In case you missed it, cooking is now cool. Mainstream, Beiber-fever, cool. It’s also now an iconic profession, a skill, and most importantly, something you should be doing, and know how to do.
Yes, with hit shows like Top Chef, Iron Chef America, and all things Food Network or Cooking Channel, it seems clear, cooking is the real deal. Heck, there’s even a show called Throwdown with Bobby Flay. So yea, cooking is here to stay.
Historically speaking, this is a skill we humans have cultivated for thousands of years, so it’s important for all those survival reasons. But the growing understanding is that somehow those who continue to turn a blind eye and fain ignorance in the kitchen seem to be missing something really f***in important and rudimentary. Tragically late to the party, they’re missing something basic. Something elemental. Something necessary. Something you’d think should be taught in school and revered in society. But the good news is that more and more of us are learning to cook, and perhaps more visibly, appreciate good cooking and good food.
It’s now quite common to hear someone you’d never suspect, say, “Did you try that restaurant around the corner? The food…amazing!” Or, “that bar over there has got great an incredible braised pork dish”. Even, “go here for the best moules frites“, from the guy with a trucker hat and a t-shirt that reads, “Freedom Ain’t Free”.
I happen to believe everyone should know a few basics in the kitchen. Cutting an onion seems as good a starting point as any. From there, I would assume a few basics like grilled vegetables – cooked to neither drab mush nor left raw and uncleaned – would be a fine next step for anyone learning the basics. Continuing on, learning to cook a nice protein and make it taste good (that is to say, usually just don’t f**k it up) is the next level and a place I think most household cooks reside.
The truth is for those of us who are not professional chefs (I’m definitely not) cooking in the kitchen is a process with a steep learning curve but tremendous upside. You’ll surely eat healthier, look better, feel better, and save money if you shun the fast-food-nation grub and start to cook and eat real food.
But if all that hippy, earthy, Whole Foods talk doesn’t convince you, I suppose there’s no easier way but to sum up a worldy truth that Anthony Bourdain gets at when he claims: after a good shag, one should be able to perform the task of whipping up a nice omelet. Tell me you don’t agree.
But hey, don’t take this call to arms, errr knifes, from me.
Take it from an older, wiser, more snarktastic, and more credible source. Here’s a link to the No Reservation’s episode on basic cooking techniques, everyone should know. Required viewing for all those learning to cook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJv3owJu1R4
(If the link does not work, try searching “No Reservations Techniques” on YouTube)
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