Cooking Like a Chef: 5 Fundamental Skills for Kitchen Success | Alex Gabriel Aïnouz | Skillshare

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Cooking Like a Chef: 5 Fundamental Skills for Kitchen Success

teacher avatar Alex Gabriel Aïnouz, Youtuber & Home Chef

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Think Like a Chef


    • 3.

      Prepare Your Space


    • 4.

      Gather Ingredients


    • 5.

      Knife Skills


    • 6.

      Understand Heat


    • 7.

      Create with Leftovers


    • 8.

      Cook: Omelet


    • 9.

      Cook: Steak & Sauce


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Unlock your arsenal of kitchen skills and become a better cook with Alexis Gabriel Ainouz (aka Alex French Guy).

Knowing how to cook is a superpower! Go into the kitchen with Alex and discover the essential skills for excellent home cooking. Alex, an avowed food geek, consolidates lessons from ten years in the kitchen into five fundamental skills every burgeoning home chef can use. In the kitchen with Alex, you'll learn practical techniques for delicious, reliable cooking. There is nothing superfluous here. 

In Alex’s kitchen you'll learn:

  • Space preparation to ensure you have what you need and nothing more
  • Ingredient selection so you can always improvise a delicious meal 
  • Knife skills for safe and efficient chopping, slicing, and dicing
  • The never-ending meal philosophy so leftovers never go to waste

Plus, Alex combines the skills you’ve learned in class and creates a beautiful omelet, and prepares a simple and delicious steak with sauce. 

This class is for anyone who eats! Whether you’re a seasoned home chef or just picking up a skillet for the first time, you’ll walk away with a refreshed perspective and a solid understanding of how to make your time in the kitchen more fun and delicious.

If you struggle to get consistent results in the kitchen and wish every meal was a little more delicious, this class is for you. But even if you've never touched a chef's knife or saucepan, you’ll be able to keep up. Alex will review the tools and ingredients he recommends but you don't need anything to get started. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alex Gabriel Aïnouz

