Letters from the Dorm: How learning to cook at uni has made me into an Instagram foodie, and strengthened my friendships

Letters from the Dorm: How learning to cook at uni has made me into an Instagram foodie, and strengthened my friendships

Cooking gives a student a unique opportunity to strengthen his relationship with friends and show that he cares about them

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A meal should taste AND look good.
Photo: Abiel Ma

Before I left Hong Kong to study in Britain, I could just about make a bowl of instant noodles and boil an egg. My mum is an excellent cook, so I never bothered to learn to make a proper dish. That all changed when I came to Britain, because I soon realised that I had to learn to cook in order to survive on something other than noodles. I started to browse YouTube for tips on how to cook better, and I began hanging out more in the kitchen and experimenting with new recipes.

Before I knew it, cooking was no longer a survival skill – it had become one of my hobbies. Now, I cook every single day and post my dishes on Instagram – check them out on @abielcooks.

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One of the things I love about cooking is its creativity. I get to try out different types of ingredients and create different dishes. Not to mention perfecting the art of food plating – or food presentation – which impresses my friends. This way, I can introduce flavours that work well together, and present them in a unique style.

I believe visual appeal is just as important as the taste, too. Making food look their best is no easy task, and there are many ways of doing it.

Another thing I love about food is the pleasure it brings, both to myself and to others. After spending 30 minutes in the kitchen, I am in a much calmer and happier mood than being a couch potato and watching Netflix. It also gives me an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with my friends and show that I care about them.

As much as I appreciate the above-mentioned benefits, it was actually the praise I received that got me going as a “chef”. Hearing things like “This is amazing!” motivated me to keep improving and simply made my day every time.

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After I started making proper dishes, I invited my friends from uni and my flatmates for “eat and chill” sessions.

I even organised a weekly “food gathering” with my neighbours.

Food is just like music – it brings people together. Next time before you think of ordering takeaways and dining out, think of what magic and wonders you could have created in your kitchen.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
‘Amazing’ dishes make my day

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