I’m trained in culinary and I love to cook but I do not particularly enjoy cooking for my family and friends. Actually, more than anything else it feels like a chore. The more I think about it, there are many reasons why I dislike cooking for my people.
First of all, my food isn’t that good. I am trained and I’ve pretty much worked in restaurants my whole life but I don’t think I am that great a cook. I have serious trouble boiling rice sometimes. It is pretty sad. I’ve tried it the way my mom makes it. I’ve tried it the way I learnt at school. I just haven’t been able to boil a perfect pot of rice by myself. I’ve gotten an okay pot of rice but I have no idea how to get that perfect rice that is fluffy, soft and dry. As a result, I am pretty hesitant to share my cooking. Some people who create things have this issue where the thing they create is so precious to them they are scared to share it with the rest of the world, because we are scared you call our baby garbage. Especially if I already know it is garbage. I don’t want to share my garbage baby with you.
Seeing as how I claim food is my life and there is nothing better, there is an expectation of good food. This adds a serious layer of pressure. I want to make good food that people love but one of the sad things about cooking is that success is fleeting. One good pot of stew does not guarantee greatness every time. It is not like a painting where you create it and hopefully it will last forever. Once you eat the cake, it is gone and all you can hope is that the next one is just as good. Consistency is a hallmark of a great chef. Unfortunately, my life is a constant battle with consistency. Which just builds the pressure. How can I ever live up to that perfect tart I made in culinary school? I can’t. Where I am right now is experimenting and trying new things. Cooking things I’ve never done before and investigating different techniques which means a lot of failure. I am not going to get better if I make the same recipes constantly and a few of those recipes just aren’t going to be good. Plus, in culinary school I was cooking constantly. Right now I am very out of practice.
Which brings me to my next point, when you work in food. Sometimes the last thing you want to is have to cook food. Cooking can be a great stress reliever but when food is your job it is a massive source of stress and sometimes anxiety. It is difficult to turn off your brain and just enjoy food for what it is. At that level it is always work. Dating a chef doesn’t mean coming home to amazing food every night. That’s their job, don’t force them to come home and work more. If you are a dentist, that does that mean I get to come home and have you brush my teeth?
I am surrounded by great cooks however, very little of what I know comes from them. For many cooks, what makes them good cooks is their connection to the people they love. They have an overwhelming desire to feed the people around them or the basis of what they know about the kitchen comes from learned behavior connected to their ancestry. Usually a combination of the two. I am a bit different, most of what I have learnt came from elsewhere or experimentation. That is a big part of what I want to change. I want to be more of an amalgamation of the amazing cooks around me, maybe even helping them to become better. For a long time I felt a block against the people around me and over the last year I’ve started to feel that block melt away. It makes me want to cook for them again. even with all the pressure. In reality, I’m surrounded by a bunch of fatties so they will probably eat anything I cook anyhow.
In conclusion, if you know me and try to use this to make me cook for you, all you are going to get is cup noodles. But you should definitely come over and hang out while we cook it and you should definitely do the dishes after.