Lindsay Perry Winter 2020 Blog

How Cooking Dinner Has Changed My Life

by Lindsay Perry, March 20, 2020

For starters, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This Winter 2020 quarter was my last with Kendall College, and was the internship quarter. I completed my internship with Bell Flavors & Fragrances, and am happy to share I have been hired as a full-time Culinary Applications Technician. In culinary applications, my day-to-day activities include:

  • Developing savory and sweet recipes using culinary technique and food science principles
  • Researching food and flavor trends, applying research to new concept ideation
  • Preparing gold standard flavor profile targets, working cross-functionally with flavor chemists to develop new oil soluble, water soluble, and spray dry flavors

Moving along, I wanted to share an article from The New York Times titled How Cooking Dinner Can Change Your Life (linked at the end of this post). It struck a chord with me because although I don’t apply 100% of what I learned at Kendall College to my career in research and development, I have used 100% of these skills to host a weekly potluck dinner at my apartment that if referred to as Sunday Family Dinner. These dinners, cooking for and enjoying time with friends and family I love, has brought me so much joy and has truly changed my life. Cooking, providing, and connecting has a way of doing that. In the article, author Sam Sifton writes:

“The idea of meal as ritual has stuck with me. And so I still cook Sunday dinners, albeit on whatever night of the week I can manage, serving family and friends at a regular cadence. I believe it makes life better for all involved.

Social scientists have a term of art to capture a person’s overall happiness and sense of well-being. They call it “life satisfaction” and find it strongly correlates with time spent with those who care about you and about whom you care. A regular dinner with family and friends is a marvelous way to create that time. Which is not to say that life satisfaction will arise from your very first meal, or even your fifth. I think it accrues only over months and years, as you cook food and share it. Regularity matters. Standing dinner dates, at their best, are simply special occasions that are not at all extraordinary. They become that way over time.”

With all of our lives currently being altered by COVID-19, big or small, I recommend cooking. If it’s a meal simply for yourself or for you and one other person, I hope it brings you happiness and a sense of well-being.

photo credit: Credit…Sarah Anne Ward for The New York Times. Food stylist: Frances Boswell. Prop stylist: Amy Elise Wilson.

Recommended Posts