If you happen to love good food but lack the culinary skills to whip up a tasty meal from scratch, you’re dependent on others, either people in your family who have a knack for cooking well or to restaurants that serve exquisite food. Often enough, this strategy works well enough. Family and friends who love to cook appreciate someone who delights in their latest culinary experiments. And, of course, restaurants are always happy to have your business.
However, there are those times when you might hanker to learn how to cook well. For instance, if you love Braised Country Style Pork Ribs, but your gourmet spouse has no interest in learning how to make it and restaurants in your neighborhood don’t serve it, then you just have to do without.
Sure, you can do just fine by learning some simple skills, like how to transform your bland and boring coffee into something exquisite by learning how to add just the right amount of vanilla coffee syrup, but what about if you wanted to transform yourself from someone who is clueless in the kitchen to a maestro? Imagine your family’s surprise when they walk into the kitchen to see you displaying knife skills and stirring up delectable soups and sauces. Imagine their shock to see you roasting and braising, grilling and frying. And imagine their delight to see you baking bread from scratch and making mouth-watering desserts and pastries.
If you find the idea of becoming a superb cook tantalizing, here are three suggestions on how to source your own magic in the kitchen:
1. Take an online cooking class.
The nice thing about an online cooking class is that it’s both affordable and convenient. For a one-time payment of less than $100, you can have someone walk you through almost everything you could learn if they were standing in your kitchen with you. Through the use of printable shopping lists, pdf prep and recipe guides, and explainer videos, you will be given expert tutoring. Some courses, like the Masterclass series, even offer you the chance to have a world-famous chef virtually mentor you. In addition, there is usually a social media group which you can join to chat with the instructor and fellow students on some of the finer points of cooking.
Depending on the type of class you take online, you will learn how to shop at the grocery store for the freshest ingredients, how to dice and slice and chop your fresh produce like a pro once you get home, and how to add just the right blend of spices to your delicious meal as it sizzles in the frying pan.
2. Find a local cooking class.
If an online cooking class doesn’t appeal to you because you prefer a more immersive experience, then you also have the option of taking a local cooking class where you can get someone to give you hands-on instructions and help you figure out everything from what cookware to buy to how to adjust cooking temperatures.
You might imagine that finding a local cooking class would be as simple as doing a Google search. Unfortunately, you will often find expensive classes that offer you a comprehensive culinary arts education. Unless you happen to be lucky, you might not find a website for weekend culinary warriors wanting to join a live class. And even if you do, they may not be budget-friendly options. Where you live, of course, will make a huge difference. If you live in a large city like Los Angeles or Denver or New York, you might be able to find something. However, what if you live in a small town?
In a small town or rural area, some places that you might find classes include local high schools that offer adult education classes in the evenings, local community coll
3. Teach yourself how to cook.
Finally, you can always teach yourself basic cooking skills, learning through DVDs, YouTube videos, cookbooks, blog posts, and experimentation. You will probably make inedible food in the beginning when you mess up on the texture or the taste, but, in the fullness of time, you’ll learn from your mistakes. This, of course, is the hardest of the three options because you won’t always know how to choose the best cookbooks or how to follow along with an instructional video.
In truth, learning how to cook well isn’t magic, it’s science. Cooking is a learnable skill and there is no reason why you can’t get good at it at any age.