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Learn to Cook Like a Chef: The Ultimate Guide From Beginner to Expert

Last Updated on May 28, 2021
how to cook like a chef

So you’ve decided to learn to cook like a chef. You’ve scheduled more kitchen time, cleaned your stove and hit up the grocery store to grab all the ingredients you’ll need. Good for you! You’re well on your way to learning how to cook like to professionals.

But now comes the hard part: you actually need to start cooking. The good news is, in the age of the internet, going into the kitchen alone without any baseline for where to begin is no longer necessary. Thankfully, there are plenty of professionals out there who are gracious enough to share their knowledge on how to cook just about anything.

A nearly endless variety of cooking classes, recipe resources and video tutorials are at your fingertips to help you learn to cook like a chef and gain confidence in the kitchen. Get ready to sharpen your skill and knife set with a few great places to learn cooking basics.

 

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Learn How to Cook With Online Cooking Classes

You can transform your kitchen into a top-tier culinary classroom with a little help from some online cooking classes. If there's a cuisine you've always wanted to learn how to cook, chances are, there's a class that will help you learn to cook like a chef.

The beauty in online cooking classes is that you aren't limited by your location or skill level. In fact, there are plenty of online cooking classes for beginners that shine a spotlight on cooking 101.

Apart from joining the virtual classrooms of chefs all over the country, you can head abroad, too — consider getting an expert lesson in pasta making from a Rome-based chef, or a masterclass in tapas from a culinary professional living in Madrid. It's a great way to learn accessible, step-by-step cooking basics in an interactive format, where you never even have to leave home. As your skills improve, you can take more advanced classes and continue learning. 

online cooking classes are a great way to learn to cook like a chef
via AdobeStock

Learn How to Cook In-Person Cooking Classes

Some people just learn how to cook better when they're getting their hands dirty. If you're more the hands-on type, you may be better suited to some in-person cooking classes. Cooking classes are a deep-dive into the world of a professional chef, where you'll get face-to-face instruction on knife skills, ingredient selection, seasoning ratios and other cooking basics.

Have a favorite food you've always wondered how to cook? Interested in trying some diet-specific dishes that are paleo, vegan or gluten-free? This is your ticket, with in-person, chef-led classes that cater to all tastes, preferences and dietary needs. 

If you want to learn to cook like a chef, there's arguably no better way than in the classroom of a professional. You'll find cooking classes in NYCcooking classes in Chicago and more. Browse all cooking classes near you to find your favorite.

in-person cooking classes near you will help you learn to cook like a chef
via Cozymeal

Learn How to Cook With Recipes

While some prefer cooking classes — either online or in-person — others may prefer the careful thought and problem-solving that goes into reading and recreating appetizing recipes. If you've already got the basics of cooking 101 down, perusing recipes can be a great way to learn to cook like a chef. You'll get inspiration for new flavor pairings, introduce yourself to dishes you've never tried before and gain a better understanding of how to cook with ingredients that you already have on hand. 

Recipes can be found in every corner of the internet, covering any skill level, dietary need or cuisine type. Pick one that strikes your fancy, and try to recreate it as closely as possible. What did you like about it? What would you change? Take notes along the way so you can modify when you start cooking the next time! 

browsing recipes can help you learn to look like a chef
via Adobe Stock

Learn How to Cook With Videos

If you're looking to brush up on some quick cooking basics, the internet offers no shortage of informative videos on everything from nailing your knife cuts to selecting the right herbs. Below are a few helpful videos to help you learn to cook like a chef.

1. How to Sear a Steak

Simple and to the point, this video on how to sear a steak will give you a quick breakdown of letting your meat come to room temperature, searing it off in a hot skillet and forming a beautiful steakhouse-worthy crust. For written instructions on how to cook the perfect steak, check out the accompanying blog post.

2. How to Cook the Perfect Rice

Don’t worry — famous hothead Gordon Ramsay can’t yell at you if you’re just watching a video, but his culinary know-how is valuable in your quest to learn to cook like a chef. Here, the Hell’s Kitchen chef walks you through the steps of making basmati rice. The process outlined in this video also applies to cooking regular rice, though you can season it however you want.

3. How to Cut an Onion

Knowing how to cut an onion is a fundamental skill in the kitchen, and one of the first you should tackle as you learn to cook like a chef. This simple tutorial breaks it down into just a few simple steps. Let the structure of the onion help you dismantle it. You’ll end up with beautifully regular pieces, and you can adjust the method to create smaller ones.

4. How to Make Homemade Tortillas

Dazzle your friends, infuriate your enemies and make impressive tacos with homemade tortillas. This staple is so ubiquitous in stores that it’s probably a mystery to you how they’re even made. Take some time to learn the cooking basics of the tortilla, and see just how easily you could be making these at home (seriously, the ingredients you need are already in your kitchen). What’s more, you’ll now have the ability to whip up fresh ones anywhere, any time.

5. How to Break Down a Chicken

If you really want to learn to cook like a chef, dividing a whole chicken into delicious, edible parts is equally requisite, impressive and economical. Should you watch this video from Tasty and teach yourself how to do it, you will save yourself from spending tons buying each part of the chicken separately. Plus, it’ll force you to start cooking all those chicken pieces you’re making — AKA, even more practice!

6. How to Make Vinaigrette Dressings

Once you have the foundation down for how to make vinaigrette dressings, you can start experimenting with different oils, vinegars and mix-ins to add a vibrant pop of flavor to your salads and marinades.

7. How to Bake Fish

Knowing how to bake fish is a great culinary skill to have under your belt, and it's easier than you might think. This tutorial focuses on the en papillote (in parchment) method, where your fish of choice is sealed with butter, herbs and citrus into a parchment paper parcel and baked to perfection. In your mission to learn to cook like a chef, this simple yet beautiful preparation will wow everyone at the dinner table.

The best way to learn to cook like a chef? Just start cooking. Really, it's that simple. And with countless educational resources at your fingertips, including online cooking classes, in-person cooking classes, recipes and video tutorials, you're sure to pick up some new skills to elevate your culinary game.

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