Well Anyway, I just remember one of us dropping a piece of dough on the stove and lighting a small fire. It was a very small fire, no bigger than a candle flame really, but it was still that familiar, flickering orange of doom that no beginner chef wants to see. Now the four of us were freaking out. The parents were all downstairs, waiting for a nice meal. Here we were, a bunch of 9 and 11-year-olds in a house that was not even our own, on a fancy, new stove, in a foreign country, the parents with our full trust that we would cook a nice meal. What if we burned down the kitchen? What if we burned down the whole resort? What if we burned down Mexico? The fire kept extinguishing itself, but then re-igniting again just as fast.
So what makes a great chef? I believe the greatness of a chef is determined by the opinions of the people who eat his or her food. I have served up Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners to my extended family and friends, and they would rave about my creations. I cooked dinner for my family almost every day in High School just because it was something I enjoy doing. I would make grand meals on weekday nights, such as slow cooked lamb shank or stuffed portabellos. Judging by the fact that they continued to let me cook every day, I’m guessing they liked it. When my family has guests over, I become the one in charge of the food.
Cooking is like a fun puzzle to me. How can I use up everything? How can I get every plate of this Thanksgiving spread on the table hot at the same time with only a small oven, 4 stoves, and no hot plate? How can I shop more efficiently? How can I adapt this clam chowder recipe to be healthy? How can I make a great dinner with only half an hour to spare? How do I hide the melted handle on my parents’ favorite knife?
So go forth – experiment! Play with flavors and ingredients. Burn more water Try that cool thing you saw on Facebook or Pinterest. . I hope this attitude I have about cooking spills out into other areas of my life, because those who succeed must learn to fail first.