How did you learn to cook? Why do you enjoy cooking? How do you find the time to cook? These are questions I’m asked all the time. I thought I’d share the answers to those questions and shed some more light on how I started cooking.
Julia Child, my favorite chef once said ” The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Julia and I see eye to eye when it comes to enjoying yourself in the kitchen. When I’m in the kitchen I’m not afraid to burn, overcook, or undercook anything. Each mistake is an opportunity to learn and refine my skills. I have learned so much from trial and error. You wouldn’t believe how many experiments I’ve conducted. Some were delicious and others made me cringe, but at the end of the day I had fun, and learned something new.
Also, I learned a lot about food from watching my mother cook. As a child my spot was on a wooden stool in the kitchen. I’d sit and watch my mom cook and bake for hours. One day I said to her” Mom let me season and cook the chicken.” She said “Travis I’m not sure you are ready for that sweetie. ” Nonetheless I insisted and after awhile she gave in.
When I was finished she signed the kitchen over to me without hesitation, and from that point on I took over cooking for the family. This happened at age 15, and it represents the best part of my childhood. Each day I looked forward to cooking the food I prepared the night before.
Starting to cook at a young age definitely gave me insight beyond compare into how to make anything palatable, and delicious. Kids should always be welcomed in the kitchen. It’s the best way to teach them another side of human responsibility.
In addition to watching my mom, I spent my summers glued to “The Food Network.” I didn’t like to go outside as a child. I preferred to be alone. Perhaps it because I’m an only child. Anyway, I spent my mornings, afternoons and evenings watching various chefs and at night I tried to replicate the dishes I saw earlier. Rachel Ray taught me to make fast and simple meals and Ina taught me to enjoy food, and expand my horizons. I can’t forget Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. They taught me about french cuisine and made me laugh. They have great personalities.
Cooking is my way to express myself and I always make time to cook because it’s my way of relaxing and escaping the stress of life. When I cook I’m in a world of my own. I don’t remember unpleasant things. I’m happy and I enjoy sharing my happiness with others. I mainly do that by inviting a few people over to eat with me. I don’t like an empty dinner table.