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Can't cook, won't cook: preparing for university


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It’s a common presumption that many students can’t complete the simplest of culinary tasks when heading to university, including boiling an egg or making a simple stir fry. Many students may attribute this to laziness or not having enough money to cook.

Not all students are like this, of course, but if you are about to start your journey into further education (and independence), feeling embarrassed by your lack of skills in the kitchen is not ideal, and so we’ve got a few ways to help fix it.

Research your food

Collecting ingredients and rustling up a dish you’ve never created before is actually both enjoyable and an achievement. There are many websites available providing step-by-step advice; why not download a recipe to your tablet or smartphone and have it on your worktop as you go?

Practice makes perfect

It’s an age old saying with a lot of truth to it. Practicing similar recipes over and over again helps them to stick. Try it out with your favourite recipes to start with, although be careful not to do them so many times that you end up disliking what you’ve created! YouTube is a handy resource for ‘how to’ videos and is rife with demonstrations about how to produce particular meals; there’s even a video for learning how to boil an egg.

Dining with friends

Use your newfound chef skills to get to know people, whether in your student accommodation or with your new classmates - invite them round and make it a social occasion. That way, when you’re learning how to make new things and need some inspiration, you’ll have a specific goal to work towards. You may even be able to ask them to help if you get a little stuck during the event.

Learn from the experts

Whether it’s seeking advice from celebrity chefs’ websites like Delia, Jamie and Gordon or taking a professional cooking lesson, sometimes a little gastro guidance is all you need to kick-start your cuisine. Take the time to discover local classes in your area; it could be anything from chopping skills and bread-making to particular cuisines like Indian, Thai or French. If you’re a London-based student, L’atelier provide a wide range of classes for those who need a little extra help at a price that won’t break your student budget.

Simple recipes

It’s definitely daunting if you’ve never cooked anything before but, by taking care not to over complicate each meal you make, you should find it easier than going straight in with a complex meal and ingredients. These recipes should give you a starting point that is helpful for any beginner looking to make something both healthy and delicious.

Once you’ve gained confidence by using one or two of these handy methods, why not start challenging yourself with more intricate dishes? Having a basis to work from means that, throughout your university course, you’ll be able to grow not only within your career path, but gain some life experience too. 

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