Laksa whipped up by Black Press Media’s newest columnist Andrew Levangie. Image: Instagram.

Laksa whipped up by Black Press Media’s newest columnist Andrew Levangie. Image: Instagram.

Not a chef: Cooking in COVID

Okanagan resident Andrew Levangie writes a new food column for Black Press Media

So things have started to open up again, you got a hair cut, maybe you’re back in the office, your favourite restaurant has a new patio spilling onto the sidewalk. You’re feeling some sense of freedom again – We flattened the curve in B.C. and we deserve a little more space to roam, Right? OF COURSE!

But if I may, for second, ask you to think of the last time you were in school; was it some semblance of memorize, test, forget, repeat – then repeat that all over again simply to pass through the motions and move on to the “Real World?” I’m betting the answer is somewhere close to yes.

During a long quarantine I was kind of thinking it felt a little like being back at school.

What can I learn today?

What’s new for me? What does this still in the package kitchen tool do? As I cruise my social media I’m seeing less food pics and more and more beach pics (and I don’t blame you for a second) but where did all these excellent home cooks go?

Did you let your newly birthed sourdough starter die yet? Forget that thing marinating in your fridge? If you did, that’s ok – if you didn’t pat yourself on the back.

As we step back into our Real Worlds with patio beer fuelled enthusiasm do yourself a favour and take a second to shake that school induced forgetfulness and remember what you learned at home school.

When we had nothing to brag about while being trapped indoors I saw some of the most beautiful home cooked meals I have ever seen from people I didn’t even know could use a knife to save their own life. I’m not here to shame all you would be beach goers, all I’m saying is don’t forget what you so ambitiously taught yourself when the chips were down, remember what you learned and go try it again! Now that your bubble is bigger, why not try it again for a friend(s). Make that pasta from scratch, fire up the BBQ, learn to shuck an oyster, cook a vegan meal, water that herb garden you planted and for god-sake feed your sourdough starter!

I’m not sure you’ll find a bigger supporter of local restaurants than me, so please I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go out and eat, OF COURSE go out and eat! Your favourite restaurant worked hard to have the pleasure of feeding your polite mouth again (tip well, they need it) – But before we forget how to turn our ovens on, try that new thing again. It might just taste better than before. If your feel like getting real crazy, maybe even write it down – like a little food love note to yourself.

We all deserve a little treat right now, we’ve been good! Treat yourself to something made from your own two hands – humblebrag it on Instagram – as we all do our best to watch our pocket books, remember how to dine-in.

If COVID school has taught us anything it might have been how to be a little kinder, how to understand others feelings a little better, how to fend better for ourselves and how to share a little more – But after we all went back to the school of life for a little bit, and now that that school’s out for summer – Just don’t forget what you learned this time – How to Cook #NotAChef

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Night Moves..

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About Andrew:

Andrew Levangie is born a bread in Nova Scotia among the lobster and salt air but has called the mountains and the lakes of the Okanagan home for nine years. He is passionate about local food, growing what you eat, exploring new flavours and learning about how food evolves. In his travels he has worked almost every job imaginable in the restaurant industry, spanning over the last 20 years, but he is most excited when he cooks, eats and shares new flavours. He is an ever evolving home cook (and you can be too) a fierce defender of the local restaurants and believes sharing a meal is greatest way to unite people. But he certainly is #NotAChef.

Contact Andrew about column ideas and more at:

Email: andrew.levangie@gmail.com

Twitter:@AndyLevang

Instagram: @AndyLevang

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