If you want to know my feelings on cooking, I can sum them up quite simply as “anyone can cook.” I borrow this phrase from Disney Pixar’s 2007 film “Ratatouille” in which a loveable French chef publishes a cookbook entitled “Anyone Can Cook” to attempt to encourage others to get into the kitchen.
I honestly believe that anyone with some basic training, a few necessary tools and some practice can produce amazing meals. Now don’t get me wrong, very few people will ever become world-renowned chefs. The amount of work required to rise through the ranks of the culinary world in the best kitchens takes years of dedication. But that doesn’t mean that every great meal you will ever eat needs to come from a restaurant – or cooked by someone else for that matter.
While I love the Food Network, Cooking Channel and the bustling online world of food-centric websites, one of the things I think that is often overlooked is that you won’t get every recipe and technique right on the first try. Even if you follow recipes step by step, some techniques take a failed attempt or two to perfect. Even after years, I’m still trying to get the family biscuit recipe to come out perfectly every time. You’ll see the photo of one of my first unsupervised attempts at the recipe from several years ago at the left. I think it is important to document your failures in the kitchen – it makes celebrating the eventual success all the sweeter.
At other times, you’ll make silly mistakes that you only realize after the fact. If you’re like me you might accidentally add cinnamon to a tomato sauce rather than the cayenne pepper you had thought you were adding. It is only when you taste the finished product that you realize the mistake. The operative lesson for me in that instance was to taste and smell as I go!
As we journey along this culinary voyage, you’ll learn a bit more about my food philosophies. I’ll discuss some of the dishes, people and places that merit celebrating. I’ll do my best to blend easy-to-make dishes with some more adventurous fare so no matter your skill level in the kitchen you’ll find something useful in this forum. Throughout it all though you’ll find that I truly believe that anyone can, indeed, cook. Moreover, I hope this forum inspires you to take a few chances in the kitchen and know that if you make a misstep along the way, you’ll find yourself among friends.
So I’m curious, what dishes have you had to work at to perfect? What mistakes have you made in the kitchen? What techniques have you practiced several times in order to master? If there’s something you’re still having difficulty with, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to offer some helpful tips.