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View Poll Results: what do you want to know the most as a fellow beginning cook
What tools to use? 1 6.67%
What are the techniques to learn to cook like a chef? 12 80.00%
How to use specific tools properly? 4 26.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-26-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Question to fellow beginning cooks

I'm new to the trying to learn how to become a good cook and impress my friends, family etc. I'm also the type who goes overboard trying to learn all the ins and outs of what it is I'm focusing on, which now if learning to cook.

So I want to see what other beginner cooks are wanting to learn.

Here's my list of things that I'm trying to focus on.
1. Which tools for cooking are necessary?
2. What staple foods and seasoning should be in my cabinet?
3. What new tools out there make cooking easier and are musts to have?
4. What meals are easy to make but will look like i must be a chef to create and will impress my family and friends?

Beginning cooks, what else are you searching for and where are you finding this info?



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Old 03-27-2008, 06:45 AM   #2
Executive Chef
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 3,270
Welcome to DC Jonathan! A lot of the answers to your points are going to depend on your choice of cuisine, eg Asian cuisine requires different equipment, staples, seasonings etc than Italian. Both have easy meals but can be impressive, as can other cuisines. Guide us, so that we can guide you and your fellow beginners.

Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Hi, I guess I would start off leaning towards the Spanish style of cuisine, I like the flavors and I love SPanish tapas style resturants.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NJ for the moment, heading south next spring to be with my family.
Posts: 421
Welcome to DC flav! I'd suggest starting separate threads for these questions, but for now I've just got two words for you as far as making a big impression goes...Garnish...Sauce.
Cookies = Love
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
Senior Cook
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Buffalo ny
Posts: 211
hi there..
I'm a beginner also. Always ask questions. I get in my mind what I want to cook and then I search and search, I make a thread for suggestions. I decide what the basics are of the recipe and then decide which flavors to incorporate. i don't always go with the first suggestion or recipe I find. I keep digging and make it my own.
Then I DO IT!! practice practice practice cooking.
Richard Dawkins - "By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out."
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:38 AM   #6
Master Chef
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Metro New York
Posts: 8,763
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Well, I'm not a beginning cook any more, but I teach a lot of them.

Welcome to the boards!

I suggest it is not about "The Cuisine." that is recipe driven, and as a beginner, techniques will get you the farthest. Don't know where you live, but a good "Basic Techniques" course at a local cooking school or adult ed center is a great way to get started. If you are far from one of those, Jacques Pépin has a great set of dvds that cover basic techniques. That would be like having him in the kitchen with you, except you couldn't ask questions.

Knife skills are, to me, the first thing to learn, and I usually teach them in a series of 3 classes combined with other basic techniques, called "How to Boil Water and Other Essentials." You can also register in many places for a single class on knife skills that will get you off on the right foot. As in learning any subject, learning correct ways of doing things the first time eliminates the need to unlearn bad habits.

You have definitely come to a good place to get great tips from lots of experienced cooks! Have fun. Above all, cooking should be fun!
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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Posts: 2,418
My gosh, I got over impressing friends and family when I tried to hang from the monkey bars with one leg at the local park and lost the effort to gravity.

If you want to learn to cook, do so. But please do it because you want to.

Learning about food and how to prepare it is a lot of fun to me. I have other interests and pursue them.

There are a lot of TV cooking shows out there and you can pick up a lot from them for no money.

And as June said, you can pay for many classes.

Of course there are as many cook books as one could ask for.

My favorite for a starting cook is James Beard's 'Theory and Practice of Good Cooking'. But just Googled and it seems the book has become a bit pricey.

The Joy of Cooking, any edition, they are available inexpensively particularly used, gives fine recipes to start with.

Cooked as a kid, yep, a child and then lost interest in it until I was in my early thirties.

But do it because I like it.

But as I said I have other things to take up my time. So I only go so far with the food and cooking.

But cooking is a lot of fun. As with anything in life, do it because you want to.

Know many wonderful, fascinating people who cannot poach an egg (I will not say boil since I hate boiled eggs - yech).

I guess my advice is do what you want to do, and if it is cooking you have a lot of folks here to help you along.

God bless.

Before criticizing a person, walk a mile in his shoes - then you are a mile away and you have his shoes!
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