These Are Andrew Zimmern's Top Three Tips To Be A Great Cook

Andrew Zimmern is one of the most accomplished chefs, restaurateurs, and businessmen in the country, so when he gives advice to home cooks, as he did on the recent Kitchen Chat podcast, it's wise to listen.

First, some background on this inspiring personality: Zimmern started his restaurant training at just 14 (via New York Moves). After graduating from Vassar College, he landed jobs in the kitchens of respected chefs and restaurateurs such as Anne Rosenzweig, Joachim Splichal, and Thomas Keller (via Andrew Zimmern).

If you only know Zimmern only from his successful shows including Bizarre Foods and The Zimmern List, you might not know that the accomplished TV personality went through a very dark period in the 1980s. After this, he restarted his career from scratch, taking a dishwashing job at Café Un Deux Trois in Minneapolis. Soon, a determined Zimmern rose to the ranks of executive chef at the restaurant, which went on to win national recognition and several awards.

Zimmern went on to establish a multimedia company, Food Works, and a restaurant food retail development company, Passport Hospitality. He's won Emmys and James Beard Awards, and in addition to his own shows, has appeared on Iron Chef, Chopped, and Top Chef Masters (via IMDB). If there's someone who can pinpoint how we all can be better cooks, it's him.

Andrew Zimmern thinks home cooks need bigger pans and higher heat

If Andrew Zimmern is giving advice to home cooks, we're all ears. On the Kitchen Chat podcast, host Margaret McSweeney asked the acclaimed chef to name three mistakes people make when cooking at home.

First, people work "too small," Zimmern said. "They chop ten onions on a cutting board you should chop one on. Get big cutting boards!" Choose bigger cookware, too, he advised. He sees friends "jamming eight chicken thighs into an eight-inch sautee pan, and I'm like what are you doing? That's why you buy a 14-inch skillet," he told McSweeney. He said that choosing the right pan allows food to brown correctly and maintain thermal momentum for better results.

Second, Zimmern advises, don't be afraid of high heat. "Stop with everything on medium," he opined. "Crank the heat up...Preheat your pans on low, get those pans nice and hot so that what you put in it starts searing and cooking right away."

Finally, Zimmern said he notices his friends don't taste their food enough while cooking: "Actually, I'll double-down on that. In today's world of open kitchens, I watch professionals not taste their food!" Taste your food at every stage of the process. "That's how you learn what stuff tastes like, and what the act of heat and acid and combinations of flavors does to food. If you're not tasting your food, you're not learning." There you have it: Andrew Zimmern's pro tips to make you a better cook.