4 Tips From Chef Instructors to Help You Cook Like a Pro
We’ll be the first to tell you that if you want to be a trained chef, you’ll need to sign up for culinary school. But if you just want to feel a little more like a professional? Well, we don’t mind giving up a few of our chef secrets – here are four cooking tips from our chef instructors that will level up your chef game and your kitchen confidence.
- Mise en place. French for “everything in its place,” this is where every chef begins cooking. Gather all of your ingredients and clean, cut, and measure them out as your recipe instructs, then place them in individual containers. Though it feels time consuming and tedious, preparing mise en place prevents you from running around the kitchen looking for ingredients while food burns on the stove, or realizing halfway through a dish that you do not actually have a key ingredient. It is the best way to set yourself up for success so that once you introduce heat, you can fully focusing on cooking.
- Hold your knife properly. The first giveaway that someone doesn’t know what they’re doing in the kitchen is holding a knife incorrectly. Not only is it harder on your hands and wrists, holding your knife wrong also increases the odds of cutting yourself. If you want to be able to comfortably and safely chop lots of veggies on a regular basis, you will need to start with the proper pinch grip on the bolster of your knife, and the fingers of your other hand tucked safely underneath your knuckles. If you’re unfamiliar with how to hold and use a chef’s knife, don’t worry! We offer a one night knife skills class you can take to add those skills to your arsenal.
- Use coarse kosher salt. Picture your favorite celebrity chef. Have you ever seen them pour salt from a salt shaker into a dish they were cooking? Likely never, and that’s because table salt is not what they’re cooking with to begin with. Here at SLICE we teach our students to season every step of the way with coarse kosher salt, pinched out a small bowl. This method allows you to better visualize how much salt you are adding and also tastes better. Want to look like a pro in one easy step? Ditch the shaker of table salt and replace it with coarse kosher salt in a mason jar or salt cellar.
- Plate with intention. Plating matters! We enjoy our food with our eyes before it ever hits our taste buds, so it’s always worth the extra minute to make your dish look as good as it tastes. Before serving food, give it a once-over and ask yourself, “how could I add color, texture, or balance to this plate?” Even something as simple as a bowl of tomato soup can feel restaurant quality with just a drizzle of heavy cream, a few toasty croutons, and some cracked black pepper. Don’t be afraid to add some visual flair after working hard to create a delicious meal!
These tips will definitely help you make a good impression on a date, but there’s much more to learn if you want to cook like a professional chef. If you’re itching to learn all the next-level secrets, you’ll want to sign up for our culinary institute!