Youtuber & Home Chef


Ramen, Pizza, Fried Rice, Meatballs, Croissant...  Alex loves food. He loves eating it and he loves making it. On his popular Youtube channel (formerly known as "frenchguycooking"), he posts obsessive video series about the foods he loves. He wrote a casual cookbook called "Alex, a French Guy, Cooking". Some recipes are French-inspired, but most aren't. He really likes the Pizza ones. Together with his favorite editor and food nerd Joshua, they co-host a podcast called "Food, But We Digress". He is also a regular contributor to Milk Street Radio Podcast.
Things he is proud of: Sticking with a very weird specific type of content that focuses on quality more than quantity, having passed 1.8 million subscribers on Youtube, winning a Shorty aw... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Knowing how to cook is like a superpower. It basically allows you to control what you eat, save some cash, care for the people you love, and finally, the most important one, eat better food. [NOISE] My name is Alex. You may have seen my work on YouTube where I've been making cooking videos for more than 10 years. Today in the kitchen I feel both confident and creative, but it hasn't always been the case. In fact, I started from zero, I did it the hard way, and I just practiced relentlessly each and every recipe. This class is an alternative. This is a primer on cooking. If you've never touched a chef knife or a saucepan, you're the perfect student. But if you have a little more experience, if you like to cook, then you might learn a thing or two in this class too. We're going to cover everything from the environment, look at how everything is set up to the tools you need obviously to cook. We're going to learn knife skills. We're going to learn about ingredients and how the meal never ends by wisely using the leftovers. Then we'll focus on heat, on cooking. Whether it's on the stove or the oven, your relationship with heat is very important. At the end of this class, we're going to combine everything that we've learned into mastering your recipe. This is a very hands-on, super-efficient, but quite playful way to learn how to cook. I think more than recipes, this class is more about learning how to have low confidence and be more inspired in the kitchen. That's going to be way more useful down the line. We're all set. Let's get cooking. 2. Think Like a Chef: [MUSIC] I want you to start on a sound basis. Let's rethink the learning in the kitchen. First things first, I want you to set up a real life goal, something super specific, something you can refer to when you need to. I'm going to give you an example. Mine is that I always wanted to be able to cook an omelet like my grandma did. This was my end goal. Now you need to find yours. For example, your goal could be to make a perfect bowl of ramen for yourself, to be able to wrap up a beautiful pasta dish for your lover. All like a friendly enconfiting casserole for your family. But you need one goal, something you can go back to. Once the goal is set, then the learning can begin. Once you've got a very specific dish in mind and that you have set your expectations, then you need to manage them because there's going to be a learning curve to mastering recipe. First, obviously you're going to start very high. It's called the beginner's luck. Beginner's luck happens because expectations are very low and that you are in a very humbled state, so you're paying a lot of attention to all the recipes, details, and instructions. As much as I like to break the rules, you need to practice the codes before you can improvise. Right after this success, usually things start to collapse. We start to getting looser when it comes to following the instructions. Also, the expectations are way higher, and that's just a recipe for failure. That's where the scheme you need at that moment is be forgiving to yourself. We've all been there. Failing is part of the journey. The fear of failure is something super real, is something that every aspiring cook experience at least once. It's basically connected to the waste of time, the waste of money, the waste of prime ingredients, and it's painful. At the end of the day, failure should only be an information, a data basically. It's just the information that this route does it well. Let me share with you a useful failure that I did. I've always been willing to cook eggs in the fastest way possible. With that in mind, I thought I should be using the microwave where the more you know eggs tend to explode in the microwave, that's something I've got in my notebook now and I'm not going to do this again. You see. During your journey you'll inevitably going to fail. It doesn't mean you have to stop. Today's project is to combine everything that you have going to learn in this class and to use it wisely in a recipe of yours. Please share photos of the skills you've learned and the recipes you've made following this class in the project gallery so that everybody can see them, we can all comment on it, and help each other. We've had our chef philosophy. You've got the mindset of a chef now, but we need to prepare the space. [MUSIC] 3. Prepare Your Space: [MUSIC] First things first, we need to talk about the space. Your kitchen doesn't have to be big, but it needs to be efficient. I like to be in the center of a triangle, the triangle formed by the sink, the stove and the workbench. On the workbench in the drawers, in the cupboard behind me, everything needs to be in its space and I need to be aware of everything. That's efficiency. Now let's talk about one of my favorite part in the kitchen, the tools you need and I'm talking about tools, not kitchen. This for example, my friends, this is a risotto spoon, and it's also a unitasker. It can only do one thing. Now, I can't afford to have unitaskers in my kitchen. I need my tools to be versatile, to be multitaskers. [NOISE] Right now I'm going to present you the essential tools you need to start cooking as soon as possible. Over the years I've been using tons of different tools and utensils but these are really the ones I would go to if I were to start