The Seven Cooking Personalities
While it’s rooted in a true survival need – the need to nourish your body with food – cooking food is truly an art. There are many different styles, many different flavors, many different tools and many different skill sets.
It’s funny, but you can always tell something about a person by the way they cook. Are they fun and fearless? Steady and technical? A back-to-roots hippie type? Do they run screaming from spices and recipes?
Here are the seven cooking personality types I’ve come across in my career.
Which one best describes YOU?
How to Spot Them: Their style is fun and one-of-a-kind. Their cleaning motto – “What I can’t see, can’t hurt me!” They’re the laid-back sort, but with refined tastes.They think recipes and general cooking rules are more like friendly suggestions. They cook with their tongue (no, not literally… I hope.). They always think their food could use a little more something. They never cook the same thing twice... but only because they can’t remember what it is they did the first time.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Saute.
Their Strength: Creativity. Intuition.
Their Challenge: Methodolgy. Following rules.
The Health- Nut
How To Spot Them: Their shopping cart is mysteriously absent of any boxes or bags that aren’t filled with produce. They’re either impeccably dressed and clean or dressed in shapeless clothing they made or found at Goodwill, smelling of patchouli. They drink a type of milk most have never tried before. They have flax seed and wheat germ handy. They insist avocado works exactly the same as mayonnaise, in fact, they have a healthier way of making just about anything you can think of! (Though how much it resembles the original is up for debate.) They wouldn’t DREAM of eating anything fried or processed.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Steaming, boiling or raw preparation.
Their Strength: Ingredient knowledge.
Their Challenge: Guest-friendly cooking.
How To Spot Them: They seem to be constantly smiling – but not in that false, obligatory way most of us do. They’re genuinely cheerful and happy to see you! You won’t catch them in flashy or loud clothing. They dress modestly and smell clean. They’re the friend you can always count on - to support you when someone’s getting on your nerves, to remember your Grandma is sick and to just show up at your home – with tray of sweets, of course! They aren’t terribly adventurous, but then again, that also means their food rarely fails. It’s soul-satisfying, but…. it’s not especially healthy.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: The oven.
Their Strength: Cooking with love.
Their Challenge: Cooking for health. Courage and creativity.
The Mad Scientist
How To Spot Them: Their style is no-nonsense, practical and perhaps… a little on the nerdy side. They’re insanely intelligent. (Though how useful their knowledge of Star Wars or rare Japanese flowers may be is up for debate.) Their garage is filled with appliances and equipment they’ve taken apart in an attempt to fix or improve them. Their kitchen cupboards have cooking tools you’ve never even heard of – but you’ll see! Someday when you need to neatly stack your hard boiled eggs, you’ll be wishing you too had an egg cuber!! These people are insanely methodical, and have no problem spending hours on some kitchen experiment, but unlike the baker, they LOVE to experiment.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Braising, smoking, the more complex, the better!
Their Strength: Methodology. Innovation.
Their Challenge: Cooking from the heart.
The Grill Master
How To Spot Them: You would never see these folks in clothing that’s fussy or expensive. They’re practical and their style is too. They’re confident, adventurous outdoorsy types. They MADE the 5 second…. eh… make that 5 minute rule! They'd never admit to being romantic, but they like to imagine themselves in a simpler time, a time where the food you ate, was the food you caught. You won’t find an abundance of spices or fancy equipment in their cupboard. They’re about the essentials – meat, bread and beer.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Grilling or campfire cooking.
Their Strength: Meats, fire and putting the two together. Simplicity.
Their Challenge: Cooking inside the kitchen. Innovating.
How To Spot Them: That idiot driving around traffic on the side of the road? The person with the crazy hair and tattoos? The one that takes off for random vacations to places you never heard of? That person that seems to believe in doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing? They’re the fearless cook, the adrenaline junkie and they can’t wait to try something new! They’re not afraid of hot spicy food. They’re not afraid of strange ingredients like alligator, snails, organ meats, or cuts of raw fish and they’re not afraid to attempt any recipe or use any cooking tool out there.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Anything and everything – whether or not they know how to use it! They’ll figure it out. Probably.
Their Strength: Courage and curiosity.
Their Challenge: Thinking realistically.
How To Spot Them: They’re about as far from the health-nut as you can possibly get. They could build a fort with the contents of their grocery cart – it’s all boxes. They didn’t realize peas came in pods and they have no idea what the crisper in their fridge is for. Their kitchen? The spice cabinet boasts a selection of salt or pepper and they thought they had a pan…somewhere. They have no real cooking experience and frankly, they’re a little afraid to start now, but hey! They HAVE mastered the microwave.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Opening a package, using a microwave or both!
Their Strength: … they’re a fresh slate?
Their Challenge: Learning to cook.