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“Cooking is too hard!” “Cooking is too time-consuming!” Are these keeping you from cooking a homemade meal every night? Fortunately, with a little insight, you can change your perceptions and be the cook you’ve always wanted to be.

During Brainwave: Perception, we’re encouraging you to question everything you think you know and consider the limits of your perception. For example, the way you taste food is a form of perception itself: it’s a product of your sense organs, memories, and even genetic predispositions. While altering your DNA isn’t a realistic way to adjust your perceptions, there are other ways to change your relationship to food and cooking.

To help identify the biggest cooking misperceptions, we turned to the pros! Three of the world’s top chefs will join us on stage at the Rubin this year. Hear what they have to say –and you might have a new perspective the next time you break out your apron and cutting board.

Restaurant mogul Lidia Bastianich on simple cooking:

The biggest misconception about cooking is that cooking needs to be complex and that it is a difficult art to master. Quite the opposite! Some of the best cooking, no matter what culture, is simple, straightforward cooking. What is paramount is that you cook with the best seasonal, local ingredients you can find.

According to Lidia, we all have the capacity to become great cooks! It all comes down to the ingredients.

Master Chef champion Christine Ha on the art of cooking:

A big misconception about cooking is that there’s one right way to do something. Cooking is often an art form, and like art, food can be subjective. One person may like their bread toasted while another doesn’t. This is not to say one way is better than the other. It’s just different. People should not be afraid to like or dislike something, so long as they’ve given it a fair chance and can articulate WHY it is so.

There’s more than one way to fry a fish—literally! Christine Ha reminds us not to be worried about what others are doing and to carve our own path.

Renowned chef Dan Barber on what really matters in the kitchen:

I think there’s a misunderstanding about good cooking that’s apparent when we put center cuts of meat on a pedestal. There’s nothing that interesting about roasting a pork chop. The best cooks celebrate diversity—vegetables, legumes, grains, and smatterings of all cuts of meat—and they seek out ingredients that are specific to a place and time. When you commit to those kinds of constraints, it’s a much more exciting and delicious way to cook.

Dan Barber tells us that putting a plate together should be a timely, mindful exercise. No one element is more important than the others!

Are you feeling inspired? Continue challenging your perceptions with our star chefs at an upcoming Brainwave program. The first chef, Christine Ha, takes the stage on Friday, February 3.