Cornucopia

Some Expert Kitchen Tips

By Anonymous Paul on 14 September, 2011

Home cook, king of the grill, weekend chef, domestic goddess. A growing number of food lovers have now moved on from simply searching for the best places to eat to actually cooking for friends and family themselves. Some develop this fondness for cooking earlier than others; being born into culinary adept/food crazed families. Others seem to just seek this passion out alone. I cook, but I’m not a “lifer”. And I don’t think I could hack cooking everyday or for a living. But its always fascinating when I get to see professionals (yes, even kusineras) in motion; to see their skills and techniques being put in kitchen action. I pick up pointers here and there just by watching. But for this entry I stop being an observer and ask the sages directly for their wisdom with this one question:  “What’s the one best kitchen advice you can give to weekend chefs and home enthusiasts?”

 

Love your food, live your passion and never ever short cut. Make your stock from scratch. Make a real demi glace. Use the best ingredients.
Adrian Cuenca, Elbert’s Steak Room

My best ever kitchen tip that I learnt from years of cooking is never skip technique or process in cooking to get the best and consistent result.
Mona Bishier Valdes, Private Indonesian Chef

Never think you know enough, because there is so much to learn. Keep an open mind to everything. Take down notes (even mental ones) when you try something new. Keep the mood light – make cooking fun! Play music, sing, cook with a friend — that always comes out in your food.
— JJ Yulo, Pinoy Eats World

The best tip I can give is to have a well stocked pantry and freezer! That way even if I’m hungover and to lazy to do groceries I can still whip up something yummy from scratch!
— Stephanie Zubiri, Modern Epicurean Kitchen

Weekend chefs, most of the time can create better dishes than professional chefs because they don’t have limitations in terms of costs and time. They can let things simmer away or cook things ala minute without compromising texture and flavour.
Since you can have all the time, and costs are not so much of a limitation, get and procure the best whenever possible. Get from small farms that take greater care of their products; chilled meats and fresh seafood that hasn’t traveled thousands of kilos to get here. Ingredients makes the dish. Take the time to select them the rest will just come together.
— Him Uy de Baron, Nomama Artisanal Ramen

Make a list, make a list, make a list and check it twice! Make a list of what you have to do, list all your ingredients, a list of the equipment you need, list all the changes you made in the recipes, WRITE IT DOWN. It helps.
Namee Jorolan, Pinoy Eats World

Here’s mine. Two of them:
1. You only need three knives. Yes that’s right, THREE knives. A chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife.
2. If you haven’t used a kitchen gadget in a year, you’ll never use it. Throw it out.
Lori Baltazar, www.dessertcomesfirst.com

Buy only what you need so you always have fresh ingredients every time you cook. Keep things simple, but use a lot of creativity. Sometimes the simplest recipes tastes much better.
— Myke Sarthou, Chef Tatung’s Private Dining

The best way to learn cooking, and I mean the best way, is to pick three dishes you like. A starter, a main and a dessert (yes all three). Learn to do these dishes exceptionally well to the point that when your friends have it they say yours is the best then proceed to your next three. This is also fun and you never get bored. You are so motivated when you only have three dishes to worry about because it seems so attainable to perfect them.
Rob Pengson, The Goose Station

I guess the best tip I can think of is to LABEL everything in your freezer– buy some good heavy duty plastic bags or restaurant quality plasticcontainers and label them using painters tape (recently sold at S&R forunbelievably rock bottom prices OR masking tape) and a sharpie pen or pentel pen. Label what it is and date you made it. Store stocks in smallerportions, break down meats such as chicken parts into the right portionsizes for your family when you arrive from the grocery to prevent freezingand defrosting and freezing again.
Marketman, www.marketmanila.com

Always practice cooking at home, continue experimenting on different recipes, and take down notes everytime you taste, watch, hear something interesting about food.
–Chiloy Santos, CBD and Tender Bob’s

Document. If you can only cook on weekends, then you must be able to make the most out of your time. Make sure to have an IDEA NOTEBOOK during the week, where you can write down your aha! moments, inspirations, observations and other things you might learn along the way. The same notebook could also keep your recipes in the works, plating ideas etc.
–Giney Villar, Adarna Food and Culture

Cook to please yourself first!  This is really the best advice I can give anyone. Only after you have reveled in the joy of nourishing yourself can you successfully share this joy with others. Also, always have some bacon or chorizo stashed away — they really make everything better, from pasta sauces to stews to sautéed veggies!
–Joey De Larrazabal-Blanco, 80breakfasts.blogspot.com

And finally…

Cooking is like making love. The foreplay makes the process more intense and progressive. That’s what makes cooking orgasmic and satisfying. Take time when cooking. The end result is truly satisfying.
Sau Del Rosario, Le Bistro Vert

 

 

If you have a tip, be it literal or figurative, by all means please share it too.

 

*photo by At Maculangan

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  • SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 9:17 AM

    Didi said...

    I agree with Lorie's comment. even if we have loads of knives at home, I always end up using one knife only for almost EVERYTHING. So many kitchen gadgets but we really don't get to use them often. Sayang your money especially if they go to waste

  • NOVEMBER 16, 2011 11:48 AM

    Marc Lester Dimal said...

    "never think you know enough" So true!

  • JANUARY 18, 2012 5:48 AM

    Albert - ERT said...

    life is a constant process of learning.....

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