How Do I Make My Food Seem Professional
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I am a college student and just got hired to cook at a retreat center for a couple of weeks which may seem kind of weird because a college student would be the last person I would hire to cook for a bunch of rich people who want to relax and eat “edible” food. But I digress. It’s a meditation/yoga retreat where they sleep in yurts and shit but still pay a lot of money to have some guru teach them yoga and how to find themselves.
Ah, I think I know what’s going on here. If they’re anything like me, the notion of rich white people appropriating the traditions of foreign cultures as a way of recharging themselves between exhausting bouts of draining the world’s wealth and vitality has destroyed their appetites completely, so they’re not really gonna need a cook.
I am a fan of the Food(porn) Network and I cook dinner for my family every now and then because they think I have to work to live in my own damn home, but I’m not bitter. However, I have no fucking idea how to cook for people who expect their food to look nice and taste consistently good.
I think the real problem here is the use of the descriptor “people,” rather than “giant, unconvincingly anthropomorphized vampire bats.”
So do you have any tips on how to make one’s cooking seem professional and any suggestions on how not to completely fuck it up?
OK, so, between and behind the concern about how to feed a bunch of quasi humanoid millionaire Angelenos is a real and legitimate question for anyone out there who wants to host a fancy dinner party, or impress a date, or foolishly bank on the advice of a random internet food guy in their quest for a food service industry career: How do I make my food look and taste like it was made by somebody who knows what he’s doing?
The answer’s pretty straightforward, believe it or not, and it has to do with breaking some common bad habits of non professional cooks. The first and most important bad habit to break is the bad habit of cooking everything over some wussy variation of medium heat because you’re afraid of smoke or of black shit sticking to your pan or you’re too impatient to truly slow cook anything. Shit that’s supposed to be cooked hot and fast should be cooked over real, serious heat to produce real, serious caramelization without overcooking the hell out of it; shit that’s supposed to be slow cooked should be cooked over genuinely low heat with real pati michael kors handbags ence, to allow its connective tissues and shit to break down and its accompanying flavors to do their jobs.
The second bad habit to break is the fear of salt. Home cooks tend to use too little salt during actual cooking when it can do some real good, and then sprinkle it on their food once it’s already cooked and plated, when all it can do is make their meal taste like salt. Use salt during c michael kors handbags ooking! The great thing about salting generously (but carefully) during cooking is that, if you’re tasting as you go, you can always adjust if you go a little bit overboard; once your food’s on the plate, if you add too much sa michael kors handbags lt, you’re fucked. Use salt. Salt meat before you brown it; salt aromatics as they’re sweating; salt sauces as they’re simmering; salt salads before they’re tossed with dressing. Don’t be afraid; be careful. Taste as you go.
The final bad habit to break (or, anyway, the final one I’m gonna share on this side o michael kors handbags f the nonexistent Foodspin Insider paywall) is the fear of tartness. I’ve harped on this before, so I’m not gonna belabor it, here, but: Put some damn tartness in your food. Citrus juice or vinegar or tomatoes or wine or whatever the fuck. Sour Patch Kids. Something. Please. Acidity is what wakes up your palate and makes food taste exciting.