again. Obviously, the first tool you need is a good, reliable chef knife. The blade should be from 8-9 inches and it should be pretty wide in order to allow for a good chopping motion without cutting your fingers. Then you need a good cutting board. I've got two options right here. A wooden one, which just feels a little better under the knife, but also a more practical one made out of plastic that goes into dishwasher. Just a quick word about dimension. They need to be at least 13 by 9 otherwise, everything is going to be cramped in the center and you're not going to be efficient. Next on your list, you've got the speed peeler. We're going to deal with loads of fresh ingredients and that's going to be super helpful. Also, think about a good box grater. This stuff is amazing, especially this one. It's a modern one with micro-plane on one side and the classic cheese grater on the other. We've covered the prep tools. Let's talk about cookware now. If you can only get two pans then these are your go to. You need a good non-stick frying pan but you also need a certainly the reliable saucepan. Now, this is going to be great for doing stuff ice, for doing omelets or cooking steak for example. This is going to be good for cooking rice, pasta or just heating up a sauce. Over the years as I got better and better at cooking, my tools got a little more specific and that's something you could be replicating at home. Think for example, instead of having a medium-size all around the fine pan, you could have a smaller one that's pretty light and where it's super easy to flip. Think of a buffered vessel for an omelet for example, but also a wider one. This one is made out of cast iron and it's going to perform amazingly when it comes to sealing. Same goes for the saucepan. Instead of a medium all around, you could go with a smaller one that's going to be a little better at reheating sauces and a bigger one that's going to perform better for pastas and rice. That was for pots and pans. Now unfortunately, the food is not going to flip itself. That's why you need a good spatula. This is the very best spatula in the universe. It's made out of silicone. It doesn't have a seam so it's super easy to clean and it's heat resistant. The only thing is that it might be a little too gentle to scrape the fond from the bottom of the skillets. That's why you might benefit from using also a flexible metal spatula. Now, on top of all of these, you're going to need a mixing bowl. I always go for the biggest one I can get, just because I hate spills and a good baking dish. It can be made out of metal or glass. It doesn't matter, it just needs to be big and to fit inside your oven. These are all super useful tools, but pretty standard. Now, I want to guide you through my personal selection, things. I've discovered the hard way over the years, things that make a world of difference. Now the first one is not the funniest one, but you cannot get any more useful than a medical kit, like a first aid kit. You might end up cutting yourself. That's part of the process, but also it sucks. Having this is going to be helpful. Next you want a notebook and a pen because whenever you're doing recipes, proportions not always work. You want to make sure that you keep track of all the improvement, all the customization that you went through. Super useful. This one you might not expect, it's clean wraps or pretty boring, but this is like the restaurant size, way more useful than the classic tiny version. Finally, there is the most underrated tool in the kitchen, the kitchen towel. There can't be anything interesting about these Alex wrong. This one is amazing. It's made out of linen. It has anti allergic properties, antibacterial properties, never stinks [NOISE] still fresh. Also it absorbs water brilliantly. This is everything you need to cook beautiful dishes. Now to store them, you might benefit from this one. This is my leftover kit, and it's composed of medium-sized containers. It's way more useful than bigger or smaller ones but versatile. Labeling system, just tape and a marker. Why? Well, basically you want to mark down the date at which you stored food in the fridge, the fringe is this way but you get my point. I think we've covered everything. Let's move on to ingredients. [MUSIC] 4. Gather Ingredients: [MUSIC] Just the way we were super organized when it came to tools, we need to replicate that with the pantry. The idea right here is to have some basic arsenal that could pull you out of any situation. Obviously, you don't have to stock up on everything, but this is just to inspire you. You can't improvise unless you have a solid base, this is our base. You've got different things going on right here. Let's start with oils and vinegar. Basically, you want red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar, or Heinz vinegar and then you've got your oils; extra virgin olive oil, which is great for finishing, but not so great for cooking and sealing and that's where peanut oil or any neutral oil will do wonders. Next step, cans and jars, you want to have a few cans, for example, canned tomatoes is amazing because you could be starting tomato sauce or making pizza with that stuff. Coconut milk, perfect for curries. Also fulfilling stuff like beans, chickpeas. I love having a jar or a can of anchovies because you could be using the oil which is super flavorful, but also the fillets where you start to sauce with them, you dissolve them in oil, and that adds tons of savoriness to dishes. You need some stock, it could be liquid or powder like this one. For curries, may they be Indian or Japanese, I always like to have some paste or powder that's ready to be incorporated in coconut milk for example. Then obviously if you're into deep frying or just breading, you could go a lot worse than using panko bread crumbs, these will change your deep frying game for sure. Next step, herbs and ******. As much as I love fresh herbs, they don't last for so long, so it's very useful to have a few dried option in your pantry. I don't do dried parsley or dry basil because I think you're losing the freshness. But with time, for