EP93 - Grab a seat at the Chef's Table - Ask Dennis Littley

EP93 - Grab a seat at the Chef's Table - Ask Dennis Littley

Ever wondered what a real restaurant chef does when he cooks at home? In today’s episode, I'm interviewing Dennis Littley, the founder and CEO of Ask chef Dennis Productions, one of the most successful food blogs in the world with over 1 million followers on social media and almost 10 million page views annually. So, have a seat at the chef’s table!

‘’The biggest roadblock to people wanting to cook seafood is it's expensive. They're afraid they're going to ruin it and more times than not they do, because they overcook it and overcooking seafood is the biggest sin you can commit against it.’’

-Mareya Ibrahim

“I like animal meat. I like it. I won't deny it, but I want them to live a quality amount of life while they're living as animals’’ 

-Mareya Ibrahim




2:00 Dennis’ background

2:24 How has food science background helped Dennis

4:49 From restaurant experience to easy-to-follow recipes

6:24 Dennis’ go-to’s when a dinner needs to be made quickly

8:55 Are people surprised when they find out how easy is to make seafood meals?

11:00 Stocks are not difficult to make

13:00 Cooking tricks, hacks and note to improve your meals

15:18 Empowering women to be able to grill and feel better about it

24:06 Requests for dietarily restricted recipes on Dennis’ blog

26:15 Does Dennis recommend grass fed grass finished or pasture raised eggs, etc.

29:13 Cell-based meats, pro et contra?

34:00 If Dennis could have any meal prepared by anyone past or present, who would it be and what would he have


Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis
- Find Chef Dennis HERE! 

Resources Chef Mareya






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     Full Transcript: 

    Mareya: [00:00:00] Ever wonder what a real restaurant chef does when he cooks at home. The do's the don'ts the must haves and the never. That's what we're talking about in this episode today, I'm interviewing Dennis Littley. He's the founder and CEO of ask chef Dennis productions, where he runs one of the most successful food blogs in the world with over 1 million followers on social media and almost 10 million page views annually.

    He's built a loyal following that uses recipes and cooking tips in their home kitchens to feed their family. And friends easy to make restaurant style dishes at a fraction of the cost of eating out. I am all about this. And in this episode, we get pretty chefy and pretty detailed in our description. So if you're hungry before warrant, you're going to be hungrier after you eat this, have a seat at the chef's table and [00:01:00] Leslie.

    hi, I'm Mariah, otherwise known as the fit foodie. I'm a chef holistic nutritionist, author, inventor, and mom. And I want to welcome you to my podcast. It's called recipes for your best life. And with every episode, I'm peeling back the onion on fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, and family. The truth is your, the chef of your life.

    And for every important pillar. There's a great recipe worth sharing. So every week we'll explore them together. Think of it as food for thought that you can really sink your teeth into. So join me and let's squeeze the joy out of this life because you only get one. Can I get a fork? Yeah. Chef Dennis, welcome to the.

    Well, thank 

    Dennis: you so much for having me on today. It's a pleasure to finally get to meet you and to talk with 

    Mareya: you. Yeah, same here. And it's always fun to talk to another foodie about [00:02:00] all things, food. So share with us, Dennis, just a little bit about your. Sure. 

    Dennis: Uh, I was a classically trained restaurant chef. I went through an internship apprenticeship and was trained by my master chefs.

    I went to college and had a degree in food science, but in my kitchen training all came hands-on. Learning, not in a school, but practical. I 

    Mareya: started. So you have a food science background too. That's not that common, but I think it's really a practical. How do you think that that's helped you just in how you see food?

    Because so much of food is. 

    Dennis: Chemistry. Well, yeah, there's a lot of chemical reactions and it's just something you need to be aware of. I, I'm not a baker by trade, but I love to bake and that's really where chemistry comes more into action, but just knowing how different ingredients affect something that you're cooking, uh, and have, you know, whether you need a little softness added to it or a little bite added to it, or just different [00:03:00] things.

