This is a story of Adam, who doesn’t know how to cook but always wanted to learn and how he made his first “fancy” meal with the help of an up and coming Toronto Chef.
Acquiring new skills in middle age seem so daunting, doesn’t it? Parallel shifts are easier for us I think. Like if you have always enjoyed driving fast, you can easily take up racing as a hobby. On the flip side, if you are terrified of public speaking, taking an improv class can feel like an exercise in madness.
Yet, as we get older, we have the resources and the desire to learn things that we always wanted to learn but never quite had the chance. Moreover, that first leap into a brand new territory can be made smoother with help from a professional.
Adam is almost 39 years old and have always wanted to learn how to cook. Growing up in a family of great cooks; however, he never really had a chance to build that cooking habit early in life – things like quickly chopping onions or correct way to layer spices.
The commitment required to learn these cooking fundamentals when older can seem like a big challenge. So Adam took the first step by pairing up with a young, talented Toronto Chef named Arnob and dedicated four hours of his life to learn the basics while creating a beautiful meal for his family.
The session started with creating a menu and a trip to the nearest grocery store. At the grocery store Arnob and Adam walked through the various aisles discussing how to keep produce fresh at home, different cuts of meats and how to incorporate fresh herbs to build towards that menu.
- Fried rice with chicken, mixed vegetables and eggs
- Roasted sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and carrots
- Steak with a mushroom reduction sauce
- Cinnamon apple turnovers
When back in the kitchen, Arnob and Adam put the cooking in motion. They started with the sauce for the steak by reducing broth with garlic and rosemary and cooking the filling for the turnovers.
Arnob also led Adam through basic cooking drills like how to dice onions, marinate the steak, layer vegetables for optimal cooking and prepare the chicken for the fried rice.
Finally it was time to put everything together. Adam learned how to work with phyllo dough to create delicious apple turnovers. And the proper method for cooking a steak on the stove.
After almost four hours of shopping, prepping and cooking – Adam and Arnob completed their first intensive lesson with an amazing feast to be enjoyed for days.
The lesson here is most things we want to learn can be learned and executed on with the right support. Trying something new and complex can bring a lot of joy and it is never too late to start something awesome. For Adam this is step one of a journey that he can enjoy for the rest of his life.
More importantly with this one fun experience and four hour commitment, Adam has transformed himself from someone who doesn’t really know how to cook to someone who does.