Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Open Office Hours

Open Office Hours

Eric Wynkoop - Open Office Hours

This event was on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop 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 co… Read More.



I am really interested in maintaining an SOS lifestyle. What herbs do you recommend that can lift the flavor as a salt replacement?

— Donita Andrews


This is an interesting question. And this is all about Flavor development and this is where skill development and also your expanding knowledge base will come into play to you know, inform sort of that path that you carve out with different preparations different dishes that you might enjoy making and so you ask about herbs and I'm going to expand that a bit to herbs and spices and then also include a nod toward your choice of cooking method. Okay, so, you know regarding herbs and spices. My my first response is to use more of them and I'll share a couple of suggestions for you to consider in terms of places to start in. The first is that you might look at a commercially available product like a missus dashes seasoning and Look at the ingredient list just to get an idea of what they're using and the variety just how much of these different ingredients that they're packing into a couple of shakes of their seasoning and you can start to mimic some of those ingredients at home. And you know, typically I recommend fresh herbs. Although if you want to add them early in the process and and expose him to a longer cooking period Then certainly a dry product would be fine. If you're reaching for dry herbs. I generally recommend the more sort of robust flavored herbs the hearty herbs like Rosemary and time and savory, for example, because the more delicate flavored herbs like cilantro and parsley lose most of their flavor through the drying process. And so I definitely recommend Using those herbs fresh and you know very often they will be added toward the end of the cooking process or just prior to service in order to preserve those volatile oils and more delicate Aromas. Okay, another suggestion that I want to share with you is to start to look at the Cuisines of the world. Okay, and look at different flavor combinations that characterize Regional Cuisines and start to practice with those combinations and you're going to find you know, these Regional profiles that appeal to you and then also you'll begin to better understand specifically what spices usually spices primarily and then secondarily herbs come together in a very nice way with other ingredients. Okay, and then it's gonna be practice and experimentation. Your part that will refine that ideal sort of combination for you based upon the dish that you might prepare. And another consideration is the cooking method. And the dry heat cooking methods, so sauteing and Grilling for example are going to import Browning and that Browning works on the sugars as well as the proteins that would be present in the foods and this could be for this could refer to the spices as well. If you caramelize or toast spices but that brings out Aroma and Aroma equals flavor. And so you're gonna bring this this depth of flavor. Sometimes we think of it as an additional layer of flavor. Sometimes we might refer to it as a full round flavor and all of that contributes to more satisfaction on the palate. And so somewhere in there I think is going to be you know, the combination of things that are going to help you with respect to herbs and Herbs and spices and then, you know also keep in mind other assigilance. No, you mentioned lemon juice considered lime juice. I mean lime is got acidity, but it also has a different accompanying flavor than lemon juice and then we can you know, talk about all the other members of the citrus fruit family as well as other acids and vinegars come to mind and again vinegars are gonna provide acidity to the food which lightens heavier foods and heavier flavors at lightens them on the palate. I have always described the the addition of acidity as you know, enticing the food to dance on your tongue to dance on your palate. So think about vinegar but also not just the acidity but the accompanying flavor because each vinegar is going to be a little bit different in that respect. And so think about what might pair best with your dish and then a couple of thoughts regarding vinegar is that Some have a sharper acidity than others on. The more delicate side is going to be rice vinegar. And so it's a very very common one. If you want just a sort of a smoother experience with rounded edges. Just a way to try to explain that, but so try out those different categories and ingredients, and then also think about your choice of cooking method and as again as those come together, I think you're going to find more enjoyable food. Thank you.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction