Tracy Benjamin’s Key To The Kitchen

Tracy Benjamin Key To The Kitchen Interview

Hey, Bay Area, I’m back! I’m spending the next few days in San Fran and celebrating the official launch of Keys To The Kitchen with my first local book event. So, join me this Thursday at Hayes Valley Farm for a few nibbles, sips, and a chance to get your hands on Keys To The Kitchen along with a few other local goodies.

In spirit of being back in the Bay Area, I asked fellow food friend, Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean, to share her key to the kitchen. If you haven’t visited her site, please stop what you’re doing and head over to take a gander because it’s fun, witty, and has food I want to be eating (Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes, Super Spinach Salad, Fig & Olive Oil Cake — you get the idea)!

Her key to the kitchen is one that I really couldn’t agree more with and yet it’s one that gets looked over all too often by hurried and harried cooks. But I’ll let her explain more!


Q: So, Tracy, what is your key to the kitchen?

A: One of the most important keys I have in my kitchen is patience.

Ever heard of a watched pot never boils? When I first started getting serious in the kitchen I had absolutely no patience. None! I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t have confidence in myself so I relied heavily on recipes and worried too much that things wouldn’t turn out right. As a result, I flipped things prematurely, I took items out of the oven before they were done and I didn’t let things sit on the grill long enough.

After awhile something just clicked. If a recipe says 3-4 minutes per side, you should almost ALWAYS obey that rule! No checking. No touching. No picking. LET IT BE.  Once I learned patience, my chicken was nicely crisp, my hamburgers had sexy grill marks and my pancakes were perfectly set. Letting things play out the way they should is how you become a better cook.

In order to keep myself busy and not obsess over what I’m making, I focus my energy on cleaning up my mess in the kitchen. I just set a timer! As a result, it’s turned into a fun challenge to see how much I can get done in that 3-4 minutes between flipping.

Patience is key.


Check out Tracy’s work on their site, Shutterbean and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


Though my new cookbook is called Keys To The Kitchen, the reality is that there are too many to publish in one single book. So, I’ll be asking some of my favorite food people from each city I’ll be visiting on my book tour to share his or her very own key to the kitchen in this interview series — read other interviews here.


Keys To The Kitchen