Tips from a Pro: Your “Cooking 101” Lesson for The Day

I’m always surprised when I’m in a restaurant and my meal comes and it has absolutely NO flavor.  There is no excuse for a dish to come out of a kitchen (yours or anyone else’s, including a restaurant’s) with no flavor. The meal itself may look fabulous, but someone didn’t taste it while they were cooking.  You may decide that you don’t like the flavor, or that it is over/under cooked, missing key ingredients, burnt – who knows? BUT it should always have flavor.

I went to a very old and famous resort/spa with a chef girlfriend.  When we booked the reservations she made sure that I knew that all meals were vegetarian and I was completely fine with that.  I’m happy to eat vegetables for a week, I’m not so sure that I could go for a month but I can definitely go for a week.  As it turned out, they also served some fish and shrimp at dinner.  The product that was going into the meals wasn’t the problem; the problem was that the meals had NO FLAVOR.  Someone made the excuse that the dishes were also low-sodium – that didn’t fly.  They weren’t just missing salt; they were missing the entire spice cabinet!  Believe me, for the price we were paying, there was no excuse for poorly prepared meals.

This leads me to my number one cardinal rule in Cooking 101: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS taste while you are cooking and definitely taste BEFORE you serve! At least you’ll know you like the flavor!

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