This is Chris Stam, Executive Chef at db Bistro Moderne, a contemporary French restaurant in New York City.
1.Finish your sauces with a touch of butter or crème fraîche right before serving them to amp up the flavor and create an impossibly velvety texture.
2.Practice your knife skills and always keep your knives sharp.
3.Make sure you're using the right wine for the right recipe and that the wine you're cooking with actually tastes good.
4.Ditch your dried herb stash and swap 'em for fresh...
5.Use a cartouche (AKA a small round of parchment paper) instead of lids to better control cooking.
6.Butter + water = the easiest way to glaze your veggies.
7.You can confit just about anything (AKA slowly cook something in fat), and it's not as difficult as it sounds.
8.And when it comes to butter, restaurants prefer quality over quantity, and you should too.
9.Whenever you can, try to go the extra mile and make stock from scratch.
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Next time you eat a rotisserie chicken, don't throw away the carcass. Instead, use it to make broth — and same goes for your veggie peels and onion skins! "Learning the basics of making a stock will not only elevate your cuisine, but give you more options for what you can make," says Stam. And although it may take a bit of work, homemade stock will make your soups taste so much better. "Fresh stocks will also give you the ability to make a jus," (AKA a sauce made from reduced stock) explains Stam. "Making a nice jus will make any meat recipe feel like it was made in a professional kitchen."