What are some things that good chefs know yet others don't?

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The emphasis is not on recipes, but rather on procedures. In culinary school, I didn't simply memorize recipes; instead, I focused on learning techniques and time management. One common mistake I observe is when people feel the need to strictly follow a recipe, or else they believe they can't cook at all. While there is value in following instructions, many individuals fear that any deviation or mistake will lead to disastrous outcomes. While this may hold true in certain situations, particularly in baking, it is more important to comprehend the underlying principles of cooking – understanding that a few extra minutes of cooking won't spoil the meal, and that substituting spices or adjusting measurements is not a matter of life and death. It amuses me when people ask if it's permissible to omit a particular ingredient, as if breaking such a rule would warrant legal consequences. Cookbooks should not be regarded as unalterable laws. By grasping the procedures, such as sautéing, roasting, various knife cuts, and the significance of mise en place, one can liberate themselves from the shackles of written instructions.

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