This past weekend, my husband and I went to a cooking class taught by Top Chef Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg.
It was one of the best cooking classes we have ever attended. He was smart, funny and expressed infinite patience for questions about Top Chef. I swear one woman had watched the entire season just before attending the class and taken notes. She basically asked a question about every episode, most contestants and about half of the guest judges. But Hosea took it all in good fun, answered all the questions and really looked like he was enjoying just hanging out with us. Oh yeah – and his food was really good too.
Throughout the lesson he would sprinkle in little tips for the home chef. I thought I’d share a few here:
Grow and Grind your own herbs and spices
Start with pepper. All kitchens should have a pepper mill and you should grind pepper as you need. He also advocated buying whole spices at the store for things like cloves, cinnamon, etc. Grow your own herbs. It’s easy on a window sill. I know a lot of people who have been very successful at growing their own basil, rosemary, and thyme. I am still working on it.
Always work with a sharp knife. Knives should be sharpened two to three times a year. You can never hone a knife too much. That’s the long stick that comes with your knife set that you always see chef people running their knife back and forth across. Yeah, you should do that each time you use your knife too. It won’t sharpen a knife, but it will help maintain a knife once it has been sharpened. He recommended one good chef’s knife with a 8 inch blade that feels good in your hand, one paring knife and one serrated knife. Tomato skins can be really tough on a knife so always use your serrated knife when cutting tomatoes.
The biggest lesson I learned here was not to forget about carry-over cooking. When you take fish out of the pan or out of the oven, it will continue to cook because it is still hot so you want to take it out when it is underdone. This way you’ll prevent overcooking it.
Those were the three big lessons, but we picked up lots of little tips as well. If he ever comes to your town, you should definitely check him out. He is also the head chef at Jax Fish House in Boulder, Colorado so you can bet we are planning a trip there!