Less Stress, Decompress- Let Cooking Calm You

by Chef Kendall Huff

Native Foods Cafe


Today is National Stress Awareness Day and I was the queen of stress so it’s interesting that I am
writing about eliminating stress or even, how to deal with it. Everyone has
different degrees of stress and different triggers, but can we all do the same
things to relax and decompress? Will it have the same effect on everyone? OF
COURSE NOT! Some choose massages, vacations, or even meditation. Some do
nothing…. not a healthy route by any means mind you. But I know what works for
this hot mess over here, COOKING!




This is where I find my Zen place. When I’m cooking for
myself, it’s a no brainer. I will always use a low and slow method, like
braising or roasting. This allows me to take my time and relax all those tense
nerves. I can sear a loaf a seitan, place it in the oven, deglaze my pan and
make the sauce, at my own pace. If I’m cooking for others, that’s a different
story, but it’s still relaxing. Here are a few tips I like to live by when have
people over.


#1- Prep Ahead- If there is a salad involved, I make the
dressing the day before. Marinating is also something to do a day or two
before. Usually, the longer something marinates the better. More of those
flavors will be soaked in.


#2- Play those tunes! I like a little Nina Simone or Neil
Young, but that’s just me.




#3 -Make a Schedule-


Check List


Now that seems stressful right? Like if you aren’t on
schedule you’re behind or in the weeds. Not true! Use it as s guideline and
cross things out as you go. It helps me stay focused.


#4 – Never makes a new dish- I have done this before and
it’s embarrassing! As a Chef, people hold you up in high expectations for
dinner parties. When my dish didn’t turn out very good, I felt silly. Keep your
course to ideas you know and can do in your sleep. Or…test the recipe out DAYS
before the party!


#5- Dance! There is nothing like a good dance party in the




#6- Practice!! Practice make perfect! Who says you can’t
practice the entire meal before hand?


#7- Expect Error- On a rare occasion, everything I cook
comes out perfect. There will always be something that I wanted to be
different. More color, thicker, more flavor, whatever the case may be, be
prepared. Most of the time, your guests won’t even see it.


#8- Offer Booze! – This is a great thing to give people to
keep them engaged and occupied. Just in case something goes astray! Martha


Martha is in


#9- Relax and Have fun! That’s what Cooking is all about!



Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, stress awareness 

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