Who better to teach you some classic tricks of the trade than our very own chefs, Kevin Steppe and Kevin Woodyet? They have kindly offered five great tips to improve your cooking, which you can try at home.
Always source the best products
They don’t have to be expensive but always buy the best ingredients you can afford. Kevin and Kevin believe you can’t beat going to a fresh food market, but for those without a market nearby, why not visit your local Chef & Brewer and let us do all the hard work for you!
Keep your knives sharp
It might sound like an obvious tip, but keeping your knife sharp is vital. People are often scared of a sharp knife but you should be more afraid of a blunt one, as you are more likely to mis-chop.
To keep your knife sharp, all you need is a sharpening steel, which you can pick up from your local supermarket. You don’t need to be too vigorous with it. Simply keep a nice steady pace at a shallow angle and you will soon have a nice sharp blade.
This classic scout motto is also appropriate for food preparation. It is a good idea to have everything chopped and ready to go before you start the cooking process. This way, once the preparation is all done, you can simply concentrate on the timings, which are key. It’s the same principle in any restaurant.
Many people don’t plan the cooking process and just get on with it, but the best chefs plan the process with military precision. A great example is the classic roast dinner; which can end up being one of the easiest or hardest meals to cook, depending on whether you get the timings right. The last thing you want is half of your meal being ready, while you wait for the other half.
Many cooks forget this golden rule, but you should always season food. In the most basic terms, seasoning is salt, pepper and oil, which is the most effective way to season meat. You can also use bouillon paste or any number of marinades.
When seasoning meat, it is important to remember not to season too early as this can lead to the salt drawing the moisture out of the meat. The best process is to leave the meat at room temperature for around 10-15 minutes, then season.