6 Sharp Kitchen Tips from a Catering Pro

For the culinary professional, keeping a kitchen in good shape is a must. My kitchen is my office, my laboratory, and my stage.

I like to tell my kitchen staff that a messy kitchen results in a messy end product.  For the sake of a stress-free cooking experience we’re sharing some of our tried and true tips for keeping it together in the kitchen.

1. Keep your knives sharp. Dull knives are more likely to slip and cut you, and a sharp knife will perform like magic. Never put your knives in the dishwasher. Clean them gently and carefully with soapy water. And make sure to sharpen them or have them professionally sharpened every six to nine months.

2. Clean as you go. Nothing will slow you down more than a cluttered kitchen. Once you finish a task take a couple of minutes to wipe down the counter and organize your ingredients and tools for the next task. 

3. Know your tools. Knowing the tools I need makes me a more efficient chef. For example, having a sharp, easy to hold vegetable peeler is essential for so many reasons. You can use it to peel all kinds of fruits and vegetables as well as creating perfect pieces of citrus rind for cocktails.

 4. Know where everything is. I save so much time by knowing my kitchen inside and out. I never wonder where a knife or a tiny saucepan might be; my hand guides the way.

5. Get a microplane grater. This handy item will serve you double-time, as you can use it to finely grate hard cheeses (we all need fresh Parmesan) as well as for zesting citrus.

6. Know your oven. It might sound silly, but all ovens are different, and if you are following recipes, you need to know if your oven runs a little hot, a little cool, or takes a particularly long time to reach temperature. This can save you a lot of heartache.