WHY COOKING MATTERS
Last week, I was chatting with my friend about how he stays healthy. One of the main ways, aside from being intentional about what he eats, is cooking for himself. But his main stumbling block was getting to the point where he gets to the grocery store—or even his kitchen.
“I know that cooking my own meals is good for me, but I seem to forget how much I like the process until I am cooking until I’m actualy cooking. It’s very soothing, almost therapeutic. But, it’s funny, when I’m thinking about how much time it’s going to take me, that really stops me about 80% of the time from cooking—let alone making anyting meaningful.”
As I’ve spoken with more and more friends, the key to healthy eating (granted, for a specific sample set) is learning to cook. There is something in the intentionality of thinking through what you’re going to select and what truly goes into a meal that can then translate to decision making when you’re not cooking for yourself.
Translating this to impulsive or bad habits, if you better understand what goes into that bacon double cheeseburger, you may find less satisfaction in ordering it or be a more discerning in where you choose to eat one.
I’m not advocating that everyone stops to become a world-class chef, I think that’s unrealistic. I believe that cooking is going to become an increasingly specialized skill, just like knowing how to build your house or growing your own food has. However, there will always be a desire to connect at a deeper level with food, and that’s where learning classic techniques, like good knife skills, will be critical.
But as fewer and fewer people know these skills enough to pass them on, where will we be able to learn to cook for ourselves?
AN ONLINE SOLUTION
Beyond friends and family, there are professional places to learn in-person (local community college, culinary academies, culinary stores, etc.) but over the past few years, online education has exploded.
Not only is there increased quality and speed of video, storage and sharing leading to exponentially increasing content online, there is more general penetration of smart phones, making it easy to access classes anywhere, anytime. Assuming food preparation does become increasingly specialized, online education is going to be key in providing those who are the most talented and passionate about food with training and certification they may not have been able to access or afford.
How does this technology trend translate to cooking for the individual? There are a few key advantages with online, video-based culinary education, aside from the lower cost and easier access.
Unlike a television program, you have choice over what you’re going to learn. Some of the schools edit out excess content, such as chitter-chatter of the more talkative chefs. With video, you don’t have to wait for things you would in a real class, like the oven to pre-heat or the water to boil so the demonstration can begin. You also get a front seat with video features such as zoom or alternate angles – and many have live chat functions to ask questions. But the biggest advantage? You can usually start, pause and re-start a video (class/course) as your schedule permits – often still getting to ask questions to live staff.
Here is a list of some of the most popular online cooking schools for you to check out. Some are more basic while others get into some rather advanced topics. Most offer free trials, but do your research and figure out which one will really help you connect with your food.
SELECTED ONLINE COOKING SCHOOLS