If you think that cooking isn’t important, you should know that French cuisine was declared “world intangible heritage” by UNESCO.
The drinks before the meal, the cheese course, and the four or five courses that follow have been classified as important as the Colosseum in Rome.
What about you?
If you’re one of them, you could get private tutorials or attend cooking classes. You can also teach yourself to cook if you use the right resources. You can learn to cook by yourself if you’re a beginner on a budget.
To get the most out of your learning, there are plenty good resources online and in bookshops to help you make tasty cooked meals, teach you how to prep effectively, show you the basics of frying eggs, and help you cook for your friends and family, etc.
Whether you love meat or veggies, complex meals or snacks, Superprof has a few suggestions that could be the recipe for success when it comes to your next dish.
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The Best Books for Learning to Cook
Many of us have fond memories of that one cookbook that’s been in the family for generations, be it Gran following a recipe for roast beef or mum making her famous apple pie. Of course, that doesn’t mean men can’t cook, either. The cooking resources in this article are for everyone.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, young or old, here are some of the best books for learning how to cook.
This is basically the bible of French cooking (though the English version has plenty of recipes from other cuisines). Everyone should probably have a copy of this book in their kitchen before they pick up any of the utensils.
If you have any questions when you’re in the kitchen, this book is probably where you’ll find the answer.
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Culinary terms are explained so that you know exactly what every recipe wants you to do. You won’t need to keep a dictionary on hand when in the kitchen!
If you're not familiar with a certain ingredient, are a stranger to the oven, or don't have a clue how to crush garlic, you should pick up a recent version of the Gastonomique.
As the old saying goes: practice makes perfect! Fortunately for you, this book also has plenty of recipes for you to practice with. There’s plenty of different dishes from around the world as well as an explanation of their origins.
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5 Ingredients - Quick & Easy Food
Whether you love or hate Jamie Oliver, this is a useful book for novice chefs looking to cook simple meals for themselves and their families.
As you may have guessed, every recipe requires just 5 ingredients. Additionally, each of these dishes are also very healthy, great for anyone who’s trying to eat more healthily.
Whether you’re cooking with chicken, making something vegetarian, or trying to make a dessert, you’ll find it in this clear and organised book.
You can find dishes like delicious roast tikka chicken with potatoes, cauliflower, and coriander for a bit of seasoning or fish pie with haddock, spring onion, spinach, and cheddar. The best thing about these gourmet dishes is that you'll be enjoying them in less than half an hour.
Cooking Basics for Dummies
Don’t worry if you’re a dummy in the kitchen. Once you read this book, you won’t be. If you want to learn how to cook with simple and clear recipes, you should pick up this book for less than £20 (we recommend the spiral-bound version which will stay open when placed on a bench!).
This book also covers the kinds of ingredients you should keep in your pantry, essential cooking techniques, and a glossary of cooking terms. With this next to you, you’ll no longer panic when it comes to dinner time.
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If you don't know the difference between soup spoons and salad tongs, can't turn the cooker on, or tune out whenever someone mentions grilling, this is the book that'll help keep you away from the frozen food aisle.
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How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food
This book is an investment that every budding cook should make. There are a lot of recipes, clear instructions, and, most importantly, they’re easy to make.
For less than £20, you can pick up this essential cookbook.
Are your taste buds ready for something different?
Maybe you’ll soon become the next celebrity chef.
Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition
As you can probably guess, this book has stood the test of time and has been passed from generation to generation. Fortunately for you, this book has been updated for modern tastes and extra recipes have been added.
Keep in mind that this is an American book which means the some of wording is different (you can still pronounce the “h” in herbs if you want) and, even though there’s a conversion table, the measures in the ingredients are imperial.
The book (depending on the version) costs around £10. If you're looking for an easy recipe to get started, this book's a good investment.
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The Best Videos for Learning to Cook
YouTube channels have changed the way we can learn new skills. You’ve probably already seen science or history videos or people teaching others how to play the guitar on YouTube.
There are plenty of YouTubers and YouTube channels around for beginners learning how to cook.
- Epicurious is a popular cooking site and their YouTube channel is full of useful and interesting videos for novice and experienced cooks.
- SortedFood includes a lot of useful videos on cooking techniques and how to cook a load of recipes.
- Just Eat Life includes a good variety of recipes from around the world that are clear and easy to follow.
However, there are also of useful sites where you can find videos on how to cook. Websites are a good way to access thousands of recipes and are even better if you have a tablet to view them from while you follow the instructions.
There are also cooking Facebook pages with videos you can watch on how to cook a variety of meals. These videos often last less than two minutes. You know the ones, the ones where you can only see the chef’s hands from above and the whole process is sped up.
The Best Sites for Learning to Cook
Whether you’re looking to make a plate of pasta or a quiche lorraine, you should practice cooking, and there are literally plenty of websites for those who want to learn how to cook.
Get your cooking utensils, turn on your computer, and get ready to find some of the greatest recipes around.
Why not get in touch with some friends and have them round yours?
Whether learning to make tapas, roasting a chicken, or preparing a plate of cookies, the internet is home to plenty of different resources for those wanting to learn how to cook.
A few of our favourite sites include:
- More than just a recipe site, Genius Kitchen focuses on cooking and the culture around cooking.
- Yummly.com boasts even more recipes than Genius Kitchen. However, this is more of a gateway to recipes than a site itself. If you're looking for an easy recipe, this site is a good place to start.
- While StudentRecipes is a great site is great for students, it’s also great for novice chefs wanting to learn more about cooking without breaking the bank.
- Epicurious comes highly recommended and is a veritable treasure trove of recipes and cooking articles. Whether you want to learn quick and easy recipes or just what equipment you should have in your kitchen, this is a site you should check out.
- There are also plenty of blogs written by amateur cooks with original recipes for adventurous cooks. Whether you want to make a vegetable stir fry or learn how to boil an egg, you'll find plenty of basic cooking instructions online. Additionally, there are lots of blogs for vegetarian and vegan cooking, too.
Many of us decide to learn how to cook because we want to eat more healthily. In fact, it’s the most common reason for learning how to cook. The second most common reason people learn to cook is for enjoyment and having fun with friends and family. Whatever your reason for learning how to cook, these different resources should help you a lot.
Whether you want to cook some vegetables, take up baking, or just make healthier meals, these resources are the ingredients and the recipes you'll start making hearty homemade meals. The rest is up to you. If your first attempts at cooking failed, be patient! Learning from your mistakes is the best way to learn!