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Whether it is "****'s Kitchen" (Which I think is a joke of a show), "Kitchen Nightmares" (The British version is the best), or "Top Chef" (I love it) of the criticisms that the chefs common give the contestants or "chefs in peril" on KN is that they don't know the "basics" of cooking.

As someone who is self-taught, and continuing my self-education, I am constantly figuring out what those "basics" are. Since I have started to cook in 2003, I have identified "seasoning" as one of those basics. In the last few years, I have been working on my knife skills...something that I am continuing to work on. Proper usage of heat in cooking...that's one of those basics. To what I saw on "Top Chef" the other day..."butchering" is also one of the basics.

The basics, in any field, are very important. I am a classically trained percussionist, and I used to teach students. Before they would beat on a single drumhead, which was their normal inclination, I would tell them, "You can't touch a drum, until you know how to hold your sticks". And then, like most students, they have to learn the basic 16 rudiments. My normal day job, I work as a staffer for the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, also having worked for other Members of Congress in the past. If you don't know the three branches of government, and what the specific duties of the U.S. House of Representatives, or the difference between a "H.R." and a "H.Res." designation of a should work here. As a chef, I think it is super-duper important to not just know what the basics are, but to master them. I want to master them.

For the chefs out here, I would like to know from you all what are the 10 or 15 "basic" things that every chef should know and master. I would really appreciate it. ChefTalk Forums have really been beneficial.