The accidental cooking coach
Growing up I would have laughed if you said that one day I would create a cooking course to help people eat healthier.
Until my mid thirties I lived on take-out and microwaved hotdogs.
I have never aspired to be a chef, a nutritionist, a diet guru, fitness instructor, or health nut of any persuasion.
I'm just a dude trying to eat.
How I got here
I developed Kitchen Karate to solve a big problem in my life. At 35 years old I was 30 pounds overweight, recently single, working crazy hours, and eating whatever came across my path. I had no cooking skills and zero interest in learning about diet and nutrition.
So I did what most guys do in that situation. I started working out like a banshee. But after a year of Crossfitting my butt off, I'd only lost 10lb. So with much hemming and hawing I decided finally to address the whole "eat right" side of the fitness equation.
That meant learning to cook because I knew that changing my eating habits meant taking full control of food in my life.
America's Top Recipe Follower
I learned to cook by following recipes. It took me two long years.
I would hold a dinner party every few weeks and pick a new world cuisine to try out. I would download recipes for the most quintessential appetizer, main course and dessert of that cuisine. Then I would spend five hours following those recipes to the letter. My guests would come over and scarf it all down in 15 minutes. Then I would do the dishes.
It was grueling work, but gratifying. And I was learning on the job.
Two years later...
I learned a couple of things during my tour of world cuisines. One, recipes are super tedious and take a ton of time. Two, the same patterns kept emerging in the recipes for all cuisines everywhere in the world.
Eventually I latched onto those patterns and realized they were the essential concepts I had been missing from the start.
After decoding the patterns, I dispensed with the recipes and started to freestyle.
That's when the magic started happening.
Two more years later...
Right around the time I started breaking free of recipes I got turned onto the concept of meal prep - making your meals for the week ahead in one big cooking session on the weekend.
When I first started to meal prep my sessions took all day on Sunday. And I'm a football fan so that wasn't going to work.
I set a goal of creating 15 completely different meals to cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the workweek in under 2 hours.
For two years of Sundays I tried different techniques and approaches and kept chipping away at the time. Eventually I hit upon a concept borrowing from restaurant practices that finally cracked the code.
My weekly practice was so effective that friends suggested I start teaching it.
Kitchen Karate is born
I dubbed the method Kitchen Karate and started offering to teach it to people out of a rented test kitchen in Los Angeles. And the people came! More than a thousand students and private clients have come to learn the "way of Kitchen Karate".
An unexpected discovery
What started off as a personal mission to eat healthier with the least amount of time and effort blossomed into something much greater when I started teaching it to other people.
It turns out that what I had created was not only super effective as a cooking method; it was even more impactful as a teaching method.
By decoding the pattern behind recipes and building it into a meal prep practice I had effectively created an amazingly efficient and effective way of empowering with cooking skills.
Skills that took me years to develop you can master in weeks.
Cooking takes practice
The often-overlooked truth about cooking is that it is a skill set. And acquiring any skill requires practice. The secret power of Kitchen Karate is that it packs an incredible amount of practice into a short period of time.
Yes you will learn the most efficient way to meal prep, but more importantly you will learn the essential skills of cooking quickly and permanently.
And best of all, you will be making meals to enjoy the whole time.
America's missing skill set
I've taught Kitchen Karate to so many different types of people - from younger to older, vegans to meat eaters, singles to families, the super fit to the overweight - that I have come to realize that cooking skills are falling off the map in America.
Cooking skills are not being taught in schools and they are no longer getting passed down through the family.
The best that most people can do is follow a recipe. And a lot of people can't even do that.
Processed foods and meal delivery services are taking the place of good old-fashioned home cooking. And the national waistline is showing the results.
The old-fashioned way is too slow
There are many reasons that home cooking is on the decline but chief among them is the fact that we just don't have the time to cook every day, much less three times a day. I know I don't.
Let's find a new fashioned way
I believe home cooking can catch up to the speed of modern life. We just need a new approach, one that breaks from recipes, embraces skills, and turbo-charges the whole process with meal prep strategies.
That's what Kitchen Karate is all about. I see it working for people who never learned to cook. I see it reinvigorating people who quit on cooking long ago. I see it helping people put meals on the table for themselves and their families that they are genuinely proud of.
That's why Kitchen Karate is so important to me, and why I continue teaching it to people.
Please join us
The more people we have helping to reinvent home cooking and sharing ideas in the community the better we can all get at taking control of food in our lives.
Thanks for reading, and happy cooking!