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Old 01-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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A passionate young cook! :)

Hello everyone! :)

My name is Michelle, and I'm a young girl of 17. I have two passions in my life---music and culinary arts. I decided to chase my dream in the world of culinary, since I feel: this is the world where I belong. I live in Indonesia at the moment, sitting on the 12th grade of high school. Gonna graduate in 3 months, and I'm really looking forward to my plan to study more about gastronomy in an institute in Australia! :)

I found this forum when I was surfing on the internet looking for some answers to my question, and I ended up registering myself in this place right away after I got here. Honestly, I feel very lucky that now I'm here.

I love to cook. Very, extremely, terribly, love it. I'm planning to be a professional in this world. Thus, (first of all) , I need to get my basic skills right. I do cook, but in my own way which is kind of messy, I guess. I only follow the recipes and nothing else. I often spend too much time on the preparation. Really, I don't know where I should start.

So, I really hope that you guys, would like to help me. XD
Where should I start as the basic? Knives skills? Making decent stocks? And how should I do it in the proper way? I'm a total newbie on this. Any help---book suggestions, videos suggestions, explanations, anything---would be very, highly, greatly appreciated! :)

Also, I love to make new friends. I'm interested in building friendship with you :) if you would like to be my friend, feel free to reach me through email or MSN, :)

Hope to hear from you soon! :)


Regards,

Michelle C.

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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The manual skills will come with time and experience. Even dull, unimaginative chefs can have great skills. Creative cooking is an art in which science plays a critical role. Think of it like this. When you begin in music with the intent of becoming a composer, you begin by studying the principles of melody and harmony, what works, what doesn't, and why might work in the right situation. In painting, you form a mental image of what you want and then try to concoct at "recipe" that will create that image. And in both, you really begin by following someone else's recipe. You perform someone's musical piece or you paint as directed. (You can always, of course, point to the famous musician who doesn't read music or the outsider artist whose work is in demand, but those are rare cases. You can't start out with that idea and really hope to get anywhere.)

In cooking, you begin following recipes. Now, just like in music or painting, you can keep following recipes and never become creative. And just as in those arts, you can't depart from recipes until you understand how and why they work. So, when you try a recipe, take that opportunity to discover what's happening. If it says to brown meat, do you know why. It's not just for appearance. It produces what called the Maillard Reaction. It creates new and wonderful flavor. Why did the recipe call for baking powder and not baking soda. That answer is easy to find, but you need to know the difference. Use the Internet to learn about the "whys."

You can use every recipe to learn principles. Now, there are some real difference between home cooking and commercial cooking. You'll learn those in culinary school. But the best people in any field are always those who made themselves lifelong students of the art. They are always learning. It's a great time to be entering the field. People are becoming more and more serious about what they eat, and creative restaurants proliferate. That should mean there are more places to apprentice. Be aware that it's hard work and long hours, and the good pay comes later, if you're good. And the high interest means there are more people thinking about getting into it. But, as always, the talented, serious students of cooking will get ahead.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC, Michelle. Ask questions, roam around the forums. We love to help where we can.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Welcome! Sounds like we have a lot in common! I'm a 20 year old female (only JUST 20 I'll add!) haha. I too LOVE cooking. Only really found my passion for it last year, and have cooked for my family pretty much everyday since. I never let my mum cook anymore, in fact I can't remember the last time someone other than me made a meal in our house.
I am learning slowly all the techniques to making a perfect dish, and have found it's very much trial and error. Nothing ventured nothing gained and all that.
Anyway, welcome again, and I hope we can get to know you better!
All the best from the UK,
Kerry
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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Welcome to you all. We have a great variety of "types" of cooks here at DC from seasoned professionals to newbies to those of us who are just seasoned period (meaning we've been cooking for ages for family & friends). I think knife skills and stocks are great places to start.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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Welcome to DC, Michelle! A wealth of information to be found here, along with some very nice and helpful folks!
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kezlehan View Post
Welcome! Sounds like we have a lot in common! I'm a 20 year old female (only JUST 20 I'll add!) haha. I too LOVE cooking. Only really found my passion for it last year, and have cooked for my family pretty much everyday since. I never let my mum cook anymore, in fact I can't remember the last time someone other than me made a meal in our house.
I am learning slowly all the techniques to making a perfect dish, and have found it's very much trial and error. Nothing ventured nothing gained and all that.
Anyway, welcome again, and I hope we can get to know you better!
All the best from the UK,
Kerry
Hi, Kerry! :) So good to hear that you've been cooking for the whole family all the time. Yeah, I found out that learning includes trial and error. Also found out that sometimes I might deal with a recipe for few times before I could get it right. I guess it's quite normal?

And thanks for the warm welcome everyone! Feels great to be here :)
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culinary.fairy

Hi, Kerry! :) So good to hear that you've been cooking for the whole family all the time. Yeah, I found out that learning includes trial and error. Also found out that sometimes I might deal with a recipe for few times before I could get it right. I guess it's quite normal?

And thanks for the warm welcome everyone! Feels great to be here :)
I love cooking for my family, couldn't live without it :)
Sounds normal to me! Each recipe is just a standard guide you follow, the fun part is in changing it up to suit your tastes :D
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
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Good morning from North Wales.
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