Diary of a Cooking Course
A story like many
For some years I’ve been organizing, in what would be classed as "free time", 100% vegetable cooking courses. I create a menu, fix a date and launch the event on social media. I always receive more requests than what I would expect and often have to double the dates. I send the information, update by whatsapp and finally we meet. Meantime I’ve gone shopping, prepared and printed the recipes, organized the necessary, washed and ironed the aprons. The day of the course, I’m always glancing at my watch: I have to finish the preparations, set up the table, register the subscriptions, adjust things, prepare the blender, pots and pans, place the ingredients and chopping boards....and the minutes pass quickly until the bell rings and, one at a time, you enter. I greet you with a smile, sometimes I don’t know you, yet the first greeting card is a smile. Because I want this to be a beautiful experience for you, that you feel at home, that you can enjoy every second. Other times I find people dear to me but who I haven’t seen in a long time...some from pre-school! It’s so emotional to hug you again. Or I can receive some participants from previous courses...you are precious confirmation!. The course starts, I explain the menu, we turn the cooker on, we start to knead, cook, chop, slice, taste, heat and cool, mix and slowly the magic takes form. From the kitchen delicious aromas and then it’s time to dish everything up: I leave you an example of plating and you replicate it, you have fun even when it goes wrong but try again until the moment in which, satisfied, you take pictures of the dishes created. Before starting to sample I thank you all, from my heart and you always offer the most beautiful applause. We take the usual photo with everyone in front of the dressed buffet. Now we conclude opening a bottle of wine and facing the buffet with the question: "where to start?" My response is always the same: wherever you prefer!
At this point the silence of tasting, eyes opening wide and the emotion of trying something different and discovering how much you like it....."from tomorrow I’m vegan!" how many times I’ve heard this...the satisfaction which transpires from your comments, the enthusiasm of asking when is the next course, and the desire to change, at least a little, your eating habits.
You see sometimes I ask myself "why go to the effort?". I work all week and there’s never enough time yet, when I can, Sundays I spend cooking with people who want to try vegan recipes.
Maybe you don’t know but at cooking courses I’ve seen friendships start, love strengthened, I’ve enjoyed smiles and sympathy, I’ve received marvellous words and enthusiasm, I’ve found again old friends and created new ties, I’ve witnessed courtships and had the joy of finding out about pregnancies and births, I’ve found advice and solutions, sometimes we’ve laughed until we've cried and we’ve had difficulty saying goodbye at the end of the course, and I’ve felt light and happy so many times and even been moved.
A cooking course is something precious which can open wide new windows to our life, taking us much farther than the recipes we prepare together.
So will there be new courses?
Many are asking me this question: when we can yes, definitely yes. Meantime we’ll adjust in some way: I can reach you in direct from the kitchen, it’ll never be the same thing, obviously, but it’s an easy way to continue to do that which I love and am passionate about: meet you, your desire to experiment and your great curiosity!