TIPS TO COOK LIKE A MICHELIN STARRED CHEF
Tuesday 02 June 2020
We are proving ourselves to be excellent cooks during lockdown… let’s keep it going and keep trying new recipes or cooking methods!
1 Mise en place
This French culinary phrase refers to carefully preparing all your ingredients before starting to cook. This means peeling, chopping, coating, grating and measuring everything on your recipe list prior to cooking. Setting up pots, pans, mixing bowls and other utensils also saves you the hassle of running around the kitchen while your onions burn on the stove. Ingredient prep is often overlooked in cooking.
2 Nothing goes to waste
Last year, over 1.3 billion tonnes of food was wasted or thrown away. To lessen the global impact, chefs around the world are offering creative solutions by using entire ingredients from “root to stem” or “nose to tail”. Vegetable ends and peels, for example, can be turned into tasty soup recipes; bones can be saved for broth making; bruised strawberries and peaches can be made into delicious jams; and pumpkin seeds can be saved for roasting. Browse through these inspiring recipes to transform your kitchen scraps into mouth-watering dishes.
3 Know your seasonings
Pink Himalayan salt, Black Lava salt, Red Algae salt… name the colour and there’s a salt to match it. Salt enhances taste by reducing bitterness and boosting natural flavours. However, sodium intake increases water retention in our bodies, resulting in higher blood pressure and an increased strain on our arteries and kidneys. Vinegars and citrus juices make for excellent substitutes because their acidities break down bitter flavours, elevating the taste of the dish. Curious on how to zest up your next dinner menu? Take a look at these 20 must-have seasonings recommended by chefs to season up your pantry.
4 Invest in proper kitchenware
No chef should cook without a proper knife. A solid knife cuts through meat, fruit, vegetables and herbs with absolute precision while retaining the moisture and flavours of the ingredients. Proper cookware is also essential, because different ingredients require different cooking conditions. Cast iron pans, for example, are excellent heat retainers and are best used for high temperature cooking, such as frying. Stainless-steel pans on the other hand are better for cooking acidic ingredients, such as tomato sauce. The stainless-steel metal does not react with the acidity of the sauce, thus preserving the essence of the ingredients. Whether you’re doing a quick sizzle or a slow roast, here’s a brief introduction on cookware to guide you through the process.
5 Taste everything
In culinary school, students are required to taste test everything from start to finish to understand the process of building flavour in a dish. It’s also a great way to add depth to the taste before the dish is completed. Here are a few pro tips to make the proper adjustments and tweaks for a chef-worthy meal…