If you are looking to boost your cooking skills, here are 9 suggestions to help!
Julia Child once said “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” This quote speaks to me because if you want to become a better cook, all you need to do is get in the kitchen and start cooking! I love to cook, and it is totally my love language. Growing up, I watched cooking shows on PBS, and when I went to college, I was so excited my dorm had Food Network!! I love cooking for others and how food brings people together.
I didn’t grow up cooking. My mom hates to cook, but she knew I should learn even if she couldn’t teach me. She helped me get a job at our local grocery store in the deli where I learned some basic cooking techniques. I make a mean potato salad 🙂 As someone who wasn’t officially taught how to cook, I have had to seek out other resources to help me. Whether you are a total novice or are just looking to improve your culinary skills, these resources can help.
Take a cooking class
Learning to cook from a seasoned professional guarantees to up your cooking skills. Stores like Whole Foods and Williams & Sonoma often offer cooking classes, and community colleges offer noncredit courses in the culinary arts. There are also private businesses who offer cooking classes. All of these are just a google search away.
Ask friends and Family for Their Favorite Recipes
The best judges of food and recipes are the people who make them. Find out your friends’ favorite recipes and if possible, watch them cook it! Cooking is a sensory experience so watching people cook is a great way to learn. Tried and true recipes from people you trust will give you confidence as you start cooking.
Start with the Basics
Basic kitchen and food safety are essential in cooking. You want to be able to safely handle a knife as well as properly cook your food. I love cooking shows for this. Ones where they break down explain the ins and outs of cooking and food terminology. Racheal Ray’s 30 Minute Meals was where I learned a lot of cooking basics. Shows like Chopped, Master Chef, and Good Eats have many episodes where they break down basic cooking techniques and terminology.
Keep it Simple
Some of the best food in the world are simple recipes or peasant food. Starting with these recipes will only encourage you to keep cooking. If you start out by trying to perfect beef wellington you will most likely get discouraged. Begin by trying to master a basic recipe like a puttanesca or sloppy joes.
YouTube is a great place to see old videos of some of the best cooking shows: Molto Mario, Julia Child, and Gordon Ramsey to name a few. Check for episodes where they prepare simple dishes.
Learn from the Best
The more you cook, the better you will get. You will only get better by studying the best! Tyler Florence, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, etc are successful for a reason. They can cook!! Check out their shows, their cookbooks, and their social media accounts. We discovered our pancake recipe from Tyler Florence’s Instagram. He listed everything right in the post. Now it is one of our go-to recipes! Immersing yourself in food will drive you to try new things.
The spark of inspiration is so important in cooking. Trying new recipes and expanding your palate will only make you better. Ask friends for cookbook recommendations or peruse your local library for ideas. I love Pioneer Woman’s cookbooks as well as Rachael Ray and Mario Batali.
Food blogs are another source of inspiration. Checking out some popular food blogs with beautiful looking food will totally get you inspired to get in the kitchen.
Food oriented travel shows like No Reservations will have you looking at food in a whole new way. It will remind you that you only need simple ingredients to make wonderful food. International cooking will bring a whole other element to your kitchen.
In the wise words of Chef Gusteau in the film Ratatouille, remember “Anyone can cook!” All it takes is a desire to learn and the ability to try new things. The only way to get better at cooking is to do it. All it takes is practice, practice, practice.