TIPS - INTRODUCTION & -COMMENTARY I’ve been told that I can even make cardboard taste good. That’s a complement I forever will treasure, “flavor first”. My philosophy in learning to cook and becoming creative is the mastering of the basics: Cooking with Wines, Liqueurs and other types of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages; using the finest ingredients available, keeping herbs in balance with all else throughout the meal, being patient, and learning them all well in an orchestrated, experimental manner, all the while concentrating on taste rather than being overly artistic. Because after you’ve mastered the basics you’ll then know which types of garnishing will be compatible and the types of herbs which will subtly complement the main ingredient without either of those stealing the show. I believe eye appeal should draw immediate attention to the plate, but flavors in the plate must be the “Star of the Show”. So, in a nutshell, I recommend knowing about herbs, their strengths and their appropriate usages and dosages. Keep foods simple using the freshest highest quality ingredients possible and considering “conflict” verses “compatibility” of herbs and spices. Placing a limit on amounts of some stronger herbs such as basil, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc. in any dish to achieve that balance of flavors in your food which keeps complements coming your way from your friends and family for a long-long time. You’ll recognize that special expression on their first bite. Trends, excessive and chemically imbalanced use of herbs, spices and processed sauces apparently have a place in our society but, a person who possesses and uses their learned ability to transform a common dish into a dish of irresistible flavors, with balanced amounts of such seasonings, displays an accomplished talent. A talent desired by many but achieved by those who use natural flavor enhancers wisely and, so now without prompts from the kitchen, let “your” achieved “results speak for themselves”. “Enjoy”! Happy Cooking!