4 Ways To Go From Home Cook To Culinary Marvel

September 6, 2022

The most important part of being a home cook (outside of feeding yourself and your family of course,) is having fun. Here there are no tests to pass, and no people to please outside of those you choose to cook for. While it may seem as though some cooking shows and even chefs sneer at the home cook who loves to experiment, there’s no shame in occupying this role or in trying to do something new with food. Have fun, and that passion will show in the dishes you create.

But what if you’ve pretty much mastered all of the basics you learn through generally living life, and now you wish to step your game up a notch? Well, that’s healthy no matter what kind of hobby you pursue, so tapping yourself on the back can be a great idea. Going from home cook to marvel chef, at least in your own environment, takes perfecting a few intermediate and advanced techniques worthy of your time.

Achieve this, and you’ll be so much more motivated to invite friends, family, and yes, dreaded colleagues to your evening dinners. Well, let’s not let your culinary priorities wait any longer, and discuss how any home cook can up their game:

Learn To Garnish Well

You’d be amazed at how well an appropriate garnish can transform a simple dish into something that might look like restaurant-quality fare. For instance, some nice basil on the top of a salmon and tomato piperade can add some visual flair, a nice color contrast, and moreover, it will taste delicious.

Using watercress, pea shoots, fresh parsley and mint, will also make a big difference. You don’t have to use your spoon to create a line of sauce on a side of the plate, but you can if you wish to. Just a few basic elements of aesthetic care may only take a minute to furnish your dish with, but it will truly rejuvenate how you serve your food and how you think about layering it on the plate. Like a painter adding the finishing touches to a work of theirs, you will get into the habit of achieving this.

Does this mean you can’t enjoy a little indulgence from time to time, like adding a little drizzle of hot sauce on your avocado-egg toast in the morning? Of course not! But when you wish to garnish, your knowledge is always there.

Perfect & Excel In A Few Side Dishes

If you can perfect a couple of side dishes that can be unmistakably yours, you’ll be astounded at how much people request it. It’s not uncommon for grandmothers or aunties to become famous for their cookies, or peach cobblers, or even seemingly insignificant side dishes like how well they season their potato salad.

The secret of a great side dish is in its simplicity, such as providing the best cole slaw recipe that will surely wow those at your next barbecue, or crafting a nice bruschetta with some chopped tomatoes, onions and olive oil for a light snack. If you can perfect that, your future guests will beg you to throw another lunch or evening gathering.

Curate Your Own Sauces

There’s a reason certain fast food joints become so popular, and it’s often because they have a secret recipe you can’t find elsewhere. KFC chicken is the prime example, but the exact balance of the big mac sauce is why people keep attending the golden arches, too.

It’s fun to take this kind of approach towards your own your own sauces and reductions too, allowing you to add that dipping or self-serve novelty to every meal you serve. Crafting your own thousand island sauce can be a great idea, for instance, especially if it’s done well. Don’t be afraid to switch up the flavor profiles of certain sauces to see how you can place your own spin on it, such as just a touch of smoked paprika in your tartare sauce. This gives you that personal and visual flair which makes the most difference in the long run.

Try A New Cooking Method

There’s no shame in using the conventional ring burner and oven set up, or using an electric variant if this is what you have access to. 

It can be great, however, to try new cooking methods, such as using a larger grill to cook your pizzas in half the time, or buying a sous vide basin and vacuum packer so you can cook meat more evenly and enjoy that noticeably different taste.

These appliances can become a lovely gift to wait for at Christmas, and allows you to expand your repertoire as a home cook.

With this advice, you’re sure to up your game as a home cook. The next step is to invite us to dinner!

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