Laura Flinn went to cookschool in Paris, and returned to America with no clear idea of what to do with the skills she had learned. And then, in her local supermarket, she started watching what women were putting in their shopping baskets – packet mixes, packs of chicken breasts – and she started asking questions – ‘did you know it was cheaper to buy a whole bird?’
She got the idea to work with a bunch of women who didn’t cook – to start by going through their fridges, freezers and cupboards, and over a period to show them how straightforward cooking is. Included in the classes she held tastings of oil, salt, cheese, mustards, pasta, and over time she turned a group of novices into confident, thoughtful cooks, who had along the way gained awareness of issues of sustainability, intensive / factory farming and waste.
I loved the book: it’s an inspirational read, and it would be brilliant to see her idea expanded. It definitely caused me to reflect on issues of waste – and that in turn has caused me to try to make use of all leftovers. I’ve been inspired to have a competition with myself – trying not to throw anything away. And yes, there are recipes too – but y’all probably know how to do everything that’s in the book already. Even if you do, it’s still a great read. And if you have kids, it will make you reflect on how we transmit skills to our kids to make them confident cooks too.