I am convinced that confidence is more important than any other skill in the kitchen. Confidence in our own judgement and taste.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about cooking and confidence. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that confidence is more important than any other skill in the kitchen: it's at the heart of our ability to be comfortable with cooking at home with ease and joy rather than stress and guilt (or not cooking at all).
In the Western world we are cooking less and less - yet the noise around cooking gets louder and louder: Chefs have become major celebrities, TV is full of cooking competitions, every newspaper and magazine and supermarket leaflet throws recipes at us, and social media are full of super stylish food shots. No wonder so many of us feel intimidated in the kitchen!
In contrast, I believe cooking is an innate skill - an instinct even! There is good historical evidence that the beginnings of cooking food were a turning point in human evolution, distinguishing us from all other animals and allowing us to jump ahead with our development. (Cooked food is quicker to chew, easier to digest, and makes nutrients more bio-available.) So then... we all have a cook in us! We just need to find it buried under all that noise.
Because with all that noise we tend to forget what the real purpose of cooking is: it is not something for the camera or a competition - it's just cooking dinner. It's nourishing yourself and your loved ones. And it's you, only you - not some corporation, chef, or nutritionist - who is best suited to do this. We don't need recipes or rules, we just need to get cooking some real food - something that doesn't need a label or a packet. It isn't rocket science - everyone can do it, and I can show you how.
I'd love it if you'd share some of your own feelings in the kitchen - do you feel confident or intimidated about cooking? Please let me know with a comment!