Home cooks rejoice. If you’ve watched Top Chef or Chopped and wondered how those professional chefs got so great at chopping vegetables, wonder no more: the only thing between you and professional knife skills is a cutting board, a sharp knife, like a sharp chef’s knife, and practice. Chef Gordon Ramsay demonstrates the basics of how to start slow, hone your knife skills, and become a better cook this tutorial, which includes proper hand techniques and words of advice for parents looking to introduce kids to the kitchen.
“Holding a knife is like driving in a car; you’ve got to feel so comfortable behind that wheel, but, more importantly, you’ve got to relax your hands.”
— Gordon Ramsay
When sharpening a knife, make sure your thumb is behind the guard of the steel sharpener. Never expose your fingers to the blade. Don’t forget the three finger rule when slicing: one in front (your middle) and two behind.
Using soft vegetables like zucchini and working your way up to harder vegetables like carrots, practice your knife skills by mastering the classic French vegetable knife cuts. A butternut squash is one of the most difficult vegetables to dice, but with Gordon’s method, you’ll be a pro in no time. Learn about these cuts, like large dice, small dice, julienne, and batonnet here.
Concerned about letting your kids handle knives in the kitchen? This NPR article might change your mind. Learn how giving children responsibility in the kitchen and teaching them proper knife handling techniques can foster independence and an openness to healthy foods.
Practice your dicing and cubing techniques with some of Gordon’s other recipes for butternut squash. In the mood for a snack? Whip up some roasted squash hummus. Apply your cubing skills to this appetizer of pan-fried scallops with butternut squash. Share photos of your completed dishes! Get creative with your presentation, especially with the appetizer, and remember to plate intentionally!
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