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Articles by Kurt Michael Friese

Kurt Michael Friese is chef/owner of Devotay in Iowa City, serves on the Slow Food USA Board of Directors, and is editor-in-chief of the magazine Edible Iowa River Valley. He is the author of two books, including A Cook's Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland and Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots on the Chile Trail (which he co-authored with Gary Nabhan and Kraig Kraft). He lives with his wife Kim in rural Johnson County.

Featured Article

The only thing separating you from eating sustainably on the cheap might be a nice, sharp blade — and the knife skills to use it.

Cooking at home — from scratch — makes it possible for many of us to afford to eat local and organic foods. But the No. 1 barrier people have to cooking at home is time. And, for amateur cooks, following recipes is much more time-consuming without strong knife skills.

The more capable you are in the kitchen, the more flexibility you have when it comes to buying and eating whole, less processed (often more affordable) foods. For instance, two people can get three meals out of one whole chicken for about the same price as buying two pre-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts. (Of course, the vegetarian equivalent may not apply exactly, but you’ll eat more veggies for your dollar if you’re comfortable cutting and cooking them at home.)

Not that everyone who cooks has knife skills. I cringe in fingernails-on-chalkboard agony when I watch home cooks — and yes, the occasional pro — try to steady a whole onion with a dull blade and their fingers fully extended. What should take about 30 seconds t... Read more

All Articles

  • Chef’s diary: Holiday traditions

    For some folks, this season is about peace and good tidings. For others, it’s just about the presents. In my family, the holidays were, and still are, all about the food. There are many items that must be on the table at my house, or it simply isn’t Christmas. Among these are the wild rice […]

  • Now we’re cooking: How to get Americans back in the kitchen

    Photo from the video Tamar Adler Talks About An Everlasting Meal.Editor’s note: It’s unanimous these days: Cooking food from scratch at home is one of the best ways to eat sustainably without breaking the bank. It also enables eaters to easily support food producers who use environmentally sound, ethical, and humane practices. But most Americans […]

  • 500 Words for Change in America

    Folks across the country know something is wrong.  There’s just something about the system we’ve created over several decades that is inherently flawed. Some blame the government, others big banks, still others blame political parties, but all agree that there’s something that’s just not quite working the way it should.  People are losing homes, jobs, […]

  • Pig Business: Who owns your food owns you

    Ever feel like you were playing checkers and the other guy was playing chess? That’s the impression I get when watching many of the recent spate of food documentaries. Activists announce that this or that is wrong with the food system; on the rare occasion when something appears to be getting done about it, the […]