Welcome to CookedbyLO! I am Lily Osman aka LO, a chef, food writer, recipe developer, and mental health activist. My inspiration for starting this blog turned program came from a desire to share my food journey, and help inspire others through the services I offer. Cookedbylo was founded based on two things my chef's said during my time in Culinary school: 1. On the first day, Chef V stated, “a kitchen is a dangerous, fast-moving, hot place. If you don’t take care of yourself, it gets more dangerous. You need to learn to advocate for yourself no matter if someone is yelling at you or not, get your sleep, and be aware of your needs. I have had students who have fainted because they didn’t take the one second it takes to drink water, fainting takes a lot more time than a sip of water. Take the one second instead” 2. Don’t touch the mushrooms, I anxiously waiting for my mushrooms to get crispy and as I was moving the pan around Chef Jeff says, “Get your hands off the pan and take a lap. Some things just take time and you moving them is just making them less delicious. If you have extra time use it properly.” I ended up taking a lap and dancing getting my energy out and coming back calmer and to perfectly crispy mushrooms. These two lessons: 1 second could save you 2 hours and if you manage your time well you can take care of yourself and make something better. I feel as though these things could have come in handy earlier on in my life and I want to share these concepts with others so they can apply them earlier than I did. A Kitchen is a microcosm of our day-to-day world, mindful cooking aims to make the kitchen space of self-care so you can translate methods from the lessons and recipes into your day-to-day life to make it more efficient, calm, and happy.
Food has always been an important way to help with my anxiety, but food and cooking are so much more than a cure for anxiety. More and more the awareness around the mind-gut connection has been researched, I got to experience this first hand. In my senior year of college, my psychologist was prescribing me too much medication and my body reacted through different gastro problems. After months and many doctor visits, I was tired and scared and went to another doctor whose first question was, "are you on any anti-depressants?" a week later, I was better. Looking back on that time reinforces my mission here. I want CookedbyLO to be a sanctuary, for any level cook to re-learn how to cook with a self-care, mindful mentality. There is so much to gain from eating the food you cook, knowing what you are putting in your body, being creative, connecting with the process before you eat, and eating delicious food. I have always come to the kitchen to get out of my head and to focus on one thing, creating a delicious meal to show my love. I want to help as many people as I can create that special bond I have in the kitchen.