Matt Moore (@HHOFD) is here to show you how to become a better version of yourself — personally, in relationships, in friendships, and in business — by cooking and sharing food with others.
The Cheat Sheet:
- If you aren’t cooking, why aren’t you cooking?
- Among its benefits, cooking for yourself promotes self-sufficiency, good health, and creativity.
- What is the number one goal of a chef at a restaurant?
- Contrary to popular opinion, bacon is not the be-all, end-all of great foods. You can create something healthier and just as satisfying if you know how.
- We often stress the importance of networking; cooking offers you a chance to be more social and generous.
- And so much more…
If you don’t cook, is it because you see it as a chore, or is it because you’ve grown up in a time of convenience, processed shortcuts, and the explosion of chain restaurants that ensure you can get the same meal in Irvine, California that you can also get in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
Matt Moore, cook, entrepreneur, musician, Southern gentleman, and author of A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen: Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South joins us on episode 471 of The Art of Charm to give us numerous reasons why learning to cook for ourselves and others is a valuable skill in the 21st century that will enrich our personal, social, and even business lives.
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We all have to eat. But thanks to the proliferation of chain restaurants and fast food joints that started springing up in the middle of the last century, it’s not uncommon for a lot of us to see cooking as more of an inconvenience than a skill worth cultivating. Why endure sweating in a hot kitchen when we can just drive up to a window, pay someone else to do it for us, and pick up something passing for dinner that can be scarfed down before heading back to doing something “important?”
Matt Moore, Nashville-based author of A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen: Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South, says there are a lot of reasons, actually.
“I believe that, especially on the man side, we can become better men by spending more time cooking and sharing food,” says Matt. “The first thing is just the self-sufficiency. I think we all pride ourselves on growing our careers and building strong families and you mentioned earlier about health and all these different pieces. To me, I think nothing is more weak than a man that can’t feed himself! If I’m always relying on someone else to prepare my meals, it seems a little counter-intuitive to being the best that you might be able to be.”
This isn’t to say women can’t benefit from knowing how to cook, but men in our society seem especially resistant to making even the most basic effort in the kitchen. Matt tells us about friends of his who go hunting and can make amazing meals at camp with what they’ve managed to bag, but consider the kitchens in their own homes off limits — because of some antiquated notion of cooking being somehow “unmanly.”
“I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re doing the most manly thing ever and you’re actually cooking, believe it or not. You’re actually doing it from nose to tail, this whole organic farm, know where your food comes from…yet you come home and you kind of differentiate between the hunting camp and your own home…’ There’s a disparity where guys kind of draw the line of what is cool and what is not.”
Aside from being an important element of self-sufficiency, knowing how to cook allows us to literally bring something valuable to the table for others. You want to impress someone you’re trying to add to your network? Make them a meal that they’ll remember forever!
The Perfect Sauce
A little nervous about committing to the preparation of a whole meal? Let’s try something really simple to get us used to chopping and mixing without too much pressure on stovetop tending or oven knob turning. Here’s Matt’s recipe for what he considers the perfect sauce:
The French are known for always having a sauce for every dish, and there’s good reason: a great sauce can send a perfectly cooked dish into the stratosphere. My go-to for dressing grilled pork, chicken, steak, thick cuts of fish like salmon or halibut, and even grilled portabello mushrooms is a simple herb vinaigrette of sorts. It’s always a show stopper, super simple, and it will make you look like a kitchen pro. It keeps up to two days when covered in the fridge.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped basil
Combine the first six ingredients into a mason jar or bowl; whisk together and let stand for five minutes up to an hour. Finish by whisking in olive oil and fresh herbs. That’s it!
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn how Matt makes perfect scrambled eggs (hint: keep it simple…sous chef!), how Henry Ford has made our society efficient but unhappy, and why his now-deployed Navy SEAL friend still owes him a big favor.
THANKS, MATT MOORE!
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