Is cooking good for us? Setting aside our mental images of frenetic and angry chefs in commercial kitchens (Gordon Ramsey being the most notable example!), cooking really can be a calming activity. Now, we understand that might sound a little off the mark if your experience of cooking is frantically trying to feed the family between work and chores or tempting a toddler to try tomatoes for the first time. But at CENA we truly believe that outdoor cooking is good for your brain, so why not read on to see if you agree?
Disconnect from the treadmill of life
In an age where we’re connected to technology and expect instant gratification, taking the time to prepare food with our hands is good for us. The processes of chopping, grating, stirring and even washing up can all be meditative. The satisfaction from cooking great tasting food, even just for yourself, is rewarding. Preparing meals for other people and chattering away to them while the food cooks is a social act and help us disconnect from the stresses of a busy week at work.
Take it outside to up the feel-good factor
Cooking in the open air adds another layer of pleasure onto the activity. If your job requires you to be cooped up in an office or in your car, evenings and weekends mean a chance to get outside. Whether you’re a charcoal BBQ fan, love roasting potatoes in a fire pit or have your very own wood-fired pizza oven, there’s something special about cooking good food outside.
The difference of an outdoor kitchen makes
A fully-equipped outdoor kitchen scales up the social element of cooking. With other forms of outdoor cooking, the chef (or their able assistant…) has to whizz inside for ingredients or to manage side dishes cooking simultaneously.
Outdoor kitchens equipped with fridges, sinks, side burners and cupboards allow you to cook amazing dishes and relax. Meat and dairy products can be kept cold, cooking equipment to be washed, spices to be stored and side dishes to bubble while the chef enjoys chatting to guests.
Being able to relax and talk to guests, whilst going through those rhythmic processes of cooking, is amazing for your brain. In addition, if you’re cooking and chatting, you can’t possibly be reading emails, WhatsApp messages or scrolling through Instagram! Perfect for a mini digital detox.