    Help you create a better tasting, more flavorful dish. 

    Mareya: Yeah. It's I think, you know, the chemical reaction of food and inter the intermingling of ingredients, but also just the different techniques of cooking, whether you're, you know, roiling or you're barbecuing or your. You know, doing or whatever it is that you've decided is the best way to treat a particular product and how different the outcome can be.

    And I think that's really a part of the. Yes, 

    Dennis: absolutely. You know, the, uh, proteins react differently to different types of heat and depending on the protein and what you're trying to achieve, you know, is really the cooking method that would best suit it. I'm kind of old school. I don't go into a lot of the, you know, a soupy.

    I mean, I have friends that love it. It was never my thing. I bought an instant pot. I wanted to love it. I didn't [00:04:00] want to air fryers. I wanted to love them. I didn't, you know, but I learned how to use them. So I could at least be a little knowledgeable about them, but I I'm old school and I, I love. Creating dishes.

    I love adding sauces and thanks to him. But, you know, honestly, if it, if a protein can't stand on its own with like a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, there's, there's something wrong with it. You can always, 

    Mareya: it's true because I think, you know, with every kind of new innovation in cooking, I mean, When you go back to like your cast iron or your double enamel, you know, um, liquor say like I haven't had Lou crusade for like 25 years and there's just so much that we can do without it feeling technical or, um, or difficult.

    How do you take your classically trained restaurant experience and then parlay it into. Easy to follow recipes that you feature on your really popular 

    Dennis: [00:05:00] blog. Well, you know, the, the whole trick in restaurants is it's moving people in and out. I worked at a seasonal restaurant at the shore for most of my life, and we had to turn those tables, but you know, you also had to provide really good food.

    So meals were prepared in a matter of minutes. You know, there were some that you specials that you would prepare ahead of time and you would do some that cooking in advance that might take a little longer, but for the most part order came in, you cook the order, you got it, ready order went out. And that's kind of my approach to what I share on my block.

    I, at the end of the day, I'm tired. I don't have time to spend two hours making something, you know, I want it to be done in 10, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes tops. And a lot of my recipes are geared towards however long. It takes you to make whatever you're serving. And 

    Mareya: what are your favorites? Because there [00:06:00] are, and I I'm with you on that.

    Like a big point of view for me is, um, meal prep, because I feel like you can get a lot of the legwork done on things that might take longer. If you just consolidate, you know, maybe an hour of prep time. A week and get some grains cooked off and get your vegetables and fruits, you know, Washington cut up like then the process of cooking, the protein usually is pretty quick.

    What is your, what are your go-to? Is that if somebody said, I just need dinner. 10 minutes or less, what are your go tos? Well, one of my 

    Dennis: favorites is, you know, everybody loves chicken, chickens and expensive. Uh, it's an easy protein to work with. One of my favorites, my wife's favorite is chicken Marsala that we just had that last night, you know, it's, it comes down to.

    Making sure that the chicken isn't too thick, that it's going to take forever to cook. So you either cut it down the middle yet, or you pound it out one of the two, depending on the size of it, but, you know, throw it in a pan. What's an, I love mushrooms in [00:07:00] mind, you know, what's the mushrooms and a Marsala, maybe a little chicken stock.

    And then I tighten up when I was in. All the pan sauces we use were basically tightened up with a berm. Ida. If you'd taken some soft butter rolling into flour and pop it into the sauce and stir it around simple, 

    Mareya: easy hack, 

    Dennis: right? Oh yeah. I mean, that's, that's what I tell people, Berman. Yay. You know, it's, you can have a little, uh, roommate up in your refrigerator and you can put a little blue ball in it if you want to.

