Having a tasteful hobby

Senior Erick Nguyen practices cooking throughout past five years

He breaks a sweat from the heat of the stove, and with several precise movements, looks upon his dish with satisfaction, after tasting it a bit, of course. Coming into the culinary world, senior Erick Nguyen is ambitious to learn about the vast world of cuisines there are to explore. Erick was always inspired by his father’s cooking throughout his childhood and learned from him, along with a number of life lessons from his mom.

“My dad was a really good chef and I wanted to learn how to cook after seeing him do it,” Erick said. “Between my mom and my dad, my dad cooks super well and mom not so much. So I was super curious about cooking and I wanted to learn from there.”

Erick has been doing his best to improve daily with every meal he cooks, putting his heart into every dish.

“I’ve noticed he’s been cooking more often and the food has begun to taste better and better,” Erick’s mother Wendy Nguyen said. “When he first started, his dishes were very salty, but now he’s doing much better.”

Improvement in Erick’s cooking has been seen not only by his parents, but his peers and younger sister, sophomore Christine Nguyen. As he has gotten older, he has become more familiar with the kitchen and has learned to branch out his cooking complexity. He focuses on turning a simple dish into something of his own.

“He’s become more knowledgeable and comfortable with cooking to the point where he can go off the recipe,” Christine said. “He’s able to turn simple dishes like mac and cheese and make them taste way better.”

A love for the hobby has opened up not only his mind to interesting types of foods from different cultures but his peers’ minds as well. While he primarily cooks European cuisines, he branches out often and cooks food from other cultures.

“Since cooking is related to food, whenever I try to do a new cuisine there’s always a certain cultural element to it,” Erick said. “I guess cooking just allows me to try new, different foods.”

Throughout his five years of cooking, Erick has worked his way up starting from the basics. Cooking dishes as simple as mac and cheese, and perfecting them every time he cooks them. To cooking cuisines like ratatouille and Thit Kho Trung, a traditional Vietnamese dish on his own. Erick started with simple dishes but with dedication to the art, he made his family tradition into a hobby he’s enjoyed since the start.

“Start simple, a lot of people joke about not being able to boil water or bake an egg, but if you [learn] the basics first, you can go [from] there,” Erick said. “Do something simple. You can do a canned sauce and add your own flavor to it.”