Are you a certified foodie who wants to expand your skills in all things food? Perhaps your cooking skills aren’t so bad, you know your way around spices, and you know some basic kitchen techniques. However, you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, and you can’t seem to improve your cooking talents more.
Keep in mind that learning about food is like learning art. It should be fun, and there are no strict rules you have to follow. Without splurging money on taking cooking and food educational lessons, you’ll be able to hone your skills by applying these some small things you can do to improve your food skills:
1. Attend Food And Wine Events
The purpose of pairing food and wine is to enhance the taste of the food and the beverage. Chefs and sommeliers pair specific dishes with different kinds of wines, depending on what they intend to improve. This process is as flexible as possible, as it can be subjective to the person pairing the food and wine together. If you want to nurture your skills in food and wine pairings, attend food and wine events so you could know which pairs best with your fish or steak, for example.
Similarly, you should consider attending an event that includes a full-course meal with wine pairings. During a full-course meal, a specific wine would usually accompany each course to enhance the taste or texture of each meal or cleanse the palate for the next course.
These events would enable you to experience different tastes between the food and wine together. And you can choose something that fits your individual taste and needs. When you’ve become well educated on how to go about these pairings, you can be better prepared for parties and events and guide your guests for a more pleasurable dining experience.
2. Maximize Available Resources
Learning new techniques and recipes is easy these days. One way to begin learning how to cook is by reading or watching recipes online and on TV. You can also learn from family or friends who know their way around the kitchen.
Remember, every individual has a different background and a wide range of food habits. Ask a family member or friend for their ideas whenever you can’t figure out what to cook for dinner. Your aunty or grandma might be able to teach you a conventional recipe that passed down from generations.
Cooking shows are another excellent way to expand your culinary skills. It’s possible to learn how to make numerous dishes from a variety of shows. Having a recipe book also helps. If you don’t prefer the printed ones, you can always google easy, quick recipes. However, don’t just focus on the entrées. Learn to make delicious side dishes to complete essentially every meal. Making use of all these resources will sharpen your food and cooking skills effectively.
3. Stay Hands On
When dealing with food, it’s a given that you’ll need to use your hands. However, by ‘hands on’, this doesn’t only mean using your actual hands; this means you need to stay focused too.
Using your sense of sight and touch, you can understand more about the food and their various conditions affected by temperature and different cooking methods. A rare piece of meat, for example, will be incredibly soft, but a well-done one will be pretty firm. Another example is when kneading dough. You’ll be required to use your bare hands, and so you can sense whether it’s soft and ready enough to be prepped for baking.
To be hands-on all the time, it’s best to try new recipes for every chance you’ll get to cook. Most cooking resources will teach different cooking techniques, but you’ll also find your own way by allowing your senses to unite. At first, you’ll have to follow cooking instructions carefully, but, eventually, your hands will get used to these techniques and perform them naturally.
4. Invest In Cooking Tools
The best way to improve your food skills is to try new tools. Most people stick to cooking with their stove-top pans, but fortunately, there are many excellent new cooking tools on the market, and they’re easily accessible. You can do your research online and find that kitchen tools have long existed but have been optimized for everyday kitchen use today.
Unfortunately, a lot of people often overlook the importance of cooking tools. Most people expect a reliable pan and a sharp knife are enough to convert raw ingredients into delicious dishes. But little do they know that some techniques require specific tools, and these are essential to enhance the food. Although there’s nothing wrong with being frugal in your kitchen equipment, it’s also necessary to invest in the right tools that will go a long way.
Moreover, using the right cooking tools ensures that your food is well prepared. For instance, using a stand mixer is one of the best mixing methods in cooking as it allows for a uniform distribution of ingredients. Also, they help you achieve the right consistency and properties required in your recipe for a successful cooking attempt. If you’ll examine the parts of a cookbook recipe, they always list down the tools and equipment needed.
Also keep in mind that investing in a variety of kitchen tools will come in handy in the kitchen. You need to equip your kitchen at least with the fundamental kitchen tools. Stock skillets, pans, pots, knives, and other kitchen implements and work your way around and use one tool for another purpose. Moreover, you can buy your kitchen tools online or from department stores. But make sure to read reviews, consider the quality, and prioritize your kitchen’s needs.
5. Study About Global Cuisines
One way to expand your palate and improve your culinary skills is by studying global cuisine. Since several recipes and techniques have their origins in specific cultures, understanding their background and history will keep you motivated to learn various skills. Moreover, studying cuisine from diverse parts of the world will inspire you and keep you in touch with your own culture.
There’s nothing more exciting than knowing why Chinese food is prepared a specific way or where meatballs come from. These details will make you more eager to learn about international cuisines that you might have been missing out on. There’s such a wide range of resources online that you could practically have a different meal from a different culture every day. You could even ask your foreign friend for pointers about their local cuisines.
Most countries even have multiple variations to a specific meal. Exploring international cuisines is an endless road with branching paths, and you only need to find the right path for you to enjoy the art and passion for food.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
It takes a lot of skills and experience to become a food master. If you want to master anything, you’ll need to practice consistently so you’ll reap the rewards. You should learn from your mistakes even if you keep failing. When you become more familiar with various ingredients and basic cooking techniques, you can be better in your craft as a cook or food expert.
There’s always a chance to practice your cooking skills. You can cook for yourself, family, friends, and colleagues, then let them judge your cooking improvements. If you have guests coming over, it’d be ideal to practice your chosen recipes a few days before to achieve that level of sumptuousness that will surely impress them.
To any food lover, it’s exciting to be well versed and to know your way around in the kitchen. And to enhance your food skills, you’ll need to join in food and wine events, read and watch a lot of recipes through a myriad of sources, invest in the right kitchen equipment, keep focused when you cook, expand your palate with different cuisines, and, most importantly, keep on practicing! After all, it pays to prepare a fantastic dining experience for your friends and families with your own hands.