If you met a florist, you’d probably ask them about flowers, and if a painter crossed your path, you’d want to know what kinds of brushes they use to paint with. If you ran into a lawyer, you might ask them what to do about a recent parking ticket, and you would probably ask a doctor what to take for a current cough.
Whenever you run into a professional from a specific trade, it’s natural to ask them to share some tips to their success. Beyond being just generally talented in that specific field, these professionals practice their craft day in and day out, and so along with general pieces of knowledge, they also have tricks and secrets hiding up their sleeve for how to do that profession really well.
Professional restaurant chefs are in the trade of cooking, and so naturally, we always want to know some of their secrets. It’s not just that we want to know how to make their famous spaghetti and meatballs (because we do), or have them tell us what kind of knives to buy (because we will), but we want to know the small, seemingly insignificant things that make them so great at what they do — things that aren’t included in a recipe, and don’t come on a description of a box of knives.
Whether we've met these chefs at an event, interviewed them for a story, or read one of their tweets, we’ve come across some pretty valuable information over time from some great restaurant chefs. Ever struggle with that firm lemon and can’t get the juice out of it? Chef Laurent Tourondel told us a trick for that once that we’ll never forget, and we’ll share it with you here. Can’t figure out how to get the rust off your cast-iron skillet? Chef Mario Batali knows what to do. And for that person out there who is always trying to master their sauces, we’ve got some pros here who know how to make them perfectly.
Chefs aren’t just great cooks, but they're resourceful ones, too, and we want them to impart some of that knowledge on us. So from chance meetings to scouring interviews, we’ve collected 10 of our favorite secrets that were given to us from restaurant chefs. These are tricks of the trade that live in our cooking tool belt, and we want you to add them to yours, too.
We've even rounded up some helpful videos from top chefs to help demonstrate their craft and give you some additional tricks. Watching chefs in action and hearing their tips first hand is a helpful way to learn these secrets and help implement them into your own cooking. Check out these videos and you'll be cooking like a pro before you know it.
Chef Ludo Lefebvre teaches us a quick trick for making flavorful French fries, the best way to sharpen a knife, and more.
Chef Michael Cimarusti takes you through the basics of sourcing fish and everything you need to know about fish from market to plate.
Learn how to rock the wok with Chef Jet Tila, who holds The Guinness World Record for largest stir fry.
Chef Jeffrey Saad teaches us a quick trick for cooking pasta sauce and how to know when fish is done.
Find out how to make the perfect meatball with Chef Vic Casanova.
Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce