July 22, 2016

How To Cook Like A Master Chef

Food editor Kristen Eppich shares tips from former MasterChef host Graham Elliot. 
House & Home Food Editor Kristen EppichWe all know celebrity chef and restaurateur Graham Elliot as a judge on MasterChef, where he gives lucky home cooks expert guidance. Now, he’s sharing some of those secrets in his recent cookbook, Cooking Like A Master Chef, which features recipes for home cooks with simple, straightforward instructions and tasty twists to make weeknight cooking easy. He swept through Toronto recently and I had a chance to spend some time with him cooking a couple of his recipes. Here are some tips he shared along the way…

  • Ensure your grill or barbecue is fully preheated and hot: This is the first step to well-grilled food. Food cooked on an under-heated grill will cook unevenly and meat will end up tough.
  • Bring your meat to room temperature before grilling. This is how you keep your steaks pink in the center and your chicken juicy. Cold meat will also seize when it hits a hot grill and you’ll lose some of the juices.
  • It’s all about the seasoning. In true chef form, Graham suggests to season whatever you’re grilling with salt and pepper, and when you think you have enough, add a bit more!
  • Sear the outside of your meat on the hottest part of the grill, then cook it off the flames for a bit longer to desired doneness. This gets you a nice crust on the exterior with a tender center.
  • Give equal cooking and resting time for meat: After cooking, ensure to rest the meat for at least as half as long as it was cooked. Juices tend to move to the center when cooking, so resting allows them to redistribute, ensuring the meat is juicy throughout.
  • When cutting meat, always cut against the grain as it results in more tender pieces to chew.
  • Have a great playlist on hand. Graham is also a singer, guitarist and the Culinary Director of Chicago music festival Lollapalooza, so a great playlist while cooking is a must. As for his taste in music, he likes the ’80s, rolling through tunes from The Cure, Depeche Mode and Duran Duran.
  • Cook what you love. Graham is a huge baseball fan. Combining his love of baseball with his love of cooking, he just wrapped up the MLB grub tour where he visited Cincinnati, St. Louis, Miami, Washington and Phoenix and developed a Stadium Burger based around the tastes of each town.

Watch out for Graham Elliot’s next adventure that takes him to Charleston, South Carolina for his exciting new gig as co-host of Top Chef Season 12 alongside Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio.

Try two of Graham Elliot’s recipes from Cooking Like A Master Chef:

Quinoa With Apples And Cashews

Sesame Chicken Thighs With Bok Choy And Plums 

Author: Kristen Eppich

Danielle Matar