I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t cooking. Perhaps, I should rather say that I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have to prepare myself something to eat… snack or otherwise. Yes, my mother cooked our meals, but when you’re an obese child… you figure out how to constantly take care of your fix. Also, she was more ‘practical’ than me… breakfast, lunch and supper wasn’t enough for a chunky dude like me.
I don’t remember my father ever cooking. We could count manning a braai stand, but I’ve never seen the man chop and dice and certainly have never seen him garnishing anything. Dude doesn’t enjoy pretty plates, dude also puts mincemeat in the same category as gravy.
My love for food stems from my love of romance. Think of ‘Love Jones’ and ‘Brown Sugar’, where it’s just two people in the room, he pulls out her chair before serving her or he brings her breakfast in bed. There’s a connection when people share a meal, the connection runs even deeper when the meal was made specifically for her.
I love all food; home cooking, street food and more, but the theatre of fine dining captures me the most. The care, patience, technique and love… it truly is love on a plate. I’m always being dragged on twitter for presenting ‘small’ dishes, but I love how those who’ve been to my dinners give me their time to take them on a journey through several ‘small’ dishes. I love telling the stories of how the flavours are layered through many experiments and our constant new discoveries. That is art, that is beautiful and that is romantic.
I’m happy that in 2018, masculinity has changed (well in my eyes) and men can share more. Cooking isn’t women’s work and loving to prepare cuisine doesn’t make you less masculine. Many of my dinners have been female orientated because they openly appreciate the theatre, but I’m looking forward to dining and sharing with more gents. Looking forward to the conversations that men are afraid to have beyond deals and business, the conversations we fear as men, those that consume us. I’d love to provide a peaceful platform where we could break bread and build each other.
In the interim, I’m gonna keep cooking. It’s my peaceful distraction and it’s my delicious therapy.