Cooking School

by | May 23, 2021 | In the kitchen

Family pasta and lunch event with pizzica folk dancing

This photo captures a feeling…the very feeling that brought me here.

A feeling of deep satisfaction and warmth. The same emotion I first felt 20 years ago when together with Lise and Sam two of my closest friends, we cooked meals for us to share in many houses across Melbourne.

There is always time for lunch. Always time for dinner. Always space should be made for these momentous occasions. Three times a day we can celebrate each other! Three times a day we can create theatre in the kitchen.

Pasta making class with Italian Folk Songs

I remember places with no kitchens. Workplaces with only a microwave and nowhere to sit. No sunlight, no warmth, no colour, empty of pots and pans and utensils. What poverty they are! Only work and work not punctuated by culinary theatre. Not punctuated by reflection and sharing.

Cheese class

Three times a day we can celebrate. And yet our work demands and the working week have reduced theatre in our homes.

Our televisions have become bigger and the couch deeper, for the post-work slump. And no time for cooking.

Supermarket trollies full of non-foods. Too processed to be anything more than salty cardboard.

Where are the pressure cookers and oiled pots and pans?

Where are the inherited dishes and simple ingredients? Where are the skills handed down from parent to child?

Cooking class for children

They are here…they are there, they are being created once again.

A tagliatelle birthday party

I have seen workplaces where the kitchen is revered once more and where stopping to have a shared lunch is once again celebrated.

A tagliatelle birthday party

And children love our kitchens and our friends love them too. For how can they not. When they provide so much comfort. Warmth in our chest. Taste buds electric.

Banana Yoshimoto’s book “Kitchen” do you know it?

The Japanese author.

She produced a feeling in her book that was a kitchen feeling for me.

Stirring gently, with my face over steam and flavour.

Star anise and coriander, sprinkled across tomatoes.

Simmering as I sit with heat in my hands. A pottery cup with the work of Tania’s fingertips and paint.


  1. Tom Littledeer

    “Culinary theatre” resonates strongly with me. Normalizing food preparation, cherishing the movement, detail, colour, shape, and aroma is healthful, mindful, and community building. Essential for children!

    • Mara

      Love those words Tom….thank you very much for sharing them….words that have travelled from very far away to reach here..

  2. Eira Clapton

    Each monday my 3 year old grandson comes over and we bake cookies. He is so proud of his cookies, and it is something HE MADE which he can share with his older siblings. The beginnings of a lifetime of cooking and eating together

    • Mara

      I love your story! very very wonderful! Thank you Eira!

  3. Lena Mazza

    LOVE every word of that. Totally life affirming. Big country kitchen, the centre of home life. Friends, kids, birthday celebrations, the very heart of the house. Step out the back door for abundance of the garden. Open the pantry for preserved delights. Living, loving, learning and communing…

    • Mara

      Thank you Lena! Thank you for your words…lyrical and poetry! your heart and sharing…Thank you…


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