TV fuels my culinary expertise
Thursday, Jul 13, 2017 06:00 am
For a long time, the only thing I knew how to cook was Spice Island Ė a stir-fry with rice and peanut sauce that is well-loved by most of my family. Itís a tasty, reasonably nutritious meal that reheats well. You canít go wrong.
As I got older and more health-conscious, my cooking became very utilitarian. Lean protein, beans, raw vegetables, nuts Ė little variety and not much room for experimentation. Food was fuel, and I didnít feel the need to make it taste great Ė just good enough to get me through my next five-mile run.
Now, Iíve developed more of a balance between staying healthy and eating food that tastes great Ė but to be honest, I still generally just make rice while my boyfriend crafts our spectacular dinners. But my cooking skills have grown a lot. In fact, sometimes I donít just make rice Ė I make risotto.
And I owe it all to TV.
My sister, who studied professional cooking, introduced me to the Food Network when I was an adult. We never had cable growing up, and since I didnít really cook, I never really considered what I would get out of watching other people cook on TV. While I enjoyed watching certain shows with her, it wasnít something I was really excited about.
Then, Netflix premiered Chefís Table. Not only is this documentary absolutely stunning to watch, it offers more than just recipes Ė you learn about the lives of these world-renowned chefs, instead of just their menus. I was enthralled, and probably picked up some tips along the way.
And Anthony Bourdain showed up on my list of Netflix recommendations. Since his shows A Cookís Tour and The Layover were added to the library, Iíve spent at least an hour each evening watching him eating and drinking his way through exciting cities around the globe Ė for a few weeks now. Iím a bit late jumping on the Anthony Bourdain bandwagon, admittedly, but I can see why heís my sisterís favourite.
YouTube has also introduced me to many more creative, talented chefs. Channels like Munchies; You Suck At Cooking; F***, Thatís Delicious; VICE (with Matty Matheson); and my newest discovery, Binging with Babish, offer short and usually hilarious videos that provide hours of educational entertainment Ė and have inspired me to make all kinds of new dishes.
Or, at least, theyíve inspired me to ask my boyfriend to make them. With my expertly-cooked rice on the side.
Spice Island will always have a place in my heart (and on my plate), but thanks to my continuing culinary education, the quality of my peanut sauce has gone up a couple notches.