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Creating gourmet dishes: 10 Tips to cook like a chef

We have plenty of handy hints that will have you well on your way to preparing dishes that delight and surprise those you cook for.

By LLM Reporters  |  May 9, 2022
chef cooking

If your culinary talents are somewhat lacking, then you may be looking to brush up on your skills and learn a few useful tips to help turn you into a professional, or at least get you on your way to a better standard!

Gourmet chefs all have plenty of skills in common, but hard work and a natural talent all underpin what they can offer discerning guests of their establishments. Cooking gourmet dishes isn’t about simply following a recipe exactly as it is written, instead, the best chefs take their favourite recipes and add their own twists and personal touches to make each dish their own.

Though you may not be looking to forge a career in a professional kitchen – or perhaps you are and hopefully we can help with this too – we have plenty of handy hints that will have you well on your way to preparing dishes that delight and surprise those you cook for.   

From ingredients to confidence and experimentation, here are 10 pointers to help you prepare delectable gourmet dishes worth devouring.

Start with fresh ingredients whenever possible

Fresh produce and meat have the most refined flavour, so try to shop at local farmers’ markets or even cultivate your own vegetables and herbs at home for the ultimate in fresh produce. The better the quality of your ingredients, the better your dishes will taste, it’s that simple, and the same goes when cooking with wine, as a good wine can make or break your dish.

gourmet food steak beef
Fresh produce and meat have the most refined flavour, so try to shop at local farmers’ markets or even cultivate your own vegetables and herbs at home for the ultimate in fresh produce

A great example of a gourmet dish made with fresh ingredients is Trish Deseine‘s recipe for roasted beets with goats’ cheese and pistachios, why not give it a try and see if you can make something that your family will love?

Get to know your spices

If you want to take your dishes to the next level, it is essential to experiment with different spices and learn which ones pair well together. A little bit of nutmeg or cumin can do wonders to elevate your dish, so don’t hesitate to get creative and try new things.

For a delicious gourmet dish made with spices, why not whip up Trish Deseine’s slow-roasted duck legs with spices and orange glaze? With its rich, complex flavours and hints of orange and cinnamon, this dish will impress even the pickiest gourmet foodie.

Use high-quality oils and fats

Plenty of gourmet chefs believe that using good quality safflower oil or olive oil can transform a dish from average to exceptional in just one simple step. Fats such as butter, lard, and duck fat are also often used in gourmet cooking as they add flavour and depth to dishes, while you can never go wrong with a top-quality olive oil from Crete.

When thinking of a gourmet dish made with high-quality oils and fats to wow any dinner party guests, one that comes to mind is Trish Deseine’s Wagyu beef tenderloin with sesame oil and ginger. This elegant entrée is perfect for special occasions, as it uses premium wagyu beef and a flavourful sesame oil glaze to make every bite literally melt in your mouth.

Take the time to properly prep your ingredients

Many people underestimate the importance of proper preparation when it comes to cooking, but gourmet chefs know that this step is critical if you want to create truly exceptional dishes. From peeling and seeding fresh tomatoes to cubing vegetables evenly and carefully trimming meat, taking the time to prep your ingredients correctly will make all the difference when sampling the final product.

chef gourmet food
Gourmet cooking often takes time, so it’s essential to be patient when preparing your dishes

One dish that you can practice your ingredient prep with is Trish Deseine’s gourmet recipe for lobster Thermidor. This luxurious plate of food is made with fresh lobster meat, and the lobster must be properly cooked and then shelled before it can be used in the dish, once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be onto a winner.

Cook with confidence

Gourmet chefs know that the key to cooking great dishes is to have confidence in their abilities. After all, if you don’t believe in your own skills, how can you expect others to enjoy your food? There will always be a time to make a few mistakes or two along the way but stick with it and put your trust in your instincts. With time and practice, you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time.

Embrace different cooking techniques

A lot of amateur chefs will underestimate the effort that goes into preparing a range of fine dining dishes and it’s a chef’s ability to embrace a wide variety of cooking techniques that really sets them apart. Whether using sous vide machines, making sauces from scratch, or trying new cooking methods like smoking or dehydrating, gourmet chefs are always looking for ways to elevate their dishes and bring out the best in every ingredient.

Experiment with different flavour pairings

If you’re serious about cooking gourmet dishes, then you need to be willing to experiment with different flavour combinations. After all, part of the fun of cooking is coming up with new and exciting flavour profiles that surprise and delight your taste buds. So don’t be afraid to mix and match different ingredients, spices, flavour combinations and sauces until you find a combination you love.

seafood
The better the quality of your ingredients, the better your dishes will taste, it’s that simple

Be patient

Gourmet cooking often takes time, so it’s essential to be patient when preparing your dishes. Expect to spend several hours in the kitchen, as some dishes may necessitate hours of preparation or cooking. However, believe us when we assure you that the end product will be well worth the effort!

Presentation is key

You can spend hours in the kitchen preparing the freshest of ingredients, but if you don’t consider the look of the food when it’s served up, then you’re missing a trick. Think about different colours you can use, the way that elements can be displayed and also choose a nice plate or bowl itself to present the carefully prepared ingredients upon and you’ll be doing yourself, and the effort you’ve put in, justice.

Have fun and don’t take things too seriously

All in all, remember to have fun when cooking your gourmet meals. While it’s essential to put in the work and make your food with care, you also don’t need to get too wrapped up in perfection that you forget why you started cooking in the first place: to have fun and enjoy creating delicious meals! So, even if things don’t always go according to plan, remember to keep a positive attitude and just enjoy the process.