Lately I have been thinking about how much I like cooking and baking.
I like baking because I think that it takes me back a few centuries. When I am baking bread I picture myself in 17th century France, providing for my family with what I have, giving them a staple food that I created with nothing more than ground wheat, water and salt. When I am making a quick bread, I imagine I’m a homesteader in 19th century America, giving my family something to eat with ingredients available to me, so they have the energy they need for cutting wood, chewing tobacco, branding cattle and repairing fences. When I am making a desert, I don’t imagine myself anywhere beyond where I am at the moment. I do that because deserts celebrate occasions– they lend to the date and add to its importance because deserts (homemade ones) are rare. When I make a cake for Father’s Day or Easter, I think more about Father’s Day and Easter, and how important they are to me, and I realize that it’s not the desert that’s important, it’s the occasion.
I like cooking because I like ingredients and because I like giving something to someone I love. When I say I like ingredients, I mean that a meal means a lot more to me if I know the origins of the ingredients, and I can appreciate their quality. I appreciate ingredients and that’s why I like local and organic food so much. When I am cooking a meal, I want whoever is eating it to have the best. When I cook, I think that the time I spend on the meal is the most important part. You will know you are special to me if I have cooked something for you that took a long time, even if I could have cheated and taken a shortcut. A meal for you is a gift for me, and from me. Cooking makes me happy, and I will cook for anyone (if you buy the ingredients).
Because these two things are so important to me, and they make me so happy, I have wondered how I could do them for a living. So, I came up with two ideas for cooking shows. Starring, me!
Idea #1: Cooking show based on humor
Several chefs became famous partly because of their memorable personalities, but not one has specifically utilized humor to market the show. I would cook regular food for the most part, maybe have some sort of focus, but that would not be the reason to watch the show. The reason to watch the show would be because I’m cracking jokes while cooking. In real life, I’m in my element when I’m cooking. My jokes hit, I dance around the kitchen avoiding obstacles, I improvise and do accents, and I feel in my element. On the show I would have a script, but there would be plenty of room to improvise, because that’s where I feel the golden material would be. This idea is the more kosher of my two.
Idea #2: Week-long cooking show based on sustainability, local food, with a focus on the ingredients
The show would work on a five-day basis, so that hopefully it would run Monday through Friday. Each day, I would prepare, pick, source, butcher, or otherwise gather the ingredients that I would need for one meal. Every Friday, I would finish up a meal that I have been working on each day. On Monday through Thursday episodes, I would be preparing food that takes a few days to make, or I would be at a farm or butchery gathering the food. For instance, I would go to a farm one episode to gather the vegetables I would need. The next day, I could hand-make the pasta that I will be boiling on Friday’s episode. I could make a ricotta cheese on Wednesday that needs to set for two days, and on Thursday I would go butcher a lamb to serve short ribs with my pasta. My idea comes a lot from the blog “The Perennial Plate,” and what Daniel Klein does. Every episode he visits a farm or family who is doing something in the farming nature, and he spends a day with them. That night he cooks a meal using their ingredients. I would work with that same premise, but have more days, and so be able to visit more places. That way when I make my final meal, you know where every ingredient came from originally!
Those are MY IDEAS. NO ONE TAKE THEM.