I’m not a chef and I don’t consider myself a cook, but the truth is that I’ve been cooking every day for the last twenty years, maybe more. So, even though my cooking skills don’t appear on my resume, cooking is the only thing that I’ve been doing consistently for a long time. Now, listen to this: nobody taught me, at least not in a formal, systematic or structured way.
So, I didn’t go to cooking school and my mom –a working mom-- didn’t have the time to teach me. How did I learn? By doing it. There were, of course, a series of unfortunate mishaps: burnt food, oily eggs, undercooked meat, overly salty soups. You name it, I did it all. Never mind, the good news is I learned.
In this sense, learning how to cook was more an everyday exercise than a matter of inputting, absorbing or remembering recipes, measurement tables or whatever.
And the fact that I didn’t have a teacher doesn’t make me think that we don’t need teachers. We do, but we need the kind of teachers that teach beyond content. In fact, I have had wonderful teachers throughout my life, but what I learned from them had little to do with “content”. My favorite teachers taught me more than academic knowledge, they taught me –with their example-- to be passionate, to put things into perspective, and most importantly, to embrace knowledge to make life better, not just for me, but for everybody else.