Kyle Turriff makes grilled pork chops
Confident and free-wheeling in the kitchen, 23-year-old Kyle Turriff likes nothing better than spoiling friends and family with his eclectic culinary endeavors.
Graduated less than a year ago from Iowa State University in marketing and management, Kyle lives at home in St. Charles where he cooks in "a great fusion style" with a healthy slant, for his mother, sister and frequently his girlfriend.
"The more I see, the more I learn, the more I want to experiment," says Kyle, who credits his father with jump-starting his adventures in cooking.
"I mastered my craft from him," says Kyle. "I started to assist him around 10 or 12, and then I started cooking myself. He taught me about making a roux, how to build sauce."
Kyle went grocery shopping with his father who taught him to recognize different cuts of meat, where they come from and how to use them.
Kyle lays off the heavy fat, avoids butter in favor of olive oil and works in lots of fresh vegetables, often steamed. Mix-and-match stir-fries are a specialty, a chance to riff on combinations of protein, vegetables and sauces.
"If we invite people over to dinner, they ask if Kyle is cooking," says his mother, Pam. "If he is, they come, if it's me, they find something else to do."
An admissions adviser for online Colorado Technical University in Hoffman Estates, Kyle returns home early enough to prepare dinner several nights a week, and he steps up on weekends, too.
"I always have fresh vegetables, good olive oil, kosher salt and pepper," he says. "My absolute favorite seasoning is ground chipotle powder; it has a deep, rich, smoky flavor."
He adapts meals to everyone's tastes: if just his mother and he are eating together he'll pull out the beef and pork, like his Pork Chops with Apple Chutney and Roasted Potatoes, a great way to ease into cold-weather cooking.
Pam likes his Pan-Seared Tilapia with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Asparagus too, a fast meal with a top-notch nutrition profile.
If his sister will be home for dinner he piles on the vegetables; when he visits his father, he cranks up the heat with red pepper flakes and chili powder.
"I'm all over the place," says Kyle, who has played around with the notion of going to culinary school and opening a restaurant.
For now, he's sticking to home cooking where he has a highly appreciative audience.
"He's been great to have around," says Pam. "He can make a meal out of whatever he finds in the 'fridge."