Guest Chef Ian Knauer February 9, 2016

by Eat

Have you made meal choice for next week yet? It closes at midnight tomorrow and there is a dish on the menu you do NOT want to miss. Our guest chef Ian Knauer has whipped up something truly special- a delectable, irresistible Chicken Paprikash. Chicken Paprikash is a deeply flavored Eastern European classic that is shockingly simple to throw together. Paprika and onions do the heavy lifting and the chicken cooks quickly. How can you turn down this delicious dish?

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A published cookbook author and accomplished chef, Ian runs a cooking school in New Jersey that embodies the epitome of freshness. The Farm Cooking School, open to chefs of every level (even beginners!), teaches everything from knife skills to backing to how to write your own recipe. Ian brings a whole new meaning to “farm to table!”  We had the opportunity to sit down with Ian and learn a little bit more about his experience with food.

Tell us a bit more about your food philosophy

I really like to eat delicious food. And, I’ve found that the fresher your ingredients the better it tastes. So, I have a cooking school on a working farm. When I need veggies I walk outside and pick them. When I need meat, I get it from the farmer. Then, I teach my cooking students simple ways to to make great dishes.

How and when did you decide to become a chef?

I’ve always loved to cook, even when I was a kid. Probably because I like to eat so much, but also because I really thrive in a creative environment. I have the most fun when I just walk into the kitchen and start cooking.

What do you do in your spare time to gain inspiration for new recipes?

I spend time on a lot on local farms, either volunteering or talking with the farmers to see what’s working for them throughout the season. It’s important to me to support them the ways I can, and the best way to do that is to see what’s easy for them. If they have an easier time growing something like radicchio, which has a smaller market than something like a tomato, then I buy the radicchio and figure out a way to use it that is delicious and people will like. I teach that to my students, then they go and buy more radicchio creating an easier time and a new market for the farmer.

Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes from the kitchen?

Oh, tons. I’m in the kitchen everyday with students and I always learn so much from them, too. But one story that really sticks with me is from when I was a kid. We were having a crab boil and I was in charge of cooking the crabs. I put them in the pot, put the lid on, and walked away. Within minutes the whole house was full of piping hot, mad-as-hell crabs running every which way with their claws in the air. We were all in bare feet, too.

What one piece of advice would you give to home-cooks?

Just keep cooking. It is good for you in every possible way; healthier, better for your physical and mental and emotional well being, less expensive, fun.

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Don’t forget, meal choice closes at midnight tonight for delivery next week. Opt in to receive Ian’s Chicken Paprikash and let us know what you think!

Happy Cooking!

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