So, I hate to cook, and I’m terrible at it.
Well, “hate” is perhaps too strong a word.
But I missed a lot of days in the “Stuff Women Are Supposed To Know How To Do” classes, otherwise known as “American Gender Socialization,” and I’m just really bad a lot of that stuff.
I cook poorly, I can’t wrap a gift properly, I seem to lack maternal instincts entirely, and I don’t decorate to the point that friends have said my apartment looks like a padded cell.
As you might imagine from someone who does not enjoy cooking nor has ever bothered to really learn, I have never seen a cooking show in its entirety.
I know there are entire television networks devoted to food and cooking, hosted by celebrity chefs.
And I admire greatly people who cook as a hobby, hunting down obscure recipes and turning out glorious creations that are as much art as sustenance. But I will never be among them.
I count myself lucky to occasionally enjoy the fruits of their labors, and offer to wash the dishes in thanks.
Due to my lack of familiarity with culinary culture, I was surprised to hear of a specific tradition in the restaurant business among chefs, and the book someone wrote about it.
It turns out that once chefs reach a certain point of proficiency, they like to engage in a little thought experiment with each other.
You’ve heard of the question: “If you were abandoned on a desert island, what one book or album would you want with you?”
Well, chefs and cooks ask each other and themselves: “If it were your last night on earth, what and how would you prepare for your final meal?” Continue reading