Unpopular Opinion Cooking is Dull

Unpopular Opinion: Cooking is Dull

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

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, Uncategorized, Writing

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 ...
butternut squash black background

‘The Main Ingredient’ and Culinary Prejudices

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

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…