Every renowned chef started their culinary journey as a novice. If you are a novice; “Congratulations!” Your journey has begun. No matter where you are in this journey, no matter how much you think you don’t know, you can only improve. So, explore. Learn. Read. Research.
Even professional chefs have moments where they think they can’t cook. You are not alone. It’s okay if you can’t cook rice. All you need to do is to practice and sharpen your skills. Understand why you are using an ingredient. Figure out what a cooking method does to ingredients. Start thinking of what you like to cook and start inventing your own dish. It’s okay if a dish bombs as long as you figure out why and how to avoid that in the future. Fine tune your skills. Tweak your recipe. Practice over and over again, and you will have a sure-fire recipe to boast of in your hands. And when you do, relish and live the moment. And then, it’s time to move to your next adventure – your next dish. Remember, the recipe that you follow is supposed to bear your stamp. What goes well for a particular chef or aunt, may have to be tweaked by you.
My belief: The best way to show someone how much you love them is through food. The amount of thought in planning a meal, the accompaniments, the colours, the textures, the flavours and how the dish is presented; it all shows how much you love the person for whom you are cooking. I believe, that even if the end result is not a tasty or well-coordinated dish; it’s the effort that has gone into it’s presentation that is going to be appreciated. I have got some of the best feedback when my dishes have failed: why the texture didn’t work, how the taste could be improved, or, adding of a contrasting ingredient.
Don’t forget, even if you have a successful dish, you may still be able to find avenues of improving it. I remember adding a jam to marinate chicken legs for a grilled chicken; or, adding a jelly as an accompaniment for a steak! Hmmm. Being fearless in trying out combinations; expands the scope of flavour mixes!