To be able to cook has got to be one of the life skills we all strive to have. Like many, I always thought cooking was hard, that it takes that special touch to make an amazing dish. The one that does the cooking at home is usually my mother, who learned from her mother and her aunts, just by watching and hanging out in the kitchen as a little girl.
Up until today, she would keep all her recipes in single lined books, with magazine cuttings and it’s amazing to see that she could just refer to it whenever she feels like cooking a particular dish.
We all have our own interests and hobbies that make us feel alive, to have something to look forward to. If you love food, every flavour that hits your taste buds takes you places. If this were a movie, you’d be in some sort of trance that teleports you to a specific place – flavours bursting like fireworks lighting up the sky.
Eating and savouring others’ food might inspire you to cook something yourself. Over time, eating at restaurants takes a toll on you and your bank account. Eating out does not tell you the quality of the food, the freshness of the ingredients or what is in the food. The saying “you are what you eat” should not be taken so lightly. So, back to the main question, how can someone fall in love with cooking?
We need to get inspired to nurture the love and passion for cooking. We all have different ways to be inspired: through magazines, Youtube videos, quick 60-second videos on Instagram, or getting new supplies and utensils, or personal health goals to be attained.
Have someone to cook with, don’t worry about the mess you’ll make, because the result will surely be fruitful! Here’s a suggestion, why don’t you take a cooking class?
There are a few reasons why one should take cooking lessons. With your own skills, you get to explore your creativity and turn something basic and raw into something completely new and original. So put your culinary wizard hat on, and don’t be afraid to be experimental in your very own Hogwarts Kitchen!
Improve your culinary skills. When you have all that you need to know in the kitchen, you get to prepare meals and desserts that will make mouths water.
Creativity. You get the change to explore the creativity that you have. You are taking raw ingredients and making it into something special, new and original.
Career prep. This can be the beginning of a thriving career for you. When you have basic skills, you would eventually want to do more with it, and you might want to include it in your résumé as it could be the beginning of your thriving career.
Share common interests. In a cooking class, you will be working with people who share the same interests as you.
So now the question is, where?
If you are in Brunei, then you are in luck. The Culinary School by Laksamana College of Business is welcoming applicants and will be starting in mid-January 2019, where people like you and me can learn an extensive range of food skills. We had the honour of speaking to Chef Luke Macann, for some extra inspiration and insight into the world of gastronomy.
You could tell how passionate he is about food and cooking just from hearing him talk about it. He is an experienced Chef and we’ve asked a few questions that everyone might be curious about.
Q: What made you fall in love with cooking?
There are several reasons. I think firstly, I always enjoyed the memories of eating and being in the kitchen with my parents. It always felt comforting and always liked the feeling of the kitchen. Another significant motivator for me was watching my favourite French chef, his name’s Jacques Pippan. He is a very respected man in the culinary arts.
I remember watching him and his beautiful French accent and how his hands were connected to his heart, watching him crush garlic and onions, and there’s me thinking, “Wow, this guy is really skilled!”.
The funny thing is, 25 years later, I met someone who brought me to meet Jacques Pippan who was at the time, doing a book signing. I was waiting in line and as I was getting so close to him, I was thinking, “What am I going to say?”. This is the man whose videos I have seen, that I can replicate his recipes, know how he talks. So when it was finally my turn, I was telling him about the first time I watched him make Eggs in Aspic and he was surprised and said, “I haven’t made that since the ’80s!”
I told him that his passion, conviction, and drive really lit a flame in me and I really wanted to thank you for that. He stood up and shook my hand, I burst into tears.
Q: Why should one learn how to cook?
First, you can eat your mistakes. I think that cooking is a good way to control what you eat, an activity that you can develop through practice. It is a really good physical way to past your time.
Q: Can you tell us more about the courses that the Culinary School offers?
We’re going to start with some what I call fun classes. The duration for each one is for three hours. We plan to start in the middle of January. We have seven different courses, including Thai, pasta, barbecue-like how to marinade, make condiments, barbecuing. We’re also going to do one called pies, sweet pies, savoury pies, simple desserts which you should have in your pantry. Knife skills, the most important tool in the kitchen and it really unlocks so many other things. When you can use it safely and confidently, then you can start to manipulate the food.
There are two types of courses. The London City of Guilds course is our curricular: our diploma and certificate course in food preparation and cookery which is six months. That is the certificate programme and is internationally recognized which involves learning in the classroom and practice and demonstration and cooking.
Our London City and Guilds Diploma food preparation and culinary Arts is 2 semesters and designed to lead on from there.
Q: What do you think of the people that always have reasons not to cook and just go to the restaurant?
I think the problem is that they need to understand the importance of cooking at home and how it brings so many benefits. There is a difference between cooking for their need and for the love of cooking.
Start developing a simple menu and then you will know what you need to buy. Watch a couple of clips from Youtube and plan to do it together with your family.
Make it into a routine about saying that this is what you’ll do bringing in new ideas and new dishes that you’ve seen on TV and try to replicate.
Q: What is your take on current food trends?
I don’t think I’ve seen a trend per se, but I think food should be sustainable in every sense, nutritional and food that you can eat every day. Your food should be vegetable based. If you’re asking me about food trends, it should be 80% vegetables. It’s a great trend that everyone should have.
One thing I do think is important, which families should always have is a sous vide machine. It cooks that uses precise temperature control to produce a result that you can’t achieve through any other cooking technique.
Q: What are your best cooking hacks or tips to have in the kitchen?
Learn how to use a knife. You don’t have to spend a fortune on it. When you join the culinary program, you get a set. Learn how to hold a knife, the pinch grip, how to chop. It is a simple and easy hack.
When you’re chopping, you get a cloth with a bit of water, put down on a flat surface and make sure you have a decent chopping board. If it has a hole or dent, it won’t cut properly.
If you’re looking for cooking hacks, easy quick tips, the best tip is to develop basic skills. Then you’ll be doing your own hacks.
If you are interested to enroll, check out their website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope each and everyone gets to learn the basic skills and eventually fall in love with cooking.