TULSA, Okla. None - Fewer people are cooking. In fact a new study says one third of American adults are not preparing the meals they eat because they don't know how. The study was commissioned by Bosch home appliances. We wondered why people are neglecting the culinary side of life and went to an expert to find out. Chef Jay Moore is an instructor at Tulsa's Platt College. He met with us at Foundations, a restaurant operated by students studying to be professional chefs.
"I think a lot of it is the lack of the family unit," he said. "Mom's having to work and Dad's having to work and the kids are ltchkey kids and they're getting cereal in the afternoon-something quick and easy because you don't want an open flame with children. Then Mom and Dad come home and they're too tired to cook so they bring something or open something."
Moore has been cooking since he was ten years old and has been a pro for 33 years. His gigs include stints in Houston and New Orleans.
What Moore says families and individuals are missing in not cooking is more than just knowing how to prepare a meal.
We shared some beef stew and corn bread prepared by students as we talked-an appropriate dish perhaps for the cooler weather.
"They're missing that sense of camaraderie that you have standing next to somebody peeling onions or popping garlic," he said. "There's just something about the preparation of a food that you're gonna share with somebody-it's almost a spiritual thing that you're passing along-'These are my efforts and this is going to nourish us both when we sit down at this table'."
Going beyond the esoteric aspect, Moore says cooking is also a great way to save money on food.
"If you go out and buy a chicken, roast a bird, then you can have roast chicken on Monday, the next day you can have chicken soft tacos, and then you boil the carcass with some more veggies and you can have chicken soup on Wednesday. You can stretch that food dollar."
But, it's not as if cooking is a lost art. Students at the school are being put to work in restaurants in Tulsa and beyond. Moore says he tries to inspire his students beyond the academic as they prepare to go to their careers. His passion for cooking began at home and he says the home is the best foundation for the kinship and learning that goes along with preparing a meal together.