The Single Chef…lately I have been thinking more about my chosen moniker. It is a bit of a false claim really. First of all, I am not single. Jeff, my lovely “beyonce” (I don’t like the “f” word) is an all too ready and eager food tester. Second, as I don’t cook in a restaurant, nor have I attended culinary school, the only place I am truly a chef is in my own kitchen.

So why write a blog under this pseudonym? Because I truly believe that there is an art and beauty to cooking for oneself. I also hold true that if one can learn to cook for themselves they can then transfer that knowledge to cooking for many people. I am always a teacher at heart and I only want to share what I spent so many years trying to figure out on my own. Besides, The Engaged Cook Who Makes Meals for One just didn’t have the same ring to it.

Over the past few months I have thought a lot about what it means to be a single chef. Sure, it has its drawbacks. It is nice to have someone to share a meal with. Cooking for other people motivates you to actually cook something, where as it is easy to say “why bother?” when cooking for yourself. Often times you have to buy in quantities larger that what you need. So why should you bother cooking for yourself? To answer that question, I came up with a Top Ten list, David Letterman style.

Top 10 Reasons That Cooking for One is Worth It

10. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else wants for dinner.

9. Most prepared foods are filled with fat, calories and sodium. When you cook for yourself you can control what goes into your body.

8. You buy and use less ingredients, thus it seems worth it to spend the extra few bucks on a nice piece of fish or meat.

7. It is cheaper than going out to eat.

6. If you cook with fresh ingredients and whole grains you won’t need to take multivitamins and thus you will save money.

5. Cooking is a great way to nurture yourself, both physically and mentally.

4. Cooking is a great time to multitask. Chop and stir while listening to the nightly news, an audio book or if you can set your computer up in the kitchen, listen to old episodes of This American Life online.

3. Did I mention cooking for yourself saves you money?

2. Because you are using fewer ingredients, it usually takes very little time to prepare, cook and clean up.

And the number one reason why cooking for one is worth it…If your creation fails miserably, you’re the only one who has to eat it.