IN THE KITCHEN WITH TEE GARDNER
Tell us about yourself:
I live in the Chicago suburbs and I am the wife of a Naval chief. My full time profession is in Portfolio Optimization and Expansion for large scale commercial real estate projects. I attended college and grad school in Pennsylvania where I owned a catering company for a period while I studied. Ironically, pastries and cheesecakes were my best sellers. I tried to juggle school, catering and figure competitions. Fitness is still a priority in my life.
How did you get involved in cooking?
I started cooking at the age of 8. I would go to the library and check out cookbooks for kids and my grandmother would help me navigate the recipes and measure items. We would always look for ways to put our signature on the recipe by adding or changing items. My grandmother was an older southern woman and she didn’t even understand the concept of a recipe, she had the very old school mentality of “just add how much you need” ..LOL… can you imagine? She didn’t even measure for baking!
Describe your cooking style:
My cooking style is intuitive. I never really follow recipes now like I did as an adolescent. I browse the store aisle by aisle to see what I can come up with. I tend to favor recipes with beef and ways to add non-traditional spices and flavors. I generally smell foods before cooking them in order to get a sense of what it may pair well with. We have a saying in my house .. “Refrigerator Gamble” = no plan or even a real sense of what’s in there BUT, lets go see what we can come up with.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
I did a cow share back when I was competing and I immediately noticed a difference in the taste! My skin! And my hair!
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
Super Burgers! And coffee rubbed ribeye
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Grey Salt, ribeye, liver, butter, blueberries and Ninja Foodie (technically an appliance)
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Don’t complicate things, cooking should be fun and not confusing.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
“I don’t know where you get your ((insert food item here)) from but it don’t come seasoned!” Emeril Lagasse
Anything else you want to share?
I was a vegetarian for a period of time and I would still like to go back and kick my younger self for making me miss all those years of beef!
Enter To Win!
Enter to win our July 2021 Wellness Contest for a chance to win $150 bundle of farm fresh food.
Contest runs from July 1 – 14, 2021