VIDEO: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Palate
Chef Justin Antiorio, the only contestant on Hell's Kitchen to ever perform perfectly on the palate test, gives his tips and takes on our challenge
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The Daily Meal’s video producer, Ali Rosen, caught up with Hell’s Kitchen season 10 contestant chef Justin Antiorio to discuss ways to improve your palate. Antiorio is the only contestant in the history of the show to perform perfectly on the palate test. But how will he perform when The Daily Meal tests his skills?
With regards to his perfect score on the Hell’s Kitchen taste-test Antiorio notes, "To hear chef Ramsay say that you have an extraordinary palate is an amazing thing from a chef of his stature."
Antiorio was kind enough to participate in an impromptu taste-test set up by The Daily Meal — the challenge includes four mystery ingredients that the chef needed to identify while blindfolded.
Antiorio tasted the first ingredient and correctly guessed that it was mint; he identified the number two product correctly as a Kalamata olive; in the third round he positively identified vinegar; and in the last round he continued his perfect record by correctly identifying vanilla extract.
For anyone looking to boost their palate, Antiorio offers a helpful tip. First and foremost he explains, "The most important thing to do is dissect your food; you really want to be able to eat things separately. So when you have a mish-mash of ingredients that are all together and you put them in your mouth you’re not going to be able to tell the difference between them."
When asked why it’s so important for cooks (professional and non-professional) to be able to recognize individual flavors, Antiorio says, "It’s very important to be able to recognize what you’re eating, plus when you’re cooking at home it gives you that extra oomph to say 'Hey, I’ll pair this Kalamata olive with lamb or pork.' If you can understand the flavor and texture behind it then it gives you that knowledge."
Watch the video above for more palate-boosting tips from chef Antiorio.