David Kinch. Chef. California.

Food Forward Trailer.

Q. What do you think is the most under-rated vegetable?
A. I really like root vegetables because they’re lowly. They’re not regal items like foie gras, caviar, or truffles.
Things like rutabagas, turnips, kohlrabi and cabbage, they’re incredibly versatile. They develop really deep, deep flavors and touch all the sensors on the tongue, because of their sugar and salt. They have this really nice bitterness.
Bitterness is really important, I think bitterness is misunderstood a lot in cooking. So, that is what I like about root vegetables.

Q. What is essential with vegetables?
A. Seasonality. It’s a cliche, but it can’t be over emphasized. There are two things for the home cook:
1) you get the product at its peak
2) you also get it at its cheapest.
You’re not importing it in, it’s not some big footprint to getting it. So, it’s a win-win situation. I think a lot of lip service is paid to seasonality. You can go to a lot of famous chefs extolling the virtues of seasonality, but then you get a hamburger with a tomato on top in January and February. That, to me, is wrong. The artistic part of our craft is making that burger work without the tomato in January.