Chris Perez

Chris is creative director of Left Right Media branding and marketing agency in Austin. As a photographer and former engineer, Chris enjoys covering topics at the intersection of art and science.
How To Make Iced Coffee – French Press Method
Better iced coffee without any added fuss!
Sep 12, 2022
38 Recipes to Make with That Can of Coconut Milk in Your Pantry
Don't let that can in your pantry go to waste.
Sep 28, 2021
That Sweet, Ooey, Gooey Crunch: 8 Ways to Enjoy S’mores
Is there anything more fun than s’mores? For me it brings back nostalgic childhood memories, the warmth of friendship around an open campfire. But there’s no reason you can’t enjoy them now, too! Try one of these eight takes on the classic and remind yourself why melted chocolate is oh-so-great.No one is quite sure about the origin of the s’more (contraction for “some more”).
Jun 5, 2019
Plant a Healthier Future With Your Kids: Tips for Herb Gardening with Children
It’s important to teach our kids the value of fresh, real food and a home cooked meal. However, we often struggle with just the right way to introduce these concepts to our children’s developing palates and tastes. Why not try to encourage healthy eating, by engaging them in a summer activity such as planting an herb or two? Here are some thoughts and tips on this that I picked up at Austin’s recent Food Revolution Day Event.
May 24, 2019
7 of My Favorite Art Prints for the Kitchen
Home is where the art is. If you’re hoping to infuse your kitchen with just a touch more personality this year, try carving out some room for a framed print. Find your style (contemporary or classic) and function (inspiration or utility) with some of my favorite prints. Try placing the chalkboard print in front of the glass on a flat-colored frame to give off the look of a hand-written chalk. Or add some interest by hanging three similar prints in different color variations side by side.
Jan 24, 2014
6 Books to Make You a Better Cook in 2014
This time of year I could always use a good book recommendation — particularly as I’m trying to regain the cooking mojo that appears to still be out on holiday vacation. I usually find my inspiration around the open flame of a grill, but the winter season has me hunkered down on a couch by another type of fire (with mandatory hot chocolate). Here are some recent cookbooks I’m considering as I embark on being a more well-rounded cook. 1.
Jan 9, 2014
5 Christmas Songs and the Recipes They Inspire
I’m a person who visualizes everything I hear. This is very bad if I find myself in a conversation about surgery (!), but very good if we’re talking pork chops and apple sauce. Given the season, I get visions of holiday treats almost everywhere I go, most often while listening to the tunes of Nat King Cole or Dean Martin. Maybe it’s time to jazz up the kitchen as well with some holiday recipes inspired by those Christmas classics.
Dec 19, 2013
Rediscover the Patty Melt
With all of the work and time put into preparing holiday meals, family feasts and friendly gatherings, sometimes you just need a break — something simple to prepare, something that satisfies your most basic cravings, something that makes use of all that fresh baked bread that has found its way to your kitchen table. As far as American cravings go, there’s just something about a simple hamburger.
Dec 12, 2013
So You Don’t Like Turkey? Consider These Still-Festive, Still-Meaty Alternatives
My wife isn’t the biggest fan of turkey… which is a polite way of saying that she hates it! “She’s just never had a good turkey,” you might say. Au contraire mon ami, she’s had ’em done all the right ways from all the right people. Yet still, as far as she’s concerned, turkeys can pack its bags and jettison on a private plane co-piloted by Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Off to Never Neverland!
Nov 7, 2013
8 Great International Slow Cooker Recipes
If there’s one thing cooler climates encourage us to do, it’s to take things slow. It’s an attitude adjustment we all experience, regardless of our location. Fortunately, a slow cooker is a tool versatile enough to be an answer for us all. Here are eight recipes covering a wide range of regions and flavors. Why not simmer down with one of them this weekend? Your slow cooker can do more than pot roast.
Oct 24, 2013
The $500 Lotus Rice Recipe
I try out a lot of recipes in the kitchen — some good, some bad, some worth filing into a digital locker of some sort. Like wine, I rarely try the same thing twice: there simply are too many new tastes to explore. Sometimes, though, a recipe speaks to you on an emotional level. And sometimes, making it costs you $500. How did this recipe cost me $500, you ask? The cost of the ingredients totaled no more than about $10.
Oct 17, 2013
The Best Thing I Cooked Last Week: Thai Coconut Seafood Soup
It’s officially fall. Let in the cool breeze and bring on the warm soup. Last week this surprisingly simple and quick-to-prepare soup took the crown of “best thing I cooked” so I just had to share. If you’ve got 12 minutes, you’ve got time to make this for dinner tonight. I usually take so-called “30 minute recipes” with a grain of salt, as they rarely take 30 real minutes to execute from knife to spoon.
Sep 26, 2013
Tasting Vanilla? It Might Be Beaver Butt. (And the FDA Approves.)
A popular headline resurfaced last week, and it was hard to miss. “Are you eating beaver butt?” The surprising answer is maybe if you eat any processed or pre-packaged foods. The FDA-approved food additive castoreum is a common vanilla substitute billed as a ‘natural flavoring’ on ingredient labels. Turns out it’s made from beaver butt.
