The Advantage Of Being An Untrained Chef, According To Ree Drummond

Not everyone is a Michelin-starred chef in the making, longing to whip up complicated fare like a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. Many don't have access to restaurant-grade ingredients, nor do they want to spend hours preparing a dish that their family will gobble up before they have time to serve themselves. In fact, for many novice or reluctant home cooks, tackling a new recipe can be quite daunting.

Sure, fans of "Chopped" think it's fun to watch a highly skilled master chef whip up an entrée using a specialty find like reindeer pâté, but this is likely not something an inexperienced cook wants to do in their own home. Instead, they want an easy-to-follow recipe that's doable with supermarket ingredients and their average-Joe culinary skills. Some of the best cookbooks of all time provide step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and simple explanations for new terms and concepts. After all, the last thing a kitchen newcomer wants to do is decipher what a soupçon, a scintilla, or even "season to taste" means. And a fledgling foodie definitely doesn't want to have to go hunting for edible gold or lobster butter.

What the beginner needs is someone to meet them at their own level of ability and teach them new tricks with a down-home approach. They need their own Ree Drummond, or The Pioneer Woman.

Ree Drummond says her lack of training makes her more accessible to viewers

When someone goes by the moniker, "The Pioneer Woman," they project a certain image. When you think of a pioneer, you think of the salt of the earth: someone who cooked with the simple ingredients they had on hand, didn't rely on fancy gadgets or techniques, and passed on their knowledge to future generations. Someone you'd love to teach you how to cook. 

While there may be a lot you don't know about the Pioneer Woman, one thing that is obvious is that she is extremely down to earth. You may be surprised to learn, however, that the easygoing, country-living Drummond is not a trained chef, which she views as an advantage. In a 2019 interview with CBS, she explained that her lack of formal culinary training makes her more accessible to home cooks. She went on to say, "I'm not going to show [viewers] anything that is beyond their skill. And also, I use a lot of ingredients that are pretty easy to get." It is evidently this approach that has made Drummond a highly successful television host, cookbook author, and entrepreneur. 

Drummond isn't alone in her cooking philosophy. Other celebrity chefs who aren't technically chefs (because they didn't go to culinary school and/or head kitchen staffs) include Food Network icons like Ina Garten and Rachael Ray, known for their approachable and reliable recipes. Thanks to these stars' casual approach in the kitchen, novice home cooks can create tasty dishes that the whole family will enjoy — no precision pufferfish preparation required.