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Core tips for all beginner chefs

Chef Farouq

All chefs at one point in their career have started from somewhere. Everyone has had their own struggles and countless experiences to reach where they are currently. The experience gained through the years is what makes them successful chefs in the industry.

To be a successful chef, you need to be a good cook and being a good cook chiefly requires a good eye for attention to details. Whether you are experimenting with new recipes or enhancing an existing one, there are a few core tips that all beginner chefs must follow to bring out the spirit of their food.


1. Season Boldly

Salt is the main seasoning agent in culinary arts which is not well utilized by several beginner chefs. Kosher salt specifically helps bring out the flavors of a dish even if it is just sprinkled before grilled meats and roasting poultry. 

Salt does way more than we think it does and so I suggest adding salt in the water before boiling pasta or boiled potatoes for mashed potato. This incorporates a natural flavor and is very smooth on the palette when eaten. 


2. Do not underestimate fresh herbs

Fresh herbs sprinkled on top of a dish gives a feeling of nature and freshness brought to your plate. Something as simple as sprinkling freshly chopped chives on baked potato can elevate a dish in terms of flavor, aroma, and appearance.

Fresh herbs turn a dish into something fragrant, and marvelous.


3. Do not let cooking liquids go to waste

Using plain water to boil vegetables, or poach an egg, braise meat, and other aspects of cooking means there is no additional flavor added to the dish. However, using stocks or broth in place of water enhances the taste of the dish.


4. Add ingredients with a tangy feel

A little hit of acid on the palette helps bring the essence of the dish to life and balance the sweet, bitter flavors of the dish.

When you have already seasoned the dish with salt and it still seems to be missing something, try adding vinegar or a squeeze of lemon and watch your dish pick up.


5. Add contrasting textures

Try to experiment with adding various textures to your dish to enhance the mouthfeel of the dish and wanting your customers coming back for more. A perfectly roasted chicken has a crispy outer skin with juicy and tender meat which makes it fun to eat and flavorful. 

Textures can also be added to simple dishes like mashed potato. You can sauté some chopped celery and mix it with the mashed potato to give a similar effect. Having a nice contrast of textures in your dish takes a dish to the next level.


6. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.

Be brave and try experimenting with new recipes, new cuisines, and dishes you liked at other restaurants. Even if you are just a beginner, try out complex techniques to build your skillset and create something exciting with everyday ingredients.

Following some basic tips at the beginner of your career as a chef can go a long way and help not just to start off, but later in your career as these turn into everyday cooking practices in a chef’s life.