Sep 19, 2013
America’s Most Frequently Dyed Foods
Recently a friend and I stopped in to try out a new sushi bar setup inside our neighborhood Whole Foods. We started with a mandatory carafe of sake and a seaweed salad, a particular favorite of mine as of late. When the first round of orders came out, my friend commented how the seaweed salad wasn’t bright green, as we’re used to seeing. We then realized this was because the salad wasn’t dyed for visual appeal.
Sep 12, 2013
Lunchbox Favorites: Remembering the Treats That Thrilled Me As a Kid
Remember back when things were simple? When you’d wake up in the morning and happily put on clothes that were picked out for you, even if they were pale yellow pants with a drawstring? When, on your way out the door, you’d grab your tin Voltron lunch box and know what was inside it without even looking? (Mine was peanut butter with strawberry jelly sandwich, edges trimmed, and a granny smith apple.
Sep 5, 2013
Have You Had Coffee From a Siphon?
I enjoy a coffee, espresso, or latte every morning, and I typically get a pour-over when I go out for coffee at a popular local cafe here in Austin. But this particular day was different: I decided to order something from that gold-rimmed contraption in the photo above that looks like a prop from a Tim Burton movie. What is that? How does it work? And is it really worth all the hubbub?The so-called contraption is a siphon coffee filter.
Aug 15, 2013
What the Heck Is a Sesame?
This question, from part of a joke from late comedian Mitch Hedberg, got me really wondering. Where do sesame seeds come from, and what would they grow into if we ever gave them a chance? Turns out the mysterious ol’ sesame is more than a street and not just a way to open things.Sesame fruit are triangular-shaped pods (not too dissimilar in form to okra) that contain the famous seeds the plant is cultivated for, with India being the largest exporter.
Aug 13, 2013
Drinking a Dash of Vinegar: 10 Shrub Recipes for the Summer
We’re talking all things preservation this week, so while you’re readying a batch of pickled vegetables why not mix a little of that vinegar into your next drink or cocktail as well? A roundup of shrewd shrubs to wet your palate await.Drinking vinegar is back in vogue and it’s not just because its distinct zing can curl your mustache. Mixing a tinge of vinegar into your drink or cocktail can add some complexity and savory overtones that may just have you coming back for more.
Aug 8, 2013
10 Questions to Test Your Food IQ
Are you a trivia nerd? Foodie? Ever combined your affection with both in a food trivia contest? I recently did as part of a Slow Foods trivia bowl —  a foodie’s version of happy hour bar trivia — and thought I’d share the fun with a few select questions from the event. Test your food IQ after the break, hot shot.Answers are at the bottom of the post (no peeking!). 1. What vegetable, known as the “pie plant,” has poisonous leaves?2.
Aug 1, 2013
Paintings of Food: Inspiration from Wayne Thiebaud
A lot of us view food as art — especially the food bloggers amongst us. We appreciate the blackened outline of a meringue and the sheen of chocolate ganache dripping down the sides of a cake. Today though, I’m appreciating art that has food as its subject. Today, I’m looking through the works of Wayne Thiebaud.
Jul 30, 2013
Pizza Toppings & Heat: The Secrets to the Perfect Anti-Salad
Salad. Just saying that word is enough to make a child’s heart sink — especially if coupled with “is for dinner.” We associate the word with boring and bland. But salad, poor old salad, doesn’t have to be. It can be fun, it can be good, and it can be something you enjoy for dinner. You just have to know the secrets to making the perfect anti-salad.
Jul 16, 2013
The Best Thing I Cooked Last Week: Grilled Dutch Baby
The oven in our home is enormously inefficient. It takes so long to preheat because it has to preheat our whole kitchen first. This all makes for quite an unpleasant conundrum in the summer, but under the right influence it can also lead to some unexpected discoveries. Why not keep the house cool by keeping the oven off and cooking outside? Why not try cooking a Dutch Baby on the grill?
Jul 11, 2013
What’s Your Favorite Kind of Pie?
My 4th of July didn’t feel like the 4th of July. I had the cookout. I had the pool time. I had the fireworks. The one thing I didn’t have though, was pie! Suspecting that was the missing ingredient, I plan on making up for it in a big way. The “I’m making a pie, nobody will know about it, and therefore it’s all mine kind of way.” Devious, I know. When thinking about this grand plan, I started wondering what exactly my favorite type of pie is.
Jul 9, 2013
How To Cook a Crispy, Juicy Rotisserie Chicken on the Grill
It’s our nation’s 4th of July celebration tomorrow, and like most holidays, this one deserves a feast — a celebration through food (and maybe beer, too). If you have a rotisserie attachment for your grill hanging around, it’s time to dust it off (and if you don’t have one, now might be the time to finally buy it). Because today, my friends, I’m going to show you how to cook the best darn rotisserie chicken you’ve ever had. Time to quit messing around.
