Chop chop chop

Each time I have the opportunity to cook with youth, my own understanding of the culinary trade and craft strengthens.  It improves my ability to communicate the lessons I have learned from my years in a professional kitchen. The process of teaching the fundamentals allows me to revisit them myself and find the words to communicate things I have come accustomed to. It is a wonderful circle of learning. 

At the Six Nations Farmers Market a few weekends ago, one such technique taught was how to hold and use a knife so as to not cut yourself. One youth in particular took the lesson very seriously and came back this past weekend with much improved skills. His confidence and unwavering focus showed just how much he was dedicated to learning.  It was an incredible thing for me to witness and reflect upon.

I was in awe to see how much all the youth enjoyed cutting up vegetables last weekend. With the right level of trust and supervision chopping up market fresh produce was a safe and creative process, even with sharp knives. There were a few people watching with some trepidation, but that didn’t take away from the kids’ focus. They were totally engaged in the act of chopping. To them it appeared as if it didn’t matter what they were cutting those vegetables for, they weren’t attached to the end result, but the act of chopping alone made them happy.

Revisiting the basics regularly is an important part of learning and growing. This is true not just with cooking but with how we eat. I enjoy cooking and eating simple foods, focusing on natural flavours that yield healthy and tasty final results. In my opinion, when this is done the food will be by default better for you. I like to be able to taste the main ingredients on the plate supported by a complementary, natural base of flavour.  I feel this week’s recipe reflects those qualities.

Warm Potato Salad


Potatoes (any variety will work)
Olive Oil
Dill (or any soft herb you choose)
Salt and Pepper

  1. Make dressing by mixing equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, mix well and add dill, salt and pepper.
  2. Cut potatoes in similar sized pieces.
  3. Put in pot with salted water and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer until done but still firm, drain well and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add dressing and toss well to coat.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit your taste.
  7. Serve warm or serve chilled.
  8. For a creamier result slightly over-cook your potatoes.

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