Many years ago almost every girl took basic cooking lessons in high school, then the curriculum changed and other subjects were available. Cooking was no longer the basic stuff of everyday nutrition with meat-and-potatoes meals. If you took the course you would learn to cook exotic meals from overseas. Many girls chose other courses, which meant that more than one generation of women didn’t really learn how to cook.
Meanwhile, lifestyles and tastes changed and nowadays a ‘meal’ is often something bought in from a fast food place and eaten in front of the television. In fact, some homes don’t even have a dining table. All they have is a row of barstools in the kitchen from which to eat a hasty breakfast and other meals are eaten at work or a restaurant. So anyone who wants to learn to cook is hard put to find out how.
Of course, there are numerous cooking shows on TV, but they don’t really show all the hard work and time that goes into making the marvellous dish that looks so enticing. They don’t mention it may not look so perfect when attempted by a beginner. Besides, it is difficult to remember every step when you start to follow what was shown – and the show is now over, so you have to guess. Guessing is not so good for the taste of the dish.
Then there are the cooking instructions in most popular women’s magazines or even in cookbooks, of which there are many. But reading about it and doing it are two different scenarios. It’s when you have to beat, whip, stir or cook until the food is of a certain consistency that you’ll probably find your new cookbook is very limited. Just how thick is thick? Again, you go back to guessing.
That is why cooking workshops are brilliant. You have someone there to explain what they are doing and guide you through the process. If your recipe needs to be whipped, browned or sautéed just that much more for excellence, you get one on one training. You can’t beat having an experienced chef to show you exactly what has to be done – and oversee you while you do it.
You can actually book into cooking workshops while you are on holidays at your favourite overseas destination. That way you can learn how to create those amazing dishes that you learn to love and can never seem to replicate at home. Combining a holiday and a cooking workshop is a great way to have fun and learn the useful art of cooking at the same time. And the family will love to eat a home-cooked meal – maybe even together, at the dining table.