example, oregano or even bay, then these dried version will do just fine. I do love my ****** very much, but I'm thinking to make it easier for someone who's starting in the kitchen, please go and buy some spice mixes. They're way more versatile and they're rounder than specific ******. I've got a little selection right here. This is a couscous mix, so it's mostly cumin, but it has a spicy North-African vibe to it. Then I've got my chili mix, this is almost some cayenne, but it's rounded with a bit of garlic and other ******. Then obviously I've got my quatre epice, which is like the French go to for stocks and broth. It's pretty balanced like nutmeg and cinnamon and cloves, it gives a round feeling to dishes. Then I've got my five ******, which will give an unmistakable Chinese flavor to your stuff fries. Right here, I've got few other things that I need to mention, obviously salt and pepper. I tend to have two different types of salt, a salt for seasoning that would be Kosher salt but also if you can afford it, like some finishing salt. Something that is crispy and light, that would change the visual of your dishes, black pepper. Then I've got two garnish that I really like and these are chili flakes and sesame seeds. These two will just change the visual of any dish. You will just trigger some interest at the end. Next step is wrappers, I absolutely adore these. These are just so versatile, so I've got some rice paper, I've got some tortilla, and I've got some gnarly seaweed sheets. Even though these three wrappers look very different than they are, they are used for the same purpose. Make good use of leftovers. For this, you will make amazing burritos, spinghers and these will turn anything into sushi. Then you've got pasta in my pantry at all times, I make sure to have different shapes of pasta. I need one long, one short, and one tiny pasta. First one for runny sauces, chunky sauces for medium sized pasta, and then for soups and broth, this is where the tiny pasta comes in very handy. Quick side note about rice and pasta, when you buy them, it's no time to be cheap. This is my favorite item to splurge on because basically you don't change the pie so much, but there's a drastic improvement in quality. Besides rice and pasta, I obviously have a few other options, just to diversify my diet. I'm thinking quinoa, or beequate for example, corn meal or even lentils. I've always got some nuts in my pantry. These are pistachio, hazelnuts and I've also got some almonds. They will bring some couch to any recipe. Cooking is all about balance, seasoning sometimes need to be softened with sweeteners. I'm thinking about honey, I use liquid honey because it's usually easier to incorporate it in recipes. I've got some maple syrup right here, obviously some white sugar which you have to use sparingly and some brown sugar. Last, your pantry needs produce garlic, shallots, onions, ginger, leeks, lemon, limes potatoes, artichoke, [inaudible] these get a tough skin, so they are able to withstand being out of the fridge for longer periods. I feel like we've covered the cooking pantry extensively, let's just move on to the fridge selection. These are the sauces and condiments you need to have in your fridge. Barbecue sauce, ketchup, mayo, mustard, tabasco or any hot sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce. I'm thinking about these in terms of accent. This is going to bring some smokiness, this is tenge and tomaroy, this is like heat and cream, this is more like creamy and eggy, this is just pure heat, and these are just pure salty savoriness. These are these are the dairies you need in your fridge, full fat milk, butter. I'm going salted butter because I'm French, but you don't have to. Some good quality full fat yogurt and obviously a few eggs. Now whenever I'm looking at an ingredient, I'm also thinking about how I could be using it. Milk would be a solid base for any white sauce, but also it's going to dilute without diminishing the richness of a dish. Yogurt is going to add some creaminess, but also some pink. Eggs, they're definitely going to bind things together when you cook with them, and finally, butter is a good alternative to oil when you need to cook, but add a bit more personality to a specific dish. When it comes to cheeses in your fridge, you need to have at least two options. The first one is like a filler, it's mild melting cheese. This is going to be perfect for casserole, for example. The second option is a dryer, sharper one, and this is going to be great for finishing. I'm thinking about pamidiano opaquino, pickles. Pickles have to be used sparingly when it comes to cooking at least. These capers will add some brightness, some tenderness, but also some bitterness to pasta dishes for example. When it comes to gherkins, yes, I can use them in salad, chopped up. But also I love using the liquid because it's so flavorful. This is a perfect base for any dressing. Now in my fridge, I tend not to stock up too much on proteins because they tend to go bad quite rapidly, but I would say that I would have a beef option like steak, this is some ribeye and also chicken. When it comes to fresh herb, I always make sure to have a few options in my fridge. I'm thinking chives, parsley, coriander, and even dill. These will just brighten and turn any basic random boring plate into an amazing, beautiful vibrant dish. To keep them in the fridge, I usually wrap them in paper towel pretty tight, this way I'm able to keep them for a few days. Finally, you must have vegetables in your fridge. Together with protein and carbs, vegetables needs to be one of the foundation of your cooking. When it comes to cooking, a freezer is a great ally. In my freezer, I've got some protein, I've got some thick bacon slices which I use for stocks and stews. I've got some ground beef at all time. This is great if you want to make bolognese sauce, ragu or you want to make burgers for example. Besides the pork and the beef, it's great to have some seafood in the freezer. I always have a few shrimps just because they do amazing curries. I always make sure to have a few pizza dose and