Top chefs reveal their cooking secrets

Neil Perry's chicken cacciatore.
Neil Perry's chicken cacciatore. Photo: William Meppem

Neil Perry


1. The main difference between professional and home cooks is seasoning. If you learn to properly season with salt, you get food with great flavour.

2. Buy the best ingredients you can afford - the quality of the result is directly related to the quality you put in the dish.

3. Focus on never overcooking seafood. It will dazzle your friends.

4. Take notes on the dishes you cook - time, temperature and result - and next time use those to improve what you cook. It's about learning from mistakes, no matter how small or large.


Karen Martini

Karen Martini



1. Read your recipes in their entirety to properly understand the method. Be organised, use sharp knives and work cleanly – which admittedly I sometimes struggle to do!
2. Don’t be afraid to use salt, spice and sugar as specified. This is so important, and can be the difference between a ‘flat’ dish and one that really sings. Always taste as you cook, and learn to trust your palate.
3. Learn how to handle high heats on the stovetop to seal, sear and caramelise properly, and make sure you use the right pan or dish for what, and how, you’re cooking – it can mean the difference between golden and perfectly cooked, and stewed and overcooked.


Roast pumpkin soup with Thai flavours and young coconut

Pete Evans

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