The best cooking tips from 21 seasons of Top Chef

It seems improbable that I started watching Top Chef eighteen years ago, but it’s true: the show has been around since 2006! In that time, dozens of chefs have put their impressive skills on display in a variety of challenges. I have learned a lot by watching the program, and so have the folks at Food and Wine. They have compiled a list of the six best cooking tips that the Top Chef contestants have given us.

The one that sticks with me the most receives top billing on F&W’s list: salting meat ahead of time. This benefits both the flavor and texture, and future me appreciates the small amount of effort that past me put into this simple but crucial step. The Voltaggio brothers Bryan and Michael recommend salting up to 12 hours ahead of time to allow the seasoning to be more evenly distributed and to draw out excess moisture.

If you have time and want to find more than the six tips offered in the F&W article, you can check out the subreddit titled Best Advice from Top Chef. Fans of the show offer the tips that have resonated with them, such as using an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to bump up the flavor, seasoning food at every stage of cooking, and starting with a clean kitchen. That tip resonates with me because I find it nearly impossible to start cooking a meal if there is clutter on the countertop or dishes in the sink. It is disruptive to have to move things out of the way just to chop an onion or crack open some eggs. Do you have a favorite tip that came from a Top Chef alumnus?

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One Comment

  • sallylarhette  on  May 24, 2024

    What I learned fro Top Chef is to be more flexible, less critical, allow more imagination for myself! Chef Sally

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