We've seen them on TV competing, critiquing and teaching about all things food. Yet if you really want to step up your own cooking, from techniques to tips to having the right tools for the trade, read on to hear what Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck and Alex Guarnaschelli have to say.
Gordon Ramsay’s Best Way To Prepare Eggs.
“I have to say, scrambled. Over a slice of sourdough bread that has been grilled, and then sort of doused with Worcestershire sauce. And the nice thing about scrambled eggs is that they don’t have to just be breakfast – you can have them in the evening, with some nice mushrooms, some tomatoes. You can have them as a snack at midnight, or at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.” Check out how Ramsey makes his eggs!
How To Take Wolfgang Puck’s Canned Soup To The Next Level, Straight From The Man Himself.
“If you have to pasteurize the soup, which means you keep it 15 minutes on high temperature, I think it detracts from the flavor. It is not the same as the restaurant. Fresh is always best. But when you are hungry, it is always a good thing to have a good bowl of soup. Or I use my tomato soup for my pasta dishes. Like I sauté some onions with a little chili flakes and garlic in olive oil, add the tomato soup, reduce it to the consistency of a sauce, and then toss my pasta cooked al dente in there. So it’s very good, you don’t just have to use it as a soup. If you use it as a soup, heat it up properly, maybe put a swirl of cream on top, maybe sour cream, or a little julienne of basil, or a little drizzle of olive oil. If you had the pumpkin soup – one of our best selling ones – finish it with a little cranberry relish, or some caramelized chopped apples. So what I tell people is: use the soup as a base. And then be inventive.”
When It Comes To Cooking Steak, Alex Guarnaschelli Has Your Back.
” Ribeye all the way! Sear in an INSANELY HOT cast iron skillet, stovetop.”
Ramsay Has A Way College Kids (Or Anyone On A Budget) Can Eat Well.
“I would recommend that you get adventurous with pulses – chickpeas, beans, lentils. And you know, cooking these is incredible. Brown rice? Phenomenal. You don’t need expensive proteins. Just make them incredible with how you cook them, or prepare them – a pressure cooker is a great way of making these foods go a long way, is to cook them deliciously. Chilis, garlic, definitely.”
Puck Says If You Have A Crock Pot, It’s Time To Upgrade To A Pressure Cooker.
“Talking about the crock pot – I am not THAT patient, to cook something for 8 hours. So for me a pressure cooker is really a great tool, or a great appliance, especially the electric ones, because you can make a great soup in 10 minutes. Or cook a stew in no time.”
The Top 5 Essential Kitchen Tools According To Guarnaschelli.
“Microplane grater, a good attitude, an oyster knife, a Sabatier paring knife (price $6.99), and a cast iron skillet.”
When It Comes To Breakfast, Ramsay Says To Keep It Simple.
“I keep it simple, because it reminds me of my mum. So I keep it simple, porridge, which is oatmeal. But growing up in Stratford-Upon-Avon, we kept it very simple, just oatmeal with water, salt, and oatmeal, because my dad said it would “put hair on your bollocks!” [For me], the night before, put 3-4 bananas in the oven on a pilot light. And the next day, squeeze the bananas into almond milk, bring it to a boil, then add the oatmeal and dried cranberries, and you’ll have the most amazing oatmeal for breakfast.”
Whip Up Puck’s Favorite Comfort Food From The Comfort Of Your Own Home.
“But the favorite comfort food – we are asked all the time about – is our chicken pot pie. Barbra Streisand told me 2 weeks ago that she is coming to the Oscars, so you better make that chicken pot pie! First of all, you know, the way we make it with black truffle, in the puff pastry crust, so when you open the crust, the steam of the black truffle comes out, it is really really amazing. The whole room smells like black truffles.” You can find the recipe here.
Guarnaschelli Has Two Methods For Cooking Amazing Brussel Spouts.
“Peel the leaves off, drizzle them with olive oil, and roast them in the oven until they’re crispy with a pinch of salt. Alternatively, thinly slice them and char them quickly in a hot pan with a little butter and a splash of vinegar. Yum.”
According To Ramsay, Be Open Minded To Strange Food Combinations.
“I had an amazing doubled pork chop with rhubarb. Now rhubarb is something we literally eat with desserts, but this dish was incredible. It was in Spain. It was a double pork-chop that had been slow-roasted over an open pit fire with rhubarb. Absolutely delicious. This was one of my mates that was trying to show off cooking in his back garden in Spain when we were out filming for KITCHEN NIGHTMARES. I didn’t think it was going to work, to be honest. And then when I started tasting, I thought, ‘S–t! This is delicious!'”
