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

what youth radical class cocktails with paul brewer

What Youth Drinks Building Blocks to a Great Cocktail

Did you know making cocktails is as easy as 1-2-3? Well, it can be with Booze-Acid-Sugar. In this brave new world of crazy ass cocktails, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all these circus dick concoctions. Artisanal aperitifs, flavored vodkas, and flair-full garnishes are all real fancy, but sometimes they cloud the basics. Because, when…

Radical Class: What Youth Reads Homage to Catalonia: a book seven decades young and still topical!

The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war. All foreigners are alike appalled by their inefficiency, above all their maddening unpunctuality. The one word that no foreigner can avoid learning is mañana.—George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia I bring books with me when I go on vacation for two reasons. One, I struggle…

Radical Class: “The Center Will Not Hold” Definitely watch the new Netflix documentary on writer Joan Didion

In a world full of chaos, absurdity, tragedy and Stranger Things, it’s always nice to find some larger perspective in a good old fashioned documentary. And the latest on writer Joan Didion is that. Few names have encouraged an entire generation of people and writers the way she has. And just a few minutes into the…

Radical Class, What Youth Drinks, Paul Brewer

WHAT YOUTH DRINKS: COCCI AMERICANO An Easy, Inexpensive way to Live that Riviera High Life

I snagged a bottle of this Cocci Americano stuff after seeing it on the shelf at a cocktail bar in Long Beach, CA. It was an impromptu buy — I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it, but thought I’d figure it out. Experiment! Cocktail jazz improvisation! While I’ll save the…

Radical Class, Berlin, Adam Warren

Radical Class: Hope from the Road Just when you thought it was all over: there is Berlin  

Turns out there is still hope out there. Out there, beyond your day-to-day, somewhere out on the road its not all politics, hurricanes, bad vibes and bad memes. In fact, the other day I found myself way outside the bad lands somewhere in Berlin. Just off the plane I walked around the Mitte District. I meandered…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: AGUACHILE Another Raw One: Sinaloa Spicy Shrimp

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve gone raw at WhatYouth.com for the last few weeks. We’ve played with raw tuna a couple different ways (here and here), and got fancy and fresh with a raw beef tartare last week. It’s been fun, delicious, and the whole experiment has opened up our late…

what youth eats, raw, radical class, paul brewer

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW BEEF The latest in our Raw Series: Steak tartare is the primest of the prime.

For the last few weeks we’ve gone raw. We’re doing it all for the flavor — an exercise to experience great ingredients at their root essence, with a secondary win of less time cooking and more time having summertime fun outside (making raw things takes less time, duh). So far we’ve focused on fish and…

Tuna Don, Adam Warren, What Youth Eats

WY EATS: Spicy Tuna Don Another hit from our RAW series — best washed down with ice cold Kirin

Its time to expand on our RAW capabilities here. And just like the Mediterranean version of the albacore crudo that you’ve already mastered, we are leaning on our Japanese influence of raw efficiencies for our next dish: The Spicy Tuna Don. “Don” is short for “donburi” which is a traditional Japanese dish where any number…

what youth guide to the bar

WY Guide: The Bartender Getting a drink in a crowded bar is an art. Here’s your paint set.

As Shane Dorian famously said in Loose Change: “What’s your poison man?” That ageless, sometimes slightly altered greeting has been heard by bar patrons since the first bar opened circa 900 AD. And after 1100 years of human interaction at these establishments one would hope there would be some orderly and respectful manner one might…

WHAT YOUTH EATS: RAW The first in a Series: Albacore Crudo

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going raw. This isn’t some nonsense trendy food fad out of Beverly Hills: this is all about efficiency and simplicity. Efficiency because eating raw means less time in the kitchen and more time outside shredding through summer. Simplicity because I won’t have to develop complex sauces and spend…

what youth dead writers shirt

The WY Dead Writers T-Shirt Before it’s gone here’s why it exists

We still read…actual books even. And while a lot of our favorite writers are long gone, their influence is still smothering us. They’ve left us with piles and piles of great reading, insight, fucked up situations, and maniacal living to read about. This shirt is an ode to them. Here’s a run through who they…

what youth drinks tequila

What Youth Drinks: The Paloma Cuz it’s just so damn hot outside

It’s officially summer now. And since we’ve already taught you how to order a margarita the right way here, now it’s time to learn how to make the G of all tequila cocktails best drank in the sun: The Paloma. If the margarita is the popular girl in high school that everyone knows, then the Paloma…

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