noun, plural coups [kooz; French koo]
I. a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment, achieved in the preparation of a culinary dish.
I. a highly enthusiastic cook, prone to unexpected dashes, pinches, and hints of this and that while preparing culinary dishes.
II. a Toronto-based, well-travelled, well-fed culinary adventurer.
I’m Krysten Cooper, your KitchenCoop KitchenCurator. I trained as a Chef. Or I should say I have a Chef Training Certificate. For 8 months, I donned the checkered pants and white jacket. Talented, experienced, patient Chefs guided me through basic skills and foundational dish preparations. Some things I was already doing in my home kitchen, which was reassuring. Other skills were new and quite useful – like how to quickly dice an onion, or how to mash garlic with the blade of my knife. And some I hope to avoid for the rest of my kitchen days – please, no more finely chopped parsley!
But I am not a Chef. Chefs study, watch, follow and learn for years; they devote themselves to the craft of preparing food to stir emotions with each bite. I am a cook, a filler of bellies, a creator of moments shared over a meal. That you leave my kitchen content, full, and hoping for another invitation to break bread together is my greatest wish.
Within these recipes and food stories, I hope you will find ideas, not instructions. Directions are only that – guidance that you may create something to enjoy and share with others. Think a dish needs more salt? Add it. Wish something had a bit more spice? Please go ahead. Things are cooked when they are cooked, not necessarily when the timer goes off. Check, adjust, and learn to trust your instinct. A recipe captures the essence of how a dish can be prepared. It does not cook the meal. You do. So please dive in, get chopping, stirring, and mixing. Make notes on how you like each dish to guide you the next time and the time after that until you no longer even look at the recipe and instead, you simply create.
Many of my favourite dishes that I share here with you were developed not in professional kitchens, but in ill-equipped cabins, cliff-side huts, and cozy rental apartments during my travels (try cutting a baguette with the saw attachment on a multi-tool because it’s the only knife you have!). In fact, I started this blog in order to keep track of my recipes and have access to them when not in my home kitchen – anytime, from anywhere. The content you find here is the curation of a well-travelled, well-fed resourceful cook, inspired by menus, dishes, and flavours encountered in my journey. I hope these recipes provide you with the same inspiration.
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