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Top Tips and Hacks to Become a Culinary Wizard

Walking through the door of the first professional kitchen I had worked in, was a terrifying experience! I remember there being an incredible amount of noise, clattering pans, doors being opened and shut and chef shouting at the top of his voice to anyone who was not moving fast enough! There were over forty chefs of all levels in the brigade, but it seemed far more as I cast my eyes around the kitchen.

Even though I had spent two years at chef’s academy, the first lesson I learned was to do everything the head chef’s way, not necessarily the way you were taught! He was an exacting man; you did not argue with him and you certainly did not change his methods.

There was a lot of sophisticated equipment that I had never used before, but the great thing about that was I soon learned what kit I enjoyed working with and what was the most necessary, or labour-saving and needed to be used with respect.

Working in your own domestic kitchen is nothing like a commercial kitchen but following certain methods will always stand you in good stead to become the home chef you want to be. Here are some of my top tips or hacks for a successful and happy kitchen life:

Your kitchen tools

First up – knives, you can never substitute good, sharp knives as an essential in your kitchen. Never spend your hard-earned savings on expensive knives and always try them for comfortable grip before purchasing. You do not need a huge set of them (a mistake many people make), as you will find after a while that you have not actually used some of them – ever!

Really and honestly, this is your starter kit and you can add to it with boning knives, filleting knives etc, when you want to move on with your skills.

Moving on, and depending on the size of your kitchen (and cupboards), I would recommend the following:

Top tips from my favourite chefs

I teach children of school age to cook. I have one thing that I permanently remind them of – ‘taste, taste, taste’. It is the only way that your recipe will turn out as you want it to!

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Bev Perkins

An experienced chef, recipe developer, food writer and qualified nutritionist, Bev’s career has encompassed over 40 years. Educated in London and Paris, and with an unquenchable thirst for travelling, Bev’s passion for cooking evolved with a deep desire to learn about every cuisine in the globe, so whilst resident in Paris she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu (formerly L’Ecole Culinaire de Paris) and spent two years learning her art. She furthered her experience working in restaurants in all corners of the world from bistros to Michelin-Starred establishments and finally with her own catering company providing food to both corporate and individual clients. An experienced writer and editor, Bev is never happier than with a pen in one hand and cookery book in the other!

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