Puck’s Go-To Sides.
“You know, I love green vegetables – whether it’s broccolini sautéed with a little bit of garlic, or chili flake? Not only it will taste good, but it will offset with color. Now if you’re a meat & potato eater, make mashed potatoes and put a little pesto in it. And then maybe serve with a little tomato sauce, because the color is important.”
Follow Guarnaschelli Coco Chanel Tip When Cooking For A Group.
“My advice when making menus, big or small, is to cook Coco Chanel-it. That means apply the same rule that Coco Chanel did when she would remove one accessory from her outfit before leaving the house. Write the menu, cross one dish off. Make a lot of things that are in your comfort zone, and that you can largely make ahead. If you’re cooking for a group that loves you, they won’t care anyway, because they love you.
Ramsay’s Go-To Cocktail?
“It’s called ‘Wake up you Donkey!’ I mean, hahahahaha – it is incredible. And also, it’s quite sort of spicy, and fragrant, and it’s absolutely delicious.” It’s made with Patrón Silver Tequila, Smoked Elderflower Honey, Lime & Strongbow Cider.
According To Puck, To Really Impress Your Guests, Presentation Is Everything.
“Go out and buy some small fresh herbs, edible flowers, and you can sprinkle them around, even if it’s a simple salad or vegetables, some fresh flowers or tiny herbs, it makes it colorful. We eat with our eyes first. And then it is important to find interesting plates. You know, some people have these white clunky plates – nothing looks good on it. But if you have interesting plates – we have people who make interesting plates for us in Japan, in Seattle – we have beautiful white plates too, but I think first impressions are the most important.”
If You’re Out Of An Ingredient You Need, Guarnaschelli Believes Subbing Is Not The Best Way To Go.
“I try not to replace, as all that work ends up disappointing. Better to have standby recipes than to have standby ingredients.”
Ramsay Says You Need To Be Open To Trying New Things…..To An Extent.
“I think, being a chef, the first thing that I set out to do was to make sure that I almost got to taste every ingredient anywhere in the world. I wanted to learn so much about ingredients that I’d never know what NOT to do with an ingredient. So I’m an open book. Whether it’s a beating cobra heart from a snake in Cambodia, or a deep-fried tarantula, or a Beef Wellington, I’ll eat absolutely anything. The only thing I draw the line at, Victoria, is eating overcooked food. There is NOTHING worse than an overcooked brussels sprout. The smell is disgusting.”
When In A Pinch, Puck Shares The Best Way To Dress Up Ramen.
“Well, first of all, I would spice it up with a little chili oil. I would add a slice of fresh ginger for flavor. And maybe some scallions.”
Guarnaschelli’s ALWAYS Has These Ingredients In Her Kitchen.
“Pickles. Dijon Mustard. Red wine vinegar. Shallots. Olive oil. And a heavy dose of excitement.”
Overall, The Biggest Piece Of Advice Ramsay Has For Aspiring Chefs Is…
“The biggest piece of advice – you know, cooking is about character. It’s about different cuisines. And I think sometimes we go into it a little bit blinkered-vision. Learn a second vision – I thought I really knew how to cook when I worked for Marco and then when I went to France, it really opened my eyes. So learn a second language, and travel. It’s really important to travel. That is fundamental. because you pick up so many different techniques, and learning a second language gives you so much more confidence in the kitchen.”
How To Make The Perfect Omelet, According To Puck.
“You know, to me an omelet – obviously you have to temper the eggs. Get some good eggs, you know, and then put a little salt & pepper in it – add cheese, some parmesan cheese – a little drop of cream or milk. Then heat up the pan with a little olive oil. When it’s hot, add a little touch of butter, and cook the eggs really fast by moving them constantly with a spatula and shaking the pan with your left hand. So then let it sit for a second – I like mine REALLY soft in the middle, and cooked on the outside. And then fold it, put it on a plate, serve it – the preference with white truffles or caviar. If you can’t get that, just bacon and sausage will do too!”
Bulk Cooking Is Guarnaschelli’s Secret To Having Home Cooked Meals All Week Long.
“A long day at work doesn’t always mean I wanna cook when I get home either. Pick one day a week where you cook a few things, so you have homemade stuff on days when you’re more tired. I find some braised chicken or a pasta casserole goes a long way.”