Ever since I was younger I always wanted to cook. I started watching shows on television about how to cook. I feel in love with the idea of making art with food. The thought of bringing joy to others through something that will be gone as soon as they finish consuming it. I guess you can say the people on television taught me how to cook, but I have to give some credit to my mother. Around the age of ten I would begin watching my mother cook. After a while I stopped just watching, and actually started cooking. I know I wasn’t the best cook but I never got any complaints on my meals.
As a child everyone would expect me to watch cartoons, but I rarely liked any of them. It was all about the food network channel. I would sit and enjoy watching food shows. My best part of the show was always the ending to see the finish product, how deliciously beautiful that final dish looked. I even had a notebook and pen with me, so that I can write down the steps and the ingredients of what they were cooking. The cooks on television gave me my start in cooking. Watching them is the reason I cook today. I remember just being so amazed on how beautiful and good the food would look, when it was done. If you have a passion for cooking, you start to notice yourself not wanting to eat what you cook. The meals were like a work of art. When you look down at your plate, and see art instead of food you realize cooking isn’t just cooking.
For as long as I remember I always watched shows on how and what to cook. It wasn’t until my early teens that I stopped watching, and actually started to do something about cooking. I would watch my mom cook and also help her out here and there. Every time she made something new I would question everything she would do. Asking “why do you add that much seasoning? why is that look like that color? what does that make the food taste like?”. Endless questions I had for her. I began to learn and understand that, it’s just how making food works. It’s all part of the process. When she was done cooking I would be her taste tester. If I had a critique she would be notified, if everything was great she got a congrats. I would watch her and in my head be thinking why can’t I do it? On the television it looked so easy, I just had to follow all the steps and use all the ingredients like they tell me. Learning how to cook was like learning how to play Sudoku.
Once I was about thirteen years old I started cooking on my own. I no longer would watch my mom or ask her for help. I wanted to do it all on my own. At first it was hard, not as simple as I thought it would be. You question everything you do, from which pan to use to how much of this seasoning to use. I underestimated how much work and time is put into a meal to make sure it comes out the best it could be. Cooking I never used measuring cups or spoons, my mother always just took a guess and said we are Mexicans that’s how we do it. If it tasted to much like a certain seasoning you know to make your pinch smaller, if you added too little you know to add more, eventually after a while you will get the hang of it. I soon did, and felt like a pro. I would still watch television daily, watch the chefs and the what they would cook and took that into my cooking. The secret to a great chef is there is no real measurements, well that’s my secret. I learned that as I cook if you follow a recipe, it never quite tastes as delicious as when you cook just by free will. When you cook just cook let your mind, your hands, your belief that you added just the right amount of a certain ingredient. When your all done and your meal is complete and you take that first bite, it’s like your tasting the best meal on earth, even if you had it several times before.
Over time cooking wasn’t just making a meal. It wasn’t just about feeding someone who is hungry. It began to feel like happiness. It was my, Passion! When you cook and you look at your work, you don’t see food you see something beautiful. The look on people’s face when they try your food. The comments you get back, the joy people get out of what you created, what you put your hard work into is an amazing feeling. I would be in the kitchen and never let anyone in while I’m cooking. I never let anyone tell me what to do with my food, because I knew what I was doing, I knew how it was going to come out. I always knew it would come out tasting delicious.
I’m now 18 years old and my love to cook and create new dishes, and new art with food hasn’t gone away. I still love to watch what is on the television, and what are all the new dishes people are eating now days. I love to say you tasted that and it was good but I’m going to make it and it’s going to taste great and better. I still cook for my family every day and it’s something that I almost always enjoy doing. Not a lot of people understand the time and work it takes to create an amazing tasting dish. It does take time and work but when I can I put in the effort. The ending result brings joy not just to my face and my stomach but others as well.