How Good Of A Cook Are You?

I went “As home cooks go, I’m not the best, but I’m not the worst either.” I am much better with open flame and/or gas stoves than I am electric. Give me the right cookstove or smoker and I’m damn good; with more modern tools I am a lot more average.

Heh, I wish. Maybe if you are head chef at a palatial estate for one of the .01%'ers. More typically you are looking at $45-50k a year. Depends on your clientele and your skill of course.

And, as a kidnapping victim, I may not be able to negotiate even that good a rate.

I actually don’t mind cheap places, diners and the like. I’ll scarf down breakfast at Bob Evans any day you want to take me. I’m not really expecting much, and my expectations are delivered upon.

It is the nice restaurants that people try to take me for special occasions that always leave me disappointed.

That’s me too. When I watch the fancy-schmancy (to use a technical term) cooking shows, I am impressed in how the food looks on the plate, and I agree it probably does add to the overall enjoyment of the dish - particularly if you paid for it.

My serving style is pretty much based on the ‘Here’s your prison slop. Next!’ methodology. In other words - get it on the right kind of plate while it’s still hot, make sure everything is there in appropriate portions, and that the knives and forks look as if you at least tried to find a matchng set at the thrift shop.

But it’s good food, and I get no complaints (probably because they’ll be sent to the warden:p).

I’m a pretty good home cook. I’m not afraid to tackle any kind of dish, and almost always produce something worthwhile. I treat recipes as guidelines. I improvise and invent new dishes, and the results are generally pretty good (with the exception of certain deliberately zany experiments). Judging by the reception of and requests for my specialties, those could pass for professional cooking in terms of taste, at least.

However, I tend to take a long time to prepare food, and I’m not very good at timing and juggling multiple dishes so that everything is ready at once, so I prefer to make meals that only require me to coordinate one or two things. I’m also not big on presentation. So, in terms of efficiency, complexity, and presentation, I couldn’t pass for pro even with my best dishes.

Spotty. I graduated from the “Eat your mistakes” culinary academy, which keeps a dear school, as they say, but sometimes allows for happy accidents. If I like something, I learn to cook it because I can’t afford to out much. Can’t do desserts, though. Am really good at one thing, though.

Not the best, not the worst. I’m really good with soups and stews, but so so with frying or baking. And I just plain suck at getting multiple dishes done at the same time. Those steaks are going to be cold by the time I get you any potatoes.

I chose I’m not the best but not the worst.

It’s just the two of us for the holidays this year so I needed only to provision a small meal for Christmas Eve and leftovers for Christmas.

I came across a pheasant at the supermarket, which I had never cooked nor eaten, so I picked it up, along with a bunch of broccolini and a bag of Brussels sprouts.

I sought the simplest of recipes, roasting the pheasant with salt, pepper, and olive oils, and finishing with a little butter to brown the top.

I steamed the Brussels sprouts in the microwave, again with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then browned them in the broiler.

I sautéed the broccolini on the stove, again with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

To that I added a nice bit of cheese.

I’m sure others could have done much better, but it was an edible and pleasant meal that included a new experience. Nothing spectacular, but nonetheless satisfactory.

I have zero problems with cheap eats. I have big problems with crappy cheap eats.

Whereas, my breakfast at home is a bowl of cereal with milk, and maybe some berries, accompanied by a pot of tea. Cheap restaurants have horrible tea (the water being barely lukewarm, even when the teabags are okay) but I generally enjoy when someone else cooks eggs for me.

I’m surprised you’ve had such bad luck with eggs, though. I feel like eggs are easy, and most every diner and hotel restaurant does a decent over-easy egg. And while I’ve been served both soggy and leathery bacon, I feel that decent bacon is the norm. (I always ask whether the waitress recommends the bacon or the sausage, though, and accept her advice.)

I voted for “As home cooks go, I’m not the best, but I’m not the worst either.” I’m a competent, but not very imaginative, cook.

I went to culinary school but only worked very briefly in a commercial kitchen. I can cook pretty much anything but my baking is super rusty because my gf is a literal blue ribbon winning baker so I just let her do her thing!

I would never call myself a chef, but I cooked in a high-end resort for a while. Now that the nest is emptied, my wife and I usually get by on frozen dinners.

I reckon I’m about “short-order cook” level. Not sit-down restaurant good, but I know the theories and I can apply them. I grill more than I cook in the house, but my Thanksgiving turkey has become family legend. Thinking of two things I did within the past week: I feel that if you can temper an egg and make a proper roux, you’re above average.

Now, you can’t just say that without sharing.

I can follow directions, I know what I like, and I’m not afraid to use appliances or make a mess. Most of my heavy cooking is done for special occasions, and there’s usually a lot of experimentation involved. My dishes tend to look really bad, but taste really good.

It isn’t that special, really. I just brine the bird for 24 hours (brine is mostly just vegetable broth), rinse, stuff it with aromatics, give it an oil rub-down, power-roast at 500 for half an hour, then back down to 350 until it’s done. Rest for half an hour and carve. It’s not anything special, but the family apparently has never had turkey that wasn’t bone-dry.

I guess I would say I am a good home cook. I do things like soufflés and so forth, I do most of the cooking when we have dinner parties, and people seem to enjoy what I make.

I would not like to be a professional chef. The hours suck, and I don’t want to cook for strangers. It tastes different when you care about the people who are going to eat your food. Although it is one of the joys of my life to put something down in front of the family, or our friends, that they don’t recognize, have them taste it, and then say “this is GOOD” and watch it disappear down their gullets like piranha on a drowning horse.

I cook on the weekends. And it is nice, on a Friday night, to have my wife sit in the kitchen, open the first bottle of wine as I lay out the ingredients, and let the conversation blossom as I chop and mix and fry.

Regards,
Shodan

I can follow most recipes pretty well, and am reasonably imaginative when coming up with something new, as long as it’s within my wheelhouse (stew, soup, salad, and pasta dishes). And there’s a few things that I do my own spin on that are terrific (gumbo, pasta carbonara, and lamb stew).

I’m a danged good cook. I used to make fancy dishes years ago, but these days, I prefer quick and easy—but tasty.

I don’t follow recipes per se, but if I’m making something new, I glance at a few recipes to get a feel for the meal and make it my own.

My daughters turned vegan on me a few years ago (traitors!) so I usually make two versions of meals: 1) bloody and 2) ewww.

Actually, a lot of my vegan dishes are pretty good.

My nephew is a culinary school trained chef at a fine restaurant. He gives me a few pointers now and then … but, when he was little, I gave him the pointers!

God, I WISH I could get good freshwater fish here. I grew up on 1960s Friday Night perch fish frys in Northeast Ohio.

I love tourtiere, but I go low-class on it…ground pork browned and braised with minced onion, potato, celery, carrot, and garlic, possibly mushrooms. Simple seasoning, just salt, pepper, parsley, maybe a touch of thyme or oregano. And a grocery store crust, because I’m no pieman.