Chefs dish on the worst mistakes you can make in the kitchen

 mess on counter

Everyone makes mistakes in the kitchen. There are some things you may not be able to avoid, but many errors are completely preventable. The Independent recently quizzed a number of chefs to find out which mistakes they see most often, and which ones really raise their hackles.

One of the most grievous errors is wasting food. Buying more than is needed and wasting the surplus. Tilesh Chudasama, founder and chef at an Indian street food restaurant in London says that instead, chefs and home cooks alike  can avoid waste by following a few simple mantras: “buy less, freeze surplus, share it, take a doggy bag, use the leftovers, give it to someone who needs it, make compost. Just don’t throw it away!”

Poor organization is another common complaint. Chefs suggest taking a few minutes before you start cooking to give yourself a rough timeline of how the dish should proceed. Many chefs reported being frustrated by cooks who don’t promptly clean up any messes. You should be cleaning as you go, and never leave a mess for someone else to deal with.

Another practice that some chefs feel is a mistake is to follow a recipe too closely. Chef Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle says people should stop “thinking it’ll all go wrong if they don’t have the right type of parsley or the right leek. Aside from pastry and baking, recipes are there to be tweaked, changed and evolved – that’s the fun part of cooking.”

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