some pie crusts ready to go. Finally, I've got some frozen vegetables in my freezer, I've got some peas and some green beans, just because these should never be bought in cans. Pantry fridge freezer, I think we've covered ingredients pretty extensively, let's switch to knife skills. [MUSIC] 5. Knife Skills: Now I want to talk about knife skills, but before we do that, there are two things you need, absolutely required. First, a sharp knife. Sharp knife goes where you want, dull knife goes where it wants. Then you need a stable workshop phase. In this case, I've placed a wet paper towel under my cutting board so it doesn't go anywhere. [NOISE] First get the rough cut very useful for stews and mash. Just because it's a rough cut, it doesn't mean you have to be careless about this. In fact, let me show you how things need to be cut in the kitchen, starting with the holding hands. The holding hands should have the fingers curled in so that you don't cut them. Now the cutting hand shouldn't be holding the knife by the handle. You should be pinching the blade using your thumb and your index. That's how you get a very stable cut. This is called the pinch grip by the way. Then you would place that blade on the knickers of your holding hand and that would serve as a guide to move the blade up and down. This way, the movement is going to be safe and you're not going to cut yourself. Then cut. [NOISE] I mentioned using a wide blade is useful also for this because when you shovel food out of the cutting board then a wide blade is going to perform better. Let's move on to the slice cut. You see this is a perfect example of what not to do. Food needs to be stable on the cutting board, meaning that you need to first trim a side in order for it not to move anymore. [NOISE] You can adjust the thickness of your slices by moving your fingers towards the cut or just away from it. [NOISE] We've done slices. Let's move on to strips. For this, I'm going to use a carrot. It's a little trickier to work with than zucchini we just use basically because it's a little harder. You have to be careful with this one. That is why I just created a flat side on it. It's not going anywhere. [NOISE] The beginning is the same you make a few slices, but then you stack them up and you turn them into strips. You don't have to go fast. But it is something I've seen in loads of movies where chefs go super fast, you don't have to do this. This is home cooking. These trips would be amazing for any stuff eyes, but also there will be a great base for making dices afterwards. It goes from slices to strips and then to dices. When you've got strips, you turn them 90 degrees and you cut them to get dices. [NOISE] Now having small dices like this is amazing because they're going to cook pretty fast. That would be a solid base of a bolognese source, for example, if you pair them with onions and celery. Next I want to cover up the special case of the onion. This item is so common in the kitchen. It has a dedicated knife. First you want to slice it in half, and you work on each half separately. You're going to make a few cuts vertically like this, but you don't want to go all the way through. You still want to be attached to the root. Cool. I did the vertical cuts. Then chef tends to do a few horizontal cuts. I think that pretty useless since the union is just layers on layers. You turn the onion 90 degrees. You do the claw grip again. You protect your fingers always, and then you do vertical cuts again. [NOISE] This is a critical moment. The food you could always needs to be stable. Now, a narrow base, combined with a total dimension basically doesn't scream for stability. What you do, you flip it on inside, then it's stable again. It's like magic. Then you've beat, [NOISE] then you're left with this. This is how you chop an onion. I've shown rough cuts and final cut. I also need to show you how to deal with super delicate stuff. Herbs is a perfect example of that. They are very fragile, very fresh, very delicate, and they should be treated with respect and care. I would pick a few leaves like this, then I would stack them up, roll them a bit like a cigar. Then the motion of the blade is very important because if you go up and down, you're most likely going to be bruising the leaves. You're going to see that because there's going to be a pool of green juices at the bottom. What you want to do instead is doing some slides, some long slices. It goes like this. The tip of the blade can remain in contact with the board. This is how you cut herbs the right way. Now, I wasn't very careful for one specific reason. This is used for finishing touches. You want to sprinkle these top of a beautiful pasta dish, for example, and that's why you want them to be intact. Now you know how to use a knife, the good and safe way. Next step, let's understand all the different ways to use heat [MUSIC] 6. Understand Heat: [MUSIC] Understanding heat is an essential part of your cooking journey. Now, I know three main sources of heat. It would be the stove, the oven, or the microwave. Now, the stove is the fastest one. You need to know that not all frying pans have been created equal. This is an aluminum core one. It's almost as reactive as copper, which is used by chef. Now, you could go cabin steel or cast iron, but I would stay with on stainless just because it sees way less reactive to changes in heat. As much as I loved this liters spatula, there is something even faster when it comes to stirring the food inside the pan, that would be just flipping it. Most frying pans have hot and cold spots. It means that food is not always going to be cooking evenly unless you flip it because then you redistribute the food even inside the pan. Everything cooks evenly then. Obviously, for a chef, you're looking for aggressive, hot, powerful heat, but let me show you something that requires a bit more control. I'm going to be cooking a fillet of salmon just to show you how heat travels through food. [NOISE] At the moment, this is on medium, low and it's going to stay like this the whole cooking process. Whenever you're dropping food in hot oil make sure that