What’s holding you back from better cooking?

by · March 27, 2013

After launching The Cook’s Roadmap, we began to get the question: “So, what’s with this roadmap anyway?” What we mean by roadmap is a guide along a path or through a process of discovery–much like driving someplace new for the first time versus just sitting in the backseat and zoning out.

But what is really involved in this process of discovery and what are the questions or ideas that can motivate or stall us on our path to achieving our cooking goals?

How do I learn to cook, anyway?
Learning to cook happens over time. It is both a dynamic and progressive process. Decoded, that means that we learn to cook by picking up a few tips and techniques along the way, sort of by osmosis, without too much attention to detail. You can watch someone cook, get an idea of how it’s done, adopt it for yourself and essentially hunt and peck your way through a meal like typing with only a few fingers. It will get the job done (heck, it may even be great!) but it may not be pretty.

Who has the time?
The larger cultural norm that prevails around cooking is one of ambiguity, uncertainty, and anxiety–not the most productive responses.  Many people love to eat (and even say they like to cook), but somehow there’s no time for it. I started to think about that: North Americans collectively watch over 3 hours of TV per day, but don’t have 30 minutes to engage in the most human of all activities?

I know what I should eat, but I just don’t do it.
If you are around a lot of people who cook, you will pick up more knowledge. In homes where it’s all fast food and packaged foods, then there’s not much culinary knowledge to pass along except maybe some bad habits. Even just a generation ago, each family unit had at least someone you could watch who knew how to cook. Now, many of us are raised in homes where there is no positive “food” role model–the awareness of cooking is low and prioritization of cooking whole foods is even lower. 

Isn’t learning to cook hard? I just don’t know where to start.
One way to learn to cook is by following a more structured path that places priority and attention on certain types of activities and information over others. This is how professionals learn and it’s an efficient way to engage with a higher degree of certainty that you achieve some level of success. It’s also how people who are raised in food- and cooking-centric cultures learn to cook. You are given tasks and activities as you grow up, first peeling and rinsing vegetables, then helping to measure or make a side dish and ultimately set free to contribute with the rest of the group.

It really is all about the basics. For example, holding a knife and getting used to cutting, applying moist heat (like steaming) or dry heat (like roasting), making good decisions about shopping and selecting produce.  We want you to become more confident and comfortable. We’re not going to chase a trend – our goal is to give you skills and knowledge that you can carry with you and use.

We call our new course The Cook’s Roadmap because it helps get you to where you want and need to go. Ultimately you need to be able to drive on your own, but it’s nice to have some guidance anytime you need it, whenever you need it.

The Cook’s Roadmap puts you in driver’s seat, but we know that that’s a big step for many to grasp. Making change can be daunting, no doubt about it. But you can do this.  Use the course in a way that makes sense to you: some find it useful to through in sequence and complete each task before moving ahead, while others skip around a bit and revisit material multiple times to practice and hone skills.  It’s up to you. We just want you to understand that the journey along they way should be enjoyable, enlightening, and empowering. Turn on your cooking brain!

We want you to share Rouxbe with your friends. Cook for them, and tell them what you’ve learned.  Then they can return the favor. Enjoy!


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