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Looking for advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!! I'm currently in culinary school and looking for advice on how to hone in on pairing flavors in dishes. I'm pretty well versed in the classic methods of cooking, yet I'm having a hard time with creativity when it comes to mixing and matching flavors in dishes that aren't laid out for me ie recipes and such. Anyone have any recommendations for books or ideas that can get me comfortable with cooking on the fly? My school has mystery basket competitions and I would like to participate, just don't have the confidence at this point. Thanks!


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post #2 of 6

Work on building your taste memory for individual flavors.

 

Experiment at home. Taste ingredients before adding and then tasting the dish after each addition. Analyze and pay attention, don't just taste and go "oh yeah" or "nope". Think about the whys and hows and do it with things that you find out don't work together as well as those that you find do work well together. Commit it to your memory banks for future reference.

 

The best way to learn is by doing and by doing so it gets easier. Don't be afraid to make something (at home) that turns out less than fantastic. It only becomes a mistake if you don't learn from it.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 6

The only thing that kills creativity is fear.  You have to push yourself a little, growth occurs when you step out of your comfort zone.  I would suggest that you ask your professor for sample "mystery box" ingredients and if you don't have enough confidence yet to do it at school then do it at home for yourself.  

 

I would urge you to participate in the challenges at school too.  You never know what will happen under pressure.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

The only thing that kills creativity is fear.  You have to push yourself a little, growth occurs when you step out of your comfort zone.  I would suggest that you ask your professor for sample "mystery box" ingredients and if you don't have enough confidence yet to do it at school then do it at home for yourself.  

 

I would urge you to participate in the challenges at school too.  You never know what will happen under pressure.

 

Well put Koukouvagia. You need to be confident in your ingredients but more importantly yourself. If you don't trust yourself to make a cohesive dish then it will never work on the plate. To build confidence you need to take risks, sometimes you fail but you learn from your mistakes, however the times that you succeed is vital to your confidence and will give you more jump off points for more complex dishes. It all starts with practice, practice, and yes....more practice. I agree you should be doing this in school with pressure tests, because in the real world (out of the class room) restaurants....you will constantly work under pressure and are expected to perform.

"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Great advice!! I will take it, thanks!!!


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post #6 of 6
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