Cooking with Graham Kerr: 3 Recipes

Herbs are the heart of this celebrity chef's approach to flavor.

| October/November 1995

  • Graham Kerr

Graham Kerr Recipes:

In re-creating classic regional dishes in our own kitchens, we start, not by looking for an egg laid by a chicken in Thailand, but rather for the herbs that characterize that country’s cooking.

• Spicy Thai Ground Chicken
• Simple Cassoulet
• Ligurian Focaccia 

Graham Kerr recently went around the world looking for herbs. After a four-month cruise with his wife on the Queen Elizabeth II, talking to chefs and sampling food in every port, he came home brimming over with the exhilaration of experiencing firsthand how herbs and spices define regional culinary traditions across the globe.

Kerr is a professional chef whose enthusiasm and high-energy style are known to millions through television and books. He first claimed fame as “The Galloping Gourmet”, the outrageous and charming host of a popular cooking show of the same name that was produced from 1969 through 1971. Since about 1972, his cooking style has changed dramatically. When his wife and childhood sweetheart, Treena, had a heart attack in 1986 followed by a stroke in 1987, the Kerrs reexamined their lives, gave up rich food, and simplified their daily schedules to minimize stress. Graham Kerr embraced a very different approach toward cooking, and healthy eating became his battle cry. Today, even with the clever patter that he dishes out at a gallop with every meal, his guests and fans are not likely to be distracted from one essential fact: he cares deeply about serving food that promotes health.

The Kerrs know that the biggest challenge for those who are trying to cut fat, pay attention to nutritional values, and eat the way they know they should is that meals can take on a sameness. Boredom dulls the edge of motivation. Fat grams carry flavor, and cutting the fat can result in a bland imitation of the foods most people grew up with. That’s where herbs and spices step in to fill the flavor gap.

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