Cooking is Where the Heart is

Staff Writer: Gia Gunderman

Whenever people think of cooking, they just think of a basic human survival skill that helps you put good food on the table. However, cooking is so much more than that, it represents cultures, it brings people together, it becomes a lifelong career for some people, any food can make you feel some kind of emotion and it’s almost like a drug for dopamine.

From a personal point of view, I didn’t really like to cook before until my mother showed me the beauty behind it. That’s how it usually is for some people, they have never cooked before or don’t know how to, or maybe even have someone else doing it for them, which is a personal preference, but cooking should be experienced by everyone, it’s worth the blood, sweat, and tears someone puts into a meal to make for a family or just themselves, even if it isn’t good or it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted, it’s still something you put time into and it’s almost like a form of self-care. As said before, “Anyone can cook,” Chef Gusteau.

What’s also fascinating is the food that belongs to many cultures. Food is connecting and food connects to hundreds of cultures around the world, and no one should be subjected to just one culture of food for the rest of their life. Ethiopian, Latino, European, Middle Eastern, whatever it is, they all have food that has been passed down from generation to generation, and the brilliance passed on from foods shows how creative people had to get if they’re may have been a time of struggle or just experimentation.

The colors of remembrance. Photo Credit:

The history behind certain foods that seem so normal to many but are actually recipes formed to fit the standards back in those days. For example, Cassoulet, a French delight that actually derived from the city of Castelnaudary, which was under siege by the British during the Hundred Years War. The beleaguered townspeople gathered up the ingredients they could find and made a large stew to nourish and bolster their defenders. Food wasn’t just made because someone just felt like it one day, but it was created as a need and a necessity.

It’s incredibly fascinating how maybe three ingredients or a little more can really feed a family and maybe even become a national dish. It is you that must bring life to the food you present, just like how Thomas Keller has said, “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.”

A Taste of Something New. Photo Credit:

Another thing to add is that you can make a meal out of almost anything and everything, as long as it’s safe. Whether it contains meat or is meatless, not the healthiest or maybe it is spicy, mild, or just well-seasoned. People for centuries have made nothing into something, and we as people tend to forget that simple luxury and should gain more of a deeper connection with cooking and let it take over you. Even if you’re not so good, or the best ever, really absorb into the cooking atmosphere and find out what makes you happy during it, let something about it comfort you. As someone who I personally see as a great chef, and loves to cook, my own mother says, “I remember when I was little girl, growing up in a Hispanic household, everyone had to help, the girls cooking and the guys out doing something with their hands as well, I remember all those meals we would cook and how the food would fill the table as we all sat down to eat. I don’t enjoy cooking all the time but it opens a joy in my heart every time I do and I’m so glad I was able to be taught by my mother and get to cook for my own children to this day.” Cooking is way more than just making some food, research about it, find the history behind some cuisines and really connect with it.

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