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French chef Raymond Blanc shares his expert advice for cooking restaurant-style recipes for your nearest and dearest at home
1. Read the recipe carefully first
Make sure you understand it and are not caught out unexpectedly halfway through making it, or incorrectly estimate how long it will take to prepare and cook.
2. Get everything you need ready before you begin
In a professional kitchen, we call this a mise en place, which means you have all the ingredients measured, peeled, chopped and so on beforehand. Similarly, have all the required kitchen tools and equipment easily to hand.
3. You don’t need a huge arsenal of equipment
Invest in just a few good quality pieces of equipment: a couple of good knives and pans will last you 10 times longer and do a better job than cheap alternatives.
4. You do not need exotic ingredients or advanced culinary skills to create wonderful food
Just use good produce, and cook with care. When you season, for instance, add a little salt, then pepper, and finally a little acidity, like lemon – and taste, taste, taste until the balance is right.
5. Be confident
There are so many different cooking methods, but if a new cook can master just two to start with – pan-frying and slow-cooking – so many different dishes can be made successfully.
6. Buy local, seasonal produce whenever you can
It makes all the difference. I would encourage everyone to have a go at ‘growing your own’ as well – it’s not difficult if you follow the instructions properly and use good-quality compost. Seeing something grow from a tiny little seed until it is ready to eat and enjoy at your table is absolutely magical.
Raymond Blanc’s new book Simply Raymond is out now (Headline Home, £25).