Channel 221, H&H, features a programme entitled Take Home Chef featuring Chef Curtis, an Australian native who has lived in London for ten years and is now the host of this television show.
With camera crew, Curtis goes to chosen supermarkets, targets a customer (the episodes I viewed the customers were all female so I don’t know if males are targeted too), introduces himself and his mission, offers to cook a meal at the customer’s home, shops with her for the ingredients for the discussed menu then accompanies her home to prepare the meal complete with dessert.
It is really intriguing to see how he prepares the meal, allowing the woman of the house to assist as well, showing her new and innovative ways to cook different dishes.
What interested me more however, is his explanation on how he started on this career as a chef as he shared with one of the customers, Meagan. Curtis explained that he had always loved cooking because his mother was always in the kitchen, cooking or baking something. He would be there with her and as such, he learnt many things about food and its preparation, and as he grew older, he pursued the occupation, developed skills and became qualified in the area of food. This saw his coming into his own as a Master Chef. Now he stars on a television programme seen the world over.
His simple beginnings set me thinking. Our children are on vacation and many parents have taken theirs as well, to coincide with the children’s. They are seeking ways to keep them occupied during this time. Of course, many of the children are attending lessons of one type or another; some are travelling to other countries, but there are those who are not.
So, for the parents who are looking for activities to keep them occupied, you do not have to think only of the beach or the park, or outings to various local venues. While all these are interesting, an alternative is that they can stay at home some days and become involved in food.
Maybe mothers can look at kitchen time as a means of occupying the attention of their children. They will learn new things, develop skills in the area of cooking and baking, and this could be the beginning of a productive career for many of them who may find the culinary arts to be their ‘cup of tea’. The outings here could be the trips to the market, the grocery, the fish and meat shop, the fruit and vegetable vendor. They will learn about handling finances, choosing fruits and vegetables and picking the best cuts in fish and meat.
It should be noted that it’s not an activity for girls only. Curtis is a living witness that boys can also benefit from these activities. As a matter of fact, this can be a family activity where meal and menu planning, the actual cooking of the dishes, the setting of the table and meal etiquette can become part of the process. In addition to learning the rudiments of cooking, baking and all the other associated activities, family bonding could be fostered, strengthening family life, something our society needs at this time.
Parents can also look at Art and Craft. There are many mothers who can crochet, knit, embroider, etc. and teaching the children these skills can be very productive. They are not too young to learn to hem, sew on a button, mend a tear in a garment, etc. Enjoy the vacation.