13+ Things TV Chefs Won’t Tell You

We went behind the scenes to hear from your favorite chefs on TV to learn their dirtiest kitchen secrets. Goodness, greatness, great balls of fire!

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Many TV chefs don’t write or develop their own recipes.

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Some don’t have time. Other are more focused on being on TV than on cooking, so they would rather pay someone else. And a few just don’t know how.

If you want the food you make to look as pretty as mine, don’t fill the plate.

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Putting something small on a bigger plate always looks better, especially if you stack the foods or lay them against each other.

When a chef forgets to say something important, we have to do what’s called a voice-over.

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That’s when you’re watching and all of a sudden,
you don’t see the chef’s face. Instead, you see a close-up of the bowl
or their hands and you hear them saying, “Now add a quarter teaspoon of
cinnamon.” With the best talent, you’ll almost never hear a voice-over.

Obviously, we’re not all going to sit around twiddling our thumbs waiting for a roast or a lasagna to cook.

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So there are people in a
second kitchen behind the scenes cooking a bunch of versions of the same
recipe so it will be ready to go at different stages. That’s called a
swap-out.

Sometimes, the dishes we taste on are stone cold because of a swap-out.

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So we may be saying, “Mmm,” but really it tastes awful. We
just smile and stomach it.

Sure, we burn things.

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When that happens, we just make sure to pick it
up with the charred side away from the camera, and we never flip it
over.

Sorry, but we are not going to tell you how bad a recipe is for you.

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While
more chefs are acknowledging that we have a responsibility to people’s
health, you’re never going to see calorie counts when we’re making
chocolate cake.

Here’s how to enhance just about any dish: Add some acidity.

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Whether
from fresh citrus juice or vinegar, acidity wakes up the palate and
makes food jump and pop.

Before I host a cooking segment, I go through every step of the recipe with the art director, prop stylist, and food stylist.

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 They
ensure I have every tool I need, they mise en place-or prepare and
measure out-every ingredient, and they make the finished dish look
gorgeous. So keep in mind that it will take you a lot longer to follow
this recipe at home-and it probably won’t look quite as perfect.

Please don’t follow my recipes to the letter.

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 A recipe should be a
loose map to guide you, but since no two ingredients are exactly the
same, you should be constantly tasting the dish and adapting as you go
along.

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