Hey, welcome to "Simple Gourmet Cooking"
The whole reason for this site is to help you cook better food.
First, let's get this straight -
This is not about healthy food, not vegan, vegetarian, paleo, diet, or any of those other labels. Yes, there will be some of all of those types of food, but this site is about one thing, and one thing only -
Cooking Great Food!
My plan is to show you in simple steps, all you need to know, to be able to cook great food.
Have you ever been out to a swanky restaurant and had an amazing meal? Then wished you could go home and be able to cook like that?
Then stick with me, and I'll show you everything you need to know, to be able to recreate those 'restaurant' dishes.
It doesn't matter what stage you are at in your culinary journey. Whether you have been cooking for years, or are just starting out. I'm going to be showing you all of the skills and techniques that you need to be able to create any dish in your kitchen. Of course, some of them will need practice to get them right. You won't be at "Masterchef" standard straight away. But over time, you will develop the skills, techniques and confidence to be able to tackle any dish.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should be slaving away in the kitchen for every meal. In fact, if you follow my techniques and take on board the hints and tips I will be showing you, "slaving over a hot cooker" will never, ever happen. I'm going to show you how 'timing' is key to a good meal.
I'm also not saying that you should be eating "restaurant quality" food all of the time. What you are going to learn will allow you to create any dish with skill and confidence. From a poached egg on toast, to lamb chops in a balsamic reduction. From egg and chips to eggs benedict!
You see, all food has a time and a place.
Now, what you're about to read may shock some people, so don't go shouting it from the rooftops,
There's nothing wrong with a takeaway once in a while!
Some of the worlds best chefs enjoy a good kebab occasionally, or just want baked beans on toast when they're too tired. There has to be variation in the food you eat. If you are always eating at the best restaurants, then your palette will soon become jaded. Sometimes 'simple' has its place.
So, who am I? I hear you asking yourself.
It's okay to be asking that, as you have probably never heard of me. I'm not a famous chef. I've never owned a restaurant. What makes me qualified to be teaching you how to cook?
Well, I grew up in a single-parent family in the 1960's. In those days, there was very little help for single parents, so our Mum had to go out to work full-time. This meant that we had to do a fair amount of the cooking and cleaning. Nothing wrong with that, perhaps more kids nowadays should be doing more of that themselves 😉
Anyway, we had very little money, and Mum had one rule - if you cook it, you eat it. We couldn't afford to waste food. We all soon learned what foods went with each other; what tasted good, and what didn't! We learned how to make the most out of what we had. Food was also more 'seasonal' then, so we found out what was available when, and the best ways to utilise it.
This was the start of my culinary journey. Out of all of us kids, I was the one that seemed to develop a love of cooking. To me it wasn't a 'chore', to me it was fun. It got to the point where everyone that knew me, believed that I would become a chef. That I would leave school and go to catering college, I loved cooking so much.
Unfortunately, that never happened, but over time you'll see why not
But the love of cooking has been the same for me ever since then. For the last 40-odd years cooking has been a pleasure for me. I could work a 12-hour shift, but coming home and cooking would feel relaxing to me.
Over the years, I have bought many, many cookbooks. Signed up to countless publications on a monthly basis. Read and tried so many recipes and cooking styles and cuisines, I don't think there is much I haven't tried.
I have attended a number of cooking schools, to improve my knowledge and skills. Sought out professional chefs whenever possible, and picked their brains for little tid-bits of knowledge
Even now, at the age of 55, I am still a chef at heart.
But I have found that I'm also a teacher.
In my career, I have discovered another thing about myself; I love to teach.
In my day to day business, I instruct people how to use the machinery that I install and repair. It's not officially a part of what I do, but I've unconsciously been doing it for over 30 years
I also found that whilst bringing up my four children, I loved to take them into the kitchen and have them help me. I loved to impart my love of food to them, to show them how food can be so different raw and cooked, yet still as beautiful. How something that they thought they didn't like, could be transformed with another cooking style into something they loved. I would make it fun, but also instructional. I'm proud to say that all four of my children are accomplished cooks.
Well now, at the age of 55, I feel that I'm finally in a position where I can start imparting that knowledge to you. I'm successful enough in my own business, that I can take the time out from it to develop a cookery course, and help you to gain the skills you have always wanted to.
I look forward to chatting with you, and helping you grow as a cook.