I still recall the first proper dish l ever tried to cook; it was a dish l saw in a cookery book. The outcome? Total disaster. It was exact opposite of delicious but that did not discourage me but made me more determine and the rest is history.
I had to share this experience because if you think you are a terrible cook because you have trouble making even normal fried rice, believe me that everyone started off from being an amateur.
I have always say it’s easy to become a great cook nowadays because of the availability of resources and information that is available everywhere. You could admire and follow the cooking style of a particular chef and don’t necessarily have to meet with them.
Everyone that is involved in the preparation of food can be called a cook but what makes you stand out from the rest is what l will be sharing with you.To take it to the next level you must work hard and have passion to achieve your dream.
(1) Cooking is a science. In science we mix every substance in the proper ratio. Same works in cooking. You mix different ingredients in the appropriate manner and check the dish every minute.
(2) To become a professional you have to look at cooking from the business point. You don’t necessarily have to cook for business but think in that line.
(3) You must always have your apron on and ensure your hair is covered. This is to ensure no hair particles is found in your cooking.
(4) Commit to practicing a particular recipe till you become perfect. Practice makes perfect and it’s only when you keep practicing that you reach the pinnacle of perfection. Once perfect in a particular dish you can now begin to play with your food. Add different spices here or there, substitute ingredients etc this would enable you see how good or bad they combine. Also challenge yourself in other ways.
(5) You must be creative in your cooking and presentation. Go out to restaurants and see how the meal is presented and taste. Watch food channels and blogs to follow step by step directions.
(6) You must be innovative. You don’t have to cook it the way everyone does. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Ask your friend’s to come around and try it and get there response to how it taste etc.
(7) You must be a quick learner and open to new ideas.
(8) Ensure you use your salt and pepper wisely. They are your best friend in the kitchen. While you try to lower your sodium intake, you need to use at least some when cooking because it brings out amazing flavors for your recipe.
(9) Know your flavors correctly to know where to apply. Understanding natural flavors of food will help you understand the character of a dish, which is essential to making good food.
(10) Don’t be afraid to make errors! The best cooks are those that make the most mistakes. It’s the best way to learn.
(11) Understand the ingredients you are working with i.e. what flavor does your garlic add to your recipe. How is cooking the leg part of a chicken different from the breast part etc. Everyday we learn new stuff. The only way to learn is experimentation and academic knowledge is not worth anything without practicalising with real food.
(12) Have your cooking book, internet, or whatever, but always have a trusted resource nearby when you are in the kitchen. This is to enable you quickly check if you are not sure of something.
(13) You must know how to use your knives on the cutting board. Know how to cut vegetables, fillet fish, and chicken etc. This makes you an all rounder cook and brings out the best in your presentation
(14) You must learn to become fast and punctual in your cooking. With constant practice this can be achieved and if you say dinner would be ready @ 6pm. lt should be so. Don’t keep your guests waiting and wondering when will it ever be ready.
(15)Keep your private life away from your cooking. This could affect your concentration and performance.
(16) You need to sit down at least once a week and plan out your meals and grocery lists. It saves you time and money, and makes you a more conscious and organized cook.
Lastly, you must learn to clean as you go. Although, some say it’s the worst part of cooking, but cleaning throughout the process, rather than at the end, makes it a much easier job.
For more tips follow my tweets @seyipee2011