Understanding your cuisine; How not to have a beef with your food

Food is a universal ground that brings people and cultures together; though each individual has his own palette, good food is what everyone craves for.

Even though eating and cooking both come under the umbrella of food, they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. It is very common for people to love specific dishes but not know the basics of how to go about making them. It is important to understand your food so that you can develop a better taste profile. Adam Hegsted of Eat Good Group highlights the intricacies involved in creating unique food.

If you are not fulfilled simply by eating but have the zeal for cooking or creating new recipes as well, then understanding the many nuances of culinary art is vital. The final outcome in the shape of a dish might look quite elementary but the journey from start to finish is rather complex. Hegsted understands this best, as having not just worked with numerous restaurants but being the owner of multiple as well has taught him the expertise of being a chef. According to Hegsted, food is not just about how it tastes, it should be well presented as well.

“Before the food reaches the customer, the preparation itself must encompass all the senses of the one making it – taste, sight, smell, and touch. When it is served, the meal should be appetizing enough to make you salivate at the sight of it.”

If everything is aligned properly, the entire patron experience will be perfect. Even if one element is not properly put in place, the entire dish might fail. Understanding the taste profile is necessary to make everything work together. This also paves the path for innovation and invention, allowing chefs to experiment with multiple ingredients and meat cuts to create the perfect dish that is both; delicious and appetizing.

The secret recipe?

You probably have heard of secret recipes pertaining to certain dishes. Even if you cannot get your hands on these recipes, there still are certain things you can take care of to make any meal worthwhile.

  • Start with the best: To ensure the best taste for your creation, use top quality ingredients to maximize the flavor, ensuring the outcome is premium.

  • Invest in a professional chef’s knife: It might not seem important but the blade you use can increase your efficiency. A good knife allows you to have better control, more speed, and ultimately less wastage.

  • Use your hands more: Hands are extremely important to give you a sense of touch with respect to the food’s tenderness. Hands are considered to be sensitive tools to allow you to understand how ready your food is.

  • Use salt: Most people forget to use salt, or use very little. Using too much or too little both will reduce the flavor profile of your savory dish.

  • Sautéing: This is important because it adds flavor and taste but make sure you do not crowd the pan while sautéing it.

  • Add the last bit of splash: Regardless of what your food is, adding a final bit of acid like vinegar or citrus juice will support the overall taste of the dish.

  • Let it rest: When you rest the meat after roasting it, the juices redistribute evenly throughout, which prevents the meat from getting dry.

  • Taste your food throughout the process: Some creators do taste their food during each step but some chefs only do so during the start or when the dish is prepared. If you taste the food after it is made, there is only so much you can do then to enhance the flavor if it is not according to your liking. Similarly, tasting the food only at the start will not give you the true sense of what you are making thus you might lack direction during the entire preparation.

  • Sometimes it is wise to trust your instincts: Add more or remove some? Enough or a wee bit more? …. Do not confuse yourself with the bombardment of information. It is good to trust yourself and your instincts if you know what you are doing. Taste the food, use quality ingredients, chop everything properly and voila you will create the perfect meal.

  • Never too late to learn: No matter how good you become as a cook or chef, there will always remain some room for improvement. Indeed, you polish your skills along the way and reach new heights in your career but there will still be some techniques you might be alien to that might eventually increase your efficiency.

  • Let it bake: If you are making something that is baked, especially something sweet like pastry or tarts, it is better if you cook them for a longer period of time. This will ensure the outer later is caramelized enough to give you the perfect crunch outside texture. Make sure you do not overcook it. We want these dishes to be luscious.

  • Experience different cuisines: Never shy away from trying out new food. This will enhance your flavor profile, give you a better sense of ingredients and might also introduce new techniques and ingredients all together. The more food you try, the better understanding you develop of the cultures around the world and thus, incorporate new styles in your cooking. It is said that smell can be a perfect factor to give you the nostalgic buzz, and that is why you need to allow yourself to experience different smells and tastes to make your dining worthwhile, where ever you go.

These are just some pointers you can keep in check to make any dish be worth it. Hegsted, being the owner of Eat Good Group, which owns multiple restaurants under its umbrella with the likes of Baba Restaurant, Incrediburger & Eggs, Yards Bruncheon, Honey Eatery and Social Club, and Taco Sauve, has won multiple awards and certificates. This allows him to share his experience with people willing to come into the culinary world.

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