it's really dry. Ideally, you want to pat dry the meat or fish before you place it in the pan. Otherwise, it's going to sprinkle everywhere. Salmon is a very delicate food. That's why I'm going medium-low heat. The idea is to get in the end, a texture that is just flaking away. Besides being the fastest cooking on the stove has another amazing benefit, you can see the food. You'll able to react to whatever is happening in front of you. I can tell if that's going to burn or if it's dragging its feet, and then I can take action. Right here, you can see that the heat is traveling up, coming from the stove and then reaching the surface of the salmon. Basically, it's going to create a play of texture. Were the bottom is going to be really crispy, then this first layer is going to be a little more cooked, and the last one is going to be a bit more moist. Not raw, but borderline. I reckon we're 90 percent done, it's time to flip it. Let me be super careful with this. [LAUGHTER] The skin is really crispy. It's going to be a joy to eat afterwards. Once the salmon is done, you want to put it aside and place it on paper towel. Now, this is a pretty big piece, but don't worry because we'll make good use of any leftovers. Now that you've witnessed the power of the stove, let's switch to the oven. The oven might not be the fastest or like the easiest because you can't exactly see what's going on on the inside, but it's definitely the most lazy option. You don't have to do anything. With the stove, the heat comes from underneath, but in the oven, heat is even, it's coming from everywhere. One of my favorite way to make good use of that heat is to put a few vegetables, root vegetables in a baking tray and leave them for a half an hour at a standard temperature like 360 degrees Fahrenheit. That is exactly what I've been doing earlier. Look at this. Thirty minutes of me dealing with the kids or whatever I want, and this is ready. Beautifully caramelized vegetables. We've covered the stove and the oven, but something a little less usual for cooks is the use of the microwave. We all know how to use it to reheat stuff, but it is great for cooking too. The microwave can do things the oven and the stove can't even dream of. For example, cooking an up to choke in under 10 minutes. Or like I'm doing at the moment, making mash in about 8-10 minutes. Now, these potatoes have been cooking in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes and they are done. That's how fast you can get with the microwave. I'm going to use them and make amazing mash. [NOISE] I know it can sound a little crazy to be using the microwave for cooking purposes, but I have seen Michelin star chef do that. If it's good for them, it's good for us. Now, all you need to turn these potatoes into mash is a bit of milk and a touch of butter, [NOISE] a bit of salt, a bit of pepper. This is a mash in under 10 minutes. Nothing can beat that. [MUSIC] Hopefully by now you have a much better understanding of heat like the stove, the oven, the microwave. With these three, we've been able to cook a lot of food, which leads me to my next point. You need to learn how to deal with leftovers. 7. Create with Leftovers: [MUSIC] You cannot call yourself a cook if you don't know how to deal with leftovers. I know that for many leftovers could be boring, and that's probably the case if you just reheat them in the microwave. In my eyes, leftovers are like the perfect way to show your creativity. Because you need to add things, you need to transform them in order to make them exciting again. Making sure to incorporate leftovers when you're preparing new dishes is part of what I call the endless meal philosophy. Always a bit of the previous meal into the new one. This way, no waste. Keep in mind that when you're pulling leftovers out of the fridge, they're going to be cold, they're going to be soft, and they're going to be blend. We're going to be working around these by bringing some tang, some freshness. Think about what a dressing, for example, for a freshness. Think about herbs. You're also going to bring new flavor, so think about ******. Maybe you could pick to your leftover food as just like a sleep, we need to wake it up. Whenever you think of leftovers, freshness is not the word that comes to mind, and that's why I picked spring hoarse, because I want that dish to be like a slap in the face basically. First off, I'm going to be working on salmon. Salmon is great, there's a good flavor, it is soft, but it's like in the tank, it's like in the brightness. That is exactly what we're going to try to counter by making a pungent, vibrant, bright Asian inspired dressing. I'm going to start with a bit oil. Then I'm going to go heavy on lime. With oil and lime, I've got a base for my dressing, but now it needs attitude. Let's bring in some salt, a bit of pepper. Like a bit of sweet. Now, remember guys, in your pantry, you need to have a few sweeteners. For this one, I'm going to use a touch of honey. Then I need to amp up the flavor, so I'm going to go soy sauce. To push it even further, I'm going to go ginger. I love ginger. A bit of garlic, just a touch, not too much. That's going to be it. Give it a shake. [NOISE] Now, I've got my two big mixing bowl, I'm going to drop the salmon leftovers in there, and I'm going to use half the sauce just to coat all the pieces nicely. We are basically saving these leftovers. We're bringing them back to life. Both of these leftovers are coming straight out of the fridge. I have done nothing to them, so they're still very cold. Have a little taste. I'm looking for salt. I got it. I'm looking for sweetness, sure, and then I'm looking for accent like garlic, ginger, soy. It's all good. If not, I can always slightly adjust it. Let me soak this rice paper super quick to get it soft. I mean rappels, tortilla, nori sheets, rice paper, they're just the best for dealing with leftovers, told you. You want to place it on the edge of the board and then we're going to fill it up. Now, usually you would use rice noodle for that. I don't have rice noodles, but I've got Italian pasta. They look like noodles to