What’s One Rule Of Cooking Amateurs Need To Know?



Tie. Your. Hair.

I’ve watched so many people cook and half the time they have their hair loose just flying wherever it chooses. God no, just tie it. Please



Former executive sous chef for a 3 star restaurant. I have also ran a bunch smaller kitchens during covid.

Get good knifes. I recommend Mercer Renaissance as a starter brand. $40 for the 8in Chefs knives, $23 for the 5in utility knife.

Shallots are used extremely often in restaurant kitchens but rarely at home. Use as a substitute for onions for a more mild taste.

Heat pans for 1min before using, use less heat when cooking. Rarely will you ever need to go higher than 75%.

Taste everything possible. Not just your finished product. Taste the spices, salt, pepper, etc all separately before adding them the first time you use it. A lot of people will buy a new spice then immediately add it to their food ruining it.

Knives should be lightly honed before and after each use. Hand wash and dry immediately.

Never attempt to catch anything that’s falling. Not just knifes, if you drop a napkin your instinctive response should be to take a step back and put your hands up and out of the way. This trains your brain so you never attempt to catch something dangerous.

Want to make something more like a restaurant? Odds are you need more salt, sugar, or butter. We don’t care if the carrots we serve are worse than eating actual candy, we just want you to come back.

Just because you like cooking doesn’t mean you will like working at a restaurant. Pay is usually pretty poor unless you work at Michelin star restaurants and it is a hot, high-pressure environment. We lose a lot of people who couldn’t handle the pressure of getting yelled at.



The secret that I was never taught growing up but has made such a huge difference in my cooking is thoroughly drying meat, fish, and veg with paper towel before cooking. My mom’s cooking was always too watery, not crispy or caramelized, because she missed this step, and to be fair, it isn’t mentioned in most recipes.



You can always add, but you cannot take away.



Smell is very similar to taste, and if you’re not sure about combining various spices, open the bottles and smell them all together.



Keep it simple. I see so many young chefs coming into the kitchen fresh out of the classroom going hell for leather to make some strange gels, jellies, dehydrated this and that. Yes it can taste great, but just chill out. Show me if you can make a proper Jus, properly cook a joint of meat, know how to bring the best out of a simple, humble vegetable.

Just keep it simple.



Not a chef, but no sharps left in the sink



Cooking is art, baking is science.



Not a prof chef- Mashed potatoes… NOT blended potatoes. Don’t ever put potatoes in the blender, it will turn into glue

For anyone wondering the science behind it: potatoes contain a lot of starch. Mashing cooked potatoes gently by hand or with a ricer leaves most of the starch molecules intact. The butter and dairy you add to the mashed potatoes are able to coat each individual particle, making the potatoes creamy.



This one’s kind of common sense, but hotter doesn’t mean faster – turning your burners up to 10 for everything will just lead to smoke and half-cooked food with a burned exterior.