Famous chefs like Antonio Carluccio, Michel Roux Jr and Tom Kerridge had to start somewhere, so as part of our 25th birthday celebrations, we quizzed them, and some of our other favourite chefs, about the first thing they ever cooked. Some of the answers were more appetising than others!
We then threw the question out to our fans on social media, and we’d like to hear from you too. What was your debut dish? Is it something you’ve made since or was it a one-off creation? Share your answers with us in the comments below, and be inspired by some of the best responses we’ve had so far…
The first thing you ever cooked was…
“One of my first cooking memories is doing my Brownie cooking badge. I was about 8 and I was invited to the teacher’s house to cook. She supervised me to make a cheese soufflé for their dinner! I remember being fascinated how it rose into such a delicious looking dish. I am now 56 and just retired after 35 years of teaching food technology to teenagers so I’m guessing the soufflé had a long lasting impact! I hope I have done the same for one or two youngsters!”
“I remember getting a part time job when I was about 12 babysitting a wee boy, with my first ‘pay’ I ran round to the local butcher and bought a piece of sirloin. I had been raised in a household that cooked meat till it was shoe leather and I was fascinated by the succulent looking dishes you would see presented by tv chefs (such as Keith Floyd and Gary Rhodes). A good vet could have resurrected that sirloin but it was the start of my adventure with food, it made food exciting and I have hopefully passed that passion for trying something new onto my children and grandchildren. I probably did make things before then but that was the first time I really cooked!”
“The first full meal I cooked was a sausage meat and apple pie with mustard mash followed by a lemon cheesecake. I was about 10 and had gone to a cookery lesson during the school half term. It became a firm favourite for my family and is still a favourite for my family now, 21 years on – my boys love it!”
“Potato pancakes. My Dad had been left in charge of four kids, and planned every day’s cooking for the week in advance (he hardly ever cooked normally!). The pancakes were scheduled a day after bangers and mash and he deliberately made too much so we could make the pancakes the next day. We all got stuck in helping! Great with eggs and beans.”
“I fried shop bought gnocchi in brandy! For some reason my parents used to keep sunflower oil in the fridge but on that day a bottle of brandy stood in its place. I was 8 then so had no idea about alcohol, I was just wondering why it keeps disappearing from the pan so kept pouring more and more. My father came to the rescue after the smells reached him in the lounge.”
“Plum cobbler at school – It was still warm at lunchtime when I discovered that I had forgotten to pick up my sandwiches before leaving home – but I was so proud of my cobbler that I didn’t eat it, even though my mouth was watering – I wanted my parents to share in my triumph when I took it home!”
“I first made scones with my nan I spent summer holidays with her and because of this amazing lady my love of cooking started and all I ever wanted to do was become a chef and to this day I make her scone recipe and many people have told me how good they are so I owe a big thank you to her.”
More birthday videos:
Read more about our 25th birthday celebrations here.
We’d like to know about your debut dishes too. What was the first thing you ever cooked?