Ever wish you had your own personal professional chef right at your fingertips?

This could be a brilliant new phone app…

Well, until someone invents that, the least we can do is learn how to feel more competent in the kitchen. Who better to learn from than an actual Pro-Chef.

Check out my interview with Chef Summer Auman to learn how to be an absolute pro in the kitchen! 

You’ll get chef tips to improve your cooking in no time.

No time to watch the full interview? No problem! Grab the highlights below:

How to make healthy food taste great

  • Flavor is all about balance: salty, sweet, spicy, umami, etc.
  • Pack a punch with your food by adding light ingredients like vinegars. 
    • Add 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar to tomato sauce 
    • Add reduced balsamic vinegar to grilled peaches for the perfect dessert
  • Use fresh herbs instead of the old, dried herbs that can potentially lose their flavor. Don’t keep dried herbs longer than 3-months. 
  • Get a ton of flavor from seasonal fresh produce. Shop at the local farmer’s markets for tastier fruits and veggies. 

How to try new ingredients in the kitchen

  • The learning never stops so don’t fear new ingredients. It’s okay to experiment, have fun and make mistakes (even Chefs make mistakes).
  • The Food Lover’s Companion book to learn all the components of an interesting, new food 
  • Talk to the farmers or the grocery store department employees about the food. It’s okay to ask if you can try it before buying. 
  • Confidence in the kitchen comes from getting the experience. Don’t be afraid to try!

How to build your confidence as a “bad chef”

  • Practice makes perfect. No chef gets it right the first time. Great recipes require planning, thought, and practice. 
  • Learn solid knife skills.
  • Grab the Professional Cooking book to build the basic concepts of cooking and baking. 
  • It’s okay to watch the Food Networks, but may not be realistic to our kitchens and busy lifestyles. 
  • Take the time to learn the basic vocabulary involved with cooking (i.e. saute, broil, roast, etc.). This will help you understand how to troubleshoot a recipe if it goes south. 
  • Be able to describe flavor profiles and pair/balance them (i.e. sweet and salty or sour and spicey). Write down the flavors of various ingredients. 
  • Taste your food as you cook. 

How to know if you’re using a “good” recipe

  • Baking recipes are precise and should be followed closely. When making a savory recipe, you can follow it as a guideline. 
  • If the recipe you try turns out good, keep using recipes from the same author.
  • If you’re missing an ingredients, it’s okay to make substitutions in savory recipes. Avoid the pressure of being too perfect when cooking. 
  • Grab Chef Summer’s How To Read a Recipe Like a Professional Chef
  • Read the recipe before you even think about starting it! Prep the ingredients ahead of time.
  • Make notes along the side of the printed recipe so none of the steps catch you off-guard. 
  • Save the best recipes to refer back to them later. 
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax in the kitchen!

Want to learn more about Chef Summer?

Check out her website and follow her on instagram @chefsummersd and facebook. 

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