This might start as a bad joke, but I promise it isn’t. I was making ‘Nun’s Farts’ yesterday, the more colorful name for feather-light deep-fried beignets, and was struck by how diverse the dough actually was. It got me thinking about the differences between how a chef and a home cook approach cooking. Chefs learn to multi-task many different preparations (mise en place) in order to be ready for service on any given day. Home cooks, while they may multi-task to get through their busy days, generally make one dish to feed their entire family. Most home cooks I have watched tend to make each dish from start to finish.
Being the chef taught me to group actions to cut down on time. For instance, having one person chop all the parsley for the entire kitchen rather than five cooks chopping their own. Or the pastry department making all the puff pastry dough even though a cook may need some for an appetizer. At home, this translates a bit differently. Maybe it is by making one preparation one night that can be slightly manipulated to make something different. By concentrating your efforts you will get more done in less time….