Ready to delve deeper into the culinary world and discover some fantastic new recipes? Look no further than our exclusive interview with Kevin, the talented chef behind the renowned food blog, Kevin Is Cooking.
In our engaging interview, Kevin shares his passion for cooking, his culinary philosophy, and some insider tips for creating the perfect meal. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, Kevin’s expertise and unique recipes are sure to inspire you to try something new in the kitchen.
So don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your cooking game and impress your loved ones with some delicious new dishes.
Read our exclusive interview with Kevin now!
What follows is an interesting interview with the Cooking influencer.
Questions We Asked Kevin O’Leary
1. Give us some details about your journey as a Cooking Influencer
Sure, I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking alongside my mom in San Francisco. As a teenager, I took an ROP course in Restaurants in Marin County, learning about the front and back of the house.
I quickly learned tips and tricks in the kitchen from a red haired, French chef named Gerard. He taught me the basics of making a roux to soups, salad dressings, beurre blancs and other beginner classics and baking techniques.
It piqued in me a secret talent and a way to express myself. It was a fantastic crash course that lit the fire for me.
I then went on to work in restaurants and catering in San Diego; from small gastronomic eateries like Piret’s to large restaurants like La Valencia in La Jolla and for the largest catering company in San Diego circa mid-’80s, The Carriage Trade, for several years.
It was all hands-on training and I learned a lot. I’ve even gone on to take a course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France a few years ago.
Life intervened, but I never really stepped away from the stove. I worked the corporate life for a while in design so I could have a better schedule. While I excelled and worked at some pretty large companies doing graphic advertising design and User Interface Design for Illumina, eBay and Walmart, my passion was just not in it.
Now I live the cooking life every day up in Oregon. Inspired by my love for travel and trying new cuisines from cultures near and far has led me to explore Mexico, the Bahamas, England, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Egypt (three times), China, Hong Kong, India, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Australia.
In October of 2020 I started my second food site, Silk Road Recipes. After years of cooking these recipes for family and friends, I decided to share my passion for the foods along the ancient Silk Road with you, too. From the Mediterranean, Middle East and Persia to India and China, I hope you come follow along there as well!
In the end, my story is about my desire to help you cook easier and smarter and to explore new flavors and ideas.
2. Can you talk about any memorable cooking experiences you have had in your career?
Learning fast and young cooking live at catering parties in front of so many people, scared and wanting to improve and learning to fake it ‘til I made it… literally.
3. What is your favorite type of cuisine to cook and why?
That’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child, there’s no way! Because after living for so long in San Diego, California, Mexican has almost been a daily presence in my life, but Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food fascinates me in terms of spices and combinations as well as Indian. So see, I just can’t choose because… now I’m thinking of Dim Sum and Chinese!
4. What is the most challenging dish you have ever made?
Probably learning to perfect my Yucatan pork (known as cochinita pibil) which is a citrus braised pork shoulder, covered in banana leaves without baking it traditionally covered underground. So, so good. Second is my traditional style Carnitas, simmered in lard and seasonings, not the easy Americanized way at all.
5. Can you share any cooking mistakes you’ve made and how you learned from them?
Too many to name, but one that stands out as I continuously tried making it and numerous trips to the store was a pineapple panna cotta. I found that gelatin is a processed version of collagen.
Unlike most other fruit, pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, that breaks up the gelatin into its amino acid building blocks. So, in other words, the bromelain will not allow your jello to become solid.
If you use canned pineapple, you can combine the two without a problem because during the canning process the pineapple gets heated and the bromelain breaks apart, is no longer active, and can’t attack the gelatin’s amino acids. Lesson learned is do your homework and keep trying.
6. How do you balance nutrition and flavor in your recipes?
I always go flavor first then see how I might tweak a recipe after making it to better balance or use substitutes.
7. Can you walk us through the process of developing a recipe from start to finish?
I research, read and try at least 3 versions of a recipe, then make my adaptations or changes and see if it still works. Not everything I make or create is on the websites! Lots of failures, too. Family, friends and neighbors are my taste testers.
8. How do you stay up to date with current food trends and incorporate them into your recipes?
Truthfully I have never been anyone who is on the cutting edge of trend cooking. I want to share tried and tested recipes that do not necessarily have to use the latest cooking gadget like an air fryer or sous vide.
I plan my yearly editorial calendar out for the next year 6 months in advance and try to create a website that is like a cookbook, filled with recipes to make a complete meal start to finish with lots of options.
Research and SEO are HUGE for me. Lots of planning and testing. I want to serve up recipes at least a month or two in advance of when you’d actually be cooking them. Last year I was testing and cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes in February even!
9. Can you talk about any current or future projects you have in the works?
Currently both websites are getting a makeover with new logos and web development for more mobile focused SEO purposes. Kevin is Cooking started in 2014 and the site has a lot of fixes and band-aids on it code wise and it needed a little TLC.
The new sites will launch in the coming month or so. I also am researching another surprise I’ve been asked for, but that is too early to discuss.
10. What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their cooking skills?
Come follow me on Kevin is Cooking (American favorites, BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex) and Silk Road Recipes (foods from along the ancient Silk Road – think China to the Mediterranean) that has detailed writing, photos and videos.
Try everything again and again to perfect as best you can. Just thinking about it will not make it happen, you need action to follow it up. Don’t be afraid of failure, it makes you smarter and stronger.
We want to extend a big thank you to Kevin for taking the time to share his culinary expertise with us in this exclusive interview. His passion for cooking, unique approach to ingredients, and insider tips have truly inspired us to try new things in the kitchen, and we’re sure our readers feel the same.
We hope that this interview has been insightful for other food and cooking bloggers looking to elevate their skills and connect with their audience in new ways. Kevin’s insights and experience are invaluable, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to learn from him.
If you enjoyed this interview and want to explore more of Kevin’s delicious recipes and culinary expertise, be sure to visit his website, KevinIsCooking.com, and follow him on social media using the links below. Thanks for reading, and happy cooking!