Updated: Feb 9, 2021
My all-time favourite cooking show is The Final Table on Netflix. I follow a few of the chefs on the gram and sometimes they have live demos and stories that show you the day-to-day in their restaurant kitchen.
My bookshelf is stuffed with cookbooks. The best ones I own are Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop and Appetites A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain.
My relationship with food continued to change throughout my culinary journey. I always had an interest in picking up a wok, but like many other young adults, it seemed like a lot of work, I might mess it up, I didn't know where to start. Do I just pick up a cookbook, make a list to the grocer, pick up all those items even though they may not be on sale and then follow the instructions to a tee? How much time would this end up being, takeout seemed like a much quicker and inexpensive option.
I started with mealkits, since they had promos and switched between companies. I tried recipes with meat and also veg recipes. Everything being measured out for me already and simple to follow instructions helped me build confidence. I was able to tap into my creativity messing with food art, as I would make the end result try to look like the photo on the recipe card.
I progressed to signing up for cooking classes. I learned to make gnocchi at Eataly. It was the most expensive one that I've attended so far.
I normally don't sign up for cooking demos, but Hudson Bay offered them for free so I'd go whenever it aligned with my schedule. The last time I went, I sampled food made by chef Michael Smith.
I learned to make challah (braided bread), tamales (Latino food) and ferment kombucha and pickles at The Depanneur. The interactive part of the class made it fun and I appreciated a live instructor who can tell you what is wrong with your technique. The next step would be to do a cooking arts and baking arts cert at George Brown College.
Once Covid19 lockdown happened, I finally started looking up recipes online and experimenting. I would make long grocery lists and buy more pantry staples so that I don't run out and have to make another trip. I planned out my week on what I plan to cook on what day. I find that it's helpful having family, friends or a partner who are just as passionate about food as you are. They can give you constructive feedback by being your guinea pigs, encourage you to try new ideas you hadn't considered and give you a break by cooking for you instead.
I think the coolest thing I made so far are soft pretzels from scratch. Some savoury, some sweet. You get better at it when you do more batches, like I learned to only bake them on the top rack of the oven, the ones on the bottom rack turned out slightly burnt.