Cool clix

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

I am a junkie for the Food Network. My fave is Ace of Cakes. Partly because I love the "out there" cake designs, but mostly because I find it amusing that a tattooed biker guy is a baker. His crack staff is equally intriguing.

And since I can't just sit in front of my TV all day, especially at work, I need a go-to place for cooking inspiration. It's a well-known fact that most people learn visually, and why should cooking be any different?

Enter It's an all online cooking school and it's FREE! According to their site, the Food Commander is an independently produced cooking show showcase. There are currently 14 episodes available for viewing through YouTube and housed on the Food Commander website.

Born in Germany, the Food Commander (a real person) grew up in Paris and Munich. He baked his first cake, a strawberry jellyroll, at age 4. By the time he was 9, he had mastered his mother's recipes (including a sauce barnaise) and was feared by family and friends alike for his intransigent attitude towards proper food preparation.

His instructions are artsy and flamboyant, kind of like the old SNL skit Sprockets, and very, very clear-cut. "Cooking is, above all, a craft. No special talent is required to learn it; all you need, besides competent guidance from an experienced cook, is: humility, curiosity, patience, and the basic ability to process information." Well said Commander.

So you get the basics of good cooking which sets the foundation for future learning. Kitschy recipe names like What's at Steak (pan fried skirt steak), and Semisweet and Beaten (mousse au chocolat) make it even more fun to learn. Or at least watch simply for the entertainment value alone. Check out I command you!