Category Archives: Basic Cooking Knowledge

Becoming A Professional Chef

If all you’ve ever dreamed of is becoming a chef, the chances are you already know what it takes and you’re well on your way to making it in the restaurant business. However, if you’re considering a career change and you’ve recently started considering this possibility, here’s a very quick look at the main areas you’ll have to consider.

Of course, a huge part of the job relies on knowing about food and cooking. The best way to pick up this knowledge is by gaining practical experience, firstly by cooking at home and later getting a job in a restaurant of some sort to work your way up as far as you can. You may not get far in the business without further education, but you will need a basis of work experience to get started.

Depending on what area you wish to specialise in, you will need to become an expert in multiple areas. You will most likely start off with baking which covers a huge range of styles and food types. Later on you can move into other more niche areas and experiment with international cuisine until you find a favourite style.

In order to become a fully qualified chef at a high level, it will be essential to complete some advanced study programs and earn certifications in certain areas. This goes way beyond the basics of actually cooking and covers more of the areas you would need to understand in order to run a restaurant successfully. These courses would typically cover all of the following:

  • The chemistry behind the cooking process and a scientific understanding of why certain ingredients react in particular ways with each other
  • How to procure ingredients effectively in the real world
    How to develop your own menu
  • Understanding table service and restaurant etiquette
  • Other business and financial aspects of running a restaurant
  • Hygiene risks during food handling, storage and cooking
  • The law relating to health and safety in establishments that serve food

Once you have completed your studies to the required level, this will help you work your way up to your dream job as a chef, whether you are aiming for a position as a cooking specialist like a sous chef or saucier, or incorporating management into your role as a head chef.

You will require a number of specific skills and qualities to succeed, too, including an inventive approach to problem solving under pressure and very strong motivational skills to keep yourself and the rest of your team going at a difficult pace for long hours. However, if you truly love cooking then the prestige of being great at what you do will be worth the work.

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salt pepper

Salt & Pepper: The Ultimate Cooking Tools

We passionately believe that good seasoning is truly crucial to taking your cooking to the next level. The world of herbs and spices is complex and exciting, allowing you to infuse inspiration from all over the world into your dishes, whether you’re catering for a restaurant, your family or just yourself. However, there are two essential ingredients you’ll find in almost every recipe: salt and pepper.

The tricky thing is how much to use in your particular recipe. Other than the occasional call for a “pinch” of one or the other, the phrase “season to taste” is the one that comes up most often. With little experience, it can be especially tricky to decipher the meaning of this odd turn of phrase. In reality, it basically indicates you should take a trial and error approach. Adding a little more salt or pepper at a time and sampling your dish again and again will eventually allow you to determine the optimum quantity. Figuring this out can unlock the maximum flavour potential of your creation! (more…)

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healthy meals

5 Ways To Add Flavour To Healthy Meals

Eating healthily and enjoying a balanced diet is something many people are still working hard to achieve. For food lovers and budding amateur chefs, it can be tricky to manage your diet while being around so many delicious temptations all the time! Once you get used to flavourful cooking, some of the recommended healthy options we encounter can seem less than appealing, especially if they’re a little lacking in flavour. Low-carb diets and an increased emphasis on fruit and vegetables can be especially off-putting for people who expect them to taste boring compared to their usual meals.

However, with a little creative seasoning, you can easily turn the healthiest dishes into some of the tastiest. Here are our top five tips for experimenting with basic seasoning to unlock the hidden potential in your healthy meals.

1) Salt and pepper to taste

Your number one secret weapon for bringing out the best in almost any meal, salt and pepper needs to be handled carefully. If you get it right, you can improve practically any flavour combination, and you don’t have to worry about sodium levels as long as you’re avoiding processed foods. (more…)

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Basic cooking and seasoning checklist

One common mistake people make with cooking from scratch is thinking that there’s no point having a wide selection of spices if you don’t know much about cooking. We’d actually argue the opposite is true, since there’s no better way to learn than through experimentation! Whatever your skill level, we have a checklist for you to make sure you’ve always got all the essentials in to produce restaurant quality flavours at home.

Bay Leaves

These leaves are best when they’re a rich green in colour, and they’re usually dried. Whole leaves added to your dishes will impart some great savoury flavour, but make sure you take them out before serving.

Black Pepper

Go for whole black peppercorns since the flavour will be much better if you grind them fresh.

Cayenne Pepper

This is particularly useful in many Indian recipes, and pretty much anything Cajun or involving hot pepper sauce. (more…)

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Buying the best quality ingredients

If you really want to build up an excellent seasoning collection that will allow you to add high quality, exciting flavours into your cooking, then you’ll need some advice on where to start with choosing how to buy your ingredients. There are too many options around to know what you’re looking at without some guidance, so here are some key points we have learned from years of experience. (more…)

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11 amazing cooking facts you never knew

Adding flavour and excitement to our cooking requires fresh ingredients, great seasoning and skillful cooking, whatever style we choose. We might think we know a lot about the origins of the ingredients we’re cooking with today, but what about their history and the science behind them? Here are some interesting facts about some of the items in your kitchen cabinets which might open your eyes. (more…)

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