Chefs often have signature dishes for good reason, as time in the kitchen allows them to perfect their craft and make a name for themselves in the process. While you may or may not be known in your neighborhood for your mac and cheese recipe, having a go-to meal that you can prepare easily can alleviate some of those hosting nerves before organizing a dinner party.
Though YouTube tutorials and online classes can help you learn cutting and cooking skills, getting into the kitchen to practice making food is what will actually help you level up as a chef. Garten isn’t the only foodie encouraging aspiring cooks to spend more time inside the kitchen. “There are patterns [in cooking] that after you do many times, you begin to recognize and you do automatically,” food writer Mark Bittman told NPR. Cooking the same lasagna recipe over and over may sound mundane, but over time, your tastebuds and the guests you invite to sample your dishes will thank you.