Unpopular Opinion Cooking is Dull

Unpopular Opinion: Cooking is Dull

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Heretic. Who would dare say such a thing? Certainly not a ‘foodie’, that’s for sure.

Eating is the foundation of life on earth, across continents and through species, but cooking is the technique that homo-sapiens has adopted for it’s unique spin on this primeval process. No other living creature cooks what they eat, it’s unique to us, the humans.

If I had a pound for every time someone told me cooking skills will solve virtually all problems with the food world, I’d be an extremely wealthy man. It’s oft repeated, quoted rote in the face of any question about making the world healthy again. It is, of course, a marvellous skill, perhaps one that I take for granted, because I’ve done a lot of it.

From my young days spent licking cake mix off a spoon in my mum’s kitchen, through being occasionally dumped in a hotel kitchen to…
Culinary Luddism

Culinary Luddism and The Downside of Slow Food

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food, Uncategorized

10 days ago my interest was piqued by a tweet from Jay Rayner, proclaiming that people who think “ALL PROCESSED FOODS BAD” should read an article by food historian Rachel Laudan about ‘Culinary Luddism’. In this beautifully educational piece about the culinary history of local foods, Laudan explains at great length why processing, locality and freshness are not inherently good things, especially when viewed through a historic window ...
Raisin, oatmeal and cardamon cookies are a unique twist on the traditional cookie recipe, perfect for a quick weekend bake to fill your family up!

The Cooking Gap plus Raisin, Oatmeal and Cardamon Cookies

Gavin Wren Baking, Food Education, Recipes, The World of Food

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the whole Sorted Food team at their HQ in East London, the fab bunch of guys and gals who are famous for their YouTube channel which is filled with some awesome recipes and a lot of general larking about with food. We were all meeting up to discuss a big food-based issue which they’ve decided to try and tackle – the ‘cooking gap’. Mind the Gap. They’ve been working with the Co-op, to explore the cooking gap which has developed amongst 16-35 year olds. If you’re wondering what the cooking gap is, it’s the lack of cooking experience that has developed in a generation of the UK population. There’s an entire age group of people growing up in the UK who have little or no culinary knowledge, and worse than that, 28% of those who can’t cook don’t see the point…
Plucking thyme and time

Plucking Thyme, Time, or Words to that Effect.

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Time. Our most precious commodity and one which we have utterly no control over. It sets its own agenda and we’re largely at it’s mercy when it comes to finding out when it ends. Time – He’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me boys.David Bowie 'Time' That might sound a bit heavy and bleak to start the week with, tackling all of life, death and everything in between. But it seems to have particular relevance to cooking. Yes, really, I’m serious. Yesterday, I was making a dish for the blog which involved some delicious sweet, rich, roasted red peppers. They were silken strands of slithering red, orange and yellow capsicums, swimming around in a simple dressing and my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I hadn’t roasted peppers for a long time and it reminded me of the sweet beauty…
butternut squash black background

‘The Main Ingredient’ and Culinary Prejudices

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Forgive me father. It’s confessional corner again, time to lay bare yet another one of my peculiar little nuances regarding food. This time it’s a distinctly partial perspective of mine, a way of approaching food which has taken years to become apparent, and taken quite some time to ultimately dispel. It affected how I planned meals, how I chose recipes and how I did my shopping. This particularly peculiar perception worked to furnish me with a set of culinary blinkers, which I’m glad to say have been cast asunder, left to lie in tatters at the kerbside of my culinary journey through life. The Main Ingredient. I have spent vast tracts of my life labouring under a misconception. I worked under the peculiar idea that when I make a recipe, there lies an item within it, just one single ingredient, which is so overwhelmingly powerful, vital and precious that it…