I want to learn now to cook

1. kant

365
Can anyone help?

3. Cyrus

Forget those fake chefs on the food network. Discovery channel used to have real chefs on a program called great chefs of the world, and great chefs of USA.

There is one lady on PBS? That has a cooking show, she’s an Italian lady, and her food makes your mouth water. She does not go for presentation like in Great Chefs of the word, but she does have good tasting food. I'll never forget this one beef roast she made that she glazed with honey and made it golden brown like in those photographs you see, but can never actually make yourself.

As for food network,.........sigh... Just watch Iron Chef for motivation. They make good food with excellent presentation. Other than that, you will get sub-par cooking with fakes like Emirl, Rachel Ray (Why does a woman whose never been to a culinary school have a TV show eludes me) who makes meals from things like canned food, disgusting. Bobby Flay, god what a horrible and predictable stage name, has a cooking show. He does make some good stuff from time to time.

I would say your best bet is PBS, hands down. If you want to get good, you should learn how to mince, dice, glaze, chop, etc to the right sizes. If you are watching a good chef on TV, they wont make comments like, 'oh, cut it anyway you like'. I think an important thing also, is to know what you’re making before hand. For example, if you’re making a sauce, there are two ways of making it. You could just make the sauce by following what’s you read or see, and hope it turns out good, OR, you can do the more correct thing, and know what kind of flavor your trying to achieve, that way you will be able to better judge what proportions you need to get the taste your after.

Go buy yourself some good knifes, and learn the proper way to hold them and cut with them. You should keep the tip of the knife on the board, and cut with the back end in a scissor like action.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2006
4. fourier jr

i learned some of that stuff while working at a restaurant for a while; now i'm working at a bakery & learning even more about baking (bread) than i learned about cooking at the restaurant. i think i know enough of the basics to be able to follow a moderately serious baking book. working at a restaurant & at a bakery is how i learned the basics (esp the bakery). re: inspiration i wouldn't watch any tv for it since everything on those shows is rigged (maybe not so much iron chef). all their ingredients are laid out in front of them in perfect proportions, etc & all they do on camera is dump/pour everything together. i would think the real skill comes with the prep & coming up with a recipe (what ingredients to use, how much, etc) & those shows don't give any of that insight. they just say use this much of such-&-such, put it together in a pan, etc. they don't explain why they do something, which imo is the least useful/helpful thing they could do. actually i kind of liked the urban peasant but he probably isn't aired everywhere. there are books for that sort of thing; i know of a baking book (haven't read it at all but i would very much like to) that has chapters on each possible ingredient & also has exercises & experiments to try at the end of each chapter, just like a textbook. the real good books always have excellent pictures of the food; a guy at the bakery referred to one book of his as "gastro-porn" the pics are so good.

re: gear i wouldn't spend too much $at the beginning. after all you're interested now but after cooking for a while you might find that it's not for you. that happens. all i mean is if someone were to become interested in golfing i wouldn't recommend going out & buying a$5000 set of clubs right away. i think it would be much better to get a 'beginners' set (of knives, golf clubs, etc) & get good with that stuff.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2006
5. Jelfish

130
Not all Food Network shows are like that. "Good Eats" with Alton Brown is an exception. He gives detailed explanations for everything he does when he cooks.

6. Cyrus

Alton Brown is more like a Bill Neye the science guy. He fits in the category of not a professional chef, sorry.

7. Jelfish

130
If you want to buy very sturdy and quality knives and kitchen things, I would suggest going to a restaurant/hotel suply surplus shop. They have stuff there that's meant to last for a very long time.

I don't think that's the best way to cut. It's kind of akward for your wrists if you're cutting something like an onion or tomato (I know how to hold a knife properly). The best way to cut is to angle the tip slightly downward (there's no need to keep it on the cutting board) and push the knife forward and downward while arching your wrists slightly upward. That way, your wrists are moving in a very natural manner. Remember, a knife is a slicing tool. Anyway, what's more important is the way you hold your other hand..

8. Cyrus

All the top chefs on tv cut with the tip on the board, I think they know what they are doing.

9. Jelfish

130
Apology accepted. A chef needn't be a professional with a restaurant to be a good cook. And a professional chef isn't necessarily the best instructor. You also don't need to have gone to culinary school to be a good chef or teach someone how to cook.

10. Jelfish

130
If their tip is on the board, then that means they're using the back of the blade (which is correct) for cutting something very short, like green onion. Their tip might be on the board then, but that's the result of what I described above. You don't purposely put and keep your tip on the board. Watch a cook cut an onion. It's not the same.

11. Cyrus

Well, if your on tv, and your making up crap from a can for \$20 bucks a meal, I'd take the professional chef anyday. The hole point of a chef on tv is to teach you something. I'd want a teacher trained in a cooking school to teach me how to cook, not a floozie like Rachel Ray.

http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciqtips-aug03-chefknife.htm

12. Cyrus

http://www.fantes.com/knives.htm

A well-trained chef will use his knife properly.

13. Jelfish

130
Notice it's "herbs or garlic" and not onion or a potato. I told you that by virtue of the size of those things, your blade is on the board. However, that is not generally how you cut everything.

And Rachel Ray might not be a culinary genious, but the point of her show is to give people ideas on how to combine household ingredients into something different, and to do that quickly. Different shows on the Food Network cater to different types of people. If the network's sole purpose were to train people to be professional chefs, then there would be a lot less people watching it.

14. Cyrus

Well, duh. Thats obvious.

Good, then they would put Great Chefs on the world back on the discovery channel. Rachel Ray is pathetic. Making soup from a can woop-de-do! I think food network caters to morons. I hardly ever see them making anything great on there. Only once in a blue moon.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2006
15. Jelfish

130
Your second quote is actually closer to what I had said. Using the tip as a stationary pivot does not mean keeping it on the board. However, if you dip while raising your wrist as I mentioned, then the tip does act like a stationary pivot.

16. Cyrus

My point is u will see people like Ray using the knife incorrectly to chop things. Its quite painful to watch.

17. Math Is Hard

4,915
Staff Emeritus
I think Jelfish and Cyrus should have their own cooking show. It would be very entertaining!

18. Cyrus

I think we would do a bang up job!

19. Jelfish

130
She does do some very unwise things just to fit her show in 30-minutes real time. Most of it involves not cooking meat long enough.

:rofl: We'd constantly have a knife at each other's throat, though I'd be holding mine correctly

20. Cyrus

Exactly my point! She can't even cook the damn food from a can correctly! What an idiot! Who the hell can't spend 1 freakin hour to cook a meal for themselves. Morons, I tell you that show is for morons!

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