How to Elevate Your Simple Dishes Like a Superchef

cutting ginger and spices on cutting board
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The food world is filled with rivalries and we must admit – we love a good grudge match! Food feuds are settled once and for all with Superchef host Darnell Ferguson on Superchef Grudge Match – premiering Tuesday February 7th at 10p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada. In this show, superchefs go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all format. The victor leaves with $10,000, a prized knife from the losing chef’s knife roll and bragging rights for life! Want to cook like a superchef at home? Read on to learn how to elevate your simple dishes and take some of these winning ideas into your own kitchen.



Use herbs and spices

Understanding how different flavours work together and how to use them is the first step to elevating your meals at home. When using dried herbs and spices, add them early on in the cooking process to release flavour. Dried herbs are best rehydrated so add them at the beginning of cooking, or about 20 minutes before the end. Brighten up your dish using fresh herbs closer to the end of cooking or sprinkle on as a finishing touch for flavour and colour.

Toss in some butter or cream

If you have a nice soup or sauce and you need to make it a bit richer it is not uncommon for superchefs to toss in a touch of butter to add some gloss and richness. Once a pureed soup has been made it is also very beautiful to add a drizzle of cream over top which adds richness and a great visual appeal.


Plate like an artist

Any superchef will tell you that you eat with your eyes first. The appearance of your dish can be made more appealing by thinking about portion size, arrangement, colours on the plate, sauces and the addition of an edible garnish. When a superchef is planning out their dish they are always thinking about colour and what will add visual appeal to a plate. Many principles that apply to art also apply to making food look its best on the plate!

Balanced meal

Professional chefs always think of the whole plate. In any main meal a protein, starch and vegetable should included. A true superchef will make sure that each element is present and the flavours compliment one another. Make sure that each element on the plate is superb and don’t neglect the vegetables. You could even try a hidden vegetable recipe, so you get your daily veggie dose,  without the veggie flavour.

Related: Baked Mac and Cheese With Hidden Cauliflower

Work on those knife skills

Get that superchef picture-perfect dish! Making sure all your ingredients are similar in size ensures even cooking and a beautiful final product. So master that chiffonade, dice and Julienne. This is one skill that chefs work on their entire lives. Don’t know where to start? Check out the Top 5 Kitchen Knives Every Home Cook Should Own.

Use a meat thermometer

A meat thermometer is one of the most important tools in any kitchen. Period. Nothing is worse than purchasing a high-quality steak and then accidentally overcooking it. A meat thermometer is an easy solution and makes cooking any meal less nerve wracking. Meat thermometers should be used not only for food safety but also to make sure that your food item is being served at top quality.


Taste as you go

Do you ever see shows where the chef gives a taste and then the nod of approval? This is a pro-chef move! Taste as you go to make sure you are happy with each element of the dish and think about how the different components go together. This is how chefs “build flavours” for a well-rounded dish.

Related: Kitchen Tips and Must Haves with Chef Tre Sanderson



Does your dinner need some crunch? Consider the textures in your dish and make sure to add some variety. Different textures impacting the look and taste of food, as well as the way it feels in your mouth. If you have a puree on your plate, adding other textures may elevate it. Crispy, smooth, crumbly, chewy – mix those textures up! A superchef knows that the main textures of crispiness, creaminess and chewiness are just as important as flavor.

Put these techniques into play and you will be a superchef in no time! While practicing your skills, watch the series premiere of Superchef Grudge Match, Tuesday, February 7th at 10p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada. Also Available on the Global TV App and STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, fuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream.