Chow Town

Cooking is art for McKenzie Adkins

There’s a certain amount of artistry that goes into cookery.

Sure, there are people who just want to get food to the table, but even those cooks aren’t immune to the delights of deliciousness.

McKenzie Adkins of Kansas City is a throw-back to the 14th Century — like a real, live Renaissance man. His whole life seems guided by an artful aesthetic and intuition — and, of course, how he cooks is how he lives.

A small prerequisite to being featured in the Come Into My Kitchen column is the ability to share a recipe. This was hard for Adkins, because he cooks based on what is fresh, what’s on hand and what sounds good.

Even when he shared his recipe for an eggplant tart, he had a hard time following his own instructions when preparing the dish for the photo shoot.

Adkins has his fingers in many pots. One of his jobs is tending a public garden.

There, he is reminded of the principles of Daoism, which focuses on the interdependence of all things.

And, he says, we are to be like the flowers, herbs, vegetables, (and weeds) that spring forth from the ground and not make life so complicated.

A foodie’s philosophy …

Read about Adkins

here in the Kansas City Star’s Food section

for some food for thought — and an easy tart recipe to boot.

Mary G. Pepitone is a freelance writer who lives in Leawood. She also writes the nationally syndicated home column and the much beloved Star column weekly Come Into My Kitchen featuring home cooks and their recipes.