Hi all - an aspiring "good" home cook looking to learn what I need to learn

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Joined Dec 21, 2021
Hi all,

Long time lurker so i finally decided to make an account. I'm an ok home cook in the UK, I did work in Kitchens throughout school so spent a solid 4/5 years working part time as a commis which taught me how to make let's say nice tasting food. I'm now getting a little more interested in food and interested in becoming let's say a really competent home cook. Specifically interested in learning the basics that a "classically trained" chef should know. I'm thinking sauces, some classical french cooking skills etc.

I've just bought a couple of well recommend books (the joy of cooking & Sauces by James Peterson) and am excited to read them (still in the post) but I'm now looking for a little advice. My plan at the moment is to pick a few dishes that require some of these more technical/classical skills and work my way through them. Does that sound like a good idea or would you advise some other way?

If this sounds like a good plan are there any dishes you'd recommend? I like everything the only constraint is my partner is Gluten Free so there's that!

Thanks,
Matt
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Welcome!
Nothing wrong with your plan.
Go for it and let us know.
Check out our monthly challenges as well. I've learned loads from them.
Feel free to participate and ask questions ;)
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Search for an old copy of Jacques Pépin, The Art of Cooking (2 vols). It didn't sell well, so it's uncommon but also inexpensive. He teaches classical technique via specific dishes. Clear, excellent pictures, nice food.
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2021
Search for an old copy of Jacques Pépin, The Art of Cooking (2 vols). It didn't sell well, so it's uncommon but also inexpensive. He teaches classical technique via specific dishes. Clear, excellent pictures, nice food.
Very good to know. Will check it out shortly.
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
I got it!
I think..
Just checked. I got "complete techniques"
Not sure if it is the same, but it is definitely worth while
 
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Not the same. He's very proud of Art of Cooking, but (unlike La Technique, La Methode, and the combined Complete Techniques) it didn't sell. He's reused lots of the recipes, images, etc , but Art is still very much its own book.

It's essentially a normal cookbook organized by dish category, main ingredient, etc. But then each dish is intended to demonstrate a few classical techniques, with minimal overlap. Theoretically if you master every dish, you know all of the Complete Techniques in context.

By contrast, the Technique books are hard to apply unless you already know you need X technique for the thing you're doing.
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2021
Not the same. He's very proud of Art of Cooking, but (unlike La Technique, La Methode, and the combined Complete Techniques) it didn't sell. He's reused lots of the recipes, images, etc , but Art is still very much its own book.

It's essentially a normal cookbook organized by dish category, main ingredient, etc. But then each dish is intended to demonstrate a few classical techniques, with minimal overlap. Theoretically if you master every dish, you know all of the Complete Techniques in context.

By contrast, the Technique books are hard to apply unless you already know you need X technique for the thing you're doing.
Ok, totally convinced and just ordered both volumes. This sounds like just what I was after so very excited for its arrival.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2020
Two other things that you can try is youtube. Lots of cooking channels there. I have one that has some basic ideas that you can use. Your partner having to have a Gluten Free diet. You can also search some channels with those words. I have a video on my channel that talks about a dish that is good for breakfast, and dinner. It is a potato dish. Here is a link to it,
From there do searches on things that you would like to make. Use a cook book for reference for other dishes that you might like to make. You look on Amazon, they have cook books that are designed for gluten free diets.
Good Luck with it....
 
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well if you wanna go hard on Classic fresh dishes I would say why not start with the five mother sauces? that's a deep deep rabbit hole by itself. useful for life and delicious on everything.
 
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Joined Dec 21, 2021
well if you wanna go hard on Classic fresh dishes I would say why not start with the five mother sauces? that's a deep deep rabbit hole by itself. useful for life and delicious on everything.
I like this approach, I also know I’m not likely to just cook a sauce for the sake of it though so I think I might try find a recipe or two that utilise the mother sauces to try to start with. That should keep me busy for a while!

If you have any dishes you’d recommend that would be awesome.
 
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Joined Jan 9, 2019
Perhaps start with a few simple dishes that you may find interesting, via cookbooks and innerweb recipes.
Do not trust ALL cookbooks and the innerweb, BTW!
There's many mistakes in both, trust me!
For new recipes, I often print out innerweb recipes & compare them to cookbooks, change amounts/ingredients to taste, and.. if it turns out well, edit and save the recipe (often a lot of trial & error).
G'luck!
 
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