Is cooking a skill to develop or something you are born with?


I have tried and tried but I really and utterly suck at it.

I am not talking about making burned food or half done food but like it never has tastes at all.

I am kinda ashamed and nervous because I feel this is one of those things that really determine a woman and I would hate to get dumped or worse.. mocked for not being able to.

My mom wasn't the kind of person to teach me so I've been trying on my own and whenever it comes out bad all she says is You are a dunce and can't cook... and there are times I dont cook for her and she tells the whole street that I dont so I dont know.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • Sorry in advance for such a long post...

    Just like any skill, it's something you develop. I have known people who didn't grow up in a home with home cooked meals and they went on to cook for themselves because they wanted better for themselves than what they were eating.

    Cooking is not something you are born with, it just takes a need and willingness to do it. More than anything though, it takes practice!

    But beyond that though, ugh! Cooking does NOT determine whether you are a "woman" or not, or does not disqualify you from being worthy of being in a relationship! Who told you such a thing? 🙁 A woman is SOOOO much more than just cooking! That does not determine her femininity or her worth as a mate, nor should it determine her own self-worth. Cooking is certainly a useful skill, but it does NOT determine your worth as a woman. That is 1950s talk if I have ever heard it. Don't let some ancient, irrelevant patriarchal stereotype determine who you are as a woman.

    And I am sorry your mom has been so negative and unsupportive in your willingness to learn to cook. 🙁 You are not a "dunce". At all. Don't allow her negative comments to affect your self-esteem or your willingness to keep trying to learn and be better. Never forget: there is nothing more noble than a need and the willingness to better yourself. No matter what it is.

    But cooking is NOT genetic. It's something that is learned. If your mom never took you under her wing to teach you, or if she didn't have the patience, that is not your fault for not being in an environment that is conducive to learning and failure.

    Because learning is also failure! ESPECIALLY when learning to cook!

    Even great cooks fail! We still burn things and make errors in judgement. And sometimes the recipe we follow is just crappy! lol But you must never be afraid of failure. Do you know how much crappy food I made before I learned how to cook for myself and learn what I like, and how to prepare it? LOTS! We all do this, no matter who we are or what age, and genetics has no bearing on any of it.

    What I would suggest is, do you know anyone else who cooks? A friend or even another family member? Because learning to cook is made so much easier if you can learn from other people. Not only can they show you some of the tricks of the trade, but it can also be fun to learn with other people and it can help keep you engaged, and give you hope because you are having fun instead of having to learn everything on your own...

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    • If you have a friend or family member who you can learn from, it can make a world of difference for your ability to learn quicker and learn in a more positive environment.

      Overall though, learning to cook is just practice, practice, practice and trial and error. And don't be afraid to fail! That is what all great cooks do on the way to becoming competent in the kitchen and even the best of us still make mistakes. It happens.

      If you want to learn, keep pushing for what you want. Don't give up! You'll make crappy food along the way, but you'll also learn from your mistakes along the way as well. Just stay strong, stay positive and keep at it. 🙂

      Try cooking with other people though. It will make a world of difference while learning. I feel bad for how you feel about it all though. I just wish I could show you some things myself to help encourage you and your confidence. 😊

      If you have any questions though, feel free to ask them. But try to have fun with it and take care. 🙂

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    • thanks

  • It is a skill you learn. You can go from not knowing how to cook an egg to a chef with a cooking show in a matter of years. To be fair, being born with an exceptional sense of smell and taste buds that share the same sensations as most people definitely help the argument that you are born with natural ability to cook. However, that just gives you an advantage, not the ability. My advice. Start with simple classics that you can use pre-made helpers and then learn how to make those helpers. Like spaghetti and meat sauce. Start with a can of sauce and box macaroni and then after some time try to create your own version. Another very good idea is to make cooking dates with family, friends, and significant other. A good example would be to make a pizza date on a Friday night that everyone gets together and you all help create your own pizza. Cooking is a lot more fun with others I think.

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    • @wiseman171 thanks, This sounds like a good idea.

Most Helpful Girls

  • As far as I know cave men didn't just come into this world thinking " yo, you know what I need? A nice cheeseburger with some sauteed onion and fancy cheese and buns and a side of crispy curly fries and a glob of ketchup. Imma go to my ikea kitchen and cook it up now 😂" jk but seriously. Cooking is due to the discovery of fire and even then it was probably like that spongebob episode where they are just sticking their butts into the fire and everything. Humans became more rational and intellectual after earing cooked food because you have more energy to focus on other things since your food is pretty much predigested for you

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  • I kind of find it hard to believe that you could follow your basic nothing fancy recipe to the letter, with measured ingredients, that hundreds if not thousands of people have made before you, following it exactly, and the dish could have no taste. That's odd.