    But this is just easy. It is take and butter butter at the end of a meal of a dish when you're cutting it. That's when you want to put the butter in, so you can 

    Mareya: taste. And by the way, for everybody listening, that is so important to know because butter does not have a high smoking point. So you don't necessarily want to like, get that super, but use it to fry because then it acidifies.

    And that's when we have issues with, um, you know, chemicals and toxicity. If you add it in near the [00:08:00] end, when you know, it's really just melting, like that's where the magic happens. Oh 

    Dennis: yeah. And, and that's where you add that richness and the flavor to it. So it's not like you're cooking with a lot of butter, you know, it's granted, if you overdo it, then nothing's good for it's moderation.

    But adding that little tablespoon of butter towards the end, it just riches the sauce up in it. It's just, it makes 

    Mareya: it that much. Um, you're making me hungry now, Marcel, and I'm all about the mushrooms with it. Um, you know, I'm a big fan of cooking seafood and I think there's nothing faster than cooking shrimp or scallops, you know?

    Um, I think sometimes people are quite intimidated by them though, because they seem difficult, but. They're really quite easy. I mean, shrimp two minutes on each side, basically, and scallops, like they're great high sear and you know, you just don't need a. With them. Do you find that people are surprised when they, when they just see [00:09:00] deconstructed and just how easy it can be?

    Dennis: Absolutely. And I think the biggest roadblock to people wanting to cook seafood too, is it's expensive. Um, so they're afraid they're going to ruin it and more times than not they do because they over cook it and up and over cooking seafood is the biggest sin you can commit against it. And it's okay.

    Cause you're, you're sucking off the liquid out of it. Creature was in the water. So it's kind of have some water in it yet along those terms. Um, but yes, shrimp, oh my goodness. Shrimp cook up and no time. And, and you can do a myriad of things with shrimp. You know, one of my wife's favorite two is shrimp and broccoli, you know, and I'm only gonna parboil the broccoli at a time.

    And have it in there and I can use some of it for a vegetable the next night. You know, it's something, again, like you said, prep ahead of time, so you don't have to work as hard. Uh, and you know, just cooking those shrimp in there with the broccoli, she loves artichokes, offer some of those in there. One hack.

    I [00:10:00] found like when I was in a restaurant, we always had a seafood stock and we always had a chicken stock and a beef stock that you had to make sauces. But I found that most of the time adding the chicken stock, some of my seafood dishes didn't make it taste like chicken, but it gave it that little punch that it needed to really bring the flavor profile 

    Mareya: up.

    I am. So with you on that, I always use chicken stock. I mean, pretty, pretty much unilaterally. Um, and I find it just like, it has that little bit of umami and it compliments the fishiness with assault, you know, just kind of that salt, uh, smell of the seafood, I think in a really nice way and kind of tones it down rather than amplifying it.

    I'm totally with you on that. And, and using stock and broth is really healthy, you know, I think that's people don't always. I see that as, um, you know, something that you can really lean into, but I always recommend for people, even if you [00:11:00] don't have time to make your own, to just have some, a septic containers on hand, it's always better homemade.

    Don't get much. But if you, if you have to lean into that and, um, just a little bit of that with butter and some lemon for me all the way. 

    Dennis: Yeah. I mean, and again, like I said, stocks are not difficult to make. It's probably something you don't think about. And that's, that's where the, the difficulty comes in.

    It's like, oh, I should have used the shelves for that. Like, I'll save my shrimp shells and throw the bag in the freezer. And then every now and then I'll make a dish and make it out of the shrimp. Uh, or, you know, the bits and ends the fish, uh, you know, well, actually I save those for seafood soup. I save all of my leftover pieces of fish and make a nice seafood soup when I have enough.

    Um, but you know, it's easy to cook seafood. Again. The thing you need to remember is, is be gentle. Yeah, the salmon, uh, I don't know. I just, I couldn't eat salmon for the longest time because I'd had never had it cooked properly. And then someone cooked it more [00:12:00] like a medium rare and went well, this is delicious.

