Kellen Bradford’s vicarious thrills

Kellen Bradford’s  vicarious thrills

Fast food! Buy local! Meals under 30 minutes! Meals under $10! Food, the act of eating and cooking have, together, become almost a national obsession. We no longer eat to nourish ourselves. We may eat for comfort, to encourage family time or to make a statement (think vegan). We want fast food, homemade food, inexpensive food and hormone-free food. The choices are enough to make a person queasy.Kellan Bradford is a local chef who wants to cut through everything to get to the heart of the matter. In his cookbook “Vicarious: A Life Lived Through Food,” he explains the journey that brought him to his current holistic approach to cooking: We don’t eat to just sustain life; we should eat to improve life.

Bradford, who grew up cooking by his grandmother’s side, started giving cooking lessons and working as a private chef. He graduated in 2008 from the Art Institute of Houston with an Associates of Pastry Arts degree. Two years ago he decided to share his recipes and his journey that brought him to this point in his career.

The book is a timeline of Bradford’s development as a chef, including “The Early Years,” “The Rebel Years” and “The Best Year,” to name a few. Each chapter highlights recipes that Bradford developed at that point in his life and how he was growing in confidence. The recipes are not difficult; they can be used no matter what your level of cooking skill, and can be altered to individual tastes.

“My goal was to give people a starting point where they could start a conversation about food, and take it from there,” said Bradford. “These are classic dishes, not trendy. I use them all the time and hope the readers will too.”

In addition to the recipes Bradford included some information about what basics you should always have in the pantry, what the differences are in grades of meat and the basics of wine. He is a strong proponent of eating what is available locally in season and limiting the use of processed foods.

This practical and insightful cookbook is available from or by contacting Bradford at kbrad05 [at] yahoo [dot] com. The books can also be purchased at Urban Habitat on Calder St. and the Book Bazaar in the Mildred Building.

Jill Swanson can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 256, or by e-mail at jill [at] beaumontbusinessjournal [dot] com.