It may seem like a given that if you work in a kitchen you should know everything there is to know about cooking.
That would be the ideal, but the reality is no matter what profession you're in, you never stop learning. Besides, it's always good to refresh your memory with cooking tips and the dos and don'ts in a kitchen, as well as schooling up on some of the simple ideas experts have always used.
So to help you out…
- Always keep all your knives sharpened. It’ll keep them in top condition making them better and more precise for faster chopping and slicing.
- Keep areas well lit. Remember, you've got to be able to see what you're doing.
- Don’t overcrowd pans as it can affect the quality of the dish.
- Seasoning is king! You’ve heard so many chefs say it. Keep seasoning and tasting, getting that balance just right.
- Keep vegetable offcuts for stocks.
- Have a bowl ready for your scraps.
- Your immediate work area should always be neat and clean. Any chef will tell you “work clean”. Wipe down and work on a clean surface.
- When making pastry, handle it as little as possible - it will stay together better.
- Fat mutes flavours in a dish. So if you’ve overpowered a dish with too many tastes then flatten it out with some oil or butter if you can.
- Serve fruits at room temperature for optimum taste, not straight out of the fridge.
- Grind your own spices with a pestle and mortar.
- Herbs lose their flavour if they’re stored in an area of high humidity - store cool.
- For pasta cooked to perfection, finish it in the pan just before it’s fully done.
- Natural Greek yoghurt is great in a dressing in place of mayonnaise.
- Crushing garlic in a small plastic bag saves the odour permeating onto your knife or chopping board.
- Simple but effective, a squeeze of lemon always enhances the taste of fish.
- Roll lemons and limes in your hands before squeezing out the juice.
- Remember people also eat with their eyes, so make sure your dish stacks up visually as well.
There are so many ideas, tips and suggestions chefs and cooks around the world use on a daily basis. If you love what you do and thirst for knowledge in the cooking profession, do your best to seek them out and continually up your kitchen game.