Spice box

Cooking skills?

There’s an infinite number of food blogs out there, and they continue to grow on an almost hourly basis. From recipe blogs to video instructions, you can find anything about food online within minutes. Sometimes it feels like anyone who can put a plate of good food on the table has a food blog and everyone has an opinion about how restaurants should serve their food, irrespective of whether or not they can cook themselves or not. Perhaps I have got it all wrong and it’s actually anyone with computer skills and the ability to use a camera phone has turned into foodies?

Either way, there’s an explosion of foodies on the Internet and whilst there are some amazingly beautiful food blogs with fantastic recipes there are also some who haven’t the faintest idea what they are talking about. I have always felt like the minuscule ant in the gigantic food blogging world who has lost its direction on its way to the ant hill. Many a times I have felt intimidated by some blogs and have wondered whether I should be writing at all? But then what do I do with all these words that keep bugging me in my head if I don’t put them to paper?

Fortunately, I am not alone in thinking that way and there are plenty of other bloggers who are in the same boat. (But, I didn’t know that until recently). I may not be the best photographer in the world, but I know that the food I make tastes wonderful. But it’s impossible to portray the flavor and the taste of food on a blog without the help of photos, as we eat with our eyes. It’s human nature. So does that mean that just because the photos look edible and that some bloggers are creating beautiful food porn that you can create the same at home using the recipe online? Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

With the abundance of information on the Internet and the ever growing number of cooking experts willing to share their cooking techniques and recipes, how does one decide? Is it safer to just follow celebrity chefs? But there are some amazing blogs written by very passionate home chefs that often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

The fact is paper qualifications and popularity alone are not sufficient to guarantee the right technique and recipes. It’s the process of translating that information into a technique that combines your hearts desire and the cooking technique to create your masterpiece every time. Somehow the palette is connected to the heart strings when this is at work, and that’s why we taste our food as we create it. This is also one of the reasons chefs work so hard to cook food on a daily basis and when they are not appreciated by us they lose their heart which in turn reflects in their cooking.

When I started teaching cooking classes, I was amazed at how everyone’s focus was just on getting the recipe at the end of the class. The idea of having fun and learning to play with the ingredients to make it your own was a little harder. What’s the fun in just following the recipe if you don’t know why you are using particular ingredients and what do they do to change the composition of your dish? How to adapt the recipe to make it your own is part of that learning curve and our cooking evolves from that on a daily basis.

My plan for 2016 is to stop looking at other food blogs and to stop undermining the quality of my photos. This is my ‘little baby’ and I am just as passionate about sharing what I learn about cooking as I am about cooking. This is where I start my series of ‘Cooking Techniques’ but this is my own interpretation – I would love to learn what techniques work for you in your culinary journey.

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5 thoughts on “Cooking skills?

  1. Beautiful post, Ginni! I understand and share your feelings. Sometimes I wonder when I see those beautiful captivating pictures (which I love) with loads of stuffing and toppings, so artfully arranged, if the food is actually “edible” 🙂 . In our blog, we cook/bake, take pictures and then post what we eat. I am always working hard to take better pictures because you’re right, we eat our food with our eyes first, But I am stopping to compare our food blog to athers, and focusing more on what we love doing and expanding on recipes that inspire us and most of all having fun doing it. Our blog we would want to be a reflection of who we truly are.

    1. Thank you Nicoletta, its so easy to get distracted by those beautiful food pictures and feel inadequate. I’m glad you liked the post and that you share my sentiments in that. 🙂

  2. I can relate as well. As a new blogger I sometimes lose focus of why I started blogging – I love to share my recipes with friends and family. I wish I had the opportunity to take some of your classes Ginni. I love playing and experimenting in the kitchen with new techniques… I just don’t like the dishes afterwards. I’ll be watching for your new videos!

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