    You know, this was before I really started working in the industry. I said, this is delicious. Well, 

    Mareya: and it's like anything that is not supposed to have that much heat on it will dry out. And there's nothing worse than a drive piece of fish, you know? Or then you have to come back and add fat to it to make it edible.

    So less is more, 

    Dennis: yeah, that does back to another one of my hacks. Uh, whenever we would put fish in the oven to finish cooking the finished baking or to finish cooking, I always added water or a little white wine to the pan and my most of the time just water, because I always tell people fish came from the old.

    You don't want it to dry out completely. You want it to suck a little of that moisture back up while it's finishing cooking and to keep it a little moist. So that's something that I've always done. And I, I tell people doing my blog. 

    Mareya: Yeah. Are there any other, would you say kind of corrections [00:13:00] or, you know, just little.

    Notes that you would offer to the home chef that maybe they've tried something, then they just really don't like it, but maybe they've missed something like just another little Cardinal sin, I guess, of cooking that you see over and over again. 

    Dennis: Well, one of the things I see is generally not cooking. All right, where we don't want to cook a protein too much, not cooking a vegetable.

    That you're using enough, like onions or mushrooms or even carrots letting them caramelize, you know, where you're looking for beef. You want that Mallard reaction to get that taste into it with, with vegetables, a lot of them, you want them to caramelize a little bit and to get that little bit of natural sugars out and the sweetness that is adds, I mean, there's.

    World of difference. If you want to make a mushroom soup or Rizutto, or a nice mushroom sauce, cook those mushrooms for about 10 minutes, let them really cook, let them really cook and get that deep down flavor out of them. Uh, you know, if [00:14:00] you want to add some more natural sweetness without putting sugar or any other thing into it with carrots, you know, let them cook slow and some butter and caramelize and really bring the flavor outs.

    Uh, leaks are wonderful onions, you know, just, you get so much more out of it. Well, I think the biggest, the front that I find, you know, people use slow cookers, which are wonderful, uh, people making soups, but they'll tend to throw the vegetables into the broth. You need to saute those vegetables. You need to sweat them down.

    You need to let them cook a little bit before you put the liquid in. Otherwise you have boiled vegetables. 

    Mareya: Yeah. You're so right. You're so speaking my language right now, I think just becoming familiar with. Product that you're working with to kind of coax out the best of it. Right. Um, and, and to allow yourself a little bit of time in the process, I mean, we're talking about like a few extra minutes with the mushrooms where you turn them from being.[00:15:00] 

    Kind of these stiff, you know, what do you kind of, you know, little bits that don't have a lot of great texture either to something that's literally silk and just kind of, it compliments what you're doing so much more to give it that extra love. Do you, do you, um, so this, this is kind of like a hot topic, cause we're coming on father's day.

    And for me, this is like a hot topic for me because I love to get. Like grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook. Um, I definitely got that from my dad. Uh, he was, uh, and still is a big time griller, but I think a lot of women don't necessarily feel comfortable at the grill for whatever reason. I just say it's a big oven.

    Um, but. Tips, could you maybe offer the home chef out there, particularly the women that maybe want to make something nice for father's day and maybe give their husbands a little break. It doesn't have to be at the grill, but I do love [00:16:00] the idea of empowering women to be able to grill and feel better about it.

    Dennis: Oh, absolutely. It is definitely not a man's domain. That's just the one that they're relegated to. Cause that's usually the only place in the kitchen they're allowed to be. Cause they cause too much collateral damage otherwise. So. You know, grilling few simple tips. I'm not a huge griller, but I liked the grill.

    I enjoyed the flavor of it in parts. Push come to shove. I would cook over charcoal only, but you know, that's sometime it's just impractical. So I have a gas grill, my wife doesn't like charcoal, so I'd have a gas grill, but charcoal adds a really nice, interesting flavor, especially the different charcoals you can use.

