Knowledge Base > Barton Seaver - Open Office Hours

Open Office Hours

Barton Seaver - Open Office Hours

This event was on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Barton Seaver in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to ask anything – from cooking techniques to c… Read More.



1) What tends to be the hardest obstacle to overcome as we learn to cook? 2) When dining out, how can we continue to inspire curiosity in new, healthier dishes?

— Blanca Martinez


Know where these questions were answered when we archive this onto the YouTube page as well as on to the Rouxbe page so you can just go to where the question was answered. Isn't that convenient? What tends to be the hardest obstacle to overcome as we learn to cook? interesting question I'm sorry this obstacle to overcome when learning how to cook. I think probably getting out of our own way. Maybe I think oftentimes when we're learning how to cook. We haven't developed the confidences yet to really understand in Intuit intuitively understand Heat and seasoning and the machinations of cooking and what I mean by that is like By now I have cut so much food. I have grilled so many times for example that I can start a fire and just in the back of my mind just know exactly how hot it's going to be because I'm Absorbing information about the wind I'm exorbing information about how big the canister is that I'm grilling in how much the air flow is into it the time that I started it what I'm going to be grilling. and now I'm just go out there and I can throw my peaches or steak or pork loin on there and just I just know I just have so much confidence in it. You know that I can into it how that heat is going to work. That's the same on a stove like I can look at a pan and just kind of know all the details that I put into it meaning when I put it on how I turned it on. You know how that pan has behaved in the past Etc. All of that learning just becomes intuitive and I think when we're cooking when I say to get out of our own way. Is is to do exactly that is to not overthink the situation but really just to absorb. To sit there and be a student of our own actions. I think oftentimes we might read the recipe and think think that's where we're doing learning. It's like no. No the learning is actually in the mechanics of it more so than the rest because right now I can read any recipe and just be okay got it. I know exactly what they're telling me because I I can picture the end result and the process right and I'm not patting myself on the back. I'm just an experience cook many of us all in these these hours are so this is not some special divine power of mine. This is just no I've spent 50,000 hours cooking So again sort of the the mechanics of it Blanca are also having confidence and just being like, you know what I'm just gonna let that thing sit in the pan. And I'm going to accept in going to accept the results of it and learn from it. I think oftentimes we're just like, oh, I got a poke it like I gotta turn it. I got a flip it. I got a date into the fire again. Like I always gonna be doing something to it. No, no, Blanca, you don't you don't always have to be doing something. You know what cooks food heat, you know, it doesn't cook food. humans humans manage food and Heat In the cooking process, so take yourself out of it sometimes and just be willing to make mistakes. Right? I mean if if you're just absorbing information and watching things. Okay. Well, maybe I should have flipped that steak a little bit earlier, or maybe I flipped it too early. Maybe I put the steak in the middle of the pan. And I use gas burner so that the heat is distributed more towards the outside of the pan. Well, maybe I put the steak right smack in the middle of the pan and it that wasn't the hot spot. Okay, and I maybe I should have put it a little over towards the edge Etc. It's little things like that that you learn by acknowledging the information that's in front of you. So have no ego go into it with confidence that you are going to learn something not confidence that it's going to be perfect. So in that way sort of stay out of your own way and let the information Flow To You. It's my best advice long-winded answer but kind of a fun one cheers, and you have a second question, which is when dining out. How can we continue to inspire curiosity in new healthier dishes? Yeah, I'd say with that just explore flavors and tastes and different Cuisines to me. What's so engaging about food is not. French food necessarily and okay fine. That's a it's a language of food that many of us speak and sort of use to understand as our Baseline. But what the french will do with the sweet potato for example is wickedly different than what Indonesian cooking will do with the sweet potato or polish cooking will do with sweet potato or what peruvians do with it, right? and so it's that Curiosity to me of identifying maybe what are your favorite foods? Maybe it's a sweet potato an artichoke a salmon whatever it is and just kind of It's using that as your guidepost to thread you through different Cuisines through different things so that you're always working from a grounded standpoint. Right? Like you always know that okay. Here's the commonality the through line here is salmon, and I'm really curious to see what all these different Cuisines do with it. That way you really are learning about application of flavors and of techniques and of taste profiles Etc and not just kind of being overwhelmed with like wow. Okay, that's like that's awesome. And Indonesian cuisine is really complicated and I don't really know where to start with what I just ate. Well start to understand it, but I'm starting with the salmon or whatever sort of that core through line ingredient is that's a that's my advice to you on that. Cheers, and that doesn't have to be boring. It's just means like You know having that Baseline commonality by which to as your reference point to make sense of different experiences. Blanca appreciate you thanks for being part of the Rouxbe family.
Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

Chef, Educator, Author