First published on 8 Feb 2012. Updated on 9 Feb 2012.
Callum, you’re now running a cooking school as well as having just launched this book. It looks like the plan to become a chef has been put on the back burner. I suppose this new path chose me in a way. I was working in Melbourne for a few months and while I was there a group of universities approached me and asked me to go to their campuses and spend some time with their students. Just to teach them how to cook a few basic meals.
And then it turned into a bit of a full time gig, right? Yeah. I met a dietician at a luncheon thing, we got talking and it turned out he wanted to do a similar thing. It originally started with teaching children about eating and then it kinda just expanded into teaching adults as well. It all just seemed to happen and I’m really happy with how it’s worked out.
It’s certainly better than sweating it out in a kitchen 15 hours a day. It’s awesome being able to choose that hours that we do. When I first started teaching I had a couple of chefs on Twitter say,“What are you doing? You aren’t in a position to teach anyone because you aren’t a chef.”
But you’re coming at it from the position of a home cook. Because I’m not a chef, maybe I can relate to the people we’re teaching a little bit more. People don’t necessarily want to be learning how to sous vide. They just want to learn real food. One of the things that I found most about teaching people to cook is there’s that kind of strict mentality of following a recipe to a T. We did a class last week and we had a girl who was chopping up coriander for a recipe. She asked, “is this too much coriander?” and I was like “well do you like coriander?” and she said, “no. I hate it.” “Well any amount of coriander is to much for you then. What are you doing, you goose!”
So do you reckon you can take this show on the road and change university cooking nationwide? That’s maybe a little bit further down the track, but something like that would be awesome. I’m hoping the book is sort of a step in the right direction. Also, this is the kind of book I would’ve loved if someone had given it to me when I first moved out of home to uni. It’s supposed to be used and beaten around. It’s not a pretty coffee table book.