6 Principles That Will Make You A Better Cook

From somebody in the industry

Define why you want to be a better cook

I know that sounds fluffy, but it has merit. Ask yourself why you even want to be a better cook in the first place because the reason matters. If your reason is to start a business doing pop-up dinners, your journey will be quite different to somebody who wants to be a recipe developer for a food publication. Depending on what your goal is, you may require specific skills or knowledge to pull it off.

Pick a cuisine that will be your consistent influence/inspiration

No cook is a true jack-of-all-trades that can cook whatever they want and have it turn out amazing. Everybody needs a baseline. Just as every talented musician draws inspiration from one music style more than others, cooks too draw from a particular cuisine for inspiration.

Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance

I can’t stress the six P’s enough. By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. Period. There’s a reason that mise en place is one of the first things drilled into every cook in the industry. Mise en place is French for everything in its place, and while a lot of people claim they already know that, very few remember it in the kitchen at home.

If you’re winging it, play off of your strengths and stick to what you know

The point of this article is to teach you what you need to know to be able to rely less on cookbooks and go with the flow, but having said that, making shit up on the spot usually doesn’t lead to the best meal.

Salt, fat, acid, heat

Something so small but so rewarding is cooking for people and not seeing anybody add salt to their meal. I love that shit. It means I seasoned everything correctly, as I should. It means the food is excellent the way it is.

You’re not tasting enough

As Mark Manson brilliantly put it once, “No matter where you go, there’s a five-hundred-pound load of shit waiting for you.” Spending 45+ minutes cooking something that ends up boring is that shit.

Cook and food writer based in Mexico City. Talking food and all its intersections | IG: https://instagram.com/_alexheery

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