Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
~ Harriet van Horne
There’s something magical about cooking. More than just the science of diverse ingredients blending together into taste-tempting concoctions. The act of cooking for yourself or someone else, someone cooking for you, the simple slicing and stirring and combining of things brings a certain level of peace and satisfaction. At least to me, anyway.
I learned to cook by sitting on my mother’s kitchen counter, as did my brothers and sister. From the time we were old enough to hold a spoon without flipping the contents half-way across the kitchen, my mother would plop us on the counter and give us a bowl of things to stir together. I’m sure, especially when we were younger, this was her best way to keep tabs on us, to make sure we weren’t destroying some other part of the house. Eventually, we may have actually been a bit of help. But for me, the benefit of spending time sitting on that counter was to learn the magic of cooking. Of making something good.
In the days before Food Network and the Cooking Channel, there were only a handful of outside chefs to aid the process. My mother wasn’t a real fan of French food, so Julia Child never graced our television. About the only early television chef I remember watching was the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith. Otherwise, the task of teaching us to cook fell to mothers and grandmothers, and for that, I am definitely most grateful. Admittedly, though, I do cook like a 1950s housewife preparing for a church potluck, but at least the food is good.
In recent years, as cooking shows have proliferated on television, I have become fascinated with the chefs behind the shows. How did they get into the business? Who taught them the ins and outs of the kitchen? Luckily, I’ve had the chance to meet some of them at cooking shows or book signings and hear some of their stories.
But what about you? What’s your cooking story?
Some Chefs I Have Met
[Note: This post is #3 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “C” post was: Chapel Cars.]