THE BLOG
01/24/2014 04:45 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2014

Homage to Ingredients

As a chef, I think it's important to reflect and pay homage to the vast array of foods provided by nature. A true sense of understanding along with a simple appreciation for this marvelous gift is a direct way to connect to this bountiful phenomenon. At times we lose sight of this because of the fast-paced lives we live.

Food is the basis of survival for all life on our planet and should not just be a passing thought or be trivialized as some magic trick -- it's the essential reason why our planet sustains life.

Think about it, the Earth provides us with water, oxygen and food. More than likely, you probably haven't contemplated the true miracle of all this very often, if at all. Many of us at times, take all this for granted.

So here is what I suggest: slow down when you can and cook something at home. Walk quietly and calmly through your local food store or farmers' market with the deliberate purpose of keeping yourself tuned into the miracle of it all.

Perhaps, you can focus on gathering the fresh ingredients necessary to prepare a simple salad. Appreciate a ripe tomato, carrot, or cucumber. Smell a bouquet of freshly picked basil. Observe, around and about you, the vibrant colors and different textures of the abundant bounty that provides us with the nutrients and energy we need to continue to live. This is one fundamental way we can pay homage to food.

2014-01-23-Inspirationalcookinghuffpost.jpg

The editable ingredients we handle are a special privilege; a degree of connection and gratitude will help to cultivate the respect it deserves.

Acknowledge and appreciate the animals we eat, the eggs we fry, the fish we catch, the fruits and vegetables we harvest before we mindlessly cook them. Realize how special they really are! All are true marvel. My friends, we are receiving a gift of love from a loving power. We should try to maintain a conscious awareness that our food supply is one of the greatest acts of love. Awareness of this miracle is a step toward realizing how very special our existence on Earth really is. We chefs and cooks just "channel and transform" the miracle into a creative-edible form! Pretty cool, no?