20 December 2010

Suffering From An Irrational Fear of Cooking?

Do you, or someone you know, suffer from CPD (Culinary Performance Dysfunction)? What is CPD? It is the aversion to cooking, in a kitchen, anything besides microwave burritos or jarred spaghetti.

Photo Courtesy of  gregpphoto © All Rights Reserved.

People who have CPD have an irrational fear that they can't use culinary techniques to crank out a fabulous tasting meal. People with CPD, when faced with cooking, in the kitchen, conjure up horrible disasters that will unfurl if they attempt a recipe. 

Ingredient experimentation is a extreme anxiety trigger for people suffering CPD. It is far worse that attempting to follow a recipe.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, there is help. As Shakespeare mused:  "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." The mind is a powerful tool, which can be both helpful and damning. But CPD sufferers can overcome their aversion to the culinary world. Exposure is the key.

In a recent article published by Globe and Mail (see "Cooking as Therapy"), Julia Belluz, delves into the emotional and psychological healing aspects that cooking affords those who are open to the subtle nuances found in participating in the simple acts of prepping, creating and presenting their food.

A wonderful cookbook that I feel can bridge the gap between "aspiring" to be successful in the kitchen, but fearing it,  and actually being successful, is Entertain Like a Gentleman, by David Harap. 

This cookbook while geared for the testosterone set (i.e men), can be a nice addition to any cooking library. David presents the recipes and contents of  this cookbook in a very logical manner.

David Harap gently eases the reader into entertaining and cooking, with the first section entitled "Entertaining 101", which gives tips on stress-free entertaining, tools, metric conversions, and even talks about the 10 assumptions of all recipes.

The next 15 sections are devoted to assembling, cooking and creating a mood in 15 different entertaining scenarios:

  • Scotch Tasting Affair
  • Super-bowl / March Madness
  • Cheese and Wine Party
  • The Initial Flame (grilling)
  • Pool Party
  • Tailgating in Style
  • Oktoberfest
  • Cooking With Kiddos
  • Double Date Night
  • Romantic Dinner (Spring/Summer)
  • Romantic Dinner Another Night (Fall/Winter)
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Brunch with the In-laws
  • Cocktail Party Finger Food
  • Poker Night With The Boys
Each of the 15 sections include tasty, innovative recipes which include appetizers, entrĂ©es with complimenting sides, and a delicious dessert to complete the themed experience. 

The recipes are written in an easy to understand fashion, intended to help aid in a less-stressful entertaining experience.  Included in the book are shopping and equipment lists, with blank pages  after every section to allow you to jot down thoughts or notes - making Entertain Like a Gentleman perfect for the cooking inept or the seasoned culinary traveler.

So hopefully when you are looking to find gifts this season, think of those who suffer from CPD, and try to  enable them, into the culinary world, which they fear so well. Encourage them, and give them the tools to inspire confidence. But over all, be supportive.

The view expressed here are mine & mone alone. I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Parent Reviewers. I received a "proof copy" of Entertain Like a Gentleman, so that I could provide my honest feedback. Please read more about Renaissance Culinaire's Disclosure Policy.



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8:07 AM, January 20, 2012 Reply  

nice post.

1:32 AM, January 25, 2012 Reply  

Always that pressure of expectation that makes the world crumble around my spatula.

6:27 AM, March 21, 2012 Reply  

Nice posting and really good use of blogspot. I have seen few blogs, which are just been created for spamming and junk posting from few article directories. This is nice blog for reading. Keep updating blog with these kind of unique information.

10:50 PM, March 11, 2015 Reply  

Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

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