Learning to cook

homemade food

Cooking is a journey, learn to enjoy the process. Personally it’s not about the end product, it’s about the love, care and attention that enables you to become a better cook. The difference between an amateur and a professional is that a pro can recover from mistakes faster than an amateur. Somebody starting out will make a mistake and then dwell on it, whilst an professional chef are able to recover faster. Even the experts make miatakes, but they are better at adapting to it.

Another process in the journey in becoming a better cook is to be able to teach others how to cook. By giving away your methodology to another person and getting feedback in return, you begin to learn your limitations. It’s the school of life. You start the real journey not when you graduate from schol, college or university, but when you start doing, making and learning from those mistakes.

There are also a few ground rules in the recipes that I have included here. Firstly use unsalted butter. Use plain flour over self-raising. All recipes will be written in grams metric. I will not use volume (i.e. cups, tablespoons and teaspoons). This is because 1 cup of honey weighs 255 grams while 1 cup of sugar weighs 200 grams. Accuracy matters, especially in cooking.

If you are looking to improve a recipe, try baking it first without any adjustments before you try to improve on it. You can't improve something if you've not tried it first. Ask friends to recommend recipes that they have made themselves and enjoy. If it's a family recipe, ask them to write it down. Some of the best food is often passed down from generation to generation and through trial and error.

For savoury food, use a food thermometer to check if the inside is cooked throughly, also learn to taste after every time you adjust the recipe. Taste, taste, and taste again until you get it right. Add seasoning little by little until you get the right mix. The bigest mistake that amateur cooks (and some professionals!) make is not tasting their food before it goes out.

Over time you even have your own recipes that you can enjoy with friends. You become the person they turn to for advice. You cannot understand a recipe by reading, you will need to make to learn effectively. Yes, you will make mistakes, but that’s the process of learning. Being inquisitive also helps. There’s many questions to answer, and by experimentation you can see what works for you.