How to Cook Like a Pro When You Aren’t One

How to Cook Like a Pro When You Aren't One

Think you can’t cook because you don’t have enough talent or skill in the kitchen? You can – all it takes is a little deceptive ingenuity!

Are you a Kitchen Klutz?

You are indeed a dyed in the wool member of Kitchen Klutzdom if you’ve become an expert at ruining the pudding, burning the bread, mangling the lasagne. If there’s a way to prod, poke or pummel a dish to a point beyond recognition, the masses of non-cooks who qualify as Kitchen Klutzes have done it more times than they care – or even dare – to recall and calculate.

A travesty to the skill of cooking most of the time, a tribute to clumsy beginner cooking at its very best the rest of the time – those afflicted and officially ordained as true Kitchen Klutzes admit they are so clumsy-fingered and kitchen ignorant that nobody worth their weight in James Beard cookbooks would want to be caught in the same stockpot with them.

And yet, here’s the really surprising part: Those who learn the art of deceptive ingenuity in the kitchen become some of the most complimented cooks around.

There’s a very good reason why that is. Somewhere near the halfway point in all the years they’ve spent as Chief, Cook & Bottle Washer to families who would just as soon trek to Mickie D’s for their meals (not to mention having been the brunt of practically every bad cooking joke known to man), they got smart.

Good cooking is, after all, an art and art calls for serious talent. Having no talent whatsoever where cooking is concerned, these cooks simply settled for the next best thing.

Deceptive Ingenuity

Yes, that’s right: deceptive ingenuity. If compliments from others are an accurate unit of measure (in cooking, is there one better?) all these klutzes learned to do extremely well is create the illusion that they can honest and truly cook!

How they accomplish this feat is really very simple and it hasn’t got a thing to do with what mothers teach their daughters about cooking or what students learn in Home Ec.class or even the warehouse of information that the million and one “how to” cookbooks on the market have to sell on the subject.

The truth is, kitchen klutzes aren’t interested in putting together the world’s most elaborate dishes, performing convoluted cooking maneuvers, or doing anything that even remotely resembles Rocket Science with Food. They simply make it seem like that’s what they’ve been doing when they bring a delicious meal to the table. There isn’t anything more complicated to it than that.

All kitchen klutzes really want is to be able to put together dishes that (A) come out right, (B) taste good, and (C) don’t cause them to have nervous breakdowns in the process. Anything else is beyond their capabilities as kitchen magicians and they know it. They follow three basic rules whenever they have to cook:

  1. Never attempt to prepare anything that isn’t guaranteed to be a winner every time.
  2. Never put yourself in the position of having to cook under pressure or without the freedom to do things strictly “your way.”
  3. Refuse to allow anyone in the kitchen to help you cook or worse, watch you cook, ever.

Your own private collection of recipes can become nothing but sure-fire hits you know you can rely on. There won’t be a single one that’s technical in nature and what you’ll really love about them is they’re honest-to-goodness compliment-getters from everybody you serve them to – even the most seasoned cooks you know.

A sit-down dinner to orchestrate? Don’t hyperventilate. You can handle it with ease and grace even if you are a Kitchen Klutz by following these tips!


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