Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

WHAT YOUTH EATS: WITHOUT RECIPES Try this, then go rip into it

What Youth, Radical Class, Paul Brewer

Learning to cook and make cocktails is a funny process. We read cookbooks, we watch TV shows, maybe we try a recipe or two from whatyouth.com. For the most part, we get set up with a list of instructions, and we’re expected to follow it closely or else it will be ruined. That’s a process that’s totally contrary to how we all learned to skate or surf or do the stuff we’re into. Imagine if you learned to skate or surf that way, each day studying a book or video on how to do bottom turns or whatever. That would be weird. And sad. No, most of us see something we like, get inspired and/or psyched, and go have some fun trying.

So that’s why, even though I’ve been writing weekly recipes for What Youth, recipes are not my thing. It’s all very exact. The measuring, the planning, the details. Then there’s this new paint-by-numbers but for cooking thing IKEA is doing, which as a byproduct takes out all the creativity and makes you a cooking robot. Sure, I read recipes and I write them, but that’s just not how most of us cook. Instead of dealing with teaspoons and specifics, most people cook with a splash of this, a dab of that. That’s what makes it fun instead of a job. Once we get a feel for how to move in the kitchen, we cook with our gut.

Like music and painting, cooking is an art form. And while Juilliard is great for those pursuing a music career and RISD is great for those pursuing fine art, most of us don’t need a culinary school level of expertise to get by on a day-to-day basis.

We’re not trying to open some fine French fusion restaurant here. So why are we treating learning to cook like we are? We’re just trying to eat awesome food. Maybe learn something new. Or maybe even impress a girl.

As much as I believe in following the rules before you can break them, I also believe in just going for it. As Seth Godin notes, “Pablo Picasso painted 10,000 paintings, only a hundred of them are amazing, fifty changed the world, which means he failed 9,900 times.”  Wrap your head around that. He failed and failed and failed but sprinkled in there was brilliance. If that whole notion intrigues or semi-motivates you, listen to this.

Have you failed? Try with cooking. Or cocktail making. It might be good, it might be gross, either way you’re giving it a go. At 12, I made scrambled eggs with a splash of vanilla. Yeah. “That’s interesting,” mom said. It wasn’t. But I tried, sans recipe, and that’s better than not trying at all.

As the food and drink recipes continue at whatyouth.com, I hope you follow some, but even more so I hope you use them as a jump off point, as inspiration to try some things on your own. Rip into it. Try, fail, and try again. It’s only dinner and drinks. —Paul Brewer

Radical Class, What Youth Eats

What Youth Eats: Huevos Rancheros Your weekend mornings are now better

Huevos Rancheros hold a special place down deep in my gut. Growing up, when dad wasn’t at work on weekend mornings, we’d wake up early to surf the Cliffs, then he’d take me to Georges Mexican Food right by our house in Huntington Beach for breakfast. Every time the order was the same: two orders…

What Youth, Radical Class, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH EATS: WITHOUT RECIPES Try this, then go rip into it

Learning to cook and make cocktails is a funny process. We read cookbooks, we watch TV shows, maybe we try a recipe or two from whatyouth.com. For the most part, we get set up with a list of instructions, and we’re expected to follow it closely or else it will be ruined. That’s a process that’s…

what youth eats our veggies

WHAT YOUTH EATS: OUR VEGGIES Skip the Meat with Grilled Mushroom Risotto

You’re eating your veggies, right? For those of you who just need meat with your meals, may I offer mushrooms instead. Here, the mushrooms are grilled to give a deeper, nuttier flavor, and combined with creamy rich risotto. Once you get the hang of risotto, it can be a quick dinner. Until you get the hang of…

what youth memorial day

Radical Class: On Memorial Day Celebrating and Remembering in Equal Parts

These days, Memorial Day is all about burgers and beers, beach days and maybe some deeply discounted retail shopping. But, of course, it isn’t. It’s about war and the people who fought in them — namely the Civil War, where 620,000 Americans died. Where today’s Memorial Day is little more than an excuse to party…

What Youth Eats: On a Trip Bridging the disconnect between great waves and crappy food on surf trips

I haven’t been lucky enough to be on a fancy boat trip with a private chef, but I have been on plenty of surf trips where we’re in the middle of nowhere without so much as a taco stand in sight. So what to eat? Usually it’s an early question on that road between the…

What Youth Eats, Tools

WHAT YOUTH EATS: TOOLS OF THE TRADE 10 Inexpensive and Essential Kitchen Tools to get you Cooking

Have we gotten ahead of ourselves? We’re here telling you how to sear scallops and make cioppino, but what if you don’t have a pot to cook in? How can you prep, sear, steam and eat without a couple of basic kitchen tools? While the internet is full of “must-buy” lists for the kitchen, most…

What youth Drinks: The Margarita How to order them this Cinco de Mayo and forever

Cinco de Mayo is around the corner (a week from today in fact!) and we need to get one thing straight:  Cinco de Mayo is NOT the celebration of Mexican Independence — as many have been led to believe. It is a celebration in remembrance of when the French were defeated in Puebla. And in Mexico, Puebla is…

What Youth Eats: The “Couchella” Menu Since we moved on from attending, here’s what we’re eating while we stream

I don’t have the time or the patience or the money to spend this weekend in the desert. (We actually officially moved on from Coachella last year). But I do have time and patience and the money to park it on my couch and watch it all weekend on my internet TV. And while my Coachella viewing…

What Youth Eats

What Youth Eats: Turkish Kebabs Now that we’ve graduated from our tour through Europe, let’s cook what we ate the whole time at home

Now that we finished up our three city tour through Berlin, Cologne and Amsterdam, its time to shine a light on the one common thread that has kept us alive for these past few weeks of travel and will through pretty much any trip you take to Europe. The “donner kebab.” This is a Turkish style kebab,…

what youth recommends building a beginner bar

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: BUILD A BAR Home bars made easy. Let’s get the drinks flowing.

Don Draper would approve. Bar carts with gold rails, hand carved mixing gadgets, illuminated backlighting — home bars these days can be really amazing. Like, totally Instagram worthy. Also, really expensive. A fully-stocked home bar should be more a culmination of years of collecting bottles and drinking with friends, as opposed to something that’s set…

what youth eats

WHAT YOUTH EATS: WHAT YOU’RE GIVEN Make no substitutions, please.

Is your stomach closed-minded? Are you the picky one? Try to eat or drink what you’re given. And like it. It was like traveling with a 4 year old who only likes mac and cheese. Here we are in the Dominican Republic, first night, ready to find waves in the morning, and our gracious host…

what youth radical class europe

Radical Class: Going to Amsterdam Eat, drink and wander through Europe (Pt. 3 of 3)

Stepping off the train at the Amsterdam Central for the first time is overwhelming. You emerge from this historic building doubling as a train station and step right in to a beautiful array of chaos. Tourists everywhere, business people rushing, stag parties commencing and Heineken tours being planned. Its hard to figure out which way…