So after the last few weeks of panic at the imminent end of life at Leiths, I’m feeling a sense of calm sweeping over me as we head towards the closing stages of the course.
Granted, knowing me it will be temporary and this time next week I will be in full scale meltdown at the prospect of the advanced term practical exam, but I’m going to roll with this ‘I have my shit together’ attitude for as long as possible.
It finally feels as though its all coming together in the kitchen after a series of fun creative days and some good marks recently. In a little over 4 weeks I will be a fully fledged Leiths graduate. A trained chef.
Actually scrap that. It sounds a bit scary to be honest- lets just call me a ‘good cook’. That way when I next end up accidentally burning the bacon for the bacon sandwiches at somebody else house the morning after the night before, nobody can throw “but you’re a chef!” at me, and risk the wrath of my throbbing head and aching body.
Since I started Leiths, I have noticed a few alarming trends emerging when friends or family, and food combine.
- Nobody wants to cook for you anymore, not even your own mother. *coughshirleycough* Which means you basically end up cooking everything for yourself and everybody else, all of the time.
- When you go out for dinner, people expect you to pick the restaurant, therefore piling huge pressure to pick somewhere that is both amazing and cheap, because generally they will complain if the main courses are more than £12, despite the fact they wanted Michelin starred food. *Sigh*
- If you happen to go round somebody elses house for a social gathering that involves food, and you think to yourself- ‘great, somebody else is sorting the food- time for me to relax!”- think again. “Oh Liv, you can cook! Let me leave you in charge of this BBQ! Thanks, how kind of you!”. Nooooo please for once in my life I don’t want to smell of cooked meat.
- People constantly ask you “So, are you going to enter MasterChef?”. No- because now I’m formally trained, that would mean doing MasterChef: The Professionals, and spending 1 year at Leiths absolutely does not mean I am good enough to do that. Yet.
- You know that unwritten rule that if you have a friend who is a doctor, you don’t bombard then with your health queries at social gatherings? Kind of the same thing. I really don’t want to talk about the fact your lemon posset didn’t set, or your pavlova you made for last weeks party, cracked and leaked sugar syrup right now whilst I’m pouring myself a drink. I’m trying to get drunk and go out. Talk to me tomorrow.
- “So -what’s your signature dish” is a line I never, EVER want to hear anybody ask me again. The same goes for “Who is your favourite chef?”. The problem here is yours is probably Jamie Oliver (who I love, just for the record) whilst mine changes quite often, and may well be a chef who you haven’t heard of due to the fact he/she isn’t on TV. In terms of conversation, both of these are non-starters.
- This will change soon, as we leave Leiths, but if I serve you food, I really don’t expect or want you to give me detailed feedback on what you liked, and what you think could have been better. I cook for pleasure and often purely just to eat when I’m not at work/school, and that means your ‘constructive criticism’ is probably not needed. Did I overcook the potatoes slightly? Yeah I did. Oops. The chances are I already know that, but you are friends/family and I really don’t want you to care enough to tell me. I’m probably annoyed enough at myself, and you risk being eaten alive.
Yes, I love food, and I love cooking, and entertaining, and feeding people, and going out for dinner, and yes if you ask me, when I’m neither drunk nor hungover, (good luck with that one) I will tell you the best way to chop an onion, or why your sponge cake mixture has curdled, but please don’t treat me like I’m Heston bloody Blumenthal, because I’m not.
If you cook for me, I swear I will be so caught up in the pleasure of eating something I didn’t have to prepare, that no judgement whatsoever will leave my lips.
You should also know that it will not bother me in the slightest if we’re going out to eat and you fancy a Wagamamas. I totally love Wagas. And Nando’s- give me a whole chicken platter any day of the week. It will probably be the biggest relief that I don’t have to choose somewhere super-cool and featured in Time Out last week that is still within a student budget.
And finally, if I come to your house to eat, for goodness sake don’t ask me to cook. That was your job.
Love and frustrated hugs, foodies!