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Salt Is Everything
1. Salt Is Everything

"Seriously though, chefs use way more salt than the average home cook and they continue to add salt throughout the recipe, tasting it as they go. Here are a few tip videos that I like that help explain some crucial salting techniques: Pre-Salting Chicken - how salting your chicken before doing anything else makes it that much better. Salting While Sauteeing - how to season as you go to end up with a dish with more flavor and more balance. Why Chefs Taste Their Vegetable Water - how adding salt to your pasta or vegetable water makes the end result 100x more tasty. If your curiosity has been piqued, then you should also check out these videos that explain not only how chefs use salt, but why it actually makes food taste better. Sea Salt vs. Kosher Salt - pro tip: sea salt is much saltier than kosher salt, so use it more sparingly. Sweet, Sour, Salt, and Bitter - how salt helps balance dishes to create that umami flavor that all chefs are looking for. Bottom line: if you use more salt you will end up with better tasting, properly balanced food. Just don't use too much." Source

Fresh Is Always Better
2. Fresh Is Always Better

"The one thing every good cook knows deep down in their soul, even though many won't admit it is this: you can use tricks and shortcuts to make decent food out of mediocre ingredients, or mediocre food out of substandard ones. But for truly good food, you need high-quality ingredients, time and meticulous workmanship. Anything else will just be lipstick on a pig." Source

Looks ARE Important
3. Looks ARE Important

"Garnish can completely make or break a dish. I managed front of the house operations for a major dining commons at a major US university for years and observed how large of an impression garnished dishes made on diners first hand. It doesnt matter much how good a dish tastes if it doesn't look good and people are less eager to try it. Simply sprinkling some fresh diced greens or adding some contrasting colors to presentation often primes a diner to perceive the dish as fancier, fresher, and better tasting." Source

A Quick Marinade
4. A Quick Marinade

"I am not a chef, but I've reviewed hundreds of cookbooks for Publishers Weekly and operated a from-scratch bakery with my wife. Here's a tip I picked up from a Chinese cookbook: if you want to impart flavor from a rub or marinade onto a piece of meat quickly, lightly dust it with baking soda. Let the meat sit for about 15 minutes, rinse with water, pat dry and then apply your seasoning. Go about your other prep -- sides, preheating the grill, etc -- then cook your meat when it's ready. The baking soda tenderizes the meat and allows the flavor to penetrate the protein. I've done this on chicken breasts and tougher cuts like flank steak and it works like a charm." Source

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