Simply, LAB is me. It’s my first three initials.
But LAB is more than that, it is also about the labrador that sits at the edge of the kitchen. Labradors are the best kitchen assistants – their eyes tell you that whatever you’re cooking is GOOOOOD. So it is symbolic of the approval you want when a new creation comes out of the oven. Most of my life there has been a labrador at the edge of the kitchen who pined for a crumb to fall from the good experiments and enthusiastically ate the failures to show me I was improving and should keep cooking.
But mostly LAB is my philosophy for food, or at least it is how I justify why I never follow a recipe.
Food is science. Food is the fuel for your body, the mix of energy and nutrients to make you as healthy as possible. Also there is science in the chemical reactions that make bread rise or jelly set or meat cook. But most of all, to me, food is about experimenting with flavours, combining new ingredients and ultimately putting something healthy and tasty on the table every day.
LAB is also highlighting the way most of our food is created. It is processed, artificially flavoured, created by food scientists in laboratory kitchens before being mass produced with a focus on cost not quality or health. Do you know that there is gelatin in most yoghurt? Do you care? The point is not to say that ingredients are good or bad, but to be aware of what we consume. You are what you eat, right? So if you are ignorant of what you consume… So this LAB is about being aware of what you eat while making sure that flavour is a key priority.
You may question why so many recipes are vegetarian or vegan as the recipes build up. This is because non-meat and non-animal product based dishes are often really inventive in being flavourful while usually being super-healthy. So vegan challenges get the experimenting juices flowing (that would probably be beetroot & carrot juices for vegans – haha) and they really suit my food philosophy. Also, even if you’re not vegan, it’s good to have recipes on hand in case a vegan friend comes around for dinner.
So have a go! What can go wrong? I’ll post the good and the bad. As Thomas Edison is credited with saying “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The worst that can happen is the dog might have to eat it and he’ll make sure you know he is grateful for your mistake.