Improving Your Kitchen Skills: Novice To Intermediate In 2024

As the dawn of a new year inevitably brings new challenges and resolutions, you might be wondering how you can really step up your cheffing abilities this year. Going from heating up beans on toast to creating something that wouldn’t look out of place on an up-and-coming food blogger’s Instagram account. While it may seem difficult to get there, this rollercoaster of flavors, aromas, and occasional burnt flops all lead to improvement which should be the main focus for any person looking to up their kitchen skills.

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Understanding Your Tools: More Than Just Fancy Doorstops

First things first, let’s talk about kitchen tools. You know, those shiny things in your drawer that look more like they belong in a sci-fi movie than in your kitchen. Each tool has a purpose, and no, the purpose of your spatula isn’t to chase off someone nicking your freshly baked cookies. Spend some time understanding what each tool does. A sharp knife can make a world of difference. By watching pro chefs work and paying attention to how they use their tools, you can really elevate your game. Just remember that it takes practice to really become skilled in the efficient use of kitchen tools, so don’t give up overnight.  

Recipe Books: The Not-So-Secret Secret Weapon

Remember those dusty books on the shelf? They’re not just there to impress your date with your ‘sophistication’. Recipe books are goldmines of culinary knowledge. Take a look at Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White or Jamie Oliver; they all have recipe books around. They’re like the GPS of cooking, guiding you through the twists and turns of recipes. But remember, following a recipe is more art than science. Feel free to stray a bit. If it says add two cloves of garlic, adding four won’t summon the garlic police. Recipe books often help you with dish inspiration and not necessarily the how-to part. It can inspire you to try this chicken alfredo recipe over that standard spaghetti bolognese that you always go for. Recipe books help to expand your cooking horizons. 

Flavour Town: Population - Your Taste Buds

Seasoning is the soul of cooking. It has to taste good. Salt and pepper are your trusty sidekicks in this journey. But there’s a whole world of herbs and spices waiting to be explored. Basil, thyme, paprika, the list goes on. They’re not just there to make your spice rack look cool. Experiment with different combinations, but remember, with great power comes great responsibility. You don’t want to end up with a dish that tastes like it’s been seasoned by a spice-happy toddler. With time, your palate will evolve to taste balance and notice when something is missing in a dish. This is how you know you’re achieving the more skilled levels of cooking. 

Practice Makes Perfect: The Art Of Trial And Error

Now, onto the most important bit - practice. Cooking is a skill honed over time. Your first pancake might look like it’s seen better days, but don’t stress too much about it, as long as it tastes good, that is a fair starting point. Each burnt pot, each over-salted soup, is a step closer to culinary brilliance. Embrace the mistakes - they’re your battle scars in the kitchen.

The Secret Ingredient: Patience

Patience, young grasshopper. Cooking is not a race unless you’re participating in Master Chef! Try to slow down in the kitchen. Take time to think, breathe and smell. Enjoy the process. Cooking is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. 

To take these, few tips to help you transition from a kitchen novice to a confident intermediate. Remember, cooking is a journey filled with exciting flavors, occasional mishaps, and lots of delicious rewards. So, tie that apron, wield that whisk like a magic wand, and get ready to create some culinary magic in your kitchen.