ESL Cooking Writing

A good way to learn to use ESL vocabulary is to do writing tasks such as the ones on this ESL cooking writing page. By doing the tasks on this page you will be able to think about the vocabulary while using it.

The ESL cooking writing tasks on this page will let you use cooking vocabulary so you can learn it better.

When you first start to learn new vocabulary it can be difficult to remember the right word to use in a certain situation. All the new words can be very confusing, especially if you are trying to think of the word quickly. This is why writing tasks are good. You can work at your own speed and try to decide on the best word to use. You have the chance to look up several alternative words and find the best one for the situation. If when you are doing the ESL cooking writing exercises on this page you are not sure which word to use, you can look at the list of words on the ESL cooking vocabulary page.

There are four exercises for you to do on this page about ESL cooking writing as follows:

  • Writing topics.
  • Summary writing task.
  • Writing a description of a picture.
  • Writing a role-play

ESL Cooking Writing Exercises

Exercise 1 – Writing Topics

For this ESL cooking writing task you need to write something about one of the following topics. They are all about cooking or food so you should try to use as much of the cooking vocabulary as possible. Write as much as you can using full sentences and paragraphs. When you have finished writing about the first topic you chose you can write about the others as well if you want to.

  • Describe the kitchen where you live or the kitchen in your house when you were growing up.
  • Explain how to cook your favourite type of food.
  • Explain why you either like to cook or do not like to cook.

Exercise 2 – Writing a Summary

In this ESL cooking writing task you need to read the following passage and then write a summary. When you write a summary you should keep the main and most interesting information but use new words and sentence structures to explain it. The summary should be shorter than the original.


Keeping food fresh is very important. This is achieved by bringing food straight home from the place where it is sold and keeping it cool in a fridge until it is time to start the cooking process. Now it is possible to get food from all over the world and be eating it only hours after it was harvested in Africa or South-East Asia.

To make meals not only enjoyable but exciting we can use a variety of different ingredients. For example, adding herbs and garlic to bread. In vegetable soup, croutons added on top, give texture and crunch.

Eggs are a good source of protein. They are easy to cook and extremely versatile. They can be fried, boiled, scrambled, poached and made into omelettes. Eggs are also added to cake mixtures. They add air to the mixture to help it to rise along with the self-raising flour. A light cake is more enjoyable to eat than a heavy soggy cake.

In summer when the outside temperature rises, cooking in a kitchen can be exhausting. Often food prepared that does not require heat is preferable. Salads with cold fish, cooked ham, cheese and boiled eggs are ideal.

We keep food frozen in freezers. This is useful as it can be used if it is not convenient to go shopping. Bread freezes well and can be de-frosted quickly in a toaster or micro-wave oven. Tinned food is also convenient. Once opened it has to be consumed within a few days. Dairy products, like milk, cheese and cream, need to be kept cool in hot weather. Sell by and use by dates that are now written on top of food products, assist us in deciding how long it is safe to keep the food.

In winter and on cold days, a kitchen is an enjoyable place to work as heat from the hob, oven and stove keeps the working environment comfortable. Our bodies seem to need more warm food in the winter than in the summer. Meat pies, adding dumplings to stews, sweet pie crusts on top of apples or mincemeat are consumed and enjoyed in cold frosty weather. At the end of a long day at work, smells of food cooking in a kitchen is a great home coming. 

Exercise 3 – Describing a Picture

For the next ESL cooking exercise you need to look at the following picture and then write something about it. You should describe what you can see in the picture and also what other things might be happening around the edges of the scene shown in the picture. Write as much as you can and use plenty of cooking vocabulary.

Exercise 4 – Writing Role-plays

In the last ESL cooking writing activity you need to choose one of the following two role-play prompts to write about. In each prompt you are told what is happening, where it is happening and who the people are; all you need to do is write what the people would say to each other. Write a full conversation and use plenty of new words. When you have finished you can get some friends and all perform your role-plays so you get practice of speaking and talking while using English.

Role-play 1

  • Location: In a kitchen.
  • Situation: Making a birthday cake for a friend.
  • Participants: Two (or more) people.

Role-play 2

  • Location: In a cooking school.
  • Situation: The teacher is trying to tell two students how to cook an egg.
  • Participants: The teacher and two students.

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