‘Chef’ days
Ranjita Biswas | @twfindia | 10 May 2020
‘Chef’ days
One of the positive fall-outs of the lockdown due to Coronavirus, though ‘positive’ is hardly the right word, is that there have been many home grown chefs. In Indian households many a husband who would rather not make a cup of tea if he could help it, now turns out delicious khichdi. Another whose wife is a great cook now flaunts a chicken curry to rival her. You wonder, where did all this culinary talent was hiding?

There are also women/ young girls who so far depended solely on the ubiquitous cook, quite a common feature  in many households, especially in Kolkata. In her absence during the lockdown they are suddenly turning a la Julia Child, the famous chef of French cuisine (remember Merryl Streep in Julie and Julia ?), baking cakes and pies with great enthusiasm.


And then there are the WhatsApp groups exchanging recipes- from grandma’s pickles to mother’s mixed- veg sabzi. All not very elaborate, mind you, but keeping with the times.


There are also the well-known chefs taking online cookery classes for the home-bound with scintillating result while many are sharing tips on how to make a delicious pasta the simple way with minimum of ingredients.


All this makes you think, despite the rather chauvinistic jokes passed around advising men to pretend to be useless in this area in case the wife discovers his skill and makes him cook post-Corona, that  adverse circumstances  are also times of self-delivery. In this case - the kitchen, for  everyday guys not professional chefs.  In India, as in many similar social set-up, cooking  is generally a job confined to the woman even if she is working full time, unless she can hire a cook.


Many newly emerging cooks say that it has been a pleasant experience, despite the circumstances, for the family as a whole. A family that cooks together, eats together, is a happy one, an old adage says. Maybe there is some truth in it.


Let’s look at a scenario post-COVID-19 (whenever). That period is like a bad dream now. The family is out dining in a well-known restaurant. The menu is scanned, food ordered but when they start eating  the members look at each other and then blurt out, almost on cue, ‘Daddy made a better spaghetti’ or ‘Mom’s lemon chicken was better and the meat softer.’


Time for the professionals  to take note. There is a chef in almost in every household now, you better polish up your act!