New research has revealed the top 50 signs of culinary expertise.
Having the ability to rustle up anything from scratch topped the list followed by been willing to experiment and try all foods and ingredients when cooking at home and being happy to prepare food in front of guests.
In an age when food waste is becoming such a prominent issue, it will come as some relief that people judge the best home cooks to be the ones who can whip a meal together out of nothing. With most people living with a local supermarket within a stone’s throw old-age cellar clean outs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but in many ways they show the most culinary expertise.
Other signs that you are a class act in the kitchen include always being able to whip something up when there’s virtually nothing in the cupboard, which chimes to the same beat. It’s all good preparing a meal when there’s a veritable smorgasbord of ingredients in front of you, but been able create a dish from practically nothing really shows off your prowess.
And on the subject of kitchen quandaries, been able to time all the elements of a roast dinner also ranked highly on the top 50 list. Timing a full English breakfast could quite easily be in there too.
A spokesman for Circulon, which conducted the research said: “It has been very insightful to discover what makes the average consumer tick, and what categorises them as a ‘good cook’.
“Proficient home cooks tend to be those who are confident about preparing food in front of others, and who are knowledgeable about their food, cookware and kitchen equipment.
“It’s been fascinating to uncover just how many people class themselves as relatively good at cooking – the rise of cookery programmes and the increased popularity of sharing food on social media has influenced Britain’s love of food and desire to cook.”
The top 50 indicators of culinary expertise also included always trying a new dish when eating out, and owning top quality cookware.
Confident cooks also know the correct wine to pair with meats and fish, know which foods go well together and are happy preparing meals in front of guests.
Rustling up a roast for mum, rather than relying on her for sumptuous Sunday dinners also proves you can stand the heat in the kitchen.
It also emerged two in three Brits have been labelled a ‘good cook’, with 54 per cent happy to try attempt an extravagant new dish when friends are coming over.
The spokesman for Circulon continues: “Carrying out this research has enabled us to fully appreciate our customers’ needs in the kitchen, whilst recognising their ability, confidence and approach to home cooking.
“Our findings have informed and influenced key elements in the development of future cookware ranges, with customer buying habits and usability in mind.”
TOP 50 SIGNS OF A GOOD COOK
1. Can rustle up anything from scratch
2. Loving to eat as well as cook
3. Willing to experiment and try all foods and ingredients when cooking at home
4. Being happy to prepare food in front of guests
5. Always being able to whip something up when there’s virtually nothing in the cupboard
6. When making a roast dinner everything finishes cooking at the same time
7. Can identify certain herbs from appearance
8. Can throw things together knowing that the different combinations (of various foods, herbs, spices) will go together and taste fab
9. Experiments with dishes by adding a twist on classics
10. Experimenting with recipes more than once a week
11. Being able to laugh if things go wrong in the kitchen
12. Can identify herbs and spices by the taste
13. Knowing what herbs go in each dishes
14. Can chop things really finely, safely
15. Always have eggs and milk in the fridge
16. Home-makes all condiments and sauces
17. Owning a spice rack
18. Always the one people go to for cooking tips
19. Knows what every utensil in the kitchen does
20. Have a very well stocked pantry with all kinds of ingredients, i.e.: masala leaves, curry powder, mustard seeds, different types of oils: olive, avocado, roasted sesame seed, peanut, truffle, canola
21. Doesn’t need Oxo to make gravy
22. Will offer for extra people to stay to dinner at a moment’s notice
23. Rarely eat takeaways
24. Knows exactly how long to cook a perfectly poached egg
25. Knows how to peel fruit and veggies most efficiently
26. Knowing and practicing cooking terms like: ‘Al dente’, broil, blanch, clarify, deglaze, flambé, gratin, etc.
27. Always wanting to try a new dish when eating out
28. Being able to guess what is in a dish just from the taste
29. Never needing to use a cookbook
30. Always the designated cook for large family gatherings
31. Know when a cake is done without having to stick a cocktail stick in it a hundred times
32. Knowing measurements without having to actually measure
33. Owns good quality cook-ware
34. Writes a detailed list for the food shop
35. Knowing which wine to pair with certain meat or fish
36. Owning a full set of herbs/spices
37. Enjoying a messy kitchen
38. Don’t need a timer
39. Understanding what all the symbols on the oven mean
40. Can chop an onion in seconds
41. Being able to cook steaks perfectly using the thumb technique
42. Can always add in just the right
43. Knowing what ‘Bain Marie’ is and having the perfect pans for it
44. Knowing the correct pronunciation of unusual or exotic foods
45. Knowing which wine to drink with meat
46. Can flip a pancake perfectly
47. Knows how to prepare celeriac
48. Mum goes round for Sunday dinner rather than the other way round
49. Always read food magazines
50. Owns set of fancy knives