The idea of cooking a meal tends to fall into one of four categories, depending on the person being asked about it.
- “Cooking? I love it! I cook for fun, don’t even eat it and don’t care about the waste. I just love the feeling of creating something from nothing.”
- “Cooking? No. Not happening. I will burn it, it will taste foul, and I know what I like – and that’s takeout and restaurant food.”
- “Cooking? Well sure I can give it a go. I have some staple recipes that I know how to do reasonably well, but I’ve haven’t had time to try anything more adventurous than that.”
- “Cooking? I do it because I have to. I hate it, but I know my kids and I should eat fresh food. I despise every second of it, though.”
Some of these reactions are displayed by people who there’s not much help for. 1 and 2 are set in their ways. Perhaps 4 could be persuaded to find some joy in their own creations, but it’s unlikely.
The real pearl in the oyster here is the third option. A chef who doesn’t know they are one – yet. Someone who cooks for function, so they don’t have the opportunity to experiment.
Sound familiar? An enormous number of us fall into this category. We love food, but we don’t have the time to go beyond a few tried-and-tested recipes we know we can rely on. That hesitancy goes beyond the cooking itself; it influences what we choose to cook. We tend to leave aside different ingredients, afraid of cooking them and making a mistake. They become our food White Whales (in the Moby Dick sense… not the eating sense, of course!) [Read more…]