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Aug 1, 2014 07:12 PM

Projects I'm doing for motivating people to cook more...

This is slightly off topic, but let me explain:

About half a year ago, I quit my job as a designer for a software company. Since then I've made it my mission to "bring back cooking." Because let's face it, everyone here knows how to cook, but I know at least 10 people who have nothing in their fridge but beer.

Cooking has been an amazing, rewarding, and endlessly fascinating part of my life and I don't want us to lose that as a culture and society, even as convenience foods take over and time pressures conspire to take us away from the home kitchen.

So this summar I started working on a series of experiments in bringing back cooking.

You can see the short, 1-2 week "experiments" (or mini-projects) I've done so far here:

Do you guys know someone who would like help either learning how to cook (getting started can be intimidating if you didn't grow up in a cooking family) or motivating themselves to cook more? If so, please tell them about my project.

The signup form is here:

Much appreciated!

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  1. I like your approach! I'm quite intrigued and look forward to what comes next.

    1. You are very creative! Good job :)

      1. I like the direction.

        I find getting people to cook a battle between daily or weekly time contraints (either real or imagined) and cooking level ability in their own mind( either real or imagined.)

        Anymore, not a lot of moms or even grandmothers now teach offspring how to cook. Thus the disconnect.

        In reality, it's not that hard, you learn as you go, and build upon the basics.

        I call it the changing a tire or changing a baby's diaper rule.

        Both seem daunting and utterly dangerous to do if never done before (just like cooking), but in reality, if you grew up in a big family or with a dad or brothers that tinkered with cars , you knew how to do one or usually both once a teenager or before. Often times forced to. And often in the dark and in the middle of the night.. LOLZ.

        Watching a video or TV programming is a good first step for cooking. Watching in real life a second good step. Getting in there and helping best of all.

        But to many, that third step is hella scarey. Shouldn't be, but is.

        I won't go into the "isms" of likes and dislikes and the huge gravitational pull of all things dining out and fast food, but you already knew that.

        If today's culture all know how to innately work a smart phone, boot a laptop, bitch about and reconfigure your HDMI TV to the best setting and tweet, text, e-mail, instagram, facebook, and vine all at the same time, they better as ^&%$ know how to make me a grilled cheese or fry me up a burger or a BLT.

        I don't see it, but I do see the loss of simple domestic skills as well as many other basic ones going south.

        So so sad.

        Best of luck.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jjjrfoodie

          I think you're spot on - it seems like a LOT of people on Chowhound had their parents'/grandparents' influence as way to kick start their cooking habit.

          Absent that, it's a spouse or a kid. But by then cooking is stressful, and it's easier for it to be perceived as a chore rather than something creative, fun, and also nurturing.

          Maybe the trick is to start young... and that's what I'm hoping to prototype with the 3rd experiment, the cooking quest game.

        2. Good for you, and best of luck! I'm thinking of starting a home ec class for my sons' school for the middle schoolers. It's a shame they don't teach them the basics of cooking anymore, and as everyone already stated, the lack of intergenerational emphasis on teaching our children to cook now is a shame. I hope our school will embrace the idea.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            Best of luck! I would have loved to have home ec at my school. :) You'll have to let us know how it goes!

          2. I love this! There are so many reasons that people believe they can't cook. I worked with people most of the time who are interested in cooking with local ingredients but believe they can't afford it. It's so important to get people to cook and best of luck!