Over the course of the various community quarantines, many people have decided to try out new hobbies and/or learn new skills. Cooking was one of the most common choices people decided on.
If you’ve taken a liking to cooking, it’s only natural to want to try and improve yourself as a home chef. Practice makes perfect of course, but there are a few other steps that you can take if you are serious about getting better. Some of these steps include:
1. Practicing Mise en Place
Mise en place is the practice of having “everything in its place”. Professional kitchens all over the world practice this and it’s a good idea to do so in your own kitchen at home. This is simply preparing all the ingredients, tools, and equipment you need before you start cooking. Mise en place is important because it allows you to focus on each step without having to waste time looking for something you need, which may lead to accidentally overcooking ingredients among other headaches. Remember: make sure you have cut all necessary ingredients and brought out the right kind and size of cookware before you even start.
2. Challenging Yourself with Recipes Outside Your Comfort Zone
No one has ever become the best version of themselves by playing it safe. Although it is understandable to stick to recipes that are of your current skill level, the best way to get better is to leave your comfort zone and try more challenging recipes. Dare yourself to explore recipes that use more ingredients than what you are used to using. Explore recipes from different countries, such as Moroccan Lamb Tagine or a traditional Austrian Sachertorte. Experience is the best teacher, so try and experience different recipes and ways of cooking to add more skills to your repertoire.
3. Signing up for Online Culinary Courses
One of the best ways to improve any skill is to mentor under a professional. Fortunately, you don’t have to be connected with the culinary world to be able to learn from professional chefs. Several online culinary classes allow you to learn directly from experienced professional chefs.
For example, Enderun Extension’s Online Culinary eXperience, connects you with chefs from École Ducasse Manila, the Philippine office of Alain Ducasse’s culinary institute. The course is designed to teach you specific recipes in cook-along videos using the ingredients that are sent to your home. The highlight of the course, however, is that course takers can schedule a sit down with an École Ducasse Manila chef. This lets you learn directly from the chef, pick their brain, and ask for tips to improve your cooking.