Why is learning to cook sometimes so hard?

Learning to cook can be tough. So many recipes, and even more variables: ingredients, tools, techniques and other cooking lingo. Which to choose? The S-curve of learning is a sweet little theory that can help explain why learning to cook can be so hard at times.

Have you ever tried learning something only to give up after a while?

Spanish on Duo Lingo? For me, simply repeating what the little oil told me didn’t work.

Vegetable gardening? Too many variables: type of plants, how far apart to grow them, which can grow next which, sun or shade? I never got beyond the point of putting some seeds in the ground and cheering whatever came up.

And I love to become better at water coloring, as I like the unexpectancy of how the paint behaves. But it would be great to have some more control over it.

Some I gave up entirely, others temporarily (I hope!). Why was this?

It all made sense to me, when my friend (and sometimes colleague) Jani taught me about the S-curve of Learning.

The S-curve of learning to cook

Learning something new goes through 3 phases. At the beginning, progress is slow. Why am I learning these stupid sentences? Why does only half of these seeds sprout? You feel stuck and might be thinking about giving up. This phase called the launch point.

Because if you overcome this part, your learning curve gets steeper and steeper. Every seed that sprouts, every line on the paper is a step forward to something new and exciting. Learning becomes fun and the more you invest in it, the faster you learn.

Until there is that dread again. You’re now at another level, but got stuck again. Your learning slows down and is not that exciting anymore. You hit a plateau. You have reached the mastery point of learning, according to Whitney Johnson and Juan Mendez-Garcia, who used the idea of the S-curve onto learning.

Where are you and what’s the next step?

When you got stuck in the process of learning to cook – or any other new skill – you have two options.

1. Give up. Like I did with learning Spanish.
2. Or you can jump on a new S-curve. Find a new teacher, another way of learning, another subject. For my water coloring ambitions I might want to do this and look into taking lessons. Maybe then I will get better than just jotting some lines with my little brushes.

And you probably guess where I’m going here. Of course I am here to encourage you to keep on learning to cook.

Whitney Johnson and Juan Mendez-Garcia, on the S-curve of learning.

How can I help you find cooking fun (again)?

So how can you carry on your journey of learning to cook when you get stuck? It depends a bit on where on the curve you are:
* a beginning cook who is overwhelmed by all there is to know, or
* a more experienced home cook who reaches their plateau and can’t seem get any further along the path you took.

In this blog post I have applied the idea of the S-curve on Learning to Cook, and what struggles you might come across at each phase.

Of course, this process and where you where is much easier to see in retrospect, not while you are in the mids of it. That’s where my help might come in handy.

As a cooking coach, I will work with you and help you get back to that sweet spot where learning to cook is fun.
* Are you a beginning cook? Then we will figure out what you need to get your learning curve to the point where it will accelerate and cooking becomes exciting. ~ Start for instance with writing down what you know.
* For a more experienced home cook we figure out what new curve you can jump on to find your fun in cooking back. ~ It can help to figure out what else you want to learn about cooking.


Fill out the form here and schedule your free call to figure out if I can help you.

Join the conversation!