Cooking is one of the few rituals I have in my life. It’s a daily practice that reminds me of the rhythms of life—a process with steps to follow, from the preparation to the cooking to the eating to the cleaning up. Like photography, cooking slows me down; it makes me take notice of the details often overlooked with my senses. And there’s joy and beauty in those details: the smell of sautéed garlic, the deep brown color of caramelization, the crackle of bacon, the bite of red pepper on the tongue.
I like the creative aspect of cooking: everything you make is unique. No matter how many times you make a dish, it’s never quite the same as the time before and will never be exactly like it is this time. It’s something you’ve created and exists in this moment; it’s something that’s undeniably yours.
When the ritual is followed and complete, there’s a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The act creates something that’s greater than the sum of its parts; something that can’t be arrived at without following a process. The ritual of cooking allows me to appreciate the elemental act of eating food.