Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 4 weeks ago

How do you take your cooking to the next level (from decent to excellent)?

15 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    I would say that there are several levels between decent and excellent.

    Practice and learning about food is how you get better.  I love to cook and to read about and learn about food.  Even when I was a kid I liked to read recipes and bake.

    I have always had good cooking instincts and with practice cooking and experience became a very good cook.  I went from very good to excellent after taking a cooking class at a new cooking school, I ended up talking to the cooking school owner after the class and became a kitchen assistant for the classes for all the years the cooking school was open.  I was one of the main two assistants and was present for almost all the classes, my role evolved into being the assistant who stayed with the guest chef we had at each class and making sure the chef had everything they needed while teaching.

    For me, that was the best thing that ever happened to my cooking.  I was always a “decent” cook who became a good and then very good cook with years of practice and reading and then an excellent cook through the very intense experience of helping with the cooking classes.

    The classes were about 4 hours each, we had a theme and a guest chef for each class.  There would be a lecture/presentation, then we’d break into groups to do the prep work then come back to a large group while we put together each dish.  I would take copious notes during the lecture, be supervising groups doing prep then helping the chef put it all together in front of the class.  I would then play with the recipes at home, often cooking up whole fancy meals after work (and eating at 10-10:30 at night - ugh!).  When I was particularly interested in a recipe, or maybe particularly greedy for it (like the seared beefsteak with green peppercorn cream sauce - yum!) I’d cook it every night for a few to several days.  Then I’d have that one down pat.  I can make that green peppercorn beef dish  in my sleep now...  It’s a super fun one to cook for guests because when the sauce is almost finished you flame the pan with brandy - very dramatic!!

  • denise
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Try new things / methods, you never stop learning.

    When I'm short of an ingredient, I'll add an alternative and if it works out I make a note of it for next time. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Herbs (cilantro, scallions, parsley  tarragon, oregano, thyme, basil,etc..)  , citrus zest, fresh ginger, worchesterfield sauce  wasabi, celery seed  toasted sesame seeds, saffron, fennel seed, dried cranberries, sherry, soy sauce, olives, gargonzola and feta cheese sprinkle,  salad dressing for  marinades, dry rubs, learn to degrade the pan.

    Read recipes and take from those flavors to your liking.

  • 4 weeks ago


    using better ingredients

    do not be afraid to try adjust a recipe once you know how to make it the way it is "supposed" to be. Try different spices and or herbs

    Once you get the technique down try more "complicated" recipes. 

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  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Being a cook is easy, being a Great cook/Chef is not. Part of the trick is Experimentation. Even a professional Chef messes dishes up on occasion. Ever see a pro chef just put a 'dash' of a spice, from the container, into a dish? Probably not. He has probably had the top fall off and the whole container goes into the dish before. It happens. 

    The other trick is Practice. If working from a recipe-read it through, several times before making the dish. Many printed recipes are just wrong-an ingredient is missing, a step is missing. 

    Use fresh ingredients, stay away from MSG. 

    Try cooking with a wok-fastest way to make a meal. 

    Just remember that not every cook can make a Chateau Briand and Baked Alaska from the get go. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Cook slowly on low heat, check seasoning and adjust consistently, be patient 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Keep practicing and keep trying new things.

  • 4 weeks ago

    maybe you can ask someone to help you learn it better

  • A
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Perfect your go to recipes,   learn the art of presentation and garnishes,   it is in the details

  • CAB
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    More salt usually will do it

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