Self-proclaimed “serial home cook” and VP of Global Community Engagement for @thefeedfeed, Kevin Masse is passionate about food. He shares with us some of his background, a favorite recipe, and unknown passions for this week’s edition of “At Home.”
Tell us about your culinary background? What inputs developed your perspective and love of food?
I started cooking at a very young age. The first time I cooked dinner for my family, I was 12 years old—I can remember that meal like it was yesterday. I made this recipe for Imperial Chicken, a recipe that uses breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs, and plenty of butter. It was one of those recipes that comes from a community sourced cookbook—the origins are murky, but the taste is delicious. Through this first meal, I learned that food brings joy to those around you. As an Italian American on one side and Irish-American on the other, I come from a big family that loves to cook. Food has always been central to our lives, from our dinners around the table to the large gatherings that happen at holidays. My maternal grandmother taught me to love food the most, and I keep her spirit alive by talking about what to make for dinner while eating breakfast, because the next meal is never too far away.
For you, what is the perfect day?
I work from home, and while my job as VP of Global Community Engagement @thefeedfeed keeps me at my desk most of the day, I love being able to take breaks and spend time in the kitchen. For me, the perfect day starts over coffee, usually in the backyard with our dogs, Huxley and Orwell, in the warmer months. I am an early riser, so the day typically starts around 6AM. I spend time having my coffee, enjoying some time with the dogs, and then dive into work. The perfect day involves focused work early in the morning (usually from 8-11am), then some creative time in the kitchen, followed by conference calls in the afternoon. As with most work in the startup world, my days rarely end at 6PM, but I always make sure to take a few hours off to get out for a run and enjoy dinner with my husband.
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind (be it concrete, in the memories of others, philosophical, etc.)
I hope to leave this planet a little better than I found it and I think that through small, daily decisions, I am able to work towards creating a life that leaves less impact and betters the people around me. By choosing to make better choices in how we live, we can all make a big impact together. With today’s ever changing conditions, each and every small change helps.
Why food / hospitality / cooking?
What I love about food and cooking in particular is that it’s a way to show your love for the people around you. Food is the great binder of life that brings together communities and allows us to celebrate together, mourn together, and heal together. It is a way of carrying on tradition and creating new traditions. Hospitality is more than just a word, it’s a way of life that is all about creating special moments for those you love most.
Do you have any other lesser-known passions you can share with us?
I am an avid runner, which means if I’m not working or cooking, I’m usually out getting in my weekly miles. I’ve been actively running for more than 15 years, and am currently training for my 10th marathon. My husband and I met through running and usually run together—we even got engaged on the course of the New York City Marathon (First Avenue and 118th Street)!
He wasn’t running the race, but was waiting for me to run alongside me for the last 10 miles. When he came out onto First Avenue, I stopped and went down on one knee. I asked the question, and he said “yes.” Everyone around us started clapping and we kept running. It was my fastest NYC Marathon at 3:10.
With the busy days that I lead, I often go for a super simple breakfast, one that my grandmother used to make for me when I was a kid. I am, afterall, the Breakfast Eggs Editor @thefeedfeed.
Poached Eggs on Buttered English Muffins
Prep Time: 5 Mins
Cook Time: 5 Mins
Total Time: 10 Mins
One English Muffin (I prefer Thomas Brand)
2 Large Eggs, cracked into small cups (espresso mugs work great for this)
1 tablespoon salted butter
Over medium heat, bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. With a slotted spoon, swirl the water, gently. Carefully and slowly, slip the eggs into the water and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until the whites are set. Meanwhile, toast the English Muffins and liberally butter them. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place atop the English Muffin halves. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
As I’ve grown older (and maybe wiser?), I have really started to focus on living with less, but investing in quality. High quality products will not only last longer, but are often more thoughtfully designed. Ratio hits all the marks in my book—not only does it create exceptional coffee, but each and every detail has been thought through with an end result that is as equally beautiful is it is functional. The coffee that it makes is nuanced, crisp, and deep. It elevates the morning experience, while taking the work out of traditional pour over methods, meaning, you can cook your eggs (see recipe above) while your coffee is brewing.