    I do however believe that when surrounded by negative people, you can lose confidence in what are probably your own very capable hands when it comes to cooking. I suggest you find a friend who really knows how to cook, other family member, or take an actual class that will help you obtain the skills you need. Cooking is not like a physical sport where most can only go to the limit of their physical ability---cooking is a matter of learning your basic kitchen skills and then over time building on them and practicing with them until you are more confident in your cooking and can venture off the recipe page from time to time.

    Whatever you do, do not get discouraged. If you start thinking you can't do it, you will fulfill that prophecy. If you cannot find someone in your life to help you, youtube has about a million different videos designed to help you make a winning dish and/or learn basic kitchen skills.

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What Guys Said 59

  • You sound more like a cry baby more than anything.

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  • Its a skill u have to develop. You have to watch other cooks, and see what they do. If u don't know any, watch cooking shows. One of my old favorites is Yan Can Cook. But there are many others.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AJpyApUfxoQ

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    • First lesson. When cutting vegetables, curl your fingers over, almost like a fist. If u don't, u will eventually cut your finger.

    • @Aenetoo thanks for that.

  • It's something you can be born with a special talent for, but you can also learn how to cook if you lack that.
    I learned out of books and a LOT of trial and error.
    While a woman who can cook is definitely a plus, someone who really cares about you is probably going to overlook that as long as you're trying to get better at it. Men love when you make an effort.

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    • @Sixgun77 thanks am definitely trying to get better

  • it's okay, most women under 30 can't cook these days in first world countries. if you really want to learn how to cook, you can always go on youtube to watch cooking tutorial videos for beginners. you're making baked chicken or pork/beef roast you can always brine the meat with salt, pepper, and herbs, or marinate the meat with sauce a few hours ahead of time or even overnight before cooking.

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  • Well there is a lot of learned skill in it that comes from practice and being taught the tricks
    Just like most things are
    Anyone can learn to cook
    But some have more aptitude than others and there for the road to being good at it can vary
    And as with most things if you do not have the natural flair for it the higher tiers of gastronomy might be out of reach

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  • It's definitely a skill to be developed, however some people are born with an inclination towards cooking. They seem to know what would go well with what and have a good understanding of how to cook it. It took me a long time to get the basics down as well. I'm definitely not a natural but cooking every other day for years has let me master the basics.

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  • It's definitely something you develop over time. Without a proper teacher and hard work it will be very difficult. It's part of a parents responsibility to pass on these kinds of skills to their children so they can survive in the world away from home.

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  • Everything is a skill to develop. There's no such thing as talent. Try cooking something you'll enjoy eating, or cook with friends it'll be more fun..

    And if you're really expecting a guy to dump you for not cooking, you shouldn't be dating such a jerk in the first place.

    If you just want "more taste", try adding more spices, salt etc.

    Also you can try watching tutorials on YouTube, and follow step by step.

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    • I beg to differ. Talent do exist, and is a hereditary trait. Aptitude tests for early age arts and music education are designed to weed out talents before they get to develop any skills. That is because spending time and money delevloping a skill in an untalented person , as they can never develop as much as a talented person. However... this applies less to cooking than a lot of other things. Cooking can most certainly be learned, but the talented ones learn faster and take it to higher levels than the not so talented ones.

  • The problem is you hate doing it and that will make you a lousy cook. If you can read and follow instructions you can cook at least average. I can make anything with a recipe.

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  • Learnable skill...
    In my younger years I was too, pretty bad with cooking... now some people are jealous but they dont understand its an long term solution... every time I cook something, I learn too

    I personally, im exactly with amount and time from recipes, my girlfriend does not, but we're both pretty good in the kitchen...

    Which meal have you tried to cook which has not taste?
    Maybe try easy recipes first, some are pretty good food...

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    • Try this
      Cook spaghetti
      Chop to little pices garlic and parsley
      Heat a pan with olive oil
      Put the spaghetti in the hot oil and add the chopped garlic
      After 10 minutes mixing with forks add the chopped parsley
      Bit salt (I use salt with herbs), there you need to taste (too much salt and you can throw it in the trash)
      Bon appetite

  • Both.

    Just like EVERYTHING in life certain people have a natural inclination to be good at certain things... some can be good with practice while others can be great.

    Also as with everything in life everyone improves at skills when they practice it and get experience doing something.

