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I had a chance to work with Master Chef Ken Arnone, who wrote this blog post I thought I would share with the group:


The Art of Seasoning


Chef Ken Arnone
Certified Master Chef, WGMC


A properly seasoned dish can be can be the difference between magic and mediocrity.  Beginning with quality ingredients and execution of fundamental culinary techniques are the starting points.  Understanding how and when to season are also critical for a chef and the success of a dish.  We season foods with salt to heighten our reception of their natural flavors.  Simply put this increases... the pleasure we derive from eating!

The following tips are a guideline for proper seasoning:

  •  1) Lightly season ingredients prior to cooking or serving
  • Broadcast season from above to evenly cover the surface area on components
  • For example: Sautéed Beef Medallions, Grilled Chicken Breast, Pork Roast, Sautéed Zucchini, roasted Butternut Squash, Tomato Salad, etc.…
  • 2) Stage season throughout the cooking process, beginning with a small amount of salt and working to a properly seasoned dish in the end
  • Stage seasoning allows flavor development during cooking
    • For example: Soups, sauces and stews
    • The exception would be an item that will reduce greatly during cooking which could result in over seasoning, e.g., a stock reduction or sauce base
  • 3) Use ingredients and flavors to create balance in a dish
  • For instance: Duck Confit salad with glazed Beets and an Mandarin Orange Vinaigrett
    • The rich and slightly salty cured duck balances well with the earthy sweetness of the beets and both are cut by the acidity of the vinaigrette
    • For example: Sweet and Sour, Sweet and Salty, Rich and Acidic

·         4) Season neutrally to draw out the natural flavors of a dish

  • This end result should be well balanced, not bland nor salty to the average person

·         5) Taste and adjust seasoning just prior to serving