4 Tips on How to Be a Michelin Star-Worthy Chef from Home | Cooking Skills
Knowing how to cook is a skill that everyone needs to have. After all, eating is one of our most basic needs. You probably know at least a few recipes and have decent enough skills, but have you considered getting serious about learning to cook? I’m not talking about casseroles or meals you can throw together in the in the crockpot either.
No, I’m talking about meals that are worthy of true Michelin star chefs—think Joël Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay, and Yoshihiro Murata. Those chefs are professionals—masters of their trade. They are respected all over the world and known for creating some of the most delicious dishes out there. After going to culinary school and working with other masters in the culinary industry, they worked hard to perfect their abilities.
You may not have the opportunity to go to a culinary school or to work at a five-star restaurant, but you still learn to cook like them in your very own home. Here is what you need to do.
Try Different Recipes
If you’re in a rut of making pasta every night, here’s your chance to get out of your shell. You should look into making recipes from all around the world that require all types of ingredients and cooking techniques. Here are two Michelin recipes to consider making:
- Butternut Squash Soup by Alain Ducasse: This delectable dish is a puree of squash, leeks, and onions. It is also served with a crostini topped with goat cheese and olive oil along with a side of spaghetti squash and parmesan.
- Buffalo Mozzarella Cheesecake by Rosanna Marziale: If there’s dessert in heaven, then this one has to be there! It is made by using mozzarella made from buffalo milk—the true Italian way!—and mixed with other ingredients, including lemon and then topped with a berry sauce. Because most mozzarella in the United States is made from cow milk, you’d most likely have to get it from a speciality market that imports it.
Such recipes will challenge you. You’ll learn how to cook using techniques that you’ve never used before but aren’t too hard to learn. You’ll learn to have an attention to detail and how to recognize quality in food.
When you’re starting out, however, don’t make anything that’s too far outside of your comfort zone or skillset. It should be a gradual process as you improve your skills one step at a time. Trying too hard to impress can be a recipe for disaster. Be patient with yourself and remember that it can take a few attempts to get something right.
Learn New Techniques
Can you fry an egg? Can you steam clams? Can you tie a roast? There are so many ways to prepare food that it can get rather overwhelming. Yet, it can be exciting too! After all, cooking the same way every time can be monotonous and take out the joy that should be in your everyday cooking experience.
Learn new techniques as often as possible. Once you’ve comfortably mastered one, move on to a new one. You should have the proper kitchenware at your disposal. Have different types of pans, like a Brooklyn copper saucepan or a wok, so that you can practice different types of cooking techniques that are best done in those types of pans. You may also want to consider investing in a good knife set and learn how to keep them sharp.
Improve Your Knife Skills
Speaking of knives, the relationship between a chef and their knife is like the one between a musician and their instrument. If you aren’t able to cut things with the proper finesse, your craft will suffer. Learn how to cut everything correctly. This includes fruits, vegetables, and cuts of meat. You want to be precise and patient. It’s also important to learn knife safety so that you don’t cut yourself.
When it comes to using a knife properly, Gordon Ramsay has a few tips when it comes to cutting an onion. Place three fingers right where you’ll want to be cutting (one in front and two behind). The one in front should be your middle finger. Use the knuckle of that finger to guide the knife as you move across the onion slicing down. Your knife should have a good weight to it as well so that you can allow the weight of the blade to cut through the onion.
Learn from Experts
The secrets of being a great chef aren’t shrouded in secrecy. Renowned chefs are more than happy to share their wisdom. Look for videos or online classes hosted by esteemed chefs and see what you can learn. Gordon Ramsay even has his own MasterClass series. He and other chefs like him even have YouTube channels where they will teach you about how to perform all kinds of skills flawlessly. The more you’re willing to learn from the masters, the better you can become.
When it comes to learning from a master, however, it takes humility. Understand that they have been in the field for a good amount of time. Not just a few years either—they’ve been in the game for decades. They have experience that can trump that of most restaurants’ head chefs across the world. Have an open mind. If they do something different than you have ever done it, take it with a grain of salt. Understand that your own methods may not be best. It just might be how you have always gotten by. If you still consider your way of doing things to be worth doing, consider the new way a part of your collection of skills so that you can fall back on their technique if you ever needed to.
Even if you don’t plan on opening a restaurant, improving your cooking skills is a very worthwhile endeavour. You can impress your friends by hosting dinner parties, enjoy delicious new recipes, and feel the satisfaction of expanding your horizons. Just make sure you are willing to take the time to learn and practice everything you need to.