9 Pro Cooking Tips for Non-Pro Chefs

They may be profesh chefs, but that doesn’t mean their knowledge doesn’t apply to home cooking. Everyone starts somewhere, so start in your own kitchen. It doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be fancy. With a little imagination and a little bit of knowlede, anyone can cook something delicious.

Learn, learn, learn from the culinary masters. Read recipe books. Watch cooking shows. Ask questions when you eat at restaurant or friend. And most importantly, learn from your mom!


“Take away the stress by doing the prep the night or day before.”

– Paula Deen, cooking show host and author


“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, show host, chef and restaurateur


“If you find you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated.”

– Anita Lo, chef and restaurateur


“Save and freeze leftover sauces from previous meals in ice cube trays. The cubes can be reheated in a sauté pan when you need a quick sauce.”

– David Burke, competitive chef


“Recipes are only a guideline… Feel comfortable replacing ingredients with similar ingredients that you like. If you like oregano but not thyme, use oregano.”

– Alex Seidel, farm-to-table chef


“Clean as you go. (Dorky, but I swear it really helps.)”

– Rick Bayless, chef and show host


“Shoes off, music on, favorite beverage in hand — enjoy your time in the kitchen.”

– Claire Robinson, chef and show host


“Always start with a smokin’ hot pan!”

– Cat Cora, Iron Chef America


“My general advice to home cooks is that if you think you have added enough salt, double it.”

– Grant Achatz, food scientist, chef and restauranter