by Karen Grava
Director of Media Relations
Chef Jeffry Trombetta
If you’re not sure how to make black bean vegetable soup or Southwest chicken salad, Jeffry Trombetta, an adjunct professor in the UNH Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, can teach you – right in your own kitchen.
Trombetta’s methods, along with his recipes, are featured online on eHow.com.
The segments – 18 so far – were filmed by a professional crew in Trombetta’s home kitchen in Guilford.
“Filming for the Internet is a great experience because you feel you are cooking for yourself,” he said. “It's a small, comfortable environment, but the results are open to the world. I hope many viewers will benefit and learn from the segments.”
For Trombetta, the sessions were grueling, including filming 10 segments in just one day.
The work entails recipe selection, shopping and emailing with the show’s producers, along with cleaning and organizing the kitchen so everything will go smoothly, he said.
Since much of the work to get ready for the filming takes six or seven hours and the shoots themselves take nine to 12 hours, the process requires high energy. “When you get to the seventh recipe, you can't believe you have three more still to go,” he said.
Trombetta chose the food he would cook from a special website with menu titles for professional chefs run by eHow.
“I decided to do a chicken theme the first time,” he said. “I simply picked menu items that I liked and that I thought would be practical to set up and show on video. Then I wrote the recipes for the items I picked.”
Trombetta’s second day of shooting was less thematic – he made black bean soup and broccoli and meat recipes, among others.
“Cooking is a mood, and my favorite thing to cook is what I am in the mood for,” said Trombetta, a former executive chef at Yale. “Food is also seasonal. I like lighter grilled foods and salads in the summer. I like more sauced and warmer foods in the winter.”
But when he is cooking for guests, their tastes are paramount.
“If I am cooking commercially, my favorite foods are what the guests like,” he said. “They choose the menu and I get psyched up for that because chefs are people pleasers. We choose food as our vehicle to please our guests. We also like to think we can cook anything, so it's hard to say we have a favorite.
“I am a Mediterranean cook by heart, which is combining flavors and ingredients indigenous to parts of Spain, France, all of Italy, some North African and countries and islands on the Adriatic side such as Greece.”
And, of course, it is not only what you eat but also what you drink that makes the meal outstanding, he noted. “Pair the food with the correct wine and it’s all good,” he said.
As for advice for the home chef, Trombetta said eating is only part of it. “When I prepare a dish, I tell a story,” he said. “Listen and understand the story. You will automatically learn, but to reinforce the learning, practice what you saw. Don't try to duplicate the recipe but instead notice and practice the techniques and put your own love and spin into your final product.”