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 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…

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…

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