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  • Definitely not born with it. You need to get good at it. What do you try to make anyway?

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    • broths and pies mostly

    • Well follow some directions. You might just be using bad ingredients maybe? Maybe old spices or something?

  • Good food is made with emotion and patience and optimism and appreciation...
    Those are the qualities of a real cook.
    And those are qualities that you gather with life experience ( :
    Once you have all of these qualities, it's all in your hands and what you choose to do with them (;

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  • Anyone can cook it is a skill. Some can be born with some talent. But they even learn to cook. So dont give up start with the basics. Bc once you know the simple things you can use that skill to make anything. If u want more help or a place to start let me know. Hope this helps

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  • No one taught me and not everything I made was perfect first time. It is trial and error and experimentation.

    I don't think you are keeping track of what combinations work or experimenting...

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  • It is both a talent or a skill. If you keep burning your food then maybe you're just bad at following instructions or looking for ways but you can develop that by focusing and learning from your experiences.

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  • We're not born with it. Cooking is learnable, and there's not much to it. Some people just enjoy it more, others are too dumb to understand it.

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  • It's a cross between art and science, a lot of error comes about because people neglect the details and fail on the execution. Enjoy your time in the kitchen, pay attention to what you are doing, and enjoy the result.

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  • It's definitely a learned skill but some people are naturally better at it than others, just like most things (I. e. some are really good at writing essays, others aren't).

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  • It's something that comes with a lot of practice. My dad used to be a chef so I learned a lot from him when I was younger. There are tons of good videos on youtube that'll help you out though. Just keep trying and you'll get better.

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  • It's a skill that you can develop. I am a chef and i would recommend you to find your passion in it just like the things you do good. Watch Jamie Oliver because he shows you that anyone can do it even you. He has TV shows where he prepares meals in 30 minutes and even in 15 minutes. Don't pressure your self , there is many many MANY women out there who can't cook and the guys ! well we all know there is not that many that can cook food well. Don't be hard on your self and everything takes time to learn. just remember to watch Jamie Oliver, he is brilliant

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  • It something learned... some people love to cook... me I love to eat though I do a good job of cooking

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  • I believe cooking is something anyone could do if someone helps them or they just look up a recipe but it is also about taste you should cook to your taste

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  • No one is born with skills. They are born with the conditions that would make them excel if something sparked their passion. The next person you pass on the street could be a great cook, given the education, compared with someone who is just competent given the same education. The targic thing is that most people never find their passion. Most develop a passion for what they do: but that true spark of love that comes from something you know you are built to do is not always realised. To be less pedantic with my answer, I would say yes. The framework is there but is irrelevant if it isn’t used. One can not educate to be a great taster however. You can have experience but biology isn’t trainable.

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    • 1. Great way to move equality along. “One of those things that determines a women”. If you’re in that mindset then no opinions here will help.

  • Cooking is a skill that can be learned, just as is sewing. Some people are hereditarily provided with "a nose" and can detect subtle nuances in foods, but cooking per se is a manual art that can be learned. Start with cooking in which errors can often be fixed, as opposed to baking which is a far more exacting skill set. Start simple: fry an egg. Then, make an omelette. Make a simple roux from a fat and flour. Now, this is a key to dozens of sauces and soups! Be sure to pre-measure all your ingredients ahead of time. Once you learn a few theories (Malliard reaction vs caramelization, etc.), a few techniques (sauteing, marination, etc,) and learn how to work with the directions given in the cookbook, you should be well on your way. The best book I have in my kitchen is "Cook's Illustrated, The Science of Good Cooking", with 50 concepts and 400 recipes. Disclaimer: I have no financial interest whatsoever in the sale of this book.

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    • I haven't read that book but I have used quite a few recipes from Cooks illustrated and they are generally great
      Good site worth paying for if you are interested in making great food

    • @Aynsof Some of their recipes can get long and tedious, but they are all doable if one can follow instructions.

  • The easiest way to put it: Cooking is a science. You experiment with what goes with what, how long to simmer, sauté, marinate, let it sit, etc. There's a lot of trial and error. I don't think anyone is born to cook, rather, some people just have an affinity to learn how to cool.
    You have to actually want to learn. You have to find what tastes good to YOU and expand upon it. Find something simple and try to spice it up (literally and metaphorically).
    It takes time, but if you put it in, and are patient with it, you can truly see results. Just make sure you cook often and don't try to jump into complex things early.

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  • Develop. Look at the instructions, hope you have the ingredients, hope you don't burn the house down. If you can do that you are a natural

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  • Literally nobody is born with any talents besides being able to wiggle your ears, which isn't a talent.

