5 Things We Learned from Michael Symon’s Chat with Maria Shriver

We’re partnering with The Sunday Paper to highlight some of our favorite Food Network Kitchen recipes.

February 11, 2021

This month Food Network Kitchen kicked off a partnership with Maria Shriver and The Sunday Paper sharing some of our favorite recipes as a part of their Dinner Table Series. Michael Symon joined Maria Shriver live on Instagram to kick off the partnership! Here are five things we took away from their conversation.

The kitchen table is where we share our meals – and conversation.

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the table is where we can share what’s on our hearts and minds with others. Michael and Maria talked about how the kitchen table is a spot where people of all different backgrounds and viewpoints can sit together for meaningful conversation. To make these conversations even easier to begin, The Sunday Paper shares conversation starters that you can use to kick off meaningful dialogue with those around your table.

You learn about people through the food they eat.

We can learn so much about people, a place or a culture through food. Maria jokingly asked Michael what you can say about someone who loves potato skins (It was just Game Day, after all!) and Michael nailed it. He said, “They’re ready to have a good time and that’s what life is about!”

Chefs feed our hearts and souls.

Not only do chefs provide us with food to eat, but they give us a reason to gather and unite to find common ground. The differences between people can be vast, and sometimes can what we focus on, but food can be a love language that brings people together.

You *really* can cook with whatever you have on hand.

Last spring when some ingredients were sparse and substitutions became a regular part of cooking any recipe during quarantine, we learned that flexibility is key in the kitchen. Michael shared that he learned so much during this time, as well. As a professional chef, he found common ground with home cooks during times of needing to cook creatively with whatever was on hand or on grocery store shelves!

The kitchen can still be a place of gathering.

While we can’t be physically together with friends and family right now, cooking with each other virtually and uniting over a recipe can build a community with a common purpose. Michael went live for 46 days straight on the Food Network Kitchen Facebook page back in March to share a new dinner recipe every night. He told Maria that while people said that these daily dinner videos helped them so much during a time of such uncertainty, he felt that he was the one who was benefiting the most.

Subscribe to The Sunday Paper to see which Food Network Kitchen recipes get highlighted each week this month.

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