Looking to step up your skills in the kitchen? For starters, award-winning Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio says to be a better cook, "you have to cook." In a recent interview with Business Insider Colicchio revealed some sage wisdom to help you reach your top chef potential. Here are three common mistakes that could be holding you back in the kitchen (and how to fix them).
You're Not Cooking Enough
Like anything else, you need to practice (a lot) before you'll see improvement. Colicchio suspects that most people who feel they are not good cooks probably don't cook very often. "It's muscle memory. It's about creating good habits and learning good solid technique and methods," he says.
You're Forgetting the Basics
According to Colicchio, most of those intimidating cooking tools you see in the kitchen aisle are unnecessary—all you need is a sharp knife. "Getting comfortable with a knife is really important. Not just for speed but for precision as well." Find a solid chef's knife, and spend some time practicing your skills. Colicchio says he learned his knife skills by cutting celery for practice when he was young.
You're Too Focused On Following Recipes
"A recipe's a guideline," Colicchio says. He advises you to think of a recipe as a "starting point" that you can improvise off of. Don't worry if you are missing an ingredient or completed a step in the wrong order; if you've figured out the basics, you can create your own twist on any recipe.