Friday, January 13, 2012

Cooking With Wood

By The Enlightened Chef, Scott Ingenito

Firstly I want to thank Debbie and Steve for having me do this guest post on their blog, they have always been like a second set of parents to me when we all worked together back in NY. When they made the big move to VA and got the wood studio up and running they became my true inspiration in making the 3,000 mile move from Long Island, NY to Ocean Beach, San Diego and having the courage to change careers. I am truly honored to be considered a friend of theirs, and even more honored to contribute to this blog and share my journey in life with theirs.

Which utensils are better to cook with in your kitchen, metal, silicone, or wood? It is an age old argument and my answer is an honest one: All of them! But, I will admit that I do prefer to use my wood utensils, for a few reasons; They are extremely versatile, they can be used in any type of pan or pot and they do not scratch or tarnish your cookware. They also will not change the taste of acidic foods such as tomato sauce. Overall factor is that they feel really good in my hand, for me cooking is like alchemy, I am fascinated in the art of growing something, harvesting it, breaking it down, and turning it into something so amazing and unexpected. I feel this is also true of wood, in all aspects it amazes me! As a drummer and surfer, my most prized possessions are made of exotic woods by master wood crafters much like Steve (the owner of WoodArt Studio and this blog). It may sound silly to many people that I add cooking in with artistic things like making music, instruments and wood working, but the truth is that it truly is an art and it seems to follow the circle of life much like wood does;  it is grown, harvested, broken down, formed into something even greater, just like the food we eat.

If you didn't guess by now, I also prefer to cut on a wood cutting board, specifically a nice thick sustainable bamboo cutting board. In all aspects I feel wood plays a major role in shifting and shaping food from the beginning of our existence. Just think about the process, so many products come from wood/trees, in the beginning man used it to fuel their fires for heat and cooking purposes, and now we used it to smoke meats and add an authentic accent of flavors from many different kinds of wood. It is truly so versatile, whether cooking with wood, over wood, smoking with wood, one thing is for sure, without wood cooking would be drastically different. If you do not own any wood cooking utensils, I urge you to try some out. There are so many out on the market now and many are from sustainable resources like bamboo or cork.

Thanks for reading, follow me on my culinary adventures at

The WoodArt Studio says look for more guest posts from Chef Scott and The Daily Chews in the future along with some of his more than delicious recipes.

Until next we meet...

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