Food & Drink

Five Kitchen Skills Every Man Must Master

While perfecting the art of the ultimate bacon sandwich is certainly an achievement, of sorts, it’s not exactly going to win you MasterChef any time soon. No, what you need are the tricks of the trade, the sort of skills any man worth 
his table salt can rely upon. Ahead of this year’s Taste Of London Festival, ShortList asked two-Michelin star chef Michel Roux Jr to reveal his gastronomic sleights of hand.

1. Crack open a lobster

“Rip the lobster’s head off using your hands, then put enough pressure on the 
body to crack open its shell, which you can then simply peel open with your thumb and forefingers.”

2. Chop at speed

“The art to fast chopping is bending your knuckles in order to use them as a 
guide for your blade. You’ll probably lose the odd bit of skin, but it’s all about practise. Don’t use little knives, either – you want a big machete of a knife so that you can chop chunky carrots like a lumberjack.”

3. Produce a flame

“The real secret to flambé, or cooking with strong alcohol, is to choose a flavoured spirit and not be afraid to use a lot. Try making pancakes with sugar and then pouring on some Cointreau for a zesty orange finish and, of course, that all-important flame.”

4. Make a beer batter

“Adding beer to your flour and eggs mixture will give you a marvellous batter, and one that goes particularly well when cooking traditional fish and chips. Just be sure to avoid using stouts and real ales – a light beer or a premium lager will help your yeast rise best.”

5. Sharpen a knife

“Grab a rod of sharpening steel and run the blade of your knife up one side and then down the opposite side. You need to make sure you use big, hard strokes. This not only looks manly, but it also enhances your most important kitchen instrument.”

Roux Jr will be appearing at Taste Of London in Regent’s Park until 23 June; tastefestivals.com

(Image: Camera Press London)