    But the biggest thing you need to know about grilling is the grill has gotta be high. You know, you have to let it heat up, preheat. It just like you'd preheat oven, you know, close the lid, let it heat up. The grill has to be clean. So make sure you get a nice brush and brush it clean. [00:17:00] If you're going to put a protein on it, it's not a bad idea to either brush it with a little bit of oil or to wipe, you know, I don't want to tell people to wipe it with a paper towel, cause it could light up or they could get burned.

    You know, you have to be very careful, you know, you just have a long pair of tongs, but uh, but to get a little bit of oil on it or to brush the protein with a little bit of oil before you put it on, just so it doesn't stick and it doesn't give you a difficult time. Lifting it, you know, stakes are pretty easy to go with.

    And the other thing that will make you look like you're really know what you're doing. Even if you just don't, you know, as always, I was saying, if you can't dazzle on brilliance, baffle them with, you know, what is cross hay, naked, cross hatch, you know, the, the people go, Ooh, ah, and simply cross Hess patch means when you lay up the protein on the grill, lay it at a diagonal going across the real greats.

    Don't turn it [00:18:00] over, you know, after it, let it cook for a while, get some marks on it and then turn it the other way diagonally. And then you get these beautiful diamond shapes. And even if it doesn't taste as good as you think your people eat with their eyes, first impression is going to be, wow. This is really good looking.

    Mareya: Yes, and I want, I want women to feel so empowered because look, going out to eat on any major holiday is such an ordeal and you get so much more value when you can do it yourself and just feel so much better.

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    I would add to that too, you know, just like you said before, watch your heat so that you don't get flare ups and don't overcook. It there's, you know, there's that point and use a meat thermometer, you know? Absolutely. Um, feel good about using them. There are some really easy to use ones that have a clear digital display that even have a little wire connecting them so that you, you see the panel on the outside.

    You don't even have to open the grill until it reaches the right temperature. And then, you know, it's done. Um, and, and wow. Wow. Dad 

    Dennis: evolve too. That's the perfect father's day. Yeah. So, so you're going to give him a nice digital thermometer that maybe doesn't have any wires it's wireless that he can use on his phone.

    And you could use it to cook him dinner with, he's not going to be upset that you use it. He's going to be [00:21:00] thrilled to death that he got it. And the fact that you're using it to test it out, but we'll even meet more. But, you know, it's a great way. And I know cooking a steak for my wife and cooking a steak for myself is it's two different animals.

    You know, she wants. Unrecognizable. I want mine still moving. 

    Mareya: Yeah. And, and the new, the new wireless ones are even better spend a little bit of extra money on. Yeah, those are great. And you can't operate them from your phone too. It's pretty amazing. The technology. 

    Dennis: Yeah. Even using it in the household, in the oven, I cook, I don't cook meat without them anymore.

    It's just amazing. 

    Mareya: Yeah. They really just give you that peace of mind and then you're not cutting into something and losing all those precious juices that are running out and you're running your proteins out. 

    Dennis: And I'm glad that you brought that up before we go on, because that's the other thing. If you cook a nice steak, so you're cooking, you're a nice ribeye steak.

    Give it about 10 minutes or a nice Porter ask, give it about 10 minutes before you cut it. So the juice flows back in. [00:22:00] 

    Mareya: Oh, yes. Don't I know people out there, they get so excited. They've grilled something and they're just ready to eat. Let it set. I mean, just give it a little minute to chill before you slice into it.

    And by the way, don't lose those juices that run off. I like to just kind of, you know, take, take those, drain them, put them back in and maybe a pan with, you know, if I'm doing a little bit of a. Sauce on top it, those back into the pan, or just pour them back on top so that you don't lose that, that juice.

    And, you know, if 

    Dennis: you're looking for a good topic, a compound butters, really easy to make and you, and you can soften some butter and you can put in some different herbs that you like, some salt, some pepper, uh, you know, uh, Rephrase it, roll it, roll it up. Cut a little. And when soon when you serve that porterhouse or that ribeye, you put a couple of slices of competence.

