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How to Release Your Inner Chef

What’s your dream job? A property developer, a teacher, or how about a chef? According to research by one of the leading supermarkets, as many as one in ten of you would prefer to be dicing, creating and garnishing in the kitchen.

For those of you not keen on ditching the day job, you can still release your ‘inner chef’ in your own home. In no time, you could be creating your own dishes rather than depending on your local takeaway for dinner.

Release your inner chef to make meals like this

Tim Coulthard, 33, became interested in food on family holidays and soon started experimenting in the kitchen. In 2009, he appeared on TV’s Masterchef.

He says: “Even at a young age, I always wanted to make things for myself and my family, and it felt great to be making people happy by cooking them something delicious.”

Tim says that trying new foods and experimenting with ingredients is key to creating something special. “People appreciate the effort you go to. For example, try serving sweet potatoes with a roast dinner. The bite size pieces will soak up the gravy and have everyone fighting for the last helping,” he suggests.

Taking inspiration from cookery programmes, cookbooks or websites will also help to turn you from a kitchen novice into a would-be chef. There is plenty of information out there that will help you understand different techniques so you can try them out for yourself.

Once you feel more confident about creating a meal for your family and friends, Tim says there are a few simple rules to remember so your cooking is a pleasure rather than a logistical nightmare. “Preparing your ingredients first is essential,” he stresses. “And you needn’t struggle alone. There are plenty of gadgets for your kitchen that can help make the process much more enjoyable.”

Release your inner ChefIt is also important to master the art of timing to avoid complete chaos as you try to do five different jobs at the same time. Instead, Tim advises, have everything ready as far ahead as possible.

“That means having the meat ready up to half an hour before and quickly reheating it in its juices, if necessary. It means parboiling your vegetables and refreshing them in cold water, ready to be warmed through in a pan with a splash of olive oil,” he says.

“The aim is to turn the final stages into an assembly line, which is much easier to control than starting everything from scratch and cooking it right through.”

Finally, remember that presenting your food is just as much about entertaining your guests, so find the perfect bottle of wine to accompany your meal – and enjoy! With your skills, the right equipment and a little nurturing, you could be cooking up a storm in the kitchen in no time.

More Top Tips

  • Stay well-stocked with essential ingredients – or make your own. For example, place basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil and pine nuts into a blender to make your own pesto.
  • Sea salt and black pepper are your best friends when cooking: sprinkling liberally will add just the right amount of gusto to your cooking.
  • Invest in the ultimate kitchen gadget. Whether you’re making cakes or chopping carrots, a chef food processor will complete the job in seconds.
  • Use any left-over vegetables to make soup with a hand blender, and any fruit past its best to make smoothies.
  • Read up on the recipes and cooking hints and tips available. There are even cooking guides you can buy for the Nintendo DSi or 3DS that will help you through creating a dish step by step.