Before i starting writing about this topic, i’d like you all to know that i’m not a chef or in any manner related to hotel management or the restaurant industry but i believe cooking isn’t rocket science like its presented to most of us and for me Anybody Can Cook. I’ve always found cooking as the most overrated talent or a hobby. Like everybody else i grew up loving what my mother cooked and i still love what she cooks. I always figured that it must be very difficult to create a dish like that or how can anyone fry a fish so well.
Growing up i always thought Ramsay was the ghost in every episode of the Zee Horror show. Cooking was always a part of the plan but Gordon gave that a push with his master chef episodes. When i thought of experimenting with food in the kitchen, my mom always appeared out of nowhere and said i shouldn’t be wasting food. A few years later, we hired a cook. The cook now was my target to understand why was she tagged as a cook at all? Is cooking really a skill or a talent that can make you sound like a chef. Anybody Can Cook. When we began trying the taste of her hands, i was probably the only one monitoring the taste of the food. After having eaten different food items for a few weeks of her hand and making a record of the taste in my mind for them all the day came when she asked for a feedback. I wasn’t as eager ever for my own exam results as i was waiting to tell her about the food she cooked everyday.
I imagined Gordon standing there and said, you’re doing great as a cook since the day we hired you however i haven’t seen any variations in the taste. Even though they taste delicious, they all taste the same so i’m assuming the spices you use are the regular ones. Full marks on presentation, you’re doing a great job there. Keep that up. All this is told her in the exact words mentioned above and in English. She smiled and went back to the kitchen thinking one of the two things, he’s either lost it or he’s loved the food and hasn’t eaten anything like this before. I looked at my wife and she told me it wasn’t funny to fool around with a maid, she was just asking for a feedback. 😐 I wasn’t kidding!
I decided to reflect back on what i told her just to be sure that i didn’t say anything wrong and good that i did. I realized it was an honest feedback and the best part, what i was thinking all this while was right. I realized even i could cook then! Infact, anybody could cook. All i had to do now was an opportunity to get into the kitchen and play around to know how. Turns out my maid was a very good employee, and didn’t take too many leaves. She didn’t take a single leave that month keeping me deprived of the experiments i wanted to do. So i had to wait.
I’ve had bad experiences with cooking before and they included making a simple egg omelet and sharing a piece with my dog which he decided to dig a hole in the garden and hide it in instead of eating it. He also refused to eat a chicken drumstick i fried with the best of spices and egg similar to the ones we eat at KFC. I mean what kind of a dog refuses a drumstick. My wife knew about this incident because my mom and she became a team very early and I’ve a different article about this too. They loved laughing on my goof ups and they still do. So when the big day came, the day i was waiting for – the day she called in and said she wont be coming in – i rejoiced. I stood up and told my wife, dont worry about the food i’ll cook today. My wife gave me the response expected but not with a pinch of salt. She said, no need please (expected), even dogs do not like what you cook – so please stay away (not expected). I got this answer whenever i spoke about cooking not just from my wife, but my mom too.
But because the earth keeps revolving and things keep changing, i knew my chance to cook will one day come. Enters Lock-down 😀 – they’re all gone. Comes my way the household chores and i do it all without any complaints and my wife still does the cooking so we all can survive and the essentials we shopped for do not go waste. Atleast that’s what she told me. So the only way was to go out of my way and plan a morning where i could wake up before her. This couldn’t be achieved for a couple of weeks since i thought about it. I used all kinds of alarm apps including asking my office folks to call me at 6 in the morning. We all failed, until one day when the nature called on a different line and a Sunday morning. I decided this was opportunity. Sorted myself out, jumped in to the kitchen and there i was in the middle of all the food and spices and i could cook whatever i wanted to with no restrictions or suggestions. I knew this was my only chance to be able to make a comeback if i wanted to prove my point. So i decided to make the best breakfast in the world. A Spanish Omelet. Now in India, Omelets do not have potatoes in it, in Spain they do apart from other odd variations. Also in India, we follow well what they show us on YouTube. Now like most of the women in the world, my wife is also a health/figure conscious women and hence rejected the idea of having potatoes and onions dipped in oil and mixed with egg – my Spanish omelet. She tasted it though and said its good. SIX!!! It was a no ball, pitched full outside the off stump hit for a huge shot into the stands. This changed everything and for a lot of reasons the lock-down has been a blessing in disguise.
I realized can cook and cook well. We all can do and its no big deal. Its a mental block for most of us who think cooking isn’t such a great idea for us but its just salt, chilly powder, turmeric and other readily available spices in all the dishes. Its as plain and simple. Every spice in India is available in a powdered form, so if you’re cooking chicken – you use chicken masala, mutton has a mutton masala and so on. Cutting onion is something you need to be careful with as the easiest thing to cut is your fingers. I did that twice so far and then you feel its just not right to cook.
Cooking is not a talent, its not a skill and hence shouldn’t bragged about like it is one. Its a hobby that you can make a career out of and literally everyone can just like learning to play a guitar. So the next time Gordon says cooking isnt a Joke, tell him – Hey Gordon, Guess What – Anybody Can Cook!