Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef
I made it very clear early on in life that I wanted to be a chef. As a result, my family started buying really nice kitchen stuff for me for birthdays & Christmas. I have almost a full set of Calphalon cookware. It’s great stuff! But truth is I don’t use it much. For many years, I didn’t use it because I didn’t cook at home. Now I don’t use it because I have something I like better, something that can be used for just about anything I need to cook: a good old cast iron skillet. It’s been around for a while, handed down from grandma to mom to me, and has been seasoned perfectly through the years. I can cook eggs, potatoes, cheese…just about anything in it, and it won’t stick!
It works incredibly well for searing meat, for braising or stewing. It browns chicken perfectly. Last night I used it to prepare wild cod piccata. It was awesome - golden brown on both sides and cooked just through, so it was flaky & moist. I made the sauce in the pan with the fish: a little cheap white wine, fresh lemon juice, a pat of butter, capers, salt & pepper. I don’t think the fish would have tasted as good coming from any other pan. Maybe it’s the seasoning & years of use, maybe it’s also the love that’s gone into all the food it’s cooked.