Chef Ron Duprat Reveals What Makes A Really Great Chef - Exclusive

When you sit down to have a chat with chef Ron Duprat, you quickly learn two things about this man: He is both eternally grateful for his lot in life, and he is brimming with confidence about his abilities in the kitchen. During a recent interview with Mashed, in the space of five minutes, Duprat reflected on his unlikely journey to success in the American culinary scene and his beginnings in Haiti. The chef made his way here via a 27-day boat journey undertaken when he was just a teenager. Then, we have the swagger. Duprat hopes to see his life story made into a movie someday, saying: "I'll [call it] 'From the Banana Boat to Top Chef,' and hopefully Will Smith or Denzel Washington is listening, because I would love Denzel to play me."

And this was just a few moments after Duprat casually said, "I know I'm a better chef than Bobby Flay!" Here's the thing: With the big talk comes a serious resume to back it up. Duprat has cooked for presidents and celebrities aplenty, he has run the food and beverage programs for top restaurants, and he has traveled the world as a culinary ambassador on behalf of the State Department, per his blog. So when Duprat shares some knowledge about what makes for a great chef, it's a good idea to listen.

"The quality [that makes for a great chef] is to be able to deliver great food," Duprat said, adding that a chef needs "to be able to understand members or guests, to be able to go above and beyond, to do seasonal foods, and exceed members' or guests' expectations."

The biggest mistake chefs make, according to Ron Duprat

Remember when Luke Skywalker chastised Emperor Palpatine by saying: "Your overconfidence is your weakness?" (via YouTube). Ron Duprat rather thinks the same rebuke could be applied to, well, just about all of us.

When he was asked about the biggest mistakes amateur chefs make, Duprat grew animated and said: "Oh, I have a few! Number one, everybody [says they're] a chef. But nobody takes time to learn the basics. With their mise en place or with their knife skills. I think that's some of the mistakes I see chefs made. Think they are the chef, but they don't know nothing. I think some of these things, as chefs, the whole world, we need to talk about what people learn the right way. You can go to culinary school and have a degree, but you don't know nothing. I think [get] the basic learning and then do the right things. I think that's some of my advice."

So put in the time to learn the basics, then build up your kitchen chops, in other words — the time and effort will pay off. Will you find yourself appearing on "Top Chef" or "Bar Rescue" or end up a better chef than Bobby Flay? Probably not, but your omelets and roasts and sauces will be winners in your own home, at any rate.

Check out some of Ron Duprat's best recipes on his website and keep up with what he's doing in and out of the kitchen by following him on Instagram.