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  • I imagine that some people have more talent or motivation for cooking than others. But as we all have a sense for taste, a basic acceptable dish can be made by everyone. It can (must) be learned, trained, improved. Your mon is a little unfair with you: if she does not like what you prepare she could at least let you know what she finds wrong. You say that 'you suck' at it; you could 'analyze' what you made by guessing where there was something too much, or what is missing. And: online there are plenty of examples that you can copy; try the easiest first, and get a feeling.

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  • Definitely something you're born with, I know some people just can't handle the heat or just not good with their hands.

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What Girls Said 35

  • It's a skill you can develop. If you cook often and be attentive and also try new things, you will become more prof at this. But why does it determin a woman? I don't cook, my husband cooks for me, but it's kinda norm.

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    • @kiminonawa I see, well my mom believes if a woman can't do basic womanly things then she isn't a real woman. :(

  • It's something you learn.

    Look up youtube tutorials, cooking recipes, cookbooks etc etc

    Find a friend who might teach you, grandparent, aunt/uncle etc.

    here's the simplest meal I know of:
    bangers n mash.
    Boil some taters, use the boiling water to steam other veggies (broccoli/carrot/corn and pumpkin are my go to's) when the veggies are done, mash the potatoes with some added milk and butter, add cheese if you want, is also good with caramelised onion. Can be mashed with the skin on or off depending on taste. You get your sausages, cook them to taste whether thats cooked or burned, remember to turn them plenty so they dont curl.

    Serve all together and viola, the simplest home cooked meal, takes about 40 min max for everything to cook through. Just remember some veggies take longer to cook than others, so you'll want to be prepared to start cooking one thing then wait ten or so mins before adding the next thing.

    Best advice i can give is always take longer to cook than neccesary, never rush it.
    How to do that without burning anything? cook on a lower heat!

    eg. chicken.
    Always cook it all the way through, you can't leave it underdone like you can beef. It always tastes best when its still moist, this is best achieved by cooking at a low temperature for a longer time, this both ensures its cooked through and that it isn't burnt around the edges. Cooking it slower should help retain all the juices too.

    Seasoning.
    Lets take spaghetti for example. I cook it with very few ingredients, beef mince, chopped carrots, corn kernels, and pasta sauce. Now, these ingredients alone dont make a very tasty spaghetti, what it needs is seasoning.
    My favourite combination, is chilli flakes with ground cumin and a good splash of worcestshire sauce. Its also good to add tomato paste and brown sugar to combat some of the acidicness of the tomatoes.
    Chicken stock is also good for adding flavour, just remember it is a salty flavour so dont add any salt if you already have stock in it.

    Experiment with different recipes, different styles of cooking (stovetop/grilling/baking etc) try adding your own spin to old recipes (i add corn to just about everything, and whether the recipe calls for it or not finish cooking pasta in whatever sauce its destined to go with)

    Try hiding veggies in meat, try simple dishes, and try more complicated ones.

    And above all practice!!

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  • Basic math can come naturally to most people but of course there’s still the few that struggle with 2+2. Regardless of your talents, or lack there of, we all still need to know it.
    Same goes with cooking.

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    • @Ellie-V thanks I gotcha

  • Cooking, just like any other skills, must be learned and practiced. But, just like other skills as well, some people are naturally talented and will find it easier, and some people might not be as good with timing, handling kitchen tools, etc, therefore they'll find it harder.

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    • @inmensus that doesn't make me feel better but thanks for clearing that up.

    • It's not meant to make you feel better, it's just how it is. Cooking doesn't determine your worth as a woman, it's just a skill. If anyone says you're not a real woman, or says you're not worth it because of that, they're the ones that aren't worth it.

    • @inmensus thanks

  • Develop. You aren't born knowing how to perfectly season a steak and make lamb sauce, these are things you learn. Sure, some kids might be drawn to cooking at a young age and start learning sooner than others, but it's a skill you can learn with enough effort and patience. Follow recipes, watch cooking shows, experiment with flavors and spices, etc.

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  • I believe some are naturally better then others at learning how to cook but it's certainly something you need to develop at to get better, for me I picked up the basics pretty quickly as I've grown up around food and seeing and helping my mum cook but beside that there's definitely still room for improvement and I'm definitely not get any

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    • *Michelin stars anytime soon unless it's for a pizza toastie. But yeah I'm also not getting any either 😅

  • You don't have to cook 0 you could mke a sandwhich or microwvee

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  • develop, no one comes out the womb knowing how to cook automatically. Why do you think people go to school to become a chef? I'm not much of a cooker myself, im good at baking kind of but not cooking. I've tried in the past, and usually something always goes wrong, i either forget and ingredient or it just doesn't come out right. I don't know

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  • Just like any skill it can be a talent, but everyone should and can make something decent to eat. Only lazy people with no priorities don't learn how to cook, it's a basic survival skill, nothing special.

