I love to cook. As a child, I learned while helping my mother in the kitchen. As a teenager, I occasionally prepared meals for my family. In college, I regularly cooked for roommates. Over the years, I’ve developed this skill and until recently, I considered myself a better than average cook.
I now realize that I don’t know as much as I previously thought I did about cooking. This realization was brought about by two things: Knowledge and Resources.
Knowledge. When I’m not cooking or eating, I’m watching shows about cooking and eating. Watching a master chef skillfully prepare, cook and plate common foods with exotic ingredients is a treat. Watching someone like Bobby Flay is educational as well as exciting. Some of my favorite Food Network shows are:
Barefoot Contessa – hosted by Ina Garten
Boy Meets Grill – hosted by Bobby Flay
East Meets West With Ming Tsai – hosted by Ming Tsai
Iron Chef America – hosted by Alton Brown
Jamie at Home - hosted by Jamie Oliver, premiering January 12, 2008
The Next Iron Chef – hosted by Alton Brown and Mark Dacascos
Resources. As a gift I recently received a Wüsthof Classic Hollow-Ground Santoku, 5", with Sharpener. This knife has changed my life. Not only has it improved my ability, it has highlighted my limitations... in the kitchen. It has also made me want more knives of different shapes, sizes and uses.
Having knowledge of a skill, the resources to develop that skill, and the desire to learn is what sets a master apart from an amateur.
What do you like to do? Are you a master of anything?