Guest Post: Andrea Uzarowski on Simplicity & Flowers with Toast
Andrea is a chef and a damn good one. She is transformative and coaxing, allowing ingredients to shine as intended by nature. I adore her, and her cooking. I have been sending my herbs and edible flowers to Andrea for some retreats that she caters and am in awe of how she uses the ingredients.
Here is a peek into Andrea’s world, and some gorgeous inspiration for using herbs and flowers.
A long time ago I heard the expression, “never lose your childish enthusiasm!” which stuck with me for most of my adult life. Why, as adults are we so quick to forget what brings us joy? Why do we not appreciate the simple things in life? Mind you, simple things can mean something different for everyone. I personally love truly simple things: the smell of freshly cut grass, clouds rolling in over the mountains, the first scents of Autumn, and the budding new life I search for impatiently each winter’s end as Spring nears.
Never lose your childish enthusiasm!
I grew up in a family with three siblings. We each had our roles, duties around the house. Mine always kept me close to the kitchen and garden. While I recall not being overly fond of pulling weeds from the garden plots each summer alongside my mother by our house near a grand lake, I also recall and crave the taste of strawberries, still warm from the sun and sweeter than anything I could ever taste. Or sitting in the sour cherry tree with my sister for hours, eating all the fruit the tree had to offer and that our bellies could handle.
I recall running to the garden barefoot, in the middle of a summer storm, pulling fresh carrots and radishes from the dirt, eating them while feeling the summer rain on my skin.
Those were such simple things.
As a chef, my job is to cook. I create menus for my clients then execute them with my team. Simple, right? So why, making chamomile-infused syrup to drizzle over a yogurt-granola parfait seems so exciting? Or, pickled calendula petals were met with the excitement of opening a present on Christmas morning? The reason is simple: we lost our childish enthusiasm in the process of becoming adults.
Ask yourself this: what’s the worst that can happen if you decide to try cooking something new? You burn it. You season it wrong. You overcook it. You don’t like it. So what? Are these valid reasons to walk away from something that can bring you simple joy? Why not, take nasturtium leaves and add them to your next batch of homemade pesto? Why not, dry up some chamomile then use the dried buds as a curing rub for your next batch of lox? Why not? Food is simple. Play with your food with childish enthusiasm and feel the little skips your heart will make each time you discover something delicious!
Andrea Uzarowski is a chef, mother, friend, and garden lover.
Find her on Instagram @FreshFoodFurther