What’s holding you back in the kitchen? I’d like to pose this question as food for thought this month. With the release of my cookbook, I’ve been talking to lots of people about the book, and inevitably, about Thai cooking. The word that keeps coming up in our conversation, the word that many people use to describe how they feel about Thai cooking, is “intimidating.” I know many of you are Thai cooking pros by now, but if you are getting started, and you know that feeling of intimidation, perhaps ask yourself: What exactly is intimidating you? And what is the worst that could happen? I think you’ll realize that the worst case scenario is that you’ll learn what not to do next time! (P.S. I discuss “the fear of ethnic cuisine” extensively in my book (p.22), so if you’ve got it, give it a read!)
I have made many failed dishes myself. All chefs have. It’s how we learn to be better at what we do. All the recipes I post are preceded by versions that needed tweaking. If all my recipes come out perfect the first time, I wouldn’t have any useful advice to give you about what not to do or what to be careful of. Occasionally, I give a new dish a go and it comes out perfect the first time…and after a brief moment of excitement and self-high-five, I’d almost feel disappointed by it. This is because I’ve come to enjoy the process of fine-tuning, experimenting, and researching new methods to improve a dish, because that’s really what excites me.
So this month, go forth and try dishes you’ve been intimidated to try, and let me know how it goes!