▲ Ken Myszka preparing food at Ganse Lounge Photo by The Jeju Weekly
Chef Ken Myszka shared his perspective on food, cooking, and farming in an intimate setting at Ganse Lounge on Oct. 30, 2016. For those who enjoy eating organic food, this was definitely a night to remember.
Chef Myszka opened up his presentation with cooking techniques for some simple, yet delicious cuisines. He believes that cooking is more about using your eyes and taste buds than about following recipes.
For many of us who find cooking instructions overwhelming, this is a big encouragement!
Chef Myszka enjoys using nutritious, local ingredients to create simple meals that are both pleasing to the eyes and satisfying to the stomach. One of his special tips is to use vegetable trimmings to make a broth instead of disposing of them right away. No part of a carrot needs to be wasted.
▲ Atendees to Ken's talk had the chance to try a variety of delicious looking foods Photo by The Jeju Weekly
Watching Chef Myszka chop, sauté, and plate before my eyes was mesmerizing. I was also able to pick up many useful tips to bring home. Contrasting colors on a plate make a dish more appealing. But if you don’t have many colors to play with, then changing your knife cuts can give texture to an otherwise simple-looking dish.
Chef Myszka also demonstrated the oblique cutting technique for carrots so that they can be cut uniformly and thus cooked within the same timeframe. There were also tips on how to best dress your salad, how to caramelize mushrooms, and even how to keep your cut scallions from smelling bad.
Aside from learning new cooking tips, I got to observe Chef Myszka’s love for cooking and passion for organic ingredients. His constant reminder was that a good chef needs to listen to the sound of food cooking and pay attention to the process. Cooking constantly involves a conversation with oneself to understand the dish and bring out its best flavors.
Chef Myszka found his culinary calling during high school and pursued it at full-speed. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York to develop his skills, he enrolled at the University of Nevada to learn the business side of the food industry.
▲ Visitors enjoying their food Photo by The Jeju Weekly
In order to study under some of the best chefs in America, he worked in elite kitchens like Restaurant Guy Savoy and Bradley Ogden at Cesar’s Palace, Solo in New York, and Company American Bistro in Las Vegas.
But what makes Chef Myszka more than just another great chef with extensive experience is his vision for holistic and sustainable farming to bring organic food to the table.
In his presentation following the cooking show, he explained to the audience about the Epiphany Farms Enterprise that he established in 2009 with Chef Stu Hummel and his wife Nanam Yoon Myskza.
Chef Myszka’s Epiphany Farms combine permaculture farming with intensive pasture rotation to cultivate different vegetables, herbs, and fruits while allowing the farm animals to feed on the fallow land.
▲ Ken Myszka gave his thoughts on food and farming during his presentation Photo by The Jeju Weekly
This self-sustaining food system connects the farm to the kitchen and the kitchen to the dining table. The seasonal products serve as the ingredients and garnish for each dish, from the succulent pork chop to the fresh fruits on top of the sweet desserts.
For those who want to go behind the scene, you can take a tour at Epiphany Farms to learn more about the techniques and production systems or volunteer to get hands-on experience with sustainable farming.
Our health is connected to our food, and in order to eat healthy, organic food, we must look at the source of our ingredients. Chef Ken Myszka not only believes in this vision, but he also lives it out by cooking with fresh ingredients from his own sustainable farms.
I truly admire his conviction and look forward to a trip to Illinois to eat more of his food. You can visit www.ephiphanyfarms.com to learn more about Chef Ken Myszka and the Epiphany Farms and restaurants.
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