"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large.  By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones.  My desire in the end is not just to enhance my young sous chefs’ culinary skills and their level of environmental awareness, but to broaden their palettes as well.

I think it would be wonderful to eventually cook our way around the globe, sampling the signature dishes of as many of the world’s food cultures as we can manage.  That said, I am very excited about the prospect of visitors to this blog exchanging early childhood food memories and recipes that they may have first learned from their parents.  I look forward to many of these contributors pushing me to cook beyond my own culinary heritage (Italian), and training (French), so that I too can learn more about world cuisines that I love, and have always found intriguing.

So....welcome to Oui, Chef.  Please let me know what you think of the site, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me know what features you find interesting and useful, and don’t hesitate to suggest additions or modifications that you think would make the site better.  And by all means, please share your early experiences at cooking and pass along recipes that are your culinary cultural touchstones.

Cheers - Steve 

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Hi Steve,
Your blog is very entertaing,I found myself laughing out loud. I look forward to reading your recipes and maybe even trying a few. Take care always...Laurie(x-sister in-law) Soran. Oh by the way give the kids my love!!

Hallo Steve,
BRAVO ZULU from Anne Marie and me. I am much in "flavour" of such a blog and your foray into this aspect of a worldly education needs to be encouraged, as well-rounded people should not be a description of somebody's girth. (You definitely need to see what Anne Marie's greenhouse is producing!!!!!!)

Charles H.

Steve, Megan passed this blog on to me this PM. I'm ready to learn. For 38 yrs I have been addressing peoples health needs. The cornerstone of health begins, I have felt, by teaching a person on how to food shop and and then giving them the knowledge of proper cooking skills. We are what we eat. Recently I saw 2 brothers, both under the age of 10, for headaches. Not a common problem for such young boys, but they shared a common thread to their history: not eating the right foods at the right times, thereby producing a glucose drop and a body reaction. Yes, in a sense malnutrition, in an affulent community. After instituting an awarness to the boys and their suprised parents, headache - food relationship, the syndrome became less frequent. The real fix would be teaching the boys food preparation skills and better food choices, since both parents are working. I'm looking forward to recommending your site to our family practice. Dr. Kevin

Steve-
Blog looks good and filled with healthy and fun culinary adventure! Got a question on kids taste buds. Where are they these days and how do they develop? is there science behind "acquired tastes"? I will send you Morgan's first oyster shooter last summer. Kind of a rite of passage, no?
Best of luck with the budding chefs!
David K

Laurie - Nice to hear from you. I hope you and the family try the pizza recipe and then check back in to let us know how you liked it. Cheers - Steve

David - Excellent question. I don't know what kind of research has been done to determine when kid's taste buds develop, and therefore at what age most people start to see a broadening of a child's diet. I'll look into it and let you know what I find out. Speaking from experience, I have found that the 8-10 year old range has been significant for my kids. These have been the big years for the kids trying (and liking) new things. I was lucky with the boys, that our years living in France really forced this issue as they were no longer able to depend on staples of the typical American diet to get by, and were constantly exposed to new and VERY different foods. Never would have thought when we landed in Paris, that 2 years later they would be eating snails and frog's legs....and loving them!

Kevin - It really is amazing how much havoc a bad diet can wreak on a person's body. As with all things in my life, I seek balance in my approach to feeding my family. The cornerstone of my philosophy is that I really focus on cooking and eating “whole” foods, not highly processed and pre-prepared ones. When I can buy these products from local and sustainable sources, I do. We eat more fish and poultry than red meat, lots of vegetables and fruits, and include as many whole grains in our diet as we can. We are working to reduce the total amount of red meat in our diet, and make efforts to find grass-fed local beef when we do splurge on a nice steak. We also treat these rarer meals as special, and make the extra effort to dress them up accordingly....Steak Frites, anyone?

Steve, we have enjoyed reading your comments and those of your readers; and we are looking forward to using your recipes.

Dear Steve, This was a very interesting and funny e-mail about food, family and cooking. My husband, Bob, is your mother-law's 1st cousin and I hope you and Chris are very happy together with all your children. Another cousin, named Nancy, too, forwarded your letter and recipes to me and I loved reading them. I hope to try some of the recipes and will enjoy future postings.

Sincerely, Elsa M. Basso

Hi!

I'm starting my blog and i would be gracefull if you made your own comments as older in food blogger...

frabala.com will be up next week!

I just wanted to post a piece I wrote that I thought youmight like.. I love your website. intelligence with wit and great recipes.. what could be better. You cut the fat!

hi steve, great to meet you last night! i came looking for the madeleine choco cake recipe, but can't find it. can you send it to me please? Also, here is the blog i told you about: www.semisweetonline.com
Maybe we'll see you at another slow food event! Rachel

Hi Steve. Just found your blog and haven't fully explored it yet, but applaud your need to teach your kids about food and food traditions. My kids are 21, 23, 25 and all have a fine appreciation for good food--especially now that the two older ones live in NYC-- (much to my pocketbook's shock at times!), but I am glad of it. My husband has also changed his eating habits; his mother is not a good cook and has no interest in it, so he had no idea what was available in the food world. I met a lot of moms who complained that their kids ate only mac and cheese, pizza and no veggies. I always just fixed dinner--what I wanted--and they ate it mostly. This is what I think encouraged them to eat a wide and sometimes unique variety of foods. There was no subbing cereal or making a "kid friendly" alternative. Sometimes it was kind of funny to watch when a friend stayed for dinner as the kid pushed simple foods around the plate. Kudos to you! Love your recipes!

Hello Steve, I ran on to your website from Williams Sonoma, and really like what you put out there for us to try and cook. I am a good cook and cook in Dutch Ovens and have used several of your recipes. I just made the cheddar bacon bite sized biscuits today. And they were wonderful. I mixed them by hand and rolled them out and made them in to squares versus little round biscuits but the were awesome. So thank you and keep the good recipes coming.
Chuck

This sounds nice. Start em up young and who knows what they can achieve with the culinary art.

This is wonderful! I hope that even if they living alone at times, that they will keep on cooking. I think that is one of the reasons many singles don't cook for themselves--they never really learned how to cook in the first place!

It's always so much fun when I discover a new blog that I find interesting, inspiring, and fun to visit ... Devaki inadvertently sent me here and I'm glad she did! Excellent posts, Steve! I'll be back!

Steve, notes on the reach of your influence: last summer fell in love with fresh corn polenta and made it for everyone on Peaks Island; gave Ottolenghi's "Plenty" to a friend of Nate's (junior in HS) and I heard yesterday that she and her two sisters are making their annual Mother's Day Arnold Arboretum pick nick from it; made Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Pie two nights ago - YUM; and tonight needed a special dessert for Mother's Day and have chosen Key Lime Cheesecake from your site. AND I love the Peugot pepper grinder (replacing the Vic Firth). THANK YOU!

Who knew you could wield so much influence from a food blog! Thanks, Jeanne!

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Welcome

"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...