Yesterday, during a dinner with friends, we talked about cooking together. The discussion arose when I remembered the first time I cooked with Enrico, and how it went so seamlessy that we both found it so unexpectedly… beautiful. It is a common belief that too many cooks ruin a dish, but how many is too many? For some people it could be just one. We all remembered situations at home where any extra person in the kitchen was only a nuisance and was firmly sent away… not mentioning most cookbooks and recipes, which are tailored (implicitely) for one cook only.
On the other side, I have several memories of cooking together with my mum and with friends, with unspoken simplicity. I thought about how I find it so easy, and concluded that paying attention to each other is key: it makes possible to both to take care of the recipe’s steps, plan ahead at need/will, have time to look at details and enjoy them fully. It’s easier to have a freer mind when working on a well-tested recipe, but it’s also wonderful to try a new one and work on it together. I have no clear idea how one can learn it (because I didn’t), but it is probably a quite diffuse maturation of the self.