How Good Of A Cook Are You?

Years ago Cook’s Illustrated magazine offered a recipe for “weeknight paella,” which included only four easy proteins: chicken thighs, garlic sausage (chorizo or kielbasa), shrimp, and either clams or mussels. It’s fantastic.

I love cheap food, too, especially at breakfast. Sorry to say that the great greasy spoon diners and coffee shops of New York are slowly dying out.

(Puts on “Eggs and Sausage” from the 1975 live Tom Waits album Nightwaks at the Diner)

I’m good, but in my area of expertise (Medieval cooking) I’m a pro. As in, people pay money to eat the food I make.

Are you the turkey leg cook at Renaissance Festivals? I’ll have to drop by if you circuit through Michigan next year.

Ha Ha. No, I cook real medieval food for catered events, like weddings and office parties, that want *authenticity *bragging rights.

Not a professional cook, but my cooking is so good that I could pass for a pro.

Spent some time working in a reaturant’s kitchen, where I held my own (then washed my hands). When I cook for friends I get compliments.

I guess that’s proof that no matter where you live, there’s something you can’t get. I would have assumed you could get ANYTHING in NYC. Though you did preface it with “good” - I remember seeing “Lake Superior Whitefish” at Whole Foods when I lived in Boulder. It was a far cry from what I grew up with.

I never knew that that niche existed. It sounds rather cool.

It’s a *very *limited market, especially where I live. But medieval weddings were a thing for a while… I’ve never done more than 3 events in one year, and nothing (paid, that is, I still do SCA and LARP feasts for myself) for the last 2.

I voted other.

A cook is well rounded, knows what boil, saute,reduce etc means.

I am not a cook, but I can prepare some food.

Steaks, burgers, fries, baked potatoes, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy (tube and pouch)…

I microwave hotdogs with the best of em, and I have yet to make a bad ham and cheese sandwich.:smiley: :p:D

As home cooks go, I’m better than “pretty good.” But “pass for a pro” seems like an overreach. Somewhere in between those two.

With the caveat that I only do vegetarian. :stuck_out_tongue:

There is another part of being a good cook.

How good are you in the kitchen? No, this is G rated.

Clean while you cook. You don’t need 4 measuring cups. Two knifes should do it. That cutting board that you chopped chicken on? Get it under the hot water and scrub it.

Before you know it, the oven beeps and things are ready and you haven’t left an after dinner mess.

Totally my style. My wife always leaves a big mess, though.

Yep, clean as you go and cook mise en place. My gf otoh, destroys the kitchen. We both end up serving great meals, though.

I had no idea that this was a thing. This website has a lot of recipes, though.

A Boke of Gode Cookery is my go-to, but also period sources, many of which are online.

Cleaning as you go is good, but having other people to clean up after you is even better. :slight_smile:

Before I cook, I always make sure my dishwasher is empty, so that I can just put dirty utensils directly in. I’m usually pretty good at keeping the mess down, so that when I am done, it just requires a few minutes of tidying up, and the kitchen is back to being clean (minus the dirty stuff in the dishwasher, which doesn’t get run until after dinner)

I think I’m getting decent, but I only cook for myself, so who knows what others’d think.

Until a year ago, I didn’t really have any facilities for doing more than stuff a frozen pizza in the oven, due to living in a shared house where kitchen space/time was at a premium. Improving my cooking has been one of my major projects and hobbies since I got the space. Sourdough pizza’s been my favourite lately, though I’ve run out of homegrown tomato sauce now (which reminds me- my starter needs some love, I’ve been away for Christmas).

I’ve done a bit of waitressing, and used to harass the chef for cooking tips, which helped a lot. In fact, I still do harass him for recipes occasionally, just mostly via the internet now :smiley:

I’m certainly a better cook than my parents, who know a few old faithful dishes and the rest is awful. Plenty of room for improvement

I’m a decent home cook. There’s a lot of stuff I do well, some in which I’m exceptional, and a few I don’t touch because I don’t have the knack for it.

Having food allergies has prompted me to do a lot of cooking from scratch over the years.

No one would mistake me for a pro, but I can feed whoever is under my roof and feed them well.

Likewise, but I have always said that if I didn’t actually have to worry about making a living at it, I would open a little restaurant with maybe half a dozen tables and an insanely eclectic menu with lots of specials from global cuisines that don’t get enough love in the U.S. (Georgian food, anyone?). Also I’d need to be rich enough to hire a sous chef and a dishwasher.

I’ve never actually taken a cooking class, but it would be awesome to have the time and the cash to get some actual professional training. I make a tasty cake, for example, but if I try to decorate it, it often looks like it was done by a six-year-old. And I’m sure that learning actual techniques from an actual pro by observation would be a very different experience than just reading a cookbook for instruction. Maybe when I retire…