By practice, by trail and error, by thinking about what works and what doesn’t, we come to wisdom. This applies to any endeavor. Over the years–through this process of reflection on the cooking process– I’ve come to understand that essential to preparing a great meal is the right frame of mind, first, and, second, having a solid method. This is what is offered in this post: something of the “Tao of Cooking” and a way of going about it. By adopting the right philosophy and by arming yourself with a good method the cooking process becomes more, well, edifying. As a result, you’ll magically get better results in the finished product. Read more

Photographs in this post by Maureen Elizabeth of Maureen Elizabeth Photography.

On a recent trip up north with my father-in-law who apprenticed under a locally-renowned Chicago butcher, he shared with me the secret of the customers’ fierce devotion to the little meat market in the Windy City where he worked: dry aging of steaks for 21 days. My interest in dry-aging was, of course, piqued. Read more