Tell us a little about yourself
Marc Matsumoto, 41, Chef, TV Host, Consultant.
When and why did you start blogging?
I started my blog after moving to NYC in 2007. Coming from the West Coast I didn’t know anyone in NY at the time, and I started doing dinner parties out of my shoebox apartment. Inevitably I’d get asked for a recipe and my response was that I use “no recipes”. Eventually, I decided to start documenting what I cook, which led to the blog.
What do you write about in your blog?
The name is a bit ironic given how detailed my recipes are, but it’s also about a concept. I don’t just cover the “what” of cooking, but also the “why”. I find that understanding the “why” not only makes me challenge my own assumptions about how to make something, it also a good way to teach people the underlying mechanisms of cooking so that they can eventually become less reliant on recipes. Put another way, most recipes are like an instruction manual for assembling an Ikea desk. They teach you one way of putting one desk together. My recipes are more of a framework that teaches you the fundamentals of construction so that you’re able to make any dish from any materials.
What does food mean to you?
For me, food is life. Not only does it build and power the body, but it also connects every human on Earth together through a shared history. Ever wonder what Italian food was like before the Spanish brought tomatoes back to Europe from South America? How about Korean food before chili peppers were introduced (also from South America)? Languages, religions, and appearance may separate us, but it’s through food that we all share common ground.
What’s your favorite meal?
This is like asking a parent what child they like best. It really depends on what my mood is and what I have in the house. I’ve been busy lately, so I’ve been turning to quick meals like my Chicken Teriyaki (https://norecipes.com/best-
chicken-teriyaki-recipe/), Pasta All’Amatriciana (https://norecipes.com/ bucatini-amatriciana-recipe/), and Gambas al Ajillo (https://norecipes.com/gambas- al-ajillo-garlic-shrimp- recipe/), but these tend to change over time, and with the seasons as well.
What are 3 products?
A sharp knife, silicone spatula, and an instant-read thermometer.
What would be that one meal leaving everyone speechless?
When I’m cooking professionally for clients, I have to have an element of surprise, so I usually base my meals on what’s local and seasonal at the time. I enjoy playing with techniques, ingredients to come up with new takes on familiar classics while preserving the essence of the original dish.
Do you have any grocery shopping tips? How to save money and still eat healthy and tasty?
I buy what’s on sale. It’s a good way to prevent food waste while saving money. Once you know how to cook without recipes, you’re not beholden to a specific list of ingredients, so you can cook with what you have. As for eating healthy, my philosophy is to eat a rainbow of minimally processed foods. It’s all about moderating the bad stuff and satisfying yourself with the good stuff. The worst thing you can do is deprive yourself of something you love because it’s a good way to upset your mental health.
We are what we eat?