Community, Collaboration, Cooking

One of my favorite things to do is cook with other people.

In a recent post I wrote about how I like to move about the kitchen in a well-timed dance like manner. This is even more true when cooking with others. When you sweep by your cooking partner, spin, turn and carry on, sharing an intimate space for a very loving act. It’s exhilarating!

Nowadays, I worry that cooking with others is more about stepping on the other person’s toes. Diets, allergies, restrictions… eek. It can be disheartening! I’ve heard pitiful stories of pot lucks where each person just ate only what they had brought. What’s the point?!

Well, I guess those people are on a different place in their journey. Even though I have vegetarian tendencies, I try to taste everything. And not be a pain about things (I used to be a major pain, and feel sorry about that now).

Food is powerful. Food can bring us together or keep us apart. There can be a lot of rejection and division based on food. Let’s focus on how it can bring us together.

Cooking together requires collaboration and communication. It builds familiarity and trust.

Collaboration. It takes some effort at first, during the figuring it out stage. Try to find someone with an improvisational attitude. Someone who’ll say “Yes, and…” and then add a bunch of good ideas and skill to the collective pot.

Communication.
There is a process, planning the menu, figuring out who will do what, sharing the space, and then enjoying the fruits of your labor. After cooking with someone the process just naturally evolves, it feels sort of magical really. Over time what develops is this sense of ease.

Familiarity. What do they like? Who is this person really and what is their cooking style? Usually you have a good sense of this before you start cooking with someone, which is why you’d want to cook with them in the first place. But after cooking together you get it on a deeper more visceral level.

Trust. People you cook and eat with are figuring you out too. Choose those who care enough to listen and be thoughtful.

This is something I want more of in my life. How much better can you know and love someone than to understand the food that makes them happy. To provide that safe and satisfied feeling of a meal. Cook well with someone and I guarantee you have a friend for life.

Do you love to cook with others? Please tell me about it.

6 comments… add one
  • Growing a friendship is best with creating together. What better place than the kitchen!

  • I love this Stephanie, communal eating is something I adore and sure it takes a bit more planning now but it’s worth it to get it right and enjoy a lovely shared meal.
    Lila recently posted…Rosie Batty being Australian of the Year has put me in a black moodMy Profile

    • Steph

      Thanks Lila! I would love to see your gorgeous recipes set amongst a communal tables, how fabulous would that be!

  • I do not enjoy cooking with others!
    I love eating with others, and I love eating other peoples food, but I am too much of a control freak to cook with others in the kitchen!!
    Unless I’m learning a recipe…..
    I love everything you have said though and agree – cooking with other does bring all those wonderful things…. I need to get over myself I think!! LOL.

    • Steph

      Heehee, I totally understand Jane. I’m like that a bit too. It really has to be with the right person! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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