As details emerged yesterday about the Boston bombing and the type of bomb used, I had a great deal of friends inquire as to whether or not I owned or used a pressure cooker.
I believe I shocked them with my answer.
No…I do not use a pressure cooker and no…I do not own one.
When I was a personal chef 6 years ago, I belonged to an association of personal chefs and I know many of them used pressure cookers to complete their task.
I, however, was a different type of personal chef. I did not come in and cook weekly meals for families but cheffed private events such as cocktail parties, small dinner parties, intimate dinners for two, bbq’s, etc. I was not under the same time constraints as my fellow chefs to complete large quantities of foods in 8 hours or less. I know pressure cookers served them well but in my arena, I simply had no need.
So when I responded to the question on whether I had one or not, I followed my “no” with this reasoning: I enjoy the cooking process and everything about it. I enjoy the time it takes to make lasagna or beef burgundy or hand crank pasta. I believe cooking is not something that should be done under pressure.
This is not to say that I have not wondered how they worked or have not had interest in trying one out one time, but in general as whole, my style of cooking does not call for one. In fact, even using a Crockpot is a stretch for me at times because [to me] it just cooks food to the point of death (although my last ham was cooked in one over night and turned out rather good).
As a chef, recipe developer and avid foodie, my philosophy is really about taking the time to get to know your ingredients, taking the time to enjoy the smells and the color and the process. Taking each step at a time to appreciate the transformation food takes from raw ingredient to completed dish and internalizing this process as a form of therapy or meditation is you will.
I can have a horrible day at work, where nothing seems to go right, kitchen crashed, cooks called off, cranky servers…and I can come home and lose myself in making a simple supper. I can have a bad week and spend my day off cooking and creating and feel nothing but peace and tranquility.
So no, I do not have a pressure cooker. I do not use a pressure cooker nor do I advocate its use…especially now that it has hit the spot light for its use in mass carnage.
Outside of an occasional cartoon where a tardy husband comes home and gets hit over the head with a fry pan, stainless steel pans have never caused harm to anyone.