Carla Lalli Music is turning stressed out meal preppers into a cool, confident home chefs


Carla Lalli Music, the food director of Bon Appetit and host of the YouTube DIY kitchen sensation “Carla Makes…” wants you to forget everything you know about cooking—that is, if you know anything at all—and start anew. On “Salon Talks” she introduces her new cookbook “Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook,”, in which she calls for just 15 essential pantry items to get you started.

According to Music, you need fewer than 10 pots and pans, little over a dozen herbs and spices (one of which is the dreaded MSG), and a handful of techniques and you’re good to go.

SalonTV’s Manny Howard asked Music about the liberal use of MSG in the cookbook, that’s right, monosodium glutamate, the bogey man of every Gen-Xers childhood kitchen. "Yeah, it's great on cucumber salads. It's great on fried rice. It adds texture. It also adds this last little layer of flavor. You can make it optional, but I wouldn't,” Music said.

It took Music awhile to come around on MSG. “I had this blanket like no MSG thing. And then, you do a little more research and realize that MSG is a synthetic additive, but that replicates a naturally occurring thing in your tastebuds, which is to activate your glutamate receptor,” she said.

Check out the episode above and watch while Music lays out exactly how to set up a kitchen you’ll be excited to create in, why she loves online grocery shopping, and what it’s like cooking alongside celebrities for her video series. For more food-centric episodes, visit our “Salon Talks” Food playlist.


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