    You need butter with a steak, but oh, boys are good. Well, 

    Mareya: I love me some compound butter and [00:23:00] you can even use G for this, for people out there who may be, because some of our listeners don't do dairy. You can do a compound geek and you just roll that up in some wax paper. Um, add your herbs. I like to add Rosemary.

    I've always got Rosemary growing my garden or a Regno. Um, and you can pop that onto a sweet potato to, you know, over a spirit grilled asparagus. Like it just it's so extra and it just makes everything so, so much more flavorable, but also flavorful, but pretty too. And it just looks so. 

    Dennis: Oh, yeah, you get the aroma, you get the visual, you get the taste.

    It's just like a, just it's an explosion of sensations. Yeah. 

    Mareya: By the way, that makes a really nice gift. I've gifted those before. Yeah. It just kind of this pretty little thing that looks like it's an, a candy wrapper, but. Pure bliss. That 

    Dennis: butter is 

    Mareya: a little fat. Is your [00:24:00] friend. Um, talk to me while we still have a few more minutes left.

    Talk to me about, you know, have you had any requests for kind of unique, um, types of, let's just say dietarily restricted. Recipes on your blog, are people looking for more like gluten-free and dairy-free and more, um, you know, plant-based, is that something that you're seeing or are your followers really more in the traditional ilk of being an omnivore?

    Most of my 

    Dennis: followers are omnivores and are, are not dietary restricted. I do get some. That are looking more towards the keto aspect, low carbs. And I actually have a section on my blog because a lot of things I cook are naturally low carb. You know, it's just, uh, it's not that I started out to make them that way, but they are, I do have a few gluten-free recipes simply because there was a short time I was gluten free.

    I was trying to correct something in my health and that wasn't the issue. So I [00:25:00] went back to eating gluten. This gluten is delicious, but no, I don't do that. As a rule and people will ask me to make something dairy-free or to make it gluten-free. And then we start getting a little bit more involved. I could do it, but it would take me, you know, some hours in the kitchen to refine and correct the differences I'd have to make in the recipe summer, easy changes, you know, just using a soy milk or almond milk instead of a dub dairy milk, or using a, uh, earth balance instead of butter.

    Uh, you know, some different things are real easy, but other things require a little bit more science. Not using eggs. Am I going to use flax meal now to make an artificial egg or self I don't as a world? And you know, there's so many people out there that do it so 

    Mareya: well. Yeah. And I, I often tell people, you know, I think there's people tend to get on a bandwagon right.

    About food and, um, you know, they'll decide to kind of go one route [00:26:00] because there's a perceived, you know, health associated with it. But yeah. Needless to say. And I talk about this very openly in my book, too, that just being gluten-free doesn't mean you're being healthier. Um, a lot of gluten-free products have a lot of added sugar and, you know, like white rice, flour and fillers that are not necessarily nutrient dense.

    Um, and, and I think it's, you know, coming at it from a classic point of view, oftentimes just means that, you know, Uplifting the integrity of the, the basic ingredients that you're using. Do you like us, like, do you tend to recommend grass fed grass finished or, you know, pasture raised eggs or anything like that?

    Do you kind of get into that? 

    Dennis: Oh, absolutely. And I'll tell you why I do it. I know they're better for you, but I do it because of the taste, you know, it's. Oh, about 15, 20 years ago, I [00:27:00] made the move to a pasture raised or, you know, there's so many different phrases out there. You have to be careful.

    Pasture-raised seems to be the key one now is that means they're actually outside the pasture raised chicken, organic chicken, simply because chicken stopped pasting, like. Yeah. I'm like, ah, there's something wrong with chicken. Doesn't taste like chicken. So I started with that and the other one was milk.

