Why is it that even in the world’s top restaurants and foodie havens, nothing will ever come close to mums’ home-cooked favourites? As children, our first memories are often linked with the aroma and taste of our favourite family meals prepared by mum.
Mums always seem to know what you need to eat when you’re feeling down. In her kitchen, there’s no calorie counting, fancy tricks or fads: just great food, made with love.
That’s why this Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating this special kitchen connection.
Why we’re hardwired to crave Mum’s cooking
A study into the link between childhood memories and food found a strong correlation between familiar, comfort food, and feeling loved:
Researchers found “Comfort food seems to be something people associate very significantly with close relationships. This probably comes about by individuals coming to associate a particular food item with members of their family, social gatherings, and people taking care of them.”
So even if your mum’s lasagne isn’t world famous, for you it’s probably unbeatable.
Chefs who have Mum to thank
“My mum and granny taught me everything I know about food and cooking.” - Curtis Stone
Cooking is the ultimate act of nurturing – which is why it’s something we associate so closely with family. Countless chefs are quick to reveal that their top cooking influence is in fact, their mother.
For Gennaro Contaldo, the chef who introduced Jamie Oliver to Italian cooking, his mother’s cooking is a living influence:
“The memory of my mother’s slow-cooked ragù has stayed with me since I was a little boy. To make her ragù my mother got up early on Sunday mornings to chop the onions, carrots and celery, then added the meat – all the leftovers from the butcher. By 8am it was on the stove while we went to church, my sisters and grandfather popping back to check on it. At 1pm we sat down to pasta with the lovely sauce, sausages and cured meat. And, of course, my mother’s bread, which she baked on Thursdays because, she said, that was the day I was born.'
Closer to home, desserts genius Adriano Zumbo has spoken of his mother’s influence on his cooking and food memories in a small Australian town:
“Mum's Italian meals gave the town something different and people looked up to her.” Today, Zumbo Desserts are famous for their inventiveness and flair – but it’s easy to see where his love of the kitchen was born.
Another celebrated cook, Adam Liaw has also shared the important influence of his mum’s home cooking. He says, “Our mothers are the biggest influence on how we cook and eat.” He still celebrates his mum’s influence through sharing recipes she’s inspired.
Much-loved Australian cook Maggie Beer admits to having drawers stuffed with hand-written recipes from her mother. Perhaps it’s part nostalgia and part utility, but Beer says she regularly relies on the passed-down recipes, – “[they] manage to work their way to the surface just when I need a reminder of how good they are.”
From elaborate Sunday roasts to a quick delicious treat, nothing beats mum’s cooking. Celebrate your mum or the cook in your life this Mother’s Day with Like Mum Made It – a selection of fabulous venues where chefs will be showcasing the food influences of their mothers.