When people discover that I’m a chef and own a restaurant, I get one of three responses.
First, there are the people who think it’s a wonderful, glamorous career and that I’m jetting back and forth to five-star restaurants every week. Boy, are they off base! These people have obviously been watching too many celebrity chef shows.
The second group is comprised of people who have a love of cooking and a secret desire to own a restaurant of their own someday. This is
really a dream of more people than you might imagine.
The third group, and the one I’ll address in this article, consists of the people who instantly tell me how much they hate to cook and ask incredulously, “how can you do that all day every day?”
Let me make something very clear. No one hates to cook! There are those that don’t know how to cook. There are those who are afraid to cook. There are those who are too lazy to cook; but there are none who truly hate to cook.
When someone tells me they hate to cook. I quickly ask them how often they cook. Naturally the answer is never! Then I ask them if they never cook, how do they know they hate it? Usually, this question is followed by a pause on their part with eyes darting around in search of a response.
Their final answers span a wide gap: “I just know I hate it!”; “It’s not my kind of thing”; “I don’t have the time.” But in all these answers no one ever has a real reason to hate cooking. They were never pinched by the claw of a live lobster; they didn’t have a two-hour coughing fit the first time they ate a hot pepper; they didn’t even have a run-in with a searing hot pan. In other words, they have no reason to hate cooking.
It’s these “pseudo-haters” that I have made my mission to convert to the easy, simple joys of cooking. Most likely because they hate to cook, they won’t even be tempted to read this food column. So, it’s up to you, my foodie readers, to bring this to their attention. Let them know that we’re on to them. That we know the strong hate word is just their cop-out. Let them know that you’re not going to stand for it any longer. Show them a few basic recipes.
Once they’ve put a finished meal on the table and gotten the very appreciative comments, they’ll be hooked. It’s a very unique and satisfying feeling to make something with your hands which creates happiness and enjoyment for others.
Some of my best memories are of the times customers have popped their head in the kitchen to tell me how much they enjoyed their meal. I’ve even had customers call me up after a meal to tell me how happy they were with their food. It’s hard to explain how great you feel when someone goes out of their way to let you know your efforts were appreciated and enjoyed.
So, the next time someone tells you how much they hate to cook, tell them that’s just not the case. Give them a quick and easy recipe of yours. Help them cook it the first time. Sharing your love of cooking is fulfilling not only to you, but to all of those to whom you pass it along.