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"Every day, Charlene and I teach our boys that food is a universal expression of love. Despite my travels, my food education, my experience with different cuisines and dietary concerns, food, for me, has always returned to the experience of being around a warm, loving table"
MY MOTHER’S COOKBOOK
Growing up, I remember my mother’s cookbook vividly. It had a coiled spine on it. It was frayed, some of the corners were worn down, and others were stained with a patina of regular use. It had notes scrawled on the pages. It wasn’t very big on its own, but if you included the stuffed-in sheets and recipes cutouts from newspapers and magazines, it was a pretty hefty tome. I would flip to certain recipes without looking: the most used ones bore evidence of spills, dustings of flour, and imprints of the water glass sometimes used to hold the page down.
That memory has always guided my vision for creating my own cookbook. I own hundreds of cookbooks in every conceivable cuisine, but the ones that I refer to most, that I use to feed my own family, bear closer resemblance to my mother’s cookbook with its sticky, crinkled pages, that gave up the faint whiff of spice when you opened to particular recipes. I refer to these books as my “all ’rounders.”
Coffee-table cookbooks are often admired for their lush photography and lengthy recipes, and I should know, I own dozens. I wanted this cookbook to be more accessible, with approachable recipes for cooks of any skill level. Formal kitchen training shouldn’t be a prerequisite for cooking delicious meals. I truly believe anyone can cook and entertain with a little guidance.
In Good Company is a combination of recipes collected from my Polish grandmother, Baba, my mother’s farmhouse staples, the various stages of my culinary career, and a what my wife, Charlene, and I cook for our three boys: Bennett, Brodie, and Tate. I am a strong believer that we communicate through food and by sharing traditions, and that these acts establish a greater connection with each other.
Much like the dishes from my mother’s cookbook, the recipes here are designed to be shared with friends and family around a communal table. For me, the unbridled joy of preparing delicious food for those you love is second to none. I hope the food and stories from my life touch yours and remind you that food is as much about the moment and the company as it is about the ingredients. I hope that this book becomes your “all ’rounder,” stained and crinkled from daily use. I hope you store your own cutouts in it because it’s the first place you look in the kitchen. It would be the highest compliment I could receive.
– Chef Corbin