me. I'm just going to add a bit in the center, not too much. I'm going to go with some white cabbage, a bit of green, so some herbs inside. Now, I want to top it up with some brightened salt salmon. I'll go like this. Again, not too much. A bit more fresh ginger. A bit of chive. A bit of crisp with sesame seeds. Time to wrap it up. Do it slow. There you go. Go back. Plate some tension, that's where the noodles are really handy. I've got some splint on them. Fold sides, make it tight. Then to make it pretty, I'm just adding a leaf of basal just because presentation matters. There you go. That's a nice spring hole right here. Nobody is going to know that you made that with leftovers. Let me show you another example using the same principle, but for a completely different dish. These are roasted vegetables that have been keeping in the fridge. You don't want this. This is soft, this is cold. Now, you want something lively, something bright. I'm thinking Italian vibe. Sometimes in Italian antipasti, you've got some roasted veg. That's where I'm going. Let me just add a few of these. I'm going to build the base of my dish. Now, these roasted camelized vegetables are plenty comforting enough. I want to bring some freshness to the game. Tomatoes. I'm going to go with a few cherry tomatoes. Then I'm going to use also a big one. Just for a change in terms of dimensions, shapes, I don't want anything that is too perfect in terms of cut. That's why I am doing the half cut, remember that. This is already starting to look like something. Keeping on with the theme of antipasti Italian vibe, I'm going to go with basal, Pecorino cheese, and maybe a little of this. The speed peeler which is part of my essential cooking kit, can be used in many different ways. A good example is that you can just do strips with it like this. Then I could roll them up maybe and just stick them. The idea by doing this is not to be fancy, but more like to create different textures on the plate. Then I'm thinking colors because remember people feast with their eyes first. I'm going to go with whole leaves of basal, small ones, big ones. I like a dish that is charming irregular. There you go. At the moment I'm using Pecorino cheese because this is what I've got. But if you've got mozzarella cheese, if you've got like Parmigiano, be my guest. A few olives, big ones, small ones, that's starting to look good. Don't forget the seasoning, a bit of salt, a bit of pepper. Now, I'm thinking a bit of crunch with hazelnuts, if you've got pine nuts, I mean, that's even better. But if you've got almonds, cashew nuts, they're all going to work basically. As long as they bring the crunch we need, the crunch that these vegetables are lacking. Go like this. I'd say that the finishing touch on this is just the result of olive oil and a few drops of balsamic. You see that's a very easy way to treat leftovers. Next step, I want to combine everything we've learned so far and make great omelets. Sounds simple, it requires a little practice. [MUSIC] 8. Cook: Omelet : This is the leap of faith. This is where we see if we can remember everything we've learned so far whether techniques and the ingredients. We're making an omelet. Now you know the importance of ingredients. You need prime organic [NOISE] eggs. I used four eggs for this size of pan which is a nine inch frying pan and that is just the perfect combo to get the shape, plump but also pointy on the plate. Exile in, I'm just adding a bit of salt. I'm not going to add any pepper because otherwise, this is going to tarnish the color more or less. I'm going to brighten this with a bit of herbs. These herbs have been cut super thinly using the technique I've shown you earlier. At this stage, the idea is not whisk it and to incorporate egg air it. What I'm trying to do right now is to get rid of any lumps. Cooking the omelet is an act of bravery because you want to go on high heat. That's pretty scary, but that's how it goes. If you cooking on low, you will have no contrast in terms of texture. Like you won't have that beautiful form outside almost like a skin, very delicate skin and then fluffy inside. No way if you go low heat, so high heat, you're going to get it to the right temperature before you add any fat. I used a mixture of oil and butter. Don't be shy on these. Was about to say life but these are flavor carrier. These are making the dish way richer and way more comforting in the end. The marker to know if the pan is at the right temperature to cook the omelet is when you drop the eggs in, it should season nicely. If you've got no sounds, that's not good. Drop it in. That's perfect. Then the movement is this. The stirring hand does circle, takes a bit of time to master. This is something I've been practicing and I'm not kidding. Every lunch for about six months. Do you see how it's fluffing up? The eggs are mixing in with the fat and it's incorporating and combining into something new. You can't master the omelet right away. It's almost impossible, but this is the practice element. Now I'm going to add a few leftovers. I've got some bacon leftovers and a bit of cheese for added richness. [NOISE] I'm flipping the omelet onto itself very gently. I'm trying to create a dark moon shape. This is made all very easy because I'm using a non-stick pan. Now, the omelet goes over the edge. I'm folding it backwards. I'm trying to stick it to itself. Now, you need to understand this is by no mean the French classic condition omelet, this is more a rustic one. The one you would do at home, still is perfectly fine. In fact, I like the bounding a bit more on these. Once you feel like the omelet is ready, which is right now, [NOISE] you want to flip it upside down into a plate. Go like this and then gently like this. [NOISE] A little herbs on it to make it a little fancy. People feast with their eyes first, little chive, this goes a long way. That is how you wrap up a beautiful omelet and validate all the skills you've learned at the same time. [MUSIC] 9. Cook: Steak & Sauce: [MUSIC] Cooking a steak uses so many different skills and things that we've learned in this class. I'm going to