1. Taste, taste and taste again – Taste your food at every stage, from raw ingredient to finished dish – you’ll be a much better cook if you know how evaporation, heat, cold and the addition of seasoning affects flavour and texture.
2. Use salt intelligently, not so much as a seasoning, more as a flavour-enhancer – A little salt, even in sweet recipes such as sweet pastry or shortbread, really brings out the flavour of the other ingredients without making it taste salty.
3. Take fruit out of the fridge at least two hours before you intend to use it – A strawberry will taste 20% more flavoursome at room temperature than at 5°, the temperature of most fridges.
4. Toss, don’t stir when cooking in a frying pan – Stirring can break up ingredients (practice cheffy tossing with rice or chick peas, but do it in the garden because there’ll be a hell of a mess until you get it right).
5. Swirl, don’t stir – Chefs often swirl sauces in a saucepan instead of stirring with a spoon, as it’s quicker, saves on washing up and doesn’t cool the sauce down.
6. Pre-heat your frying pan – Get your pan good and hot for better searing and deeper flavour.
7. Oil the food not the pan – Get a great colour on your ingredients without creating a fug of smoke.
8. Cook meat from room temperature – Heat will transfer more evenly through the cut for a more consistent result.
9. Over-power sauces and dressings – These lose flavour when eaten with the ingredients they are accompanying, so power them up by as much as 20%.
10. Reduce, reduce, reduce – Boiling your stock to reduce the water content by as much as 85% concentrates flavour and the resultant liquid takes up less room in the fridge or freezer (it takes less time to make a sauce, too).