Food For Thought


Archive for December, 2008

Who Needs Cookery Classes?

So now its time for a follow on from the last post “Food for Thought”, which, not surprisingly was all about that sweet chocolate confectionery that we all love and would eat more of if it wasn’t for the fact that it would make elephants of us all!

This time around, I want to mention what I think about the necessity of learning to cook in what amounts to a class full of hopefuls all trying to be the next Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson. In a light hearted swipe at that scenario in what I have entitled, “Who Needs Cookery Classes?” I’m going to poke a bit of fun at the group culinary sessions that are probably more fun than anything else.

After all, if you want to learn how to cook food the way your mother used to make it, then you should have asked your mother to show you! I didn’t but that didn’t stop me teaching myself how to cook stuff by watching other people and learning what they did. When they did something right, I would remember it and then try it our for myself at home. When they got it wrong, I’d try and find out from other people how to do it right.

It took a lot of time, but I learned a lot of things and can now hold my own quite comfortably in my own kitchen.

OK, I’m not a chef, nor would I ever want to be one. To have had to spend years messing with kitchen cookware in those cookery classes at a school or university to earn that special piece of paper would never have fit with my personality. Then to go on to cut my teeth in a flash restaurant under the guidance of a culinary genius who might also be a bear with a sore head! Man, that is way too much pressure day in and day out! I take my hat off to those men and women who create great things in their kitchens for the consumption of often ungrateful customers. The stress would probably kill me off before too long.

No, for me, just cooking for myself and my partner and occasionally for friends as well is plenty for me. So when there isn’t the kind of pressure you get in a restaurant kitchen, you don’t need to be so perfect or so showy. Food should always taste good, look presentable, be hygienically prepared and served and appreciated. Then you as cook have done your guests a great service and if you are the guest, by showing your appreciation of the cooks efforts, you have filled your half of the cook/diner partnership!

So, unless you feel you need to spend time larking about in a cookery class, spend your time learning from friends, relatives and yes, even mother! You’ll be glad you did!