The workday was long and hard, yet there is one confounding question that still needs an answer: ”what’s for dinner?” Only you have the answer, but The Spruce Eats is here to show you it can be as simple as Ready, Set, Cook, Eat! In our first-ever cooking school, we have culled our deep library of recipes and instructional content, and built a 4-week, self-guided program that will help you become your own personal chef.
As the owner of a personal chef service in New York City for the past 20 years, I know weeknight cooking can be a struggle. That’s why for the next four weeks, I will be your mistress of ceremonies guiding you through some of my processes when working with new clients, including helping you discover what foods bring you joy, and how to translate that knowledge into your kitchens and onto your plates. It is a challenge I do not take lightly as the victory only comes when the plan comes together. I always tell my clients that our work together is a relationship where we will uncover lots of information. This 4-week program is a mindful cooking process where I am asking you to become your own personal chef.
Week 1: READY
This first week is all about taking stock in yourself and your household by getting answers to some foundational questions, including what you like to eat, how you like to eat, and some of your personal constraints to consider. The answers to these questions are the very backbone to the following three weeks. Additionally, you will take stock of your pantry and kitchen to assess where you are and where you want to go. And before the first week is done you will write your first menu plan for the week.
- GET READY! The 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Stepping Into the Kitchen
- Pantry Staples: A Comprehensive List