Too Many Cooks

Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Advice for Baby Mirabelle

May 17, 2013

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.


The happiest news we've gotten all week? Michael and his wife, China, welcomed sweet baby Mirabelle into the world! We're so excited for their growing (and, rest assured, healthy) family -- and we're proud to welcome one more little human to the Food52 team. Michael and China are skilled cooks and enthusiastic eaters (they even have a Google doc to plan their weeknight meals), so we're sure that this sweet baby will find her way to the kitchen before long. And we know she'll be eating well.

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To celebrate this joyous occasion, and to give Mirabelle something to roll her eyes at when she googles herself in 15 years (Dad's coworkers are so lame!), we asked our team:

If you could give baby Mirabelle one piece of cooking advice, what would it be?

We want to hear your advice, too! Share it in the comments -- and try to read the following without crying. We dare you.

Lauren: My advice for Mirabelle is to make sure your parents share their lunch spreadsheet with you. And learn how to garden.  

Christina: Try everything once. If you think you don't like it, try it again in 10 years.

Kenzi: Try everything once. If you fail, try it again tomorrow. And also, sweet, sweet Mirabelle: always eat avocados.

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Bryce: Welcome sweet Mirabelle! My advice is to always have cookie dough in your freezer.

Jennifer: Never eat or buy fat-free food.

Karl: When in doubt, toss with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast!

Stephanie: It is always an appropriate time to eat ice cream.

Lindsay: Maintain an open mind and an adventurous palate. And always sprinkle your grilled cheese sandwiches with garlic salt after buttering. 

Marian: Keep an emergency stash of chocolate. And cook with your parents. And be patient.

Beatrice: Always have a spoonful of cookie dough before baking them off!

Peter: To paraphrase Julia Child (I think): "Food, like a horse, can sense fear."

Amanda Li: Learn how to cook the things your family makes you eat now. Once you get older, you'll crave them -- and it'll be on you to carry on your family's traditions.

James: Quality is more important that quantity.

Maddy: Play with your food!

Amanda: Eat like your parents do and you'll have a very fine life. Have dessert at every meal. And make sure the pasta water tastes as salty as the sea.

Kristen: The only trick to making your food taste better: remember to sneak bites as you're cooking. Adjust, repeat. The best way to learn: get in the kitchen with others, then stand back and watch (and resist grabbing the spatula).

Merrill: Food is important. But sometimes the company is even more important.

Ryan: Every vegetable is better roasted.

Brette: Steal cookies from the cookie jar. 

Sarah: Eat what makes you happy, but know where your food comes from. And when entertaining, simple is usually best. 

Jason: Wait a couple years before you go near the stove. It's hot and you're a baby. Also don't ever skimp on the cheese.

Help us celebrate a new mouth to feed by sharing your advice in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Hippy I. May 25, 2013
enjoy Peace in the Kitchen!
Rebecca W. May 20, 2013
To be known as a good cook start with the freshest ingredients and do very little to them.
Oh, and everything in moderation, including moderation...
Michael H. May 18, 2013
This is so lovely. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We'll share your advice with little Mirabelle!
Margit V. May 18, 2013
Begin " cooking" before you learn to walk, by playing with pots and pans and wooden spoons while your parents cook dinner for the three of you. Learn to peel a potato before age five. That way, you'll learn right from the start that cooking is fun!
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 18, 2013
very cute advice!
Caroline F. May 18, 2013
Oh, and gardening really is fun and very rewarding even though as a child you'll think it's hot and dirty and everyone else has gone inside and you're stuck finishing up with your eye to the ground watching the water from the hose fill up each gully and looking at the lady bugs and thinning the little sprouts all the while bonding with nature! Yes, it really is quite fun.
Caroline F. May 18, 2013
Learn to cook with wine and every once in a while add it to what you're cooking!
Christina @. May 18, 2013
Use the best ingredients you can get. Nothing will taste good when you compromise on freshness and quality.
LLStone May 17, 2013
Take three "no-thank-you bites" before determining whether you like something or not! After three bites, any child at our table could skip a certain dish. We've done this always, and for the most part, my children (now adults) did and do eat almost anything.
Jason N. May 17, 2013
Season, season, season...remember to season. Salt brings out so many natural flavors!
susan G. May 17, 2013
Variety, moderation, quality: then you can't go wrong, or not too far anyway.
Francie43 May 17, 2013
Make mealtime like it used to be everyone at the table eating the same thing and enjoying each others company.
krusher May 17, 2013
Congratulations Michael and China. Daisy looks to be pretty unimpressed. You're all on a wonderful exhausting ride for quite a while now.
Stacy S. May 17, 2013
You must try a food to know if you like it. You never know when you might find your next "favorite" food.
mrslarkin May 17, 2013
Congrats Michael and China! Mirabelle, cookies make everything better.
Marian B. May 17, 2013
Pepper R. May 17, 2013
Don't ever put your tomatoes in the refrigerator!
AntoniaJames May 17, 2013
Don't eat like an American, for the sake of this beautiful but stressed planet which your parents' and my generation, and those that have gone before, have not treated very well. If everyone on Earth ate like an American, it would take seven Earths to feed us all. And try stirring a spoonful or more of doenjang in your savory dishes, especially soups, stews and braises. It will transform your cooking. ;o)
Crissy S. May 17, 2013
Clean as you go!
HalfPint May 17, 2013
All food tastes great until proven otherwise.
lisina May 17, 2013
learn your family recipes and guard them well. each time you cook one, your loved ones will be with you. even when they're far away.
lisina May 17, 2013
and become very good at sharpening your own knives ;)
Franz S. May 17, 2013
if you don't like the food, go down at the McDonalds