12 Dec Words of Wisdom from Chef Michael Smith and Bacon Candy
Eleven minutes and ten seconds into our half-hour interview, Chef Michael Smith uttered the most honest, excuse-free cooking advice I’ve heard in a long time.
I don’t have much patience for those who say they can’t cook. A hundred thousand generations have cooked. It’s a very easy thing to do. Suck it up, buttercup. You can do it!
Oh, I’d love to put Smith and Chris Kimball in a room together and see who emerges unbruised. My bets are on Smith —and not just because he’s 6′ 7″. He just makes more sense.
To support my prediction, compare these quotes from my wide-ranging interview with Chef Michael Smith against Kimball’s no-partying-allowed approach (“Cooking isn’t creative, and it isn’t easy. It’s serious, and it’s hard to do well, just as everything worth doing is damn hard.”)
Many people are scared of their own kitchen because they confuse unfamiliar with difficult.
If you think there’s only one way to do it, failure is imminent.
In Canada, local food is not sustainable in winter. Don’t hide behind mythology… The meaningful connection is not with fields, trees and farms, but with a person.
Stop. Look at your world and do what it takes to get rid of the processed food. Stop mortgaging tomorrow for today.
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.
Cooking is relentless. Some days I don’t want to do it.
If kids won’t eat anything but Kraft Dinner, it’s bad parenting.
All parents have two weapons in their [cooking] arsenal: Patience and persistence.
Eat dinner together every day – with no TV!
Do you agree or disagree? Do any comments surprise you? Got any to add? I’d love to hear from you!
As further proof that cooking is easy, I’m sharing a super-simple recipe from his latest book, Fast Flavours: 110 Simple, Speedy Recipes (Penguin 2012). Three common ingredients, half an hour,
addictive delicious results.
- 1lb (450 g) thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup (250 mL) or so of brown sugar
- Lots of freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Turn on your convection fan, if you have one.
- Nestle the bacon slices tightly against each other in a single layer on a nonstick or parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, evenly coating the works. Top with lots of freshly ground pepper. Bake until the bacon crisps and infuses with sweet caramelized sugar, 25 or 30 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes while the bacon candy hardens. Do your best not to stand there and eat it all -- exercise restraint! Serve and share!
From: Fast Flavours: 110 Simple Speedy Recipes by Michael Smith. Copyright © Michael Smith, 2012. Reprinted with permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada, Inc.