Here you’ll find seasonally inspired recipes that are restaurant quality AND simple enough to make at home.
Twice a week, I’ll share what I’ve been cooking up in my home kitchen. All of the recipes at The Clarified Kitchen and in The Clarified Menu are created to give you more joy, more creativity and more confidence cooking at home.
Along the way I dish out my tips and tools of the trade but always try to keep the focus on the simplicity of cooking real and vibrant food at home.
Hi! I’m Marianne, an executive chef turned mom. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and two boys. I cook, write, take photos and make The Clarified Menu.
My husband Hans is also a super important part of the team. He’s not only my partner in crime, he has also dealt with many years of me working wacky restaurant hours and supported me through all of it like a champ. He does all the design, web and tech stuff and helps stop me from throwing stuff at the computer.
Together we’re The Clarified Menu team!
After graduating from The French Culinary Institute in New York in 2003 (since renamed the International Culinary Center), I cooked professionally for over ten years.
When I left cooking professionally to have kids, I didn’t know what would come next. Going from running restaurant kitchens to becoming a mom was a huge learning curve and adjustment for me. A couple years after my son River was born, I knew I wanted to get back in the kitchen but didn’t know quite where to start.
So I started The Clarified Kitchen to share recipes from my restaurant days with my friends and family.
And then something started happening. I started getting emails from people visiting the blog, telling me about their hopes, fears, worries, dreams, memories, insecurities, and desires about cooking for their families at home. To say this affected me would be an understatement.
Hearing these stories inspired me to keep posting recipes and to create The Clarified Menu, a weekly pack of seasonal recipes dropped into subscribers inbox complete with a prep party & shopping list.
We’re on a mission make you feel more joy, confidence and creativity cooking vibrant & satisfying farm to table food at home.
These are easy and straightfowward recipes where I dish out all my tips, tools and tricks of the trade. If I was working in a restaurant instead of cooking for my kids (cooking for my kids are harder by the way) these are dishes that would be on my restaurant menu and they are inspired by what is growing around my community.
This isn’t about rules. This is a striving, a celebration, a moving forward one day at a time. Bring on the Portlandia jabs, I’m ready:) This is our family’s journey as we attempt to cast more votes for farmers who are growing food that will benefit humans and the planet.
WHY FARM TO TABLE?
Farm to table eating at its heart is seasonal eating. It’s picking ourselves out of the industrial cog of food manufacturing and inserting us smack dab in the middle of our community. It’s not any one particular diet, it leaves space for pretty much and and all the diets, and it naturally leans heavily towards plants as any trip to your local farmers market will confirm.
Farm to table eating sounds trendy, like it would describe some cool new restaurant. (high fives to the chefs who champion sustainable farming and play an important role in increasing awareness and demand) But the actual act of farm to table is not new at all. It’s the way people have eaten for thousands of years, and we have only veered away from it recently which happens to coincide with the ever worsening state of health in the US.
Thinking about where our food comes from, taking the effort to find local foods–it requires more of us to eat this way. I’m not going to say it’s easy, cheap or fast, which are basic selling requirements for most food related anything these days. It’s a heck of a lot easier to order your food online and have it delivered to your doorstep. Not to mention, It costs more to eat food that is grown in a way that is good for our bodies and the earth because it requires more care to make.
Our family is…how should I describe it…in an exciting time of life right now. We have two little ones, my husband Hans and I are both starting new businesses and we also happen to have a dump truck full of student loan debt. To say we’ve been on a budget feels like a bit of an understatement. There have been more than a few weeks where instead of the farmers market, Trader Joes was how we were able to buy enough food for the week. $.99 bags of pasta, $2.99 bags of apples, $1.99 bags of greens, you get the idea.
During these weeks, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so thankful for food on our table. This tight-budget time has made me even more thankful for things it’s easy to take for granted. I feel more inspired and committed than ever to get creative in finding ways to learn and bring farm to table to our home.
The way we spend money is one of the most powerful ways we cast our votes on a daily basis. We are voting on what, where and how we want food to be grown, raised and made. I don’t want any of you to think for one second that I’m saying this type of eating is better than another.
It’s complex, multifaceted and simple at the same time, a wild combination. Learning about what our food is and how it makes it’s way to our tables is not only about the food. It’s about the farms, crop rotation, laws and regulations, immigration, wages, class and race. There are hungry people in the world where any kind of food is nothing short of a gift, blessing and basic human right. At the end of the day it’s about, if we want to, being part of the food solution in our communities.
For me personally, farm to table eating is about:
- me learning and becoming aware of how food finds its way to our table
- taking responsibility for the health of my family and not leaving this task to corporations
- actively participating in stewardship of our planet
- supporting small & mid-sized farms in my community
- celebrating the bounty of the seasons!
marianne (at) theclarifiedkitchen.com