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About Very Good Cook

Welcome to Very Good Cook, a digital food magazine that celebrates the art, wisdom and kitchen skills of talented home cooks.

My name is Michal, and I am a self-taught cook, writer, food stylist and photographer. I launched Very Good Cook in December 2014, but the concept and the name sprung up in my head back in 2009, when I was still busy working in fashion, managing a network of luxury retail stores.

I’ve always loved food and meeting interesting people, so I thought it would be a fun idea to merge the two.

Here is how it works:

I visit with a very good cook—I find them organically, by word-of-mouth, through friends or other cooks—and we chat about how they’ve come to create magic in the kitchen instead of sitting on the couch, what their favorite cookie was when they were growing up, and how they managed last weekend to single-handedly pull off a six-course birthday menu for 20.

All featured cooks—most are amateurs who make their living elsewhere—send me home with a recipe or two. I give them complete freedom and let them pick whatever they want: their signature zucchini bread, their father’s famous chili con carne, the raw almond milk they always keep in their fridge, or the roasted chicken with saffron that they make once a week for Shabbat dinner.

My aim is to be eclectic and all-inclusive, and to feature delicious recipes by people from different places and cultural backgrounds.

Later in my kitchen, I re-create the recipe as best as I can, alternating between peeling, chopping and stirring, and setting up the shutter speed, aperture and exposure on my camera. It’s a fun process, and my neighbors love me because I’m always bringing food over.

I also post my own recipes. I’m not set on any particular cuisine or diet, but I love all things raw, vegan, paleo and macrobiotic—which is funny, because they contradict each other. I grew up in the Czech Republic (and moved to Los Angeles in 1999), so occasionally I make a Czech dish my mom or grandma taught me.