    Milk could just seem to be planned and fin. And it was like, I remember almost skim milk used to be, and I bought some grass fed milk and it was like, Wow. It was like drinking cream and I actually have a lactose intolerance, but when I drink grass fed, I have no 

    Mareya: problem. Hm. Interesting. Why do you think, why do you think that is?

    Dennis: You know, I have to relate it back to the, the things and feeds that they're putting in the hormones that they're putting in, uh, the antibiotics that they're giving them different, different levels of. [00:28:00] Things that aren't natural and whatever I traveled to Europe, I will eat like a fool and never gain any weight.

    Mareya: Yes. You know, I have this conversation with people all the time and, you know, eating bread products, gluten in Europe. And I studied in Italy, like, and in France, you never get the side effects that you do here. And I think a lot of it has to also do with the. That's used you don't, you don't use the quick rise use.

    They use natural yeast and a natural fermentation process of your body. Just digest everything a lot better. And I would agree with you, like, if you, the higher up the food chain, especially that you go, the more we need to be aware that. It's eating is what you're eating. So cows that come from a feed lot, you know, are not getting the proper nutrition and therefore you are eating inflammatory meat.


    Dennis: and yeah, the other thing [00:29:00] with me is crazy me, you know, I want my animals that I'm consuming. I mean, I, I. I like animal meat. I like it. I won't deny it, but I want them to live a quality amount of life while they're living as animals, you know, pigs. Oh, what we do to pigs sinful. So, you know, and unless it's humanely raised and they're allowed to be pigs, I won't touch, I don't eat much pork anymore.

    I don't eat much beef anymore either. But they just have to be allowed to be the creatures that God intended the you. Yeah. 

    Mareya: Amen to that. I, I have a question for you. What do you think about cell-based meats? This is the big craze right now. So basically being able to engineer a meat product without the use of an animal, 

    Dennis: like the impossible.

    Or just creating, 

    Mareya: literally incubating a meat product from a cell. 

    Dennis: It's it scares me [00:30:00] to be perfectly honest with you. I think I would rather eat soy than eat that eat a plant-based derivative. And again, those scare me a little bit too, with some of the things I do with them. 

    Mareya: Yeah, it's interesting. We're heading into a new frontier with that.

    I think we're going to start to see a lot of things unfold because it's past the USDA and FDA and w I mean, products are sort of supposed to be in stores as early as this year. So it will be really interesting to watch and to see just, you know, how that unfolds. 

    Dennis: I don't know where the market will be. It, I mean, I know, you know, we have to come up with a way.

    As the population of the world grows to feed the population of the world, you know, and, and people are always using those excuses for the reason to make them, you know, just so it's like genetically modified out. We need to do that to feed the world. I don't know if it's necessarily true, you know, if you really need to do that, or if.

    It [00:31:00] just grows smarter. I mean, I, I came up through the sixties and seventies when we used to pay farmers not to grow food. I mean, I lived in a farming community and these local farmers were getting paid by the government not to grow. 

    Mareya: Well, they were growing corn for ethanol and, you know, using, uh, lots of land for, you know, feed, basically cheap feed for animals and we're suffering the repercussions of that.

    And, you know, I think if people eat more responsibly, maybe eat a little less, I mean, I'll probably get some backlash for that. You know, focus on quality versus quantity and really savor the meat and, and enjoy it rather than feeding feeling like it's just gotta be about volume. 

    Dennis: Well, you know, that's, and that's the big thing.

    The difference with us and with Europe too, is, you know, we somehow, or other, you know, I guess the Cowboys in us in America decided that you know, more is [00:32:00] good and you know, we'll eat. I, I. Did that I served a 24 ounce porterhouse steak. And there's no reason anyone on earth needs to eat a 24 ounce porterhouse steak, but 

    Mareya: my son would be all about that.

    But yes, you're right. 