Jul 3, 2013
My Travel Souvenir: Photographs
I’ve never been big on buying souvenirs, yet I quite often envy those of others. We got this painting from our trip to Thailand. We got this sculpture from our trip to China. We got this handmade molcajete from Mexico. All these individuals must be privy to some secret, because I rarely am able to find things like this on my own adventures. Instead of having a home filled with artifacts that provide connection to my experience and travels, I have a hard drive filled with photographs.
Jun 27, 2013
What’s Your Worst Food Experience While On Vacation?
Have a conversation with someone after they return home from a trip and, if they are a foodie, you’ll likely hear them rave about all the great food experiences they had. The fresh fish! The tapas! The 5-course meal! The coffee and pastries! There’s an excitement and attachment to enjoying the unexpected. Sometimes though, things are unexpectedly bad. Do you have a bad food experience while on vacation?For me, it all starts with my love for the chocolate chip cookie.
Jun 20, 2013
Why Cooking on Vacation Can Make The Trip Last a Little Longer
Do you have a travel limit — the number of days you can be on vacation before you start feeling that slight tug to return back home? My personal limit is somewhere around six or seven days. That’s about the time I start to think about how much I’ve spent, worry about how much I’ve eaten out, and generally just miss the routine of life at home. There is however, a way to extend this limit. It all starts with taking time to cook a meal while on vacation.
Jun 18, 2013
What’s the Deal with Butter in Coffee?
While foraging for lunch last week, I stumbled into a quaint gluten-free, grain-free, worry-free restaurant, built from a repurposed storage container. Looking over the menu, and debating whether I should order the quinoa or arugula salad, I noticed a peculiar offering simply called ‘butter coffee.’ What is that all about? I just had to know.The practice of putting a pat of butter in your morning drink isn’t a completely new concept.
Jun 13, 2013
6 Fruit Facts I Learned While Visiting Driscoll’s Berry Farms
Traveling can always be filed under the category “learning experience.” For a moment’s time, you’re set outside your bubble and thrust into the unknown with unfamiliar cultures, traditions, and thoughts. Those elements are why so many people become enamored of travel — it’s fuel for an open mind. Though not as cultural as a trip abroad, perhaps, my most recent trip took me to the fields of Driscoll’s berry farms on the coast of northern California.
Jun 11, 2013
Why Chickpeas Are the Perfect Travel Snack: And 8 Recipes to Try!
All this week we’ve been talking about travel snacks here on The Kitchn. An ideal travel snack is portable, versatile, configurable, and heat-resistant. (Unfortunately that last factor rules out chocolate as a viable option.) You know what meets all those criteria in spades, though? The chickpea! Roast ’em, dry ’em, shake ’em all up. You’ve just found your new travel buddy.I’ve been pretty unimaginative in roasted chickpea creations.
Jun 6, 2013
The Best Thing I Cooked Last Week: No-Bake Veggie Enchiladas
Everyone has probably at some point cooked or eaten a veggie enchilada. Typically, black beans are subbed in for meat, and you cover everything with a tomato-based sauce and a layer of melted cheese. These veggie enchiladas, though — with a roasted carrot sofrito — are something entirely new and fresh. They’re the best thing I cooked I last week.There’s soffritto and sofrito.
May 30, 2013
Bite-Sized Inspiration: 10 Sweet and Savory Miniature Nibbles
After having my share of grilled meats and veggies over the weekend, I’m decidedly in the mood for something more compact. Just want a bite or two of something tasty? Here are 10 bite-sized nuggets of inspiration! From savory to sweet, you can give your meals a sizeable spin to freshen things up. Try some of these recipes below for a weekday meal or dinner party treats. Don’t let their size fool you into having more than you can account for.
May 28, 2013
Grilling This Memorial Day? Why You Should Throw On Some Cauliflower.
Memorial Day is this weekend! Break out the grill and kick-off the unofficial beginning of the grilling season with some cauliflower. It just may be the best cauliflower you’ve ever had.The Austin Food & Wine Festival is a great place to learn new and surprising techniques from some of the world’s best chefs. I had so much fun at last year’s grilling demo with Chef Tim Love that I just had to see what he would be cooking up this year.
May 23, 2013
A Work Week Menu Plan That You Can Do
Planning meals for an entire week is a tedious task. It’s difficult to plan one that gives you variety yet simplicity in your weekly labors of love. Cooking for a week is even harder — it’s tough to stay motivated and energetic through all the outside stresses we encounter in the work week. On that note, I present a full menu for a household of two that gets you through the week. This is a work week menu plan you can do!
May 21, 2013
Southern Recipe: Cholula Chicken-Fried Steak with Gravy
Don't forget to serve it all with gravy.
May 2, 2013
Rally Your Friends: Throw an Outdoor Paella Party this Summer!
I absolutely love Spain. The culture, the people, the enthusiasm for life and for food. Where else in the world can you go, at half past midnight, and see three generations of people celebrating no particular occasion outside of a cafe? Where else in the world can you find a 24″ pan of paella — piping hot, and filled to the brim with fresh seafood?  Though the former may be hard to replicate, the latter is something worth throwing a party for.
Apr 23, 2013