3 Biggest Lessons from Foodist Kitchen (even though I’m an experienced cook)

by | Dec 28, 2016

roast peppers with mozzarella

OFFER EXTENDED: Save $15 on Foodist Kitchen until January 8 using code NEWYEAR2017

For me nothing is more flattering than when someone I trust and respect in my field says something nice about my work. Of course it makes me happy when a family member or close friend compliments me too, but I can’t help but wonder how much the love bias is influencing their words.

So when author, scientist and fellow healthy food writer Jules Clancy reached out to tell me how much she enjoyed my Foodist Kitchen program, my heart skipped a beat.

I have been following Jules over at Stone Soup for years and know she’s an experienced cook. So I was deeply flattered to hear that she got so much from the program even though it is primarily designed for beginners.

When she offered to share her favorite highlights from the program with all of you, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ll let Jules take it from here.

Use code NEWYEAR2017 to get $15 off Foodist Kitchen until Jan 6 January 8.

Jules Clancy LOVES real food and hanging out in her kitchen. She has a degree in Food Science and is the author of ‘5-Ingredients 10-Minutes’. For a free eCookbook of delicious 5-ingredient recipes sign up for the Stonesoup weekly newsletter.

The first thing you need to know is Darya isn’t paying me to write this post.

In fact it was all my idea. I’m not getting any financial benefits, just the good vibes that come from telling other people about a product you love.

The second thing I need to come clean about is I already knew how to cook before signing up for Foodist Kitchen – Darya’s program that teaches you to cook without recipes in 30 days.

Why did I do it?

Mostly it was research.

As someone who also teaches cooking online, I’m always on the lookout for good ideas I can use in my own programs. Plus I know I’m not perfect and love improving my kitchen skills.

Foodist Kitchen delivered in bucket loads. On both fronts.

So I reached out to Darya and offered this review because I wanted to share with you some of my favorite lessons.

3 Biggest Lessons from Foodist Kitchen

1. Seasoning with words

This was my favorite lesson of the whole program. Basically, the way you describe a meal will impact how much someone actually enjoys the food.

It might not sound like something that would make a difference. But it does.

Researchers actually tested different names in a cafeteria and were able to significantly increase how highly participants rated the taste of the food. Same food, different names, different perceptions. Amazing right?

I’ve been experimenting with this at home and it even works on 3-year-olds! Magic.

2. Perfecting my vinaigrette

I love a salad and I thought my dressings were pretty good. Then Darya introduced me to her formula for the perfect vinaigrette. I figured I’d try it for a change and was blown away how much better it tasted.

There were two factors which made all the difference.

Using more acid (vinegar / lemon juice) and less oil really brightened the flavor.

Adding a little emulsifier (mustard / miso paste) but not too much, helped prevent the vinaigrette from separating with the bonus of adding a lovely complexity. I now realize my experiments with mustard in the past had been too heavy handed.

This is a game changing skill because I not only use vinaigrettes to dress salads, they’re also brilliant on vegetables or as a sauce for meat and fish.

3. Use more salt than you think you need

The art of seasoning is one I have a deep appreciation for. It’s really the number one skill that takes your cooking from ‘OK’ to ‘ah-maz-ing.’

When Darya suggested this rule of thumb, I realized I had become complacent with my seasoning. So I challenged myself to use more salt than I normally would.

There was one time I went overboard and ended up with salty lamb shanks. Apart from that, I’m always glad when I take the time to taste and think about my seasoning. Food is definitely more delicious with the ‘Goldilocks’ amount of salt.

Now that I’m a Foodist Kitchen ‘graduate’, I am missing the daily emails from Darya. I enjoyed her gently ‘holding my hand’ as she walked me though the program.

However, the improvements in my cooking are still with me every time I step into the kitchen. And will be for many years and many meals.

What about you?

Have you tried Foodist Kitchen? Would you like to learn to cook without recipes? I’d love to her what you think in the comments below.

Learn more about Foodist Kitchen

Use code NEWYEAR2017 to get $15 off until Jan 6 January 8.

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7 Responses to “3 Biggest Lessons from Foodist Kitchen (even though I’m an experienced cook)”

  1. Jon says:

    Two things I always remember that Darya has said before – the two most common mistakes people have when starting out to cook is under salting and over cooking. These two things by themselves had a huge impact in my cooking.

  2. Darya and Jules, there’s always something to learn about food! But about the salt, in my experience of dining out and in people’s home, I’ve found very few people who need to be told to use more salt. There are a few, but there are more who overdo it. I like to salt a dish at several stages of cooking, then of course taste and adjust seasoning at the end. Salt gradually, and you’ll get that ‘Goldilocks’ amount!

  3. Patricia says:

    Hello Jules and Darya:
    That was a great review and I could understand why Darya was thrilled with it. I’m thrilled too because you listed your comments and you revealed what you learned instead of being coy and letting readers know that they would find out the secret answers if you took part in the cooking lessons. I rarely eat out simply because the amount of sodium just kills me but using the goldilocks amount is not the same as the restaurant amount. It’s perfectly seasoned and doesn’t affect me negatively. Maybe I need to take Darya’s lessons because I could learn a thing or two about portion control.

  4. Ray Lee says:

    There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

    ~Ray

  5. Jane B says:

    It’s always good to find more opportunities to learn specially in culinary arts where you can always find something new and interesting, i also agree that the way you describe a meal will make a difference since people are always going to react to words specially when if comes to describing food, thanks for sharing!

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Darya! Im super excited to try out Foodist Kitchen and plan to take advantage of the discount today. One thing I’ve been wondering is how long we have access to the info? In other words, I realize it is a 30 day program, but do we have lifetime access to the online info, or is there a limit? Thanks, and although I have come a long way in my cooking, I’m so looking forward to learning more from you! Love your work.

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