Cooking is a creative expression. We cook not just for our sustenance but also to create something that delights the taste buds and is visually attractive. It’s also one of the reason we love to eat out at our favourite restaurants: To experience delicious food prepared by professional chefs and presented in a way that’s no less than art.
However, there might be times when you’d want to recreate the same magic at home. And, guess what? That’s totally possible! You can dish out delectable food every time you cook only if you follow some tried and tested techniques and best practices that cooking pros at restaurants swear by.
Here are some tips on how to rock the kitchen like a boss and earn accolades for restaurant-quality food at home.
Plan your menu
Planning is the beginning of everything grand. So plan your menu. Protein usually forms the central part of our meal. So zeroing on the protein first is a good idea. Then decide on the entree and dessert that complements the protein, both texture- and taste-wise. Planning will also help you source the best ingredients for your dishes as well as cut down waste.
Source best ingredients
The ingredients you cook with have the ultimate impact on the final dish. Even the quality of the fats and seasonings that you use can make a difference. So take care to use the best local produce that’s in season. Your go-to destination for this should be the local farmer’s market or maybe the small specialist store down the corner. They always have the best and the freshest stuff.
The right equipment is a saviour
Ovens, pots and pans, blenders, etc., are the tools of the trade. You cannot do without them. So getting the right equipment and the correct setting for your recipe is extremely important. For example, Martin stainless Steel BBQ Cabinets or Bench Tops can make your work that much more convenient.
Efficiency lies in organising
Don’t go overboard with too many ingredients or overly complicated techniques. Chalk out a plan for every step in the recipe for each dish, so there isn’t any confusion or fumbling around during the actual cooking. Organise and prep all your ingredients and equipment before starting the recipe. Also, a clean worktop is exceptionally crucial for stress-free cooking, so make sure to keep tidying up as you go.
Use your senses to bring out the best flavours of the dish and maintain the character of the produce. A simple drizzle of complementing oil on the salad or a finishing salt to give your dish the roundedness it deserves can elevate your cooking.
Presenting your food
Food plating is an art that can take your meal to a whole another level. If you’re really serious about serving a Michelin-star quality dish, you might want to roughly sketch out how you want every component of the food to look on the plate. Drawing it on paper can help you visualise it better. Experiment with the height and placement of every element, play with colours, and use edible garnishes that complement the dish perfectly.
Finally, remember: You do not always need to get fancy to put up a great dish. Sometimes the best meals are those that stir nostalgia — remember Anton Ego in Ratatouille?
We hope you’ll try these tips to give your homemade food a restaurant-quality twist.