15 Culinary Secrets Chefs Like Gordon Ramsay Use

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Cooking is an art that transforms raw ingredients into delightful culinary experiences, and professional chefs are the masters of this craft. Behind the tantalizing flavors and perfect presentations in top restaurants lies a wealth of knowledge and techniques chefs have honed over years of experience. These culinary secrets distinguish between a good meal and a culinary masterpiece. Here are 15 such secrets professional chefs hold to heart.



Professional chefs often use a mise en place approach, which means having everything in place before starting to cook. This involves prepping all ingredients, measuring spices, and arranging tools beforehand. It helps maintain a smooth workflow and ensures that nothing is forgotten during the cooking process, which helps them focus on the cooking itself, reducing stress and mistakes.

Heat Is An Ally


High heat helps develop a deep, flavorful crust on meats and gives vegetables a nice char while keeping them crisp-tender. Chefs understand this insider secret. They know It’s important to let the pan get hot before adding ingredients and to avoid overcrowding, which can cause food to steam instead of sear. 

Season in Stages


Seasoning at different stages of cooking is a technique chefs use to build layers of flavor. Instead of adding all the salt at once, they season in stages—during the initial cooking, while adding ingredients, and then at the end to adjust the final taste. For instance, they might start by sautéing aromatics like garlic to create a flavorful base, then gradually add spices, herbs, and other ingredients.

Acids Come In Handy

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What comes to mind when you hear acid?  Ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or even a splash of wine all pass for acids and can irradiate a dish and balance out rich, heavy flavors. A dish that tastes flat or overly rich can often be transformed with just a touch of these acids. Chefs often finish dishes with this freshness to add a spring to the taste.

Compound butter


Compound butter is simply butter mixed with various flavorings, such as herbs, spices, garlic, citrus zest, or even cheese. Chefs prepare these kinds of butter in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together. They can be added to sauces, melted over grilled meats or vegetables, or used as a spread. The fat in the butter soaks in the flavors and disperses them evenly to add richness to the dish.

Resting Time


After cooking, particularly with meats, chefs allow the food to rest before serving. Called the resting period, this resting period lets the juices settle in throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful bite. Cutting into meat immediately after cooking can cause the juices to run out, leading to a dry and less appetizing dish.


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Deglazing is another professional technique that adds depth to sauces and gravies. After searing meat or sautéing vegetables, chefs often deglaze the pan by adding a liquid such as wine, broth, or even water. This process loosens and dissolves the browned bits stuck to the the pan, known as fond. These caramelized bits are packed with flavor and form the foundation of many delicious sauces. 

Temperature Manipulation


Professional chefs understand the importance of “temperature control” for ingredients and cooking equipment. They know that different ingredients and dishes require precise temperatures to achieve the best results. For instance, they might use a lower temperature for slow-cooking a stew to tenderize tough cuts of meat while using high heat for searing or sautéing.


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Brining entails soaking meat in a solution of water, salt, and sometimes sugar or other flavorings. The salt in the brine acts to help the meat trap moisture during cooking, making it more tender and flavorful. Chefs might add herbs, spices, or citrus to the brine for additional flavor. 

Reverse Searing is a thing.


For cooking thick cuts of meat, chefs use a hack. Instead of searing the meat first and then cooking it in the oven, chefs do the opposite. They slowly cook the meat at a low temperature until it is nearly done, then sear it in a pre-heated pan or on a grill to develop a flavorful crust. 

Blanching and Shocking

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To give vegetables like green beans, asparagus, and broccoli a bright and crisp finish, chefs often use a technique called “blanching and shocking”. Blanching involves briefly boiling vegetables until they are partially cooked, then quickly plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This locks in color and flavor, resulting in a bright and crisp vegetable


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The practice of “confiting” is a classic technique chefs use to cook meats slowly in their own fat. Traditionally used for duck, confit involves cooking the meat on low heat for a stretched periodof time, resulting in incredibly tender and flavorful meat. The meat is typically seasoned and then submerged in fat before being cooked gently until it is meltingly tender.



Umami, revered as the fifth taste, is a savory, meaty flavor that can be achieved through ingredients like soy sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, aged cheeses, and fermented products. Chefs might use techniques like reducing sauces to concentrate umami flavors or incorporating ingredients rich in glutamates to create dishes with a deep and satisfying flavor profile.

Using Fresh Herbs


While dried and powdered herbs are the most common forms of herbs, fresh herbs add a burst of flavor, color, and aroma to dishes, making them a constant in professional kitchens. Fresh herbs at the end of cooking, infused in butter or garnish, maintains a dish’s vibrant flavors and visual appeal. Herbs like parsley, cilantro, and chives are often sprinkled on dishes just before serving.

Layering Textures


Texture adds a defining role to the overall dining experience, and chefs enhance dishes by combining different textures to create a more engaging and satisfying meal. For example, a smooth soup might be topped with crunchy croutons. Creamy elements like purees add a luscious, smooth texture that balances crispy or chewy components. Chefs often use different cooking methods, such as roasting, frying, grilling, and pureeing, to blend textures harmoniously in each bite.


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