show you how to do it right. So first things first, remember the importance of the raw ingredients. This is a prime cut of beef and this is going to be the base of all the dish. Now, you want to season that steak heavily with salt on both sides. I'm going to season it with pepper because the pan sauce is going to have loads of pepper in it. I'm going to drizzle that up with a bit of olive oil. Now you want to place this in a pan that is ripping hot. This one is made out of cast iron and it's going to perform amazingly, when it comes to sealing. Two things to keep in mind. First off, get the steak at room temperature before you start cooking. Otherwise, it's going to be impossible to get it medium-rare. Second, I'm oiling the stake, not the pan, because otherwise, the oil would smoke, that's not great. If we do not hear searing sound, that's bad news. [NOISE]Good news. [NOISE] Make sure that the stake is in full contact with the stove. Remember, with a stove, heat comes from underneath. So you want to maximize the contact [NOISE]. Cooking a stake right, means having a crust on both sides, but still having a center of that is pretty moist and medium-rare. You can only achieve that if you use a thick piece of stake. Otherwise, with a thin one is going to cook too rapidly, and the whole thing will be well-done. I usually flip that stake, when I've got a nice cussed on the other side. [NOISE] Let me check. Yeah, that's good, that's what you're looking for. Meats and how to get it done right, was always something that was bothering to me okay. I never knew when to flip the stake, I never knew went to stop the cooking process. Well, now I've got a cool trick to share with you. You basically press the meat gently, and then you try to find the similarity with this. You pinch your index and your thumb, and then you touch that part. This is rare. This is medium-rare. This is medium, gets harder, and this is no, no. This is well done. I'm looking for this one, so soft, but with a bit of bounce back. [NOISE] We're almost there. Because of the level of the heat, I can also add a bit of butter on now and it's not going to burn. [NOISE] I'm going to go with a bit of time. I'm going to angle the pan, and base the stake with melted butter that has been infused, with time. Even the sound of this, this flavor food. I think we've done so, let me put this aside and I'm going to let the stake rest, the juices, am going to redistribute through the meat. This is going to give us some time to work on the pan sauce. [NOISE] Now, this has done its job, it's done. Before we wrap up the pan sauce let me stop for a second, and specify something super important, about what's in front of us. In the pan at the moment I've got some fat which I'm going to have to discard, because it is spent. But also I've got some caramelized bits from cooking the meat. This is gold, okay, this is the absolute best starter for our sauce. That means degrees depends super quick, and I'll take it from here. Right now I'm sitting the heat to medium low because I'm about to toast the peppercorns that I've cached earlier on, and if you go too far you're going to burn them. Burning them means there's going to be a bitter flavor in the end, you don't want that. What I want from them is only the big pieces. The powder would instantly build. You always toast the ****** you want to use. That's just revealing their flavor. The smell here is just like [NOISE], so much more complex than just peppercorn. The black peppercorns have been toasted nicely. Now it's time to deglaze the pan and that just means, releasing all these sticky cammerized bits from the bottom, and incorporating them down the line in the sauce. It's just a flavor. [NOISE]. Bits goes in. [NOISE]. Now you really want to scrape the bottom of the pan, unleash these bits and pieces [NOISE]. What we're doing at the moment is really something simple yet very powerful. We're building layers in this sauce. The first one is the beef. Then you've got some surrounding flavor of brandy, the peppercorn is like the head of that smell. Right now I'm bringing the stock plus the brandy to a boil, and I'm just reducing their volume by half. This way, I'm also concentrating that sauce. [NOISE] I think we're getting there. [NOISE] By reducing the liquid inside the pan, we are doing a few things. First off, we are concentrating the flavors, but also with changing the texture. As it reduces, the sauce gets thicker. Even the color is changing, it's getting darker and darker. You see that pan sauce is ready. Now, you remember guys, I was really gentle with it in terms of heat. I went like medium-low, almost low on it well for stake. When searing it, I went super hot. You have to adjust the heat depending on which food you are cooking. So much love and care went into that sauce, and I think guest at the table they're going to feel it. If the guest is you, you're going to fill it. The stake and the pan sauce are done. Now you drop a little left of a mash on the side the one that I did in microwave. You've got a beautiful meal. [MUSIC] 10. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] You made it till the end of the class and I am really proud of you. Look at everything we've achieved. Behind all these dishes, stand great learnings. Now you understand heat, you understand how to organize your kitchen, how to get the right tool for the right job. We've covered the fundamentals of cooking. Now, I believe you've got the confidence and the inspiration to start cooking yourself. I feel like I've done my share of the work, now, I'm going to hand the keys to you, it's your time to work. It's your time to come up with your own recipes. It's your time to use this inspiration and create your own dishes. Once you do that, you want to post them in the project gallery so that everybody can see them, we can all comment on it. We can all improve ourselves and help each other. Thank you so much for watching this class. Now, I've been cooking all day, I'm spent. I'm going to take a bit of this, a bit of that and a bit of this, and a big glass of wine, like two hands basically. See you. Bye. [MUSIC]