October 24, 2016

When it comes to online culinary certificate programs, it can be tough to get a lot of feedback, since you’re not spending time in a physical classroom with your colleagues. Camaraderie is a big part of the culinary industry, and chefs like to exchange tips and tricks with each other. Plenty of the big names in the culinary industry enjoy sharing their ideas with each other and with the public. If there are days that you’re having a difficult time with a recipe or a concept in your education, look to these tips from some of the most famous chefs:

The more you experiment, the more ingredients you'll become familiar with.
Everyone, whether they’re a professional chef or someone who just enjoys cooking, should have a couple of go-to recipes that they can whip up when their meal needs to be exceptionally impressive. Not only is it handy to have an arsenal of recipes on hand, but the confidence that you build by having people impressed with your all-star meals will inspire you to slowly begin experimenting with more and more interesting recipes. The more familiar you get with more ingredients, the more familiar you’ll be with how to go about cooking similar ones. For example, you may be intimidated at the thought of cooking with a rutabaga, but the more root vegetables you work with, the more comfortable you’ll be with it.“If you’re cooking for someone important — whether it’s your boss or a date — never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time,” Marcus Samuelsson of the Red Rooster in New York City told the Food Network.

“Pay attention to texture. Serving a smooth guacamole? Top it with crunchy pepitas. Making a salad of crunchy raw vegetables? Add some creamy goat cheese,” Rick Bayless, founder of Frontera Grill, told Thrillist.

Many people discount the importance of texture when it comes to the overall success of their meal. If the texture is off, it can completely ruin a dish. Mixing texture is also a fantastic way to add some variation to your dish to make it a little more interesting. There’s a reason a crisp piece of lettuce or crunchy onion straws taste so fantastic on a juicy burger, or a salad tastes bland without a little bit of crunch, even if the dressing is amazing. Never be afraid to experiment, you might be surprised with what you discover works well together!

“If I could tell home cooks one thing, it would be to shop at farmers’ markets,” Alice Waters, owner and founder of Chez Panisse, told Prevention magazine.

Farmers’ markets are fantastic for aspiring chefs for so many reasons. Not only are these markets most cost effective way to buy your produce, but they’re also the best way to get local, fresh ingredients that’ll be sure to add a little extra something to even your most basic recipes. The produce at your local farmers’ market is most likely grown nearby, so you’re supporting your local economy. You’re being green by purchasing goods that didn’t require a lot of transportation to get there, too.

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