San Francisco chef Michael Mina and singer-songwriter Michelle Branch discuss their latest venture in food media, web video series 'Cook Taste Eat.'
Cook Taste Eat
We never thought Michelle Branch's name would pop up in a Daily Meal headline, but it turns out that the singer is somewhat of a budding home cook. Branch has teamed up with San Francisco chef Michael Mina to co-host a new web cooking series, Cook Taste Eat, where the two go through a complete meal, step-by-step, every week.
"Michael and I met at an event here in San Francisco I was doing the music and he was doing the food," Branch says. "There was a moment before the event kind of went underway, and I knew he was cooking and I’m a big fan. So I went over I said, 'Chef what are you making tonight? What’s on the menu?'"
"So I gave her a typical, I was making a miso-glazed cod, and I gave her a quick verbage about the dish," Mina recalls, "and she started asking me, 'So what kind of broth are you serving with that?'"
When Mina decided to participate in Cook Taste Eat, however, he started thinking of other celebrities to bring onto the show; Branch's name popped into his head, and he called her up out of the blue.
"At the time, before Michael brought this fantastic idea to mind, I was trying to figure out how I could incorporate food in my life," Branch said. "I was thinking, 'What do I love as much in my life as music?' And it was always food. And it’s kind of like watch what you wish for because then the phone rang and it was Michael."
The series, which features one complete meal every week, walks viewers step-by-step through each recipe (like an apple-blistered Brussels sprouts dish), allowing readers to cook a multi-course meal at their own pace. "I feel like I kind of represent the person at home trying to tackle this," Branch says. "I love food and I could go into a restaurant like Michael’s and I’ll leave and I’ll go, 'That was the most incredible meal but I can’t do that at home.' I’d like to try."
And the ultimate goal? Letting viewers create their own dishes themselves.
"By breaking it down into daily, bite-sized pieces, you can teach people how you decide [ingredients]," Mina says. "What is corn giving to a dish? It's giving it sweetness. When someone is coming over and you know that they love chicken, you can take that chicken and show people a technique that more than likely they haven't seen."
And while Branch hasn't given Mina any singing lessons yet, she's learned a thing or two about cooking from Mina. "I’m able to taste something and go, 'Oh it needs more of this and that’s why I like this dish,'" she says. Check out Cook Taste Eat over on their website to subscribe, and receive a digital cookbook of Mina's favorite recipes.