Take your anger

Your pain 

Your frustration 

Place them in a bowl 

And beat them! 

Beat them till your 

Arm aches, 

This is about passion . . .

Turn on the stove 

Heat your pan 

Oil first then spices 

Then the rest 

Don't be afraid 

Of spices 

Don't go easy 

Sometimes that 

Half a teaspoon 

Just isn't enough 

Heap it in 

It's more fun that way 

There's no such thing 

As too much garlic, 

It's a myth 

Perpetuated by people 

With boring palates 

And use the good oil It does make a difference, 

Cheap vegetable oil is fine

 For greasing pans 

Not for cooking in them. 

Meat or no meat? 

You are free to choose 

And vegetarian or not 

No one needs meat 

With every meal, 

Plus, y'know, we have 

A planet to sustain 

And eating your own 

Weight in cow every day 

Frankly doesn't Help the situation. 

Really the most important thing 

The true secret of cooking 

Is improvisation 

It's in what flavours 

What herbs, oils 

Sauces you choose 

That's what makes a meal 

Are you willing to 

Throw the recipe-book 

To the wind 

And trust your own instincts? 

You know what you like 

You know what tastes good 

And if your decisions 

Seem odd to some 

Well who's asking? 

Take control of the kitchen 

Use your creativity 

Don't be beholden 

To someone else's ideas, 

This is an artform 

The oldest artform 

This is art and religion 

This is the reason you 

Feast on holidays 

This is about more than 

Getting your food from 

Point A to B 

It's about sustenance, true 

But this is about giving 

And receiving 

This is good for you in 

Ways your stomach 

Couldn't even imagine 

So make every meal 

An occasion, a celebration 

And if it burns a little 

Don't freak out 

Don't automatically 

Assume that all 

Hope is lost and throw 

The whole thing away, 

What's wrong with a 

Little charcoal? 

Just add more red wine 

More chilli sauce 

More garlic, 

Don't scrape the 

Bottom of the pot 

When you dish up 

And who's to know? 

Cook plenty, 

Eat till you're full  

If we were meant to 

Eat like sparrows 

We would have been 

Born with wings 

And tiny little stomachs 

But we weren't 

And anyway, 

You have a fridge 

To put leftovers in, 

Not to say that you 

Should make a 

Pig of yourself 

But enjoy cooking 

And enjoy what 

You have cooked 

This should be a joyful 

Visceral experience, 

Don't hold back 

Put in everything you are, 

Imagine you are putting 

Your soul over that flame 

Try new things, 

Try something you thought 

You'd never enjoy  

Maybe it was just the 

Way it was cooked, 

Asparagus is only as bad 

As the person cooking it 

And remember this 

Above all else . . . 

Pinenuts go 

With everything 

And anyone who says different 

Is a liar and will have 

Me to answer to, 

Plus, pinenuts come from 

Pine-trees and it's


So don't be such a


Add that extra handful 

You'll feel better for it


* first published in Cordite