Greensboro native’s new book aims to make life easier in the kitchen – but it’s not a cookbook | To eat
Greensboro native Kendra Adachi is back with her second book, a food-focused sequel to “The Lazy Genius Way,” a New York Times bestseller that sold 100,000 copies.
“The Lazy Genius Kitchen” (Waterbrook, $26) is off to a strong start – selling nearly 15,000 copies in its first week on sale this spring.
Adachi, 40, is the founder of The Lazy Genius Collective website (thelazygeniuscollective.com), which has nearly one million annual visitors. She also does The Lazy Genius Podcast, which has surpassed 15 million downloads. She has 187,000 followers on Instagram.
On May 17, Adachi entertained a crowd of about 70 people at Bookmarks in downtown Winston-Salem, talking about the Lazy Genius Method and its application to life in the kitchen.
The Lazy Genius approach is all about making life easier, said Adachi, a self-proclaimed efficiency obsesser.
“My brain is wired for efficiency – how can we avoid unnecessary steps,” Adachi said in a phone interview this month.
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Before founding The Lazy Genius Collective, Adachi had written extensively for the internet. “In conversations on the internet and in real life, I started noticing how tired all the women in my life were. I saw that they were tired of things they didn’t need. be tired, because they thought everything mattered,” Adachi said.
Before long, Adachi had a new mission: “I want to help people care about the things that matter to them and let go of the things that don’t matter.”
She launched her website in 2015 and the podcast in 2016. In “The Lazy Genius Way,” published in August 2020, she laid out her 13 principles to help people sort through everything.
“The Lazy Genius Kitchen” essentially applies these same principles to food, cooking, and eating.
Adachi had previously taught cooking classes and even started his own baking business. But “The Lazy Genius Kitchen” is definitely not a cookbook. He doesn’t have a single recipe (although his website does). Instead, it’s about anything but recipes. It’s about knowing how to shop, prep, cook and clean in a way that fits everyone’s personality and lifestyle.
It’s a self-help book for how to use your kitchen. “It’s like a guide to understanding the room, everything that’s going on in it,” she said.
Adachi said she wrote “The Lazy Genius Kitchen” because about 30% of what she does on her website and podcast involves food, about 40% involves time management, and 30% involves other subjects. “But even a lot of time management was about cooking,” she said.
“A lazy genius is a genius for the things that matter and a lazy for the things that don’t matter,” Adachi said.
For example, when it comes to cooking preparation, someone stuck in the genius lane is constantly trying to keep the freezer and fridge fully stocked at all times for all eventualities, leading to long days of kitchen to prepare frozen meals and plans for leftovers.
On the other hand, the prep cook stuck in the lazy way never does any prep at all.
Both people feel overwhelmed – one for being overworked, the other for always being late and not ready.
Part 1 of “The Lazy Genius Kitchen” outlines five steps to finding the right balance for you. These steps are prioritize, essentialize, organize, personalize and systematize.
The Lazy Genius method then is to prioritize or name what matters, get rid of what doesn’t, organize what you need, personalize it for you, and systematize or create a flow or rhythm.
Part 2 applies these five steps to kitchen space, meals, planning, shopping and storage, preparation, and actual meal times.
In Part 2, you might find yourself rearranging your cabinets to allow easier access to the most frequently used items. You might find yourself no longer buying the kale you think you need to eat to be healthy, but always end up throwing it away when it goes bad. You might find that making ahead or having a ready-made breakfast dish makes sense for busy weekday mornings.
Part 3, titled “Use What You’ve Got,” includes the most practical tips, including cooking techniques, ingredients that “pack a punch of flavor,” and equipment and utensils.
So here Adachi explains how to make soup, what kind of pot to use for braising, and some specific tasks for kids to do.
Adachi’s final tip (one of his 13 Lazy Genius Principles): Start small. Effective change, or change designed to increase efficiency, is best done one step at a time, in a logical order.
The end goal, she said, is for everyone to enjoy their kitchen, using it in whatever way suits them. For one person, it might just be making coffee and heating up take-out food. For someone else, it might mean making bread, soups and more from scratch day after day.
“Ideally, we all want to love our kitchen, but we need someone to tell us we can use it the way we should use it,” she said.
“What I want people to experience is permission and practical tools to create a space that we can enjoy.”