I got lost on the way to 4F Cooking Home. It was then that I realized: Taipei, afterall, isn't my home. To navigate this city comfortably and easily would take some more time. I had to be patient.
When I finally found the door leading to 4F Cooking Home, the first thing that caught my eyes was their signboard that says "fun food friend flavors".
Exactly what I've been looking for.
Many flights of stairs later I found myself in the little cooking school. I was met by Amy, the resident photographer behind all the wonderful, enticing food photography on their website. She led me into the kitchen, where I met her colleague Soac and a girl - a friend of Amy's who was visiting - who had just returned from Paris.
We began to talk, of course, about food. I explained to them how food works in Singapore, how Singaporeans are terribly greedy, and how our cuisine is just one huge mixing pot of influences from all around the world. While we chatted Soac was hard at work on his pastry (that he later kindly offered to us - it was divine), moving with an ease and confidence that I often only see on people who truly enjoy what they are doing.
4F Cooking Home is sort of a non-traditional cooking school; it loves food, but it feels like it focuses on food (how you prepare and cook food etc) almost as much as the camaraderie between the people who are cooking or learning to cook.
Food is central here, but it also seems more like a conduit through which people connect with each other. A plate of pasta is more than a plate of pasta, because if you can learn to cook a good plate of pasta, you have the excuse to gather a few good friends in your kitchen, and amidst the laughter and happiness of being together, present them with the food that you have cooked yourself, that represents your love and affection towards them.
So that's what I think 4F Cooking Home is all about - fun, food, friend, flavors.
Which are all we need, anyway.