My philosophy before cooking is to first reflect on a region of the United States which I want to focus on. From there I focus on an event or occasion of why I am cooking. I reflect on my Patriot Cooking Bill of Rights to direct me in a positive direction and to also put my mind at ease. I think of someone in my past who would be invited to taste the dish I prepare.
Planning is a must in my opinion. On paper I list why I am cooking, how many people will be there, ingredients needed and approximate cost. Once you plan, it makes the journey more enjoyable and organized. I try to reflect on past experiences on vacations, military life and my family background.
I believe the cooking process should be something that someone enjoys. Success is achieved through the desire to please the palate and mind. Dishes should be full of flavor and portrayed in an interesting manner. Dishes should not be overcomplicated where someone will lose interest. For success, fresh ingredients in season are a must. Use fresh herbs as much as you can. Think of healthy, economical dishes that reflect your culture, family values and history and where you want to explore. From there, just have fun creating dishes that all will enjoy, along the way of reminiscing on past experiences and the history of America.