Have you ever sat and thought about what you’re going to make for dinner? Do you walk over to your fridge and nothing looks appetizing? Do you dread going to the grocery store because you don’t know what to buy?
Meet Natasha Feldman
You may have seen her as the host of Nosh with Tash— the short, spunky cooking series to help people become more comfortable with making quick, easy meals in the kitchen. Feldman, a private chef based in Los Angeles, has been sharing her recipes with her audience on her YouTube and Instagram and amassed nearly 20,000 followers. She’s here to tell us a bit about her crazy journey to the food world, and share some tips and tricks for making tasty healthy meals on a college student’s budget and schedule.
Despite her natural confidence with food, Feldman never imagined pursuing a career in culinary arts. In fact, she was studying theatre.
During her junior year of college, she studied Shakespeare abroad in London but soon realized that she wasn’t as invested in theatre as everyone else around her. She became more interested in the food she’d see at Borough Market and fell in love with cooking for herself and others.
Although the crossover between theatre and cooking seems bizarre, Feldman explains it by saying that, “Recipes are just stories.”
After she discovered she had a knack for cooking, Feldman and her friend set out and started a digital production company.
“I said that I’ll have the food part and you’ll have the film part, we’ll make a show and see what happens,” Feldman said.
As time went by, she got involved with private chef work and companies started reaching out to her to host and produce other content.
“Last year we did two projects for MGM, and before that, we did a show for Yahoo,” she said.”Because we worked together on so many projects, we’ve accumulated so many cool people.”
As Feldman’s familiarity with food evolved, she wanted to figure out how she could help others in a realistic way.
“There’s this side of the food world that isn’t explored enough,” she said. “You’re in college and you don’t have a million pots and pans, so how do I realistically make good food for myself and feel happy about it? So I just decided I was going to make it happen.”
What are some of the tips and tricks from this professional in regards to cooking in college? Here’s one: a wok.
“My senior year of college I bought my first wok,” she said. “Stir fry vegetables were the thing that I would make on repeat.”
Armed with teriyaki sauce and various vegetables that caught her eye, she would sauté them in her wok for dinner.
Feldman also notes that smaller pans are better options for college students.
“If I were a college student now, with the information that I have, I don’t think I would have gone out and purchased the world’s biggest pan and decided that that was the move,” she said. “Now I would say that batch cooking is definitely your friend.”
She explains that food can develop tremendous flavor on its own. Creating meals that only require one pot can save a lot of preparation and clean-up time.
“The best thing that you can do is find recipes that have inactive time,” Feldman said. “Find some elements that are slow cooked that get better throughout the week.
“Chilis, short ribs, chicken thighs—anything that you can braise in one pot—is the way to make food that tastes really good and will reheat well,” she said. “If I have a base that’s done, I find that the other parts come easier. You can steam broccoli really fast if you make your protein earlier in the week.”
When it comes to eating healthy in college, Feldman has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.
“The number one problem is that people make decisions when they’re already hungry,” she said. “Having things around that alleviate the problem in the first place are really important to me.”
Feldman says the best thing to do is place high-protein snacks, like almonds, in your backpack or purse so they are always in reach. Stack your fridge so it flows with healthy snacks, like Greek yogurt, apples, honey and cinnamon for a yummy, yet healthy, breakfast or dessert.
“Food shame is a really unnecessary additive on top of trying to eat healthily,” she said. “I think it’s a combination of being kinder to yourself, but also reminding yourself that food is your fuel.”
In regards to what is next for Feldman, she is very excited about some upcoming projects.
“What I’m going to do is open an online store to help people figure out the things they actually should buy for their kitchen,” she said. “If you buy good things, you only have to buy them once.”
She also encourages her follows to stay tuned for an exciting announcement this January. Until then, she has new episodes of Nosh with Tash airing every other week, so be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel and follow her on Instagram, @noshwithtash.
“You can always direct message me and ask me any crazy cooking question,” she said.
Although Feldman never planned to be in the culinary industry, she is very thankful and excited that a dynamic past has led her to this career.
“Oftentimes those things lead to something bigger and better and more exciting,” she said. “A journey isn’t linear.”
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