When people complain to me about hating to cook I usually think that 35% of the problem is that they are using a bad knife, 35% is that they are
using inefficient cutting techniques, and 30% is that they genuinely don’t
enjoy the process. I can’t do anything about the first or last causes (though I
don’t know anyone who’s ever regretted upgrading to a high-quality chef’s knife
by Wüsthof or Henckles). But the middle cause—poor knife skills—is something anyone can correct for free.
My aha moment came when I learned how to
section an orange for fruit salad (before that I had been peeling and sectioning the fruit with my hands). So, too, when I was taught the best way to peel, pit, and dice an avocado and wash and cut parsley (see the videos below). Today, not only do the results continue to surprise and
delight me, I find the process itself actually fun.
Kitchen challenges are completely personal, of course. One cook’s easy victory can be another’s Waterloo. I have a friend who is hopeless at slicing garlic but knows how to dispatch a mango with a few adroit slices. And I think half the people
I surveyed are still in search of the perfect way to chop an onion. As for me, I still struggle with evenly slicing a loaf of bread. The good news is that I can only get better.
Is there a cutting technique you have yet to master? What
trips you up in the kitchen?