!!

I can’t wait to cook with you and hope you have a fantastic and delicious 2023!! Love ya!!

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