Does the thought of trying a new recipe make you cringe with anxiety and worry of embarrassment? The truth is, cooking is a skill anybody can learn! Throughout my food career, I have found that confidence seems to be the biggest barrier between new cooks and trying new recipes. Confidence in the kitchen is more than just having the right ingredients and equipment! Here are a few easy and practical ways to squash your kitchen fears and insecurities.
4 Ways to Gain Confidence in the Kitchen:
1. Mise en place.
- “Mise en place” is a French culinary phrase meaning “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. It refers to the set up and organizing of ingredients and equipment that you will need for your recipe. Read the recipe all the way through before starting—you’ll catch key directions like soaking nuts overnight before you cook. Make it easier on yourself by cleaning the kitchen and measuring out ingredients ahead of time so you don’t stress if you can’t find something in the middle of cooking!
- The more trial and error you have, the better you’ll perfect your kitchen skills! Try a wide variety of types of recipes, it will broaden your experience and help boost your confidence about trying something new. Don’t be afraid to play with new flavors and spices! Add one at a time and then taste so you know what you like. Make sure you write down any changes you make to a recipe so you can recreate it later!
3. Give yourself plenty of time.
- Cooking is much more stressful if you are in a rush! Shopping a day or two before you make a new recipe will help make the whole process less daunting. Try one new recipe at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients and time it takes.
4. Embrace imperfection.
- There are no kitchen disasters if you can eat the food! Some things you make will be better than others, but if your goal is to feed yourself, you can’t fail. If it’s undercooked, put it back in the oven and if it’s overcooked and totally dry, eat it for dinner and learn from your mistakes! Cooking is a fun, creative outlet and every cook has a few good stories about a “ruined” meal—it’s a right of passage!
Try something new!