World-class chefs have years and years of experience. Specialized experience at that. It would be great to go to culinary school and add all those years of experience so that we could cook like them at home. However, that’s not very practical for most people. 

So, what are the “cheat codes”? What are the secret ingredients and techniques we can steal from these chefs to flatten that the learning curve?

That’s what this series of posts will explore.

Keep in mind though that becoming a great cook isn’t just about knowing secret tips and tricks. It’s also about practice, passion, curiosity and a love for food. 

Here are some basics and in the upcoming posts we will dive deeper into them. So, be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss anything will help take your food to the next level!

Understanding Ingredients:

Each ingredient has its own flavor profile and characteristics. For example, some are sweet, some are sour and others are bitter. Getting to know the individual characteristics of each ingredient can help you understand how they might pair with other ingredients.

Creating Flavor:

Arguably the most important part of any dish. It’s generally accepted that there are 5 key flavors in cooking. Sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. However, we think there’s more to it. Heat for instance. 

Balancing Flavors:

Striking the right balance between different flavors is key. This doesn’t always mean equal parts of all flavors but rather understanding how different flavors complement each other to create a harmonious dish.

Techniques Matter: 

Whether it’s searing, braising, roasting or grilling, the cooking method you choose can greatly impact the flavor and texture of your dish. Learn and practice with various cooking techniques.

Quality over Quantity: 

It’s always better to have a few high-quality ingredients than a lot of low-quality ones. Choose fresh, local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible. They are not only healthier but their flavors are also more vibrant.

Taste as You Go:

Cooking isn’t just about following a recipe. It’s about creating a dish that tastes good to you. Always taste your food at different stages of the cooking process and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Learn Basic Knife Skills:

Being proficient with a knife can make your prep work more efficient and improve the appearance and cook quality of your dishes.

Heat Management:

Understanding how to control heat is crucial. Some dishes require high heat for a quick sear while others need a slow simmer. And, preheating your oven and pans can make a big difference.


We eat with our eyes first. Even simple dishes can feel special with a little thought given to presentation. Think about color, texture and arrangement when plating your dishes. Adding a few colorful items can be the difference between boring and amazing.


Don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes in the kitchen. Like almost anything in life, you’ll often learn more from what doesn’t work than what does. 

Clean as You Go:

Keeping your workspace tidy will make your cooking experience more pleasant and manageable.

Continued Learning:

Cooking is a journey not a destination. There’s always something new to learn whether it’s a new cooking technique, a new cuisine or a new ingredient. Keep your mind open to new experiences and keep coming back here to continue learning.

Becoming a great cook doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and time but with passion, dedication and in this case, a few secrets, anyone can produce fantastic and elevated meals. Happy cooking!