Mindy was the big winner on the “Offal Surprise” episode of the Food Network series Chopped that premiered October 21, 2014.
What We Believe
We are devoted fans of home cooking that swings and this online magazine is dedicated to sharing our work and ideas with other home cooks. We like solving problems, figuring things out, and explaining what we learn to others. We are here to help.
Everyday home cooking is the key to a good life. Being able to cook up a hearty supper insures good nutrition and helps develop personal growth, confidence and self-reliance. Home cooking skills enable the care and nurturing of others, and create a foundation for strong families and communities.
Successful home cooking doesn’t require a culinary degree, a fancy kitchen, a high-priced market, or an overly serious attitude. It does require some fundamental skills and a general understanding of how ingredients become meals, a functional cooking space with basic equipment, and access to good, fresh ingredients.
No matter how hectic life’s schedule, the ability to eat well and to feed others successfully can be learned by everyone. Cooking is an especially rewarding sport for imperfectionists and improvisors (like us). So, get in that kitchen, roll up your sleeves, and turn a deaf ear to your fears. Things won’t always turn out like you plan, or look like the picture, but that’s how we learn. That’s home cooking.
Mindy Merrell and R.B. Quinn are happily married Nashville-based food writers, authors and teachers who share their ideas on RBandMindy.com. Together they wrote Cheater BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, in Any Weather (Clarkson Potter, 2008), a deconstructionist’s view of barbecue that gets the most out of a crock pot and a bottle of liquid smoke.
Mindy is a Chopped champion, winning the 251st episode of the Food Network’s “Offal Surprise” episode. She is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech and one of the last generations of land grant university home ec majors. For more than 25 years Mindy has been knee-deep in test kitchens, food marketing, recipe development, communications, and journalism. She has co-authored two cookbooks with Jack Daniel’s great grandniece, Lynne Tolley, for Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey. She worked with the test kitchen staff of Tennessee’s iconic baking company, Martha White Flour, and can tell you pretty much anything you’ll ever want to know about southern biscuits and cornbread. Mindy wrote the former weekly Drive-Thru Review column in the Tennessean dissecting fast food menu trends for many years. Her parents are natives of Carlsbad, New Mex., and Merrell family has lived in all over the U.S. and Italy so, flat enchiladas, Cortez salsa, and spaghetti carbonara are dinnertime regulars.
R.B. was awarded the Eagle Scout in 1974 at the tender age of 13. He’s been cooking outdoors over some kind of fire ever since and he takes wood very seriously. His smoked chicken is a religious experience and don’t get him started about Texas brisket and beef ribs. For years R.B. chronicled his cooking adventures on the patio in his weekly column The Fire Zone in the Tennessean. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and Vanderbilt University School of Law, and has been an attorney, a non-profit legal director, and a university professor.
R.B.’s indoor cooking skills, including the ability to whip up a few side dishes to serve with his grilled and barbecued platters, continues to improve. His food roots and influences span from his native South County, Rhode Island, to Rochester, NY, to coastal Florida, to Nashville, TN, and over to the Apache reservations of Arizona. He’s the happiest when slurping down New England oysters that Mindy shucks for him because he’s the guitar player for Nashville’s blues-rock-funk band, Shagbark, who can’t take the risk of a shucking accident.
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