The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cook’s day off

Shaun Kenworthy, Blue Potato

I’m still as passionate about cooking — if not more so now — as I’ve always been. The only time I may fall out with cooking is with all the bureaucracy of the job that unfortunately comes with cooking but never really the cooking itself. Profit and loss accounts, outside interference… all that rubbish. I suppose when painting, listening to music or having sex, it may take my mind off it for a while but that’s about all. I can’t even include relaxing and writing, as I’m usually writing about food. Anyway, sorry to my wife Pinky but yes, it’s my biggest love affair!


Sujan Mukherjee, executive chef, Taj Bengal

When it is work, you cannot let it suffer because you do not feel like cooking. But yes, at home, the excuses for not cooking could be many — ‘I’m tired’ tops the list. I’ve had a fight with my boss. I’ve had a fight with my staff. I’ve had a fight with my guests...

Outside the hotel kitchen, the chef is like any regular guy. So when my family is not around and when there is no food cooked at home, I do not feel like rustling up anything. Instead there are easier options: pick up a loaf of bread from the market, make some toast, scan the fridge for leftover dal or jam and dig into it. And sometimes you would not mind going to bed on an empty stomach!

A fight with your wife and one is definitely in no mood to cook. You would not touch home-cooked food either. I get up late at night, nibble on biscuits and some bananas and wash it down with water.

At home it is better to be the assistant chef than the executive chef! When the executive chef is tired of cooking and wants a day off from his or her job, a restaurant binge saves the situation!


Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta, Kewpie’s

When you are tired and when it is hot, you definitely do not feel like cooking. On many occasions my husband takes up the job. He makes me lovely sandwiches and English breakfast. His repertoire also includes a delicious meat curry.

On special occasions too, you feel like giving the kitchen a miss. These are days when home delivery or a visit to a restaurant takes care of hunger. With kids around the choices are usually pizza, burgers and Chinese. One Step Up, Cinnamon and Kewpie’s are some of the places we drop in to.


Saba Ali, 25, homemaker

I started cooking very recently. My first meal was khichuri for my son who will turn one this month. But it must have been ‘I hate to cook’ day then, because he kicked it away. After sweet meals like mashed banana, my khichuri was no match! I prepared it at least four-five times but to no avail. There are other days when I hate cooking elaborate stuff like gravies, which is why I like experimenting with cakes and pastries. Nobody can say no to sweets!




Indrani Guhathakurta, 50, homemaker

I love cooking and when people appreciate what I have whipped up, there is a great sense of satisfaction. But there are one or two days a month when I dread the very sight of the kitchen. Alas! my mother’s place is not nearby. So it is not frequently that I can be the pampered daughter, digging into my favourite dishes without having to cook them. When I do not feel like cooking, my family has to be satisfied with seddho bhaat.

And then there are those rare occasions when an invitation crops up out of the blue, just when you did not feel like cooking. These are boons in disguise! Home delivery and restaurants come to the aid as well.

There are days when you find the demands of family and friends tough to meet. And your temper is on the rise. But at this age, after so many years spent as a homemaker, your conscience tells you not to revolt against the kitchen! So you hold your temper back and cook, and that’s when the kitchen disasters happen!



T.S. Sujatha, 27 years, working professional

As a kid I was subjected to ‘I hate to cook’ days when my parents would have a tiff. My mother’s cooking would be drastically different from the delicious preparations she would cook otherwise.

For someone like me, who loves cooking, ‘I hate cooking’ day is when there is pressure in office. And it results in embarrassing situations. Many a time, I have put food on the burner, only to be woken up by worried neighbours, alerting me that something is burning!

On days when I do not feel like stepping into the kitchen I put together leftovers. With a bit of creativity you can definitely do a good job. Cheese Balls with leftover rice, Jeera Rice, Tomato Rice… my repertoire is large.



Lovey Burman, Kookie Jar

It gets really monotonous cooking the same thing again and again. That’s when I hate cooking! There are days when you wake up and don’t wanna even look at food.

One cooking disaster I can think of is the time when I made chicken curry for my family at home and then completely forgot about it. It got nicely burnt.

Oh yes! Don’t even talk about moods. God save the food I cook when I’m in a bad mood! Of course, nowadays I hardly get a chance to cook much so I really miss that. I would love to cook as much as I used to.



Nisha Thadani, 45, homemaker

There are times when I hate cooking. Like when some plan to eat out has been cancelled and then I have to start cooking really late. Imagine going into the kitchen just when you think there is gonna be a great outing with friends and family! Cooking for huge social gatherings at home can get scary too. It’s not that I dislike cooking during those times, but I am a little nervous. So I keep my exotic cooking for the family and whip up tried and tested meals for guests. Thank god for domestic help. I’ve always been lucky with helpers at home and I hate to cook alone! I think I picked up my real tricks only after marrying into a hard-core socialising family. After 32 years of marriage, I have learnt that the way to my husband’s heart is through his stomach. But that still doesn’t stop him from going out for a meal!

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