World Chefs: Schwartz hopes to inspire kitchen "victories"

Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:30pm EST
 
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Michael Schwartz with his first cookbook hopes to inspire "small victories" for home cooks by giving them practical advice and straight-forward recipes.

The 46-year-old's "Michael's Genuine Food," which launched on Tuesday, features many of his whimsical twists on salads, leg of lamb and other comfort food served at his Miami restaurant, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink that opened in 2007.

The Philadelphia native recently spoke to Reuters about building confidence in the kitchen, embracing fresh ingredients and memories of prepared TV dinners:

Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

A: "We wanted a simple, approach but not dumb down from what we do on a day-to-day basis at the restaurant. I know about having small victories in the kitchen. Success is in achieving good results in following the recipes. That builds confidence, and that's important for the home cook. I also want them to embrace shopping as a part of cooking."

Q: What keeps people from using the fresh, local products you and other chefs espouse?

A: "There are the financial constraints because quality ingredients almost always cost more. Then there's people's busy schedules. What the economic downturn has shown us is that people are getting back to basics and cooking at home more rather than going out. The other point of view in the book is to help people build their pantries and to prepare staples that you can use for several different dishes."

Q: Does this shift play into your type of cooking?   Continued...

 
<p>Chef Michael Schwartz poses in this undated publicity photo. The 46-year-old's "Michael's Genuine Food," which launched on February 22, 2011, features many of his whimsical twists on salads, leg of lamb and other comfort food served at his Miami restaurant, Michael's Genuine Food &amp; Drink that opened in 2007. REUTERS/Clarkson Potter/Handout</p>