My first and foremost hero, of course, is my Mom. She can easily turn even the most humble ingredients (and leftovers) into luscious feasts, and I am forever thankful to her for having me taught how to do so myself. There are artisans like good butchers, cheesemakers or farmers who can do the magic of turning sunlight, water and raw produce into cultural products. There is anyone who will make me a sandwich when I’m totally stressed out and don’t have time to cook. There are imaginative and skilled professional chefs who can do things to food I can only dream (or obsessively contemplate) about and who can give you taste experiences you never thought you could have. There is the little child who conjured up something (almost) edible all by themself for the first time, puts it in front of you and, beaming broadly, proclaims with the most innocent and guiltless pride: “I made this!”. And there is – me. Somewhere in the middle.
This is about the great things that happen in my humble kitchen. I’m Tobi, devoted to the love of eating, looking at, talking about, sharing, and making food since 1982, and probably doing some of it as you read this. On this blog, I show you what I like to cook, eat, and share with my friends.
Good cooking to me is about both humbleness and ostentation. My kitchen (and that is any kitchen I have ever occupied, really) has never been home to fancy equipment or expensive tools – I mostly use wooden spoons, a whisk and the same old knives which I can never manage to keep sharp (in fact, I have never really tried). My electric hand mixer is more of a hand-me-down mixer from my grandma’s (1950s) kitchen. It has three settings, all of which make the whisks spin at exactly the same speed.
Despite its rather humble facilities, my kitchen has been home to some damn good cooking over the last few years. This is due to the more (and most) important tools for cooking: resourcefulness, vigor, conviction and love. Those I always have in stock and ready at hand. I feel that truly skilled cooking is about being able to appreciate the best and freshest products and to come up with the perfect way of preparing them, but even more (and ultimately): being able to throw a dinnerparty for your friends with only a seemingly empty fridge and a handful of bits and pieces at your disposal.
It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) take the most expensive or luxurious ingredients or appliances, but if you are able to make something great from what you have at hand – be proud of it. And talk about it. Share what you know. And – more importantly: share what you’ve just cooked. That is what I do. I cook well. And I talk about it.
I’m happy if you join the conversation! Feel free to comment and tell me about your own experiences at the stove and table, or drop me a note. You can follow brag&butter on Facebook, and for more frequent updates and glimpses at what I’m cooking or eating inbetween posts you can follow on Instagram.