Trish is a 61-year-old psychologist who lives in a modest condo in the affluent Madison Park area of Seattle with her husband. Trish’s mother hated to cook. “If we had a vegetable, it came from a can,” she said. She was tough on herself for what she perceived as a lack of cooking skills amid a circle of friends who considered themselves “foodies.”

Before the project: Trish moved about her small galley kitchen with hesitation as she made ratatouille for lunch. “I don’t even know what a pinch of salt looks like!” she lamented. She showed off recipes she’d collected from magazines for years, immaculately bound into a deeply organized series of white folders. She rarely cooked from them. “I hate to spend the money on the ingredients and the time when it might not turn out.” She had real food in her kitchen: beans, tomatoes, tuna in the pantry, and fresh vegetables in the fridge. As we sat at her table with silver and fine china, we agreed her food was the best we tasted on all the initial kitchen visits. So why, I wondered, was she so convinced she couldn’t cook?

After the project: Trish had a different air about her in the kitchen. Where she had brutalized an onion with a vegetable knife on the first visit, she elegantly diced one on the follow-up. She cooks from those binders now, and when a dish doesn’t turn out as well as she hoped, she brushes it off. Before, she would have seen it as an affirmation of her lack of skill. “I don’t know if how I cook is all that different, but something shifted in me. I feel changed. I’m confident in my kitchen. I may not be the best cook, but I know that I can do it.” For lunch, she made a Thai-inspired soup and a beautiful pear tart.

Trish’s takeaway: “Who knew that at my age, you could still learn and change?”

Trish’s most impactful classes: knife skills, tasting and soup classes.

Raw video of Trish (a separate window will open up in Youtube):
“My mother hated to cook”

Trish cutting an onion

Trish is kitchen confident


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