GoodTaste! Pittsburgh welcomes some of the nation’s top food personalities to the city for cooking, entertainment, and a lesson or two.
Celebrity chefs and cookbook authors, national spokesmen, and TV personalities all land in Pittsburgh on November 6, 2010 for one of the largest food expos in Western Pennsylvania at the Monroeville Convention Center. The WHIRL Magazine-sponsored event, GoodTaste! Pittsburgh, combines eating and entertainment to promote the region in a one-day foodie fest, and we sat down with four of the biggest celebrities who are bringing their cooking know-how to town. They all offer tips and tricks for enjoying food, cooking, and life — one meal at a time.
Claire Robinson, star of Five Ingredient Fix on the Food Network, says that her philosophy of using only four or five ingredients in all of her recipes resulted from the fact that she doesn’t like to grocery shop. And, she says that when it comes to making a great meal, less is more. “It’s more about technique than loading in the ingredients, because I like to taste the ingredients that I’m eating. The more you put in, the more complex the flavors become — which is a great way to eat, but it’s also a lot more labor-intensive, not only in the shopping, but in the prep, and the clean up,” she says.
Robinson recently published her first book, 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant, and Irresistible Recipes, with specific goals in mind. “I’m hoping that by showing people some quick and easy techniques, they can let the ingredients shine on their own and not have to fill it full of processed foods,” she says. And that’s where fresh food comes into play. “Fresh is best. You’re getting the most nutrients, and you’re getting the most bang for your buck. It doesn’t take a great chef to manipulate ingredients when they’re at their peak,” she says. So while bouncing between hosting her own show and the Food Network Challenge, Robinson found time to gather a book full of her recipes — her biggest challenge yet. “I have so many recipes that I love, but it was really exciting to put them together in chapters. I wanted to give a lot of variety.” Now, Robinson hopes to encourage all audiences to keep cooking. “I remember in season one thinking, I have so many recipes and so many directions to go in. And now with season five, I feel like I’ve really honed the voice I want to share and the principle of what I want to teach with my five-ingredient cooking philosophy.”
Robinson aims to do more than just make simple, delicious food. “I want to be an inspiration not only to beginner cooks, but to cooks who have been in the kitchen for years and years, and show them things they haven’t done, or take them in a new directions. I’m really hoping that the five-ingredient philosophy can be an answer for everyone.”