Hi there! I’m Alicia, a self-proclaimed foodie, recipe hoarder, Cooking Tutor and qualified Nutritionist.
The science of cooking, how the application of different cooking methods to a single ingredient can give so many varieties of taste and texture excites me. Cooking shouldn’t be scary, yet I’ve met so many people who are petrified of the kitchen. What could be better than sitting down to a meal you’ve cooked yourself or helped prepared?! I teach families healthy cooking and budgeting, and adults with disabilities cooking and life skills.
What can I say? My life just revolves around food!
I am excited about the Summer Bite Buddies project, it is a wonderful concept to help bring people together through food and technology. If you are thinking of joining Bite Buddies for the cooking sessions, don’t think about it – just come on over and share with someone else the joy of cooking. I’ll be on hand during your sessions to provide assistance and see you through the steps.
To give you an idea of what your cooking video may look like, you can watch my example video, How to make Dorayaki. I filmed this on my mobile across two videos, and our Video Editor has since converted it into one short video, along with text, images and music.
Below are some tips to help you all be prepared for your cooking session. Most of them I’m sure you already do without thinking.
1. Start with a clean kitchen
Can’t say that enough! Remove things that are not needed or necessary from kitchen worktops. If you start with a clean, uncluttered kitchen it is more inviting, and in the video you’ll actually be able to see what is happening.
Expect it to be messy! Here is where I have a hard and fast rule – clean as you go! Trust me, it will make the experience more enjoyable, reduce the risk of cross contamination and it means you will have less tidying up after.
3. Start small
Be realistic and start with something simple. The challenge is to make a dish that you’ll both enjoy cooking and eating, rather than a banquet.
4. Be prepared
Read the recipe through beforehand – you wouldn’t set off on an unknown journey without first looking at a map and checking what there is to do once you get there! Reading your recipe first, means you get an idea of the equipment and ingredients you need. This will prevent stress during the cooking process, which should be full of fun.
5. Get to know your herbs and spices
They are great for adding flavour and colour to a dish. They can take a bland dish to another level, giving it what I call the “yum factor“! TheKitchn has a great article on Common Spices for Common Dishes.
6. Consider allergies
Make sure you find out if your cooking partner has any food allergies or intolerances. For example, some people react badly to gluten, dairy or egg. So bear that in mind when you choose your recipe and ingredients. However, there are many substitutes available and ways to modify recipes.
7. Mise en place (mi sah, what now?! yeah! I know)
“Mise en place”, that’s just a fancy term for organizing and arranging the ingredients for cooking a meal. This involves, getting your ingredients together and doing any chopping cutting, peeling etc beforehand. Your cooking slot will be 2 hours long, and that includes preparation, cooking and cleaning up, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible. See why number 2 is important?
8. Practice good food hygiene
Wash hands before you start cooking, and after handling raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for root vegetables, fruit, cooked foods and raw meat. Trust me nothing puts you off your cooking mojo like a dodgy tummy, because you didn’t follow some simple food hygiene principles.
So, when you’ve read your recipe, purchased and prepped your ingredients then what?
GO EXPERIMENT and have FUN in the kitchen together! The part of cooking, which the recipe books out there won’t tell you, is to go with your instinct. This is how you will progress from being OK cooks to great cooks. Think of recipes as guides only and not hard and fast rules which cannot be broken. In fact I will always say break the rules (this step is after you have gained some kitchen confidence).
Have fun in the kitchen, and I look forward to meeting you all at the cooking sessions.
Alicia (Cooking Tutor)
Get cooking tips
Join our free workshops to work with someone else to make your own cooking video.
Receive tips and advice from me during your cooking workshop.
First workshop (Meet your partner and choose a recipe):
Sunday 26th July, 10am to 12pm, 387 London Road, Croydon, CR0 3PB