Reasons why we eat out more and cook less: Advice from Chef Ricardo Costa

People come up to me all the time at my events and ask me why I love cooking all day? They all say about the same thing; it looks hard, time consuming and when they cook it doesn’t come out the way it looks in the photographs. (That’s creative Photoshop). It seems easier to hit the fast food drive through on the way home. Sound familiar? I’m going to tell you guys something, even I have days I don’t want to cook; I love what I do and the way I handle it is this. I stay organized. When you set up your kitchen and keep it neat and organized it makes things better for you. Here are some ways to go about reinventing yourself and your kitchen.

  • Prepare your weekly menu before you go shopping: Figure out what you plan to make that week including lunches for school. Make your shopping list from that menu.  The worst thing is to see a recipe you want to try, and then realizing you don’t have the ingredients. It is easy open we open a box of fish sticks instead of running to the store.
  • Print your favorite recipes: What do you do with new ideas you find on Pinterest or Foodnetwork.com? I print them out and make a recipe binder. You can buy one at the Dollar Store (my favorite place) and I use the plastic protective cover sheets. It’s easy to open on the counter to reference your recipe.
  • Safety in the fridge: This gets overlooked a lot. We have to make sure we keep foods fresh and safe in our refrigerators. An easy one is making sure the door is shut at all times, and not leaving it open too long. Keep fresh veggies and cooked foods away from raw meats. This is very important so you don’t get your family sick. There have been cases when raw chicken juice dripped on a soda can and someone got sick. You also need to regularly take everything out and clean the drawers and shelves.
  • Organize kitchen equipment and tools of the trade: Keep your equipment clean and organized. Don’t you hate when can’t find something you need? Get hooks to hang pot holders and small wares. Organize shelves to fit dry goods and have labels easily showing. Make sure all cleaning supplies are in their own separate storage area away from foods.

You don’t need to hire a contractor to build more space. Organization will help improve functionality. Having a plan and being ready is the key to everything.

Have a recipe or an idea you would like to see from the chef? Contact him anytime.

Ricardo Costa is a native of Boston and currently living in Rhode Island. He is putting the skills learned as a culinary graduate from Johnson and Wales University as a personal chef serving the Boston and Rhode Island markets.

Chef Ricardo also hosts a cooking show called “At Home with Chef Ricardo” on wmbradio.com where he demonstrates how to make a variety of dishes ranging from healthy alternatives, Asian cuisine and traditional comfort foods with a twist.  Ricardo also travels to businesses and events throughout the United States performing cooking demonstrations to promote food products, clean eating and cooking techniques.

Always striving to maintain a healthy lifestyle and sharing what he has learned, Ricardo writes for various publications on hot topics including party menu planning and cooking tips for beginners. In his spare time he enjoys working out and karate which he has been studying for the past 25 years and has earned a third degree black belt and is an ISSA certified trainer.

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