culture, share how you were raised, with food and with taste. Taste is tied to memory and tied to experience.” To spice up our collective human condition, Skladany recommends opening our hearts, stomachs and ears. “The biggest problem in our country right now is the lack of listening. When you can listen, you become empathetic to someone’s situation. What’s a better place to listen than at the dinner table?” Answering his own rhetorical realness as only he can, Skladany continues, “I


love to seek out new places, new cultures, and I really will try anything once. But when I come home, I am just craving a basic ‘chicken finger and fries’ situation. These types of food that we all love are a respite from the chaos and craziness of everyday life.” Bringing it all to a boil, Skladany reaches a crescendo. “The biggest takeaway for Basic Bitchen, I actually define myself as an extremely complex person, and this book, for me, really is a departure from the complexities of my everyday life.” Waxing phabulously philosophic, Skladany emotes, “Allow yourself to fail, but

ultimately, if something tastes good at the end, that’s all that really matters!” Humor is the garnish of every great meal, and he adds a healthy dose of haha

to every gastro-experience. “We don’t have to take ourselves so seriously in the kitchen. It should just be a comfort. It can be fun, and you can make fun of yourself along the way.” Luscious levity finds its way into every sassy chapter of Basic Bitchen. “I

wanted to speak to people on a more conversational level and bring humor and self-deprecation to it, which is totally my brand, ever since I was stapling those loose-leaf papers together as a kid.” Skladany is making his great-grandma (and Beyoncé) proud. Take a page from Basic Bitchen and be tasteful, be wary of errant lightning bolts, and be his guest at the most inclusive table imaginable. Wokeness is served.

Basic Bitchen is available now. August 2020 | @theragemonthly 23

owever, there is nothing basic about Skladany’s worldview. “I think food is the one common denominator. The best way to get to know somebody who may be different than you, or has a different life experience, is to sit down and break bread with them. Share your

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