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  • Cooking takes practice to master specially if you didn't grow up with a good cook in the house.

    It's learnable and after a while of following recipes you can adjust to your taste or check other's suggestions.

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  • I’m pretty sure it’s a skill you can develop. For example: drawing is a skill where you start off knowing nothing but stick figures and basic geometric shapes. As you draw more and more, this can turn into people and animals, and eventually over a long time, realism and being able to copy thing exactly how they are. It takes a VERY long time to develop this skill, especially if you’re new to it, and I’ll bet that it’s the exact same with Cooking.

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  • It's a basic thing anyone can do. Follow directions, pay attention, and BAM. If you food keeps ending up undercooked or burnt then pay attention to it. If your issue is bad taste food that's what salt and spices are for.

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  • You can get better at it, just keep trying recipes out.

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    • @NEOTUNIA2U thanks, will do

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    • Keep practiceing its like Sex sooner or later you find the right Batch Lol

    • @danielmeegan you are crazy. ☺

  • Of course you can develop cooking skills. Start with cookbooks/recipes online, especially basic ones for beginners.

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  • I'm not a great cook. I've learned to taste food while I'm cooking or season after it's done. If something is too salty I'll add sugar and spicy seasoning to balance the taste. Cooking is trial and error. Cook more often to improve your skills. Taste buds are unique, so following a highly rated recipe doesn't guarantee a flavored meal.

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  • To my experience, those that really like to show their cooking skills off are mostly men. I don´t cook, my mom doesn´t cook and neither does my grandma.

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  • It’s definitely something that can be developed! ☺️ Experiment with things, add small amounts of spices at a time and test as you go... add as needed till you hit the flavor your looking for!

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  • Nope, it's not something you are born with. It takes practice and interest. I say interest because sometimes when your heart isn't in it, it'll be tough. I hate cooking but when i push myself it turns out okay. Not great but okay

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  • I do not think that any skill is something you're "born with". Everything is practice. Its just easier if you're actually interested in this particular activity and aren't just doing it because you think you'd be supposed to.

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  • Cooking like any skill can be learned with some instruction, practice and desire. Check around your area there are often cooking or kitchen supply shops that have classes, some community colleges and school districts with after hour community classes have cooking type classes. Just keep your eye out for places that might offer a class or two. You could maybe even ask about them at your local kitchen /gourmet shop, if there is anything local they would be the ones that would probably hear about them.

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  • Sure there are people with certain natural talents when it comes to cooking, but literally everyone can learn to become and at least decent cook.

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  • You can be born with natural talent for cook, you know, just like any other talent, but you still can learn and pick up the skill with some practice and effort.

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  • Like every skill it can be learned but some people are naturally better at it than others

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  • I’d say that it’s a skill you develop. Some people have a born natural ability but anyone can learn it.

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  • Oof. First of all, it is not something that a woman has to be born with.
    Me, I am rarely in the kitchen, but I LOVEEE food and flavor - so usually I just add in the spices and herbs that feel right. It doesn't always come out great but I learn from my mistakes - plus because I'm a beginner I cook things that are hard to mess up.
    My mom never teaches me either, plus she can only cook what she was taught - and usually, I want to eat stuff from other countries too. So I watch videos and stuff. Ignore your mom. Sometimes parents are really harsh, so are mine.
    The real question is do you think you would actually enjoy cooking?

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  • I would say develop. I know for me it started with doing the simplest things such as spending time with my grandmothers in the kitchen, being around my aunt when she made things when I was younger, and helping out in the kitchen. If I wanted to learn something, I would usually ask one of them how to make it and just practice with it til I get right. In edition, I like to use ideas from food sites with recipes, and also I watch a lot of cooking shows lol. One of my favorites to refer to is chopped mainly because it based off of being creative with the ingredients given to make a cohesisive dish. When learning to cook, I learned that yea it’s fun to learn different recipes and all, but it’s also fun to experiment with different ingredients and have fun with it.

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  • I think Learned my mother didn’t know how to cook my grandmother didn’t let my mom or anyone else in the kitchen until she met my dad.

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  • Both.

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  • It can be either, or both at the same time.

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  • It's a skill. Practice practice practice

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