Michael Ruhlman: Why Cook?

Michael Ruhlman: Why Cook?


Michael Ruhlman started a meme a couple of weeks ago where he asked people to blog about why they cook. Above is his TEDxCLE talk about why cooking is essential to making us human, to making us families, and to making us reasonably healthy human beings. It’s well worth the fifteen minutes (and he’s sort of adorably nervous, as one would be).

He says in the video, and on the follow up post on his blog, that we need to make cooking an imperative. With which I agree. But I guess one of the things I’ve been trying to figure out by writing about it (the only way I ever figure anything out) is why we need to make cooking anything. How did we get to this place where cooking, and I’m not talking elaborate, or slow food, or gourmet, or any of those things, I’m just talking about the simple act of cooking our meals on a regular basis has become so strange? Where cooking for yourself and your family has become the exception, not the rule?

I cook because it would be weird not to. I cook because it’s cheaper to cook for myself than to eat out. I cook because I like food I can’t get here in Montana (the nori roll I ate for lunch, Thai curry, good pizza). I cook because my parents cooked (although my grandmother hated cooking, and we lived on Hostess cakes at her house — they came sanitarily wrapped, an important thing in her kitchen). I cook because I believe that sharing a meal with the person I love is one of the ways we build a life together. I cook because I like to, and because it’s fun, and because I find it creative and a good way to wind down of an evening. But mostly, I cook because it would be just downright weird not to cook. Not cooking would be like letting someone else breathe for me.

So readers, why do you cook — or for those of you who don’t, why don’t you?

3 thoughts on “Michael Ruhlman: Why Cook?

  1. Ooo! Ooo! I can answer this!

    Before I had kids, I ate about 80% of my meals in restaurants. Well, in college I ate at the cafeteria but then I ate in restaurants. Why? Because it was easy. My kitchen was itty bitty and I had like 3 pots and never any spices, so there was that; also, I was always out & about & if I got hungry, it was quicker to stop by a cafe than to go all the way home. (I lived in a city.) Also, I didn’t know how. My mom never taught me. I kind of wanted to learn but in the same way that I kind of wanted to learn to sew. It didn’t seem essential, it seemed dilettante. Oh and also I had plenty of money.

    After I had kids, the equation changed. Going to a restaurant with a kid is a total utter pain in the ass; I had to quit my job to care for them so I had a lot less money; and when they are old enough to order their own plates, too, it gets crazy expensive; and lastly, I was ALWAYS IN THE HOUSE so it seemed time, at last, to learn to cook.

    I still haven’t learned to sew, though.

  2. I cook because I need to eat. 😀 Seriously, it’s all those things. It’s cheaper. It would be weird not to. I have dietary issues that make eating out a near impossibility now (oh, it’s really sad — I also adore eating out).

    It’s creative. It’s the same reason writers write and painters paint and knitter knit. I get to create things. I love making things.

Comments are closed.

Comments are closed.