Breakaway Cook

Become a breakaway cook


What is Breakaway?

Butternut Pizzeta

I’ve been defining breakaway cooking for more than 10 years as a style of “weeknight” home cooking that uses a lot of global ingredients and good produce in freewheeling and untraditional ways. The food tends be to unfussy, healthful, relatively quick, nutritious, and packed with flavor. It leans heavily on the great culinary ingredients and techniques of Japan, India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia without “sticking” to any of those traditions. We’re interested in making food that makes us deliriously happy, and if we have to break a few traditions and rules to do that, so be it — we’re just not worried being “authentic” (whatever that means — it’s an endless source of argument for chefs and cooks in every country on earth). All we want is breakfast, dinner, and lunch on the table, and we want it to be good. Read More

Breakaway Videos

I've put together a series of short videos to illustrate breakaway techniques - click below to watch.
make-matchaHow To Make Matcha, Breakaway Style
role of sweetness thubnail3The Role of Sweetness in the Breakaway Kitchen
fat is flavor thumbnailFat is Flavor (Within Reason) + How To Make Ghee
video-IMG-picklesA Paean to Pickles
video-IMG-herbsFresh Herbs — The More, The Merrier
video-IMG-knivesKeeping Your Knives Ridiculously Sharp
video-IMG-castironCooking With Cast Iron
creative-use-saltCreative Use of Salts
video-IMG-citrusMastering Tang — Using Citrus Effectively
video-IMG-citrusHow to Make "Japanese" Bacon

Breakaway Cooking Workshops

One-on-One Intensive

Eric offers a full day of personalized cooking instruction at breakaway central, his kitchen in Marin County, CA. Learn first-hand how breakaway cooking can change the way you eat, and feel, forever. In just one day!

We’ll cook three incredible multicourse meals together, along with a pantryful of breakaway flavor blasts that you’ll take home, including garlic confit, ginger syrup, pickled fennel, a selection of finishing salts, and pickled ginger. You’ll learn Eric’s method of keeping knives razor-sharp, how to keep your pantry stocked with global flavor blasts (miso, matcha, pomegranate molasses, lemongrass, etc.), the magic of cast iron, setting a great table, the role of wine in breakaway cooking, and many other subjects.

This all-day class includes:

  • all instruction and materials/ingredients
  • breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • bag of attractively packaged flavor blasts to take home
  • personalized signed copy of The Breakaway Cook
  • digital key for the online Vook edition of The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen
  • digital key for Eric’s upcoming book, The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook

Small Group Workshops

Eric is now teaching his style of breakaway cooking in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the workshops Eric stresses his freewheeling approach to good food: the intelligent use of traditional Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian ingredients, in combination with the fantastic bounty of organic produce available to us lucky SF Bay area residents. Breakaway cooking is a unique, delicious, and coherent approach to the dizzying array of food choices available to us.

You’ll learn how to use classic Japanese (and other) ingredients in new, delightful ways. Unique and delicious uses of edamame, tofu, ginger, shiso, miso, soy, umeboshi, udon, among other classic Japanese ingredients, artfully combined with hyperfresh seafood, organic meats and produce, citrus, vinegars, fresh herbs, even chiles.

We’ll also cover clever uses of flavored salts, homemade pickled ginger, the role of fresh herbs and citrus, and using powerhouse ingredients like miso, pomegranate molasses, tamarind, green tea, plum sauce, umeboshi, yuzu, and many other “global flavor blasts.” We typically make about 7 or 8 dishes, often more, which are served in an order that reflects the wines that will accompany them, if wines are desired. Wine pairing is available for a $25 surcharge.

Classes are held in the comfort of your own kitchen; Eric believes that comfort and relaxation are integral to the classes. Your fellow classmates are only people that you know: the host invites his or her friends only, with a minimum of six people, and a maximum of eight. Classes typically last four to five hours, but can be shortened if time constraints exist for the host. Printouts of the recipes for the dishes made in the class will be provided to take home, along with some homemade breakaway salts. Signed and personalized copies of Eric’s books are also available at a discount.

Dinner workshops are $140 per person, and include everything we’ll need for a delicious multi-course meal. The mood is light and fun, yet educational; you are guaranteed to walk away with an entirely new way of thinking about cooking meals at home. We’ll base some of the dishes on Eric’s books, and others will be created on the spot, according to the choices best-suited to the season.