Every since I can remember I have loved to cook. I used to watch my mom for hours in the kitchen when I was little just absorbing stuff. When I finally got old enough to cook, wouldn’t you know it I was a natural. Thus my obsession with great food was born. A lot of people will try to make you believe that you have to be classically trained to be a good cook, while that definitely helps a little bit of love and so trial and error and you can be a formidable presence in the kitchen and I am going to tell you how. I am starting my own catering company and do personal chef service. The first thing I tell people is that anybody can cook, if they really want to and not just cook but cook delicious food. So how do you do it? Well first you need the right tools.
Now to prepare great food you don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to spend some and I suggest putting the bulk of that into two things: knives and pots. Now I am not going to tell you this won’t be a little expensive but trust me it’s a must.
Every great cook needs great knives. There is no getting around it. You have to spend money here; you need good solid knives that will last. I am talking the kinds that come in a nice block, have a Chef’s knife and a Santoku among others (Cuisinart makes some good ones). I would say don’t spend under a $100 here, personally the set I have in my kitchen now cost closer to $200. That sounds like a lot for knives but over there lifespan if you take care of them they will pay for themselves a thousand times over. They will stay sharper longer and will all know a sharp knife is a safe knife.
The Pots and Pans
When it comes to pots you can’t really fake it either, you got to spend some cash. I personally for the majority of my cooking needs don’t like non stick pans except for certain specific things. In general I cook with a set of stainless steel pots and pans. My particular set also has copper around the bottom that increases and improves heat conduction for more even cooking. I am talking one of these sets with a couple of saute pans, two sauce pots, and a couple bigger pots. Again, the value of good pots can not be stressed enough, they provide more even cooking and you won’t have to replace them as often if you take care of them. Another perk to stainless steel is that they are oven safe, so you can pop the entire pan into the oven which is good when you are cooking a lot of different things. The only downside to stainless steel besides the price is the maintenance of them. They do require a little more care than other pans so you can not put them in the dishwasher you have to always hand wash them. Trust me it’s worth it though. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
There are a lot of other tools you need in the kitchen like a good peeler, kitchen shears, a micrograter, measuring cups and spoons and the like. Didn’t go over them here because I wanted to focus on the two main components you gotta have to prepare good food. This is part one of a series, look for the next one.