Cooking a Deux: Fun or Folly?

Dueling chefs

Dueling chefs

My absolute favourite time of the week is spending Friday night making dinner with the SO – if we are lucky enough to not have other plans.  While preparing a meal together, we catch up on the week that has passed, drink wine and generally decompress.  However, cooking a deux can be a fraught experience…

I learned this lesson the hard way many years ago.  My sister had just moved to London and my ex and I were visiting his sister in Belgium so we decided to all congregate for a week at our cousin’s place in Provence.   Imagine:  a houseful of foodies, a glorious September in the South of France, amazing produce and food from the markets in nearby Carpentras, a restored farmhouse in the middle of vineyards.  And then…my sister and I decided to cook dinner together.   Now remember: we grew up in the same kitchen and learned to cook from the same person.   But here’s a sample of some of the exchanges that night:

Me:  I think this is ready

Sister:  Really?  It’s still missing “something” – not sure what…

Me:  NO, it’s ready!

Sister:  What do you think about the size of this dice?

Me:  Could be finer?

Sister: This is the way I always dice my veggies…

You get the picture…that evening didn’t devolve to throwing knives (barely!); however, my sister actually ended up going back to London ahead of schedule, although I like to think it wasn’t only because of our disastrous co-cooking experience.

My recipe for a peaceful, enjoyable time sharing a kitchen:  divide recipes/dishes up between the two (or more) cooks.   Each person “owns” the dish they are making…it’s OK to ask for input (does this need more rosemary?  what if I add some soy sauce to this?) but it is not OK to provide unsolicited advice.  Thus, peace reigns…

And you get to enjoy the benefits of each other’s labours!


About kate magee

I am a lifelong foodie who lives in Toronto and spends much too much of my time thinking, preparing, eating and writing about food...
This entry was posted in Cooking, Memories, Random musings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cooking a Deux: Fun or Folly?

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    Very good advice.

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