How we learn to cook

When we posed the question – how did you learn to cook? – on our @lookingtocook Twitter feed recently we were overwhelmed with the feedback.

Unlike learning to ride a bike or to recite the alphabet it seems that cooking is learnt in many different ways, from many different ‘teachers’ and at different stages in peoples’ lives.

Parents of course played a big role. I learnt about food prep and cheffy shortcuts working with my Dad when he cooked at outdoor catering events at the age of 13. But the number one influence for most people was Mum.

Virginia Webb of @goodfork learnt from Mum until as a young teen she became a vegetarian and was told to cook her own stuff. Also fuelled by necessity, in this case “a desire to live on something other than omnisubs!” was Kim Baker. Or more seriously for @kitchentablenw6 who was “Semi self-taught in a bid not to starve as a result of being raised by American parents raised in the 40s and 50s”.

For Alexis @dancingtrsrs it was Mum first, then the Good Housekeeping cook book (still a fave). When she came to train at Tante Marie cookery school she was amazed by how much her Mum had taught her.

Delia seemed to be the next best thing to Mum, especially her complete cookery course – and more ‘patient’ than some parents. And for Kim Wilcox Jamie’s Ministry of Food book was the first to lure her away from ready meals and convert her into a foodie.

HP @hannahloupen confessed that her Mum was an “awful” cook and she learnt instead not from her Dad but from her mother-in-law. Others learnt from ex-boyfriends.

Loftiest of all responses came from the acclaimed food writer Michael Booth who learnt to cook in the deep end at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris and subsequently from watching and reading Heston Blumenthal.

Thanks for all your responses. Please add comments in the box below.

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