How to Write a Cooking Scene


Part 1

1. What are they preparing?

»A. It could be anything from desert to dinner to something completely innovative.

I. Describe the meal that they want to create and where the character came up with the idea. Did they find the food on a TV show or in a cookbook? And do they have those materials with them?

II. How long is it expected for them to cook this meal and what techniques do they have to do for it to come out exactly right? And if they do not do these techniques correctly, then the food can come out completely different.

»B. Does the character know how to cook this meal or do they need help?

I. Are they getting help from videos? A recipe in a cookbook? A friend? Or are they just wing it? Example:
“He cracked an egg on the side of the pan and watched the gooeyness splat in the middle. She repeated with a second egg and let them sit there, sizzling.”

II. Do they try to put anything unnecessary in there to be different? Do they have all the ingredients and if not do they continue cooking it and hope that it comes out okay?

III. Did someone offer to help with the character turns them away? Did something happen mid-way that the character needs help with?

Part 2

2. Who are they preparing it for?

»A. Is someone important coming over like a date or even the president of the country?

I.How many servings do they need to make and will there be plenty depending on the person?

II. how does the kitchen look in general was it cleaned? Is the dining table room set for someone important? If so describe the atmosphere.

III. will happen if the character does not make a good meal for this person? Explain why creating a good meal is necessary if that all? Is it character just trying to impress or was the guest requesting the specific food to be made? Are they being judged for how good they can cook? Are they trying to impress a date because they like their culture?

»B. What about if they’re making it for themselves.

I. the energy is different when they’re making it for themselves supposed to someone else. It might linger a bit, take more time to do certain things for the meal or maybe rush through it.

II. Is this a tradition that they’re trying to keep up? Are they trying to create something new? Are they testing this out for a future event?

Part 3

3. What mistake happens? And can it be fixed?

»A. Does anything burn, was everything fresh?

I. Do they put in the wrong ingredients? Did they have it in too long? Can these mistakes be reversed or is it permanent and the character has to somehow cover it up and hope that no one notices?

II. Was it the wrong food that they are cooking? Do they not have enough for everyone that’s coming over? Do they have to make it from scratch because it failed the first time? Are they in a rush?

»B. How does the character cope and do they figure out another way?

I. They may give up, try to cook something else or possibly even buy it from the store and pretend like they made it. Perhaps hire someone to cook it for them?

II. Describe the mess they make, the utensils they break and most of all how they look while trying to figure this mess out. Are they sweating and have flour all over their face and apron?

Part 4

4. What is the character thinking and what actions follows?

»A. Does the character feel prideful, successful? Or do they feel like they screwed up big-time?

I. If they have everything under control then are they dancing around singing a celebratory song? How about licking the spoon and saying “Yum”, or bowing to thin air as if they’ve performed in a play?

»B. What does the character say out loud? Are they speaking to themselves are they speaking to others?

I. What are they mumbling to themselves, if at all? Do they say curse words or do they shout at the top of their lungs for help even though no one is there?

Part 5

5. How did the food finish?

»A. Will this food be eaten or thrown away?

I. Is it salvageable? Describe why it’s ruined.

II. What does the character do with the food? Give it to the dog? Throw it down the kitchen sink disposal? Eat it while holding their nose?

III. If the food is excellent they may sneak a few more bites? Save a huge slice for later, hide the food and cook something else because it’s too good to be eaten.

»B. And what about the cleanup how easy or hard is that?

I. Does anyone help? Do they offer or are told to?

II. How long will this cleaning last and is the kitchen that much of a mess. If so make it funny. How does the character react when they see the mess they have to clean.


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