Cooking up joy

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One of my biggest passions in life, cooking, stemmed from my cousins when I was only four years old. Whenever I went to their house, they let me bake cakes from boxed cake mixes. They often babysat me when my parents were occupied with work, and I took huge pride in my baking, naive to the fact that I was just following instructions on a box.

When I was nine years old, my parents enrolled me in a culinary course, which helped me realize just how little I actually knew about cooking. When I finished the course, I learned much more than I expected, which furthered my love for the art. I spent much of my free time in the kitchen, following recipes online, and eventually, creating my own.

My favorite part about cooking, though, has always been the people. When I was younger, it was a means for quality time and bonding between my cousins and me. As I grew more seasoned with my cooking, I began paying more attention to reactions to my food. I dreaded serving something I deemed mediocre.

Once, I was asked to make something for a potluck. I had been wanting to make cake pops for a while, and I thought it would be fun and fairly simple. In reality, it was a disaster. When I finally figured out how to stop the cake from sliding off the stick, it was midnight, and I was up until 1 a.m. dunking the remaining cake into the candy melts. When I looked at the finished product, I felt disappointed in myself. However, nobody seemed bothered by the imperfections, which allowed me to remember that my food looking unprofessional would not make them any less happy with it.

Seeing people’s smiles after taking a bite out of my dish would always fill me with happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Their reactions are my motivation to continue expanding my cooking knowledge. Recently, I started a club called Chef’s Guild with my friends, dedicated to teaching others how to cook, because a few of my friends wanted to learn how to cook.  We realized that other students might be in the same situation, and we felt like it would be a fun experience to socialize and share our experience with others. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but as of right now, being able to cook and share my passion with the people around me makes me truly happy.

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