Great Chefs’ Culinary Secrets

As you learn to cook online, your knowledge of flavors, food and cooking techniques will grow and develop. Still, the sheer amount of information out there about cooking can get a little overwhelming. Especially as you’re starting out, it can be easy to look at the greats and wonder if you can possibly learn as much as they have. However, you have one thing they didn’t have: their advice. Here are a few culinary secrets from some of the best chefs in the industry:

Joël Robuchan: Let an ingredient take the spotlight
This renowned French chef is known for taking simple dishes and making them incredible. In an interview with Nowness, Robuchan revealed the secret to finding beauty in simplicity: center your dish around a single ingredient. If you base your decisions on how they will bring one part of the recipe to life, you can make the dish shine.

Thomas Keller: Leave your turkey alone
Keller’s restaurants set the bar for American hospitality, and he is the only American chef to own multiple restaurants with three Michelin Stars. His trick to roasting a turkey with perfectly crispy skin? After you’ve brined it, leave it in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. This process dries out the outer surface of the turkey, leading to that perfect crunch.

Ferran Adrià: Expertise fosters creativity
When asked by Time magazine whether he valued expertise or creativity, Chef Adrià gave a piece of sage advice.

“If I understand what I’m doing,” he told the source, “I can create better.”

He went on to say that while creativity is important, it can’t take someone very far if he or she doesn’t have a strong knowledge base to stand on.

Mario Batali: Make your meatballs with old bread
He doesn’t mean that mystery loaf you should have thrown out ages ago: simply leaving the bread out overnight will do. Batali also recommends using equal amounts of bread and meat when preparing your meatballs to make them super tender.

Bonus: Dan Barber: Don’t be terrible at making bread (or, don’t be discouraged by adversity)
Dan Barber is an important guy. He’s the owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurants, and was appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. His secret? Early in his career, he was fired from a job for being awful at making bread. The real secret here: Don’t get discouraged, because everyone starts somewhere.

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