    Dennis: And as I've gotten older, you know, I have a learned, unfortunately we don't always learn these lessons right away, but I think some of the newer chefs are taking this to heart and they're understanding the concept a little bit better. You know, I had some doubts in the nineties. Dead time for chef's almost, and you know, the early two thousands, but then it seems like the ones coming out are more sustainable or more responsible or more local enthused about what they're serving.

    And it seems like we're making a little bit of headway going towards a future. And again, that comes to like meat supposed to be one-third of the plate. You know, we tend to make it one half of the plate or more. No more vegetables. We just don't eat enough vegetables. We don't eat grains. Grains are like, people don't [00:33:00] even know what grains are anywhere.

    I will tell my wife, you want some error math? And she had no idea what I was talking about. You know, let's have some spells, you know, some keen wash she's heard of, although we, we, there was a time when neither of us could pronounce it properly. 

    Mareya: Yeah. Well, I mean, it's funny how things come into Vogue and that.

    You know, but then people get on again, these bandwagons will no grains, no carbs. And I'm like, well, you don't understand these carbs. Don't spike your blood sugar the way other carbs do. So I think part of that is education and really showing people how to elevate these, these products into something delicious and even understand how to cook with them.

    Cause it can be intimidating, intimidating to hear a word. And you're like, I don't even know what that is. How am I going to cook it? And 

    Dennis: again, we go back to the price point, no white racist, cheap, you know, if you're going to buy Pharaoh or era, man, you know, it's going to be more expensive and they go, oh, and I don't know how to cook it.

    I'm going to ruin it. So I'll stick with something I know, you know, there's absolutely no reason to eat [00:34:00] white rice. It's not, not going to help you at all except fill your stomach and not in a good way. 

    Mareya: Yeah, definitely. Um, can you just, um, say the name of your blog chef? 

    Dennis: It's a culinary journey with chef Dennis.

    And you can find me@askchefdennis.com and across most of the social media, I'm ask a chef Dennis, 

    Mareya: and we'll put that in the show notes as well. Um, we're we're to the end of our time together, but I always ask our guests one question. If you could have any meal prepared by anyone past or present, who would it be and what would you have?

    Dennis: I would have Julia child make me beef burgundy on.

    Mareya: Do you know that? That is exactly my answer. Yes. 

    Dennis: But I would ask her to make me a French onion soup too. 

    Mareya: I would say an [00:35:00] omelet. She was like omelets, G. Oh, yeah. She's she's my gal and beef. BookBub you is like the classic dish that I would want her to make me. 

    Dennis: Yeah. I mean, she, she was not appreciated. She was a treasure.

    I mean, she, later in her year she goes appreciated. But when she was first on TV, she was this housewife cooking and it was, it was so sad, but I, you know, she didn't get her dues later in, later 

    Mareya: she did. Oh, she did. And she is really. Posthumously, I think more popular than using in Dennis. It's been such a pleasure chatting with you now.

    I'm super hungry.

    I just love your passion for food. Thank you for sharing it with the world and everybody listening. Make sure to check out, ask chef Dennis on Instagram and Facebook and follow him and make sure to check out his blog. And, uh, [00:36:00] he's got a law. Yummy yummy things on his Instagram. I was, um, I was scoping it out for quite a while yesterday, so thanks for all the food excitement.


    Dennis: thank you. It's my pleasure. And thanks for having me on your show today. 

    Mareya: Hey, thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. I know you have a lot of choices out there. Of what to listen to what to watch. So it means a lot to me that you're here with me and Hey, if you love this content, would you hit the subscribe button?

    I want you around. I don't want you to just show up for one episode and leave. I want you to hear part of the conversation, a seat at this table, and while you're at it, would you share this with your friends and family? And if you take a screenshot. And share it on your social media with a hashtag our F Y B L for recipes for your best life.

    I'll make sure to personally give you a shout out and you may just be featured right here on the show. So until next time here's to [00:37:00] living deliciously and being the chef of your best life, .


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