Chef John, the beloved cooking guru with a massive following on Allrecipes and Food Wishes, has a gift for listening to what people are craving. It’s the very core of the FoodWishes mission, after all. And because he’s so tuned into the ever-shifting culinary tastes, we asked him to make some predictions about where we’re headed as we celebrate our 20th birthday. As usual, his responses are likely to crack you up.
AR: Do you recall the first recipe you contributed to Allrecipes? And the minute you realized the connection was magical?
Chef John: There wasn’t any one single moment of magical connection realization. It was more like a slow-motion epiphany. I post the recipes to YouTube and the Food Wishes blog, and the rest just happens, magically. (For the record, Chef John’s first Allrecipes recipe was Pecan and Apricot Sourdough Bread Stuffing, which appeared in November, 2012.)
AR: How do you think your approach to cooking has changed over the past 20 years? Are you more into fast and easy or maybe just a little bit fancy/fussy?
Chef John: I’m not sure if my approach to cooking has changed over the past 20 years, since I’m not sure what my approach is. There’s never been much rhyme or reason to what/how I cook, which is probably not a bad approach. Is not having an approach an approach? I think the fast/easy and fancy/fussy recipe decisions are much more a product of what’s going on in life at the time than from any kind of overarching philosophy.
AR: What’s the latest/greatest trick/technique you’ve learned?
Chef John: I was going to say sous vide cooking was the latest/greatest trick, but I actually don’t enjoy the passive method that much. Sous vide made me realize that I like the physical act of cooking more than I like perfectly cooked food.
I’ve recently taught myself to make Lebanese Mountain Bread, which is this insanely good variety of pita-like flatbread. It may appear in a video soon, but I can’t say for sure… Okay, it will.
AR: Where do you see the future of food heading?
Chef John: I see the trend away from sugary processed foods continuing, since it seems clear they’re responsible for some major — and by major, I mean expensive — public health issues. I think high-quality, prepared meal delivery services will continue to explode, since it’s just so damn easy. You click a button, and an hour later you’re eating Thai curry. It’s almost unfair.
Having said that, thanks to all those great recipe videos online, the cooking skills of your average human will increase significantly over the next decade. Cooking will eventually be taught in all grade schools, and long story short, I might get some of the credit.
Do not invest your 401K in DIY recipe box delivery companies. Other than maybe a few big grocery stores, this seems like a tough model to sustain.
AR: Care to make some predictions about what the future Chef John will be excited about cooking for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack?
Chef John: Wait. There’s a future Chef John? Yes! I knew it! Take that, time space continuum! Sorry, predictions were a past Chef John thing. However, you don’t have to see the future to know they’ll be inspired by viewer’s food wishes!