Hi, cipher0 and welcome to DC!
I'm not a chef either - you don't need to be to cook well
I've been learning about umami flavor and how to boost it in foods for a few years now. In short, it deepens savory, meaty flavors and makes a dish taste more complex. You can use something like Accent flavor enhancer to do that, but I prefer to use foods.
I'm about to take a nap, so I'll just say a couple quick things:
[*] Foods like mushrooms, red wine, Parmesan cheese (aged imported Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the rind is best), anchovies, soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce add umami flavor. DH (my Dear Husband) doesn't like the texture of mushrooms, so I puree them.
[*] Beef stew will taste much better with red wine and mushrooms than without, and sauces, soups and stews with tomatoes are much better with 'shrooms, red wine and/or a 2x2 inch square of Parmesan cheese rind (save it in the freezer).
More later. Have fun looking around the site!