You don't need to be a chef to be a master in the kitchen
10 Feb 2017
There are so many gloriously wonderful things about food; like its deliciousness, its ability to bring people together and its life-giving properties. You don't need to be a chef to realise that.
But if you struggle in the kitchen and plating up a masterpiece is far from your default, we've prepared 3 simple lessons that are sure to enhance your cooking ability and make you a master in your kitchen.
We caught up with Chef Jenny Foley for some advice to make sure we have the facts right.
3 simple lessons that will enhance your cooking ability
1. Be prepared with the basics. That means having your fridge/ pantry stocked with the following:
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned fruit
- All-purpose flour
- Lemon juice
Chef Foley says "...having your fridge and pantry stocked with all these fundamental ingredients will really help with putting a sauce or sweet treat together. More so, it will help with balancing your flavours and getting combinations right."
"My number one rule is balance; are all the flavours complimenting each other? Is there sweet to counter sour? Taste, taste and taste again until it is right in your mouth. You don't have to be a chef to know how to taste if something needs more salt."
2. Plan. Knowing your recipe, menu for the week or even a night before will help you be prepared with ingredients, timing, quantities and execution. It'll also help with tweaking to get things just right.
Chef Foley says "you are expecting too much of yourself if you think you can put together a 5 star meal in 15 minutes when you get home from working all day, and without at least having an idea about what you're cooking beforehand..."
"...you need to take time out to learn the basics. Read a cookbook over the weekend and prepare yourself. Set a goal and work slowly towards it. Nobody has become a world-class chef overnight; it takes years of practicing the basics."
3. Change your perspective. Food is a life-giving source of nutrition and happiness.
"If we can imbue our cooking with this mantra then our dishes will naturally be yummier and healthier. If you are the cook in your house, don't you want to fill the bellies of your family with goodness and joy?
"Approach all your dishes with this state of mind and you'll not only make your family happier you'll also enjoy your time in the kitchen more."
Jenny Foley is a well-travelled chef with over 40 years' experience in the business. She was trained in the old ways of French cuisine and loves to collect vintage cookbooks.