Social media is abuzz with content creators all doing dances, sharing silly selfies, and lavish holidays while sipping flutes full of bubbly. If there was anything to say about the dances, it is that they are generic. They mostly lack creativity. A few break the barrier and go viral but only because the dancer has the body for it, is flexible, and is popular. It is just a case of rice and beans in a kibanda versus Rajma Chawal at an Indian restaurant. The real content creators in this writer’s opinion are the ones that actually teach something. This writer follows a couple of DIY makeup gurus and maybe he has picked up a few things about laying foundation. But this is not about them.
You must have heard about The Roaming Chef, or as the Kenyan government knows him, Dennis Ombachi. He was a former rugby player for the Kenyan team and was globally acclaimed. He had to reluctantly hang his boots because of an injury, yeah, rugby is not for the faint-hearted. But, amidst all that he took a try (hehe) at joining the world of digital content creators. The first time this writer heard about him was through a blog that had a sort of sinister twist to the name. Hey, Dennis, maybe you can clarify. Anyway, the blog was called we men should cook. He put up easy-to-do recipes that would take a total moron to f*ck up. Then it evolved into video and that converted (hehe again) him into a household name in the realm of self-taught chefs. He has become such a sensation followed by celebrities such as Kelly Rowland.
Why him, you might ask. Well, it is because nothing comes close to masculinity as a rugby-playing, gym-going, bearded father calling the kitchen home. So you need to get off your high horse or couch and learn a few things or two from him. But if that is not enough motivation to get you off the couch and into the kitchen here are a few things that might.
- No one likes bland food. Including you. Well, unless you have been programmed by the mountain folk then there is no hope for you. To eat like a king you must be able to cook like one. You need to look forward to your own meals and not silently cuss to yourself as you walk up the stairs into your apartment and catch the drifting whiffs of delicious meals coming from your neighbor’s house. Learn your spices, how well they blend with what ingredients, and the best accompaniments for each. Yes, that means ugali and mayai is out of the picture, that is a lazy meal reserved for struggling campus dudes whose main concern is where the next 500 bob for a mzinga is going to come from. Love your own cooking and there is no going back.
- It’s a basic life skill. So if you want to live you need to know how to cook. You can live your entire life without learning how to swim, cause let us be real, how many times are you in a large body of water? But food? You might survive a couple of days until the pangs turn against you and turn your stomach into a bloody bucket of ulcer wounds. So if not for anything save your life. Learn how to cook. You’ll be surprised how easy it is. Besides, having a significant other is not a guarantee or a free pass to home-cooked meals.
- Women find it sexy when a man knows his way around the kitchen. Social norms dictate that is their domain, not anymore. For once, you can let them kick their shoes off, and put their feet up as you whip up some tantalizing delicacy. Oh, plus there is a surge of testosterone when you get to send them back to the living room because you do not need their help in the kitchen. You’ve made it yours and it should be treated as such. So if you want to score extra points with the other gender, learn how to cook. They might just ignore that you forgot to send that good morning text 3 months 12 days 3 hours and 2 minutes ago.
- It is fulfilling knowing that no matter the situation you can easily pop into the kitchen, pick up a couple of ingredients and whip up a mouth-watering meal. At the end of the day why were you buying that cooker in the first place? It is not an aesthetic, it does not add any value to your house if it is not being used for what it was meant for. We have wall paintings for that. Few things come close to the feeling of settling down on your couch, putting on a movie, and diving into a sumptuous meal that you prepared yourself. You are even allowed to compliment yourself while at it. What is it they said about clapping for yourself? Yes, that.
- It’s therapeutic because it involves some form of patience. Cooking is a skill and you can not expect instant noodle type of gratification. There will be flops here and there. You will burn the meat, the dough will fail to rise, or you will accidentally pour a sea of salt into your stew. It is all part of the learning process. Once you get it right you will enjoy every moment. The sounds of the simmering stew, the aroma of roasting meat from the grill, the ka ka ka sounds when the knife hits the chopping board, all of it will excite you. You will just end up finding yourself attracted to the kitchen even when you are not at home.
- It is cheaper than going to restaurants or dwindling your fingers on your phone trying to get food delivered to your house. Once in a while, this works. But ONLY once in a while. Even with deep pockets, you must admit spending close to KSH 1500 every day and maybe double on weekends just to get a meal is unsustainable. Learning how to cook will definitely save you some coins, you can mimic the recipes at the restaurants you so love without breaking a sweat. Plus you are plugging back into the local economy making you a productive member of society.
- You can easily customize your meal to your preference. They are quite a number of picky eaters and you might be one of them. The thing with picky eaters is they are annoying. No one wants to hear orders being shouted to them when they are kitchen to watch how much salt they are using, how to avoid certain veggies, how they want their meat done, how many times to wash the rice, how they want veggies diced instead of chopped, and a list longer than the prescription for H.Pylori. If you learn how to cook you can do all this for yourself and save someone else the headache.
- It is healthy. Last and most importantly, it is healthy. There are a few restaurants that make truly organic and healthy meals. From the oils used to the selection of the food themselves, you are never sure what hotels are serving. But at home, you pick your own foods from the market, decide what oils to use, and how to balance your diet. Plus, you can experiment with healthy cooking, and control what goes into your food and what you can keep out.
So get that apron on, get in the kitchen, and start cooking.