What Type Of Cook Are You?
Cooking is a skill taught on a one on one basis. Tricks on how to fix little mishaps are passed on from generation to generation.
There have been no significant changes in how we initially get taught how to cook for ages.
We need to know how to prepare a meal because we eat our food cooked. Even those on a raw food diet to a certain extent know how to cook something or at least boil water.
Is boiling water cooking, though? Let's see.
Using An Electric Kettle
The kettle is filled with water and switched on. When it gets to boiling point, it switches itself off automatically.
Kettles can also be switched off manually once the desired temperature has been reached.
As water is an integral part of the cooking process, how can it not be considered to be cooking?
We digress, back to what type of cook you are.
Mother’s cook with their children when they are young. They make cakes, biscuits, fruit salads together. As children get older, they can help by mix things in a bowl as part of the meal preparation process.
The enthusiasm for doing this task does wear off, but the lesson learnt doesn't.
It is from doing these little things in the kitchen as we grow that forms the foundation of how we learn to cook.
From doing a bit of non-scientific research, I have found there are broadly speaking two main types of cooks. Those that like to follow a recipe when cooking a meal and those that like to throw things into a pan to see what happens. Neither is right nor wrong.
Types Of Cooks
Exact Recipe Follower
These cooks follow recipes to the letter and have to use all the ingredients mentioned, with the exact measurements, accessories, pan size and recipe timings. The goal is to have the finished meal look and taste perfect
Rough Recipe Follower
These cooks have the recipe in front of them, they have purchased all the ingredients. They follow the recipe but use their judgement to determine when it is ready. They do not get worried if things do not turn out just like the picture.
Recipes Are For Inspiration
These cooks love reading recipes and see recipes as a place to get inspired on what to cook. They are confident in the kitchen and know how to cook and just need something to help give them ideas.
A Recipe Is A Guide To Follower
These cooks use recipes more as a guidebook. They know how to cook but sometimes get stuck with how long things take to be ready. They do not necessarily trust their gut when it comes to timing or their eyes so they check the recipe to see how long it should take and then put the recipe away.
These cooks have the ability to know the outcome of what mixing a couple of ingredients together would taste like before they start cooking.
To them cooking is about discovery, curiosity, experimenting with new flavours and tastes.
They rely on instinct and gut feeling when preparing meals.
These cooks are okay with things not turning out how they planned.
With all these types of cooks out there, which one are you?
What are you most comfortable cooking in the kitchen?
We can be more than one type of cook depending on what your speciality is. You could be good at baking and terrible at making curries, or you could be good at cooking meat to perfection and not so good at anything else.
Whatever type of cook you are and what you specialise in, the fundamentals we learnt as we were growing up stays with us throughout our lives.
A fun exercise would be to try your hand a different type of cooking to truly see what type of cook you are. If you are good at making curries, try baking.