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Thread: Becoming a really good cook

  1. #1

    Question Becoming a really good cook

    I'm looking for some book recommendations and suggestions for how I can become a better cook.

    I'm a good cook and an even better baker. But all my meals are "nice." None of them are really great. I'm very good at cooking out of the Womens Weekly cookbooks - which are nice, wholesome meals, but not spectacular, iykwim?

    I want to challenge myself to be better. I want to know how herbs and spices work and know more about cooking methods, etc, so that I can give my meals some zing.



    A friend of mine loves to cook, and she's been giving me some frozen meals since DS was born - and they are to DIE for. This girl knows how to cook. But when I asked her for some tips she just said that she liked to experiment - which makes me feel a bit deflated cause I don't think I'm talented or confident enough to do that just yet.

    How can I be a great cook? Should I be trying to cook out of Celebrity Chef books? Are there any cooking gurus I should be turning to? I have Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion but that doesn't seem "zingy" enough.

    ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    I think I took a bit of a leap when I went right out of my comfort zone and headed to India *grin. I've investigated Mexico and Morocco as well and I learnt alot about spices, herbs etc. My samosas are to die for!

    There used to be a show called Get Fresh and this Jason guy regularly had guests from all over the world cooking real dishes (not aussie versions iykwim) so I got a lot of confidence watching them, then doing it myself. There are heaps of shows on Foxtel now, maybe you can find one you like?

  3. #3

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    Yeah I agree, find a chef you like who cooks the flavours you enjoy watch their show and read the books then experiment and have fun, don't be afraid to try something. I love the early Jamie Oliver stuff, he uses a lot of herbs, garlic and chillies.

  4. #4

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    I reckon you should experiment a bit. When I eat out if we find something we really like I go home and "have a go" at it. I tend to read recipe books to get the feel of new ideas but rarely use a recipe.....just cook for feel..........

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    I have a GAZILLION cook books but honestly I find they date really quickly. Have you thought about cooking magazines? Australian Gourmet Traveller, MasterChef, Vogue Entertaining + Travel, Donna Hay, ABC Delicious just to name a few. I find them great because they tend to have a few different chefs and a variety of cuisines so it doesn't get as boring and I can work my way through one and then buy another when I run out of ideas again, I don't buy them every month but just now and then to add something new.

    Try adding something different to something you already make, replace one herb for another you really like. Replace the chicken with a firm fleshed fish and so on, I rarely follow a recipe 100%. Try a different cooking style, something you usually cook on the stove top try cooking lower and longer in the oven.

    Also when you're at the supermarket look out for those little freebie recipes that are usually dotted around the place, some have been surprisingly pretty good

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    SBS Food Safari is a great way to get started. They even have DVD's check your local library for borrowing.

    When it comes to food tech, there are heaps of books around that talk about the science behind food.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Another suggestion is to look into some blogs which include food I have found inspiration from quite a few. If you are interested in a style of cooking, you could google "mexican food blog" and happen across one, or you could talk to others and find out what they like. Try googling: The Pioneer Woman... and there are some amazing girls here on BB with foody style blogs of their own

    I do like Lulu and find inspiration amongst genre's. So if I want to do a French dish, I may look into French styles, and flavours, seasonal foods in different regions etc etc etc.... I travelled throughout Mexico and stayed with a family there, so I love cooking Mexican flavours. In Brissy, I had a very close friend who was a Japanese chef, so I learnt alot from eating and talking with him.

  8. #8

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    i am a cooking fanatic and have gazillions of books etc.
    i have recommended bill granger to many friends who want to get more into cooking - he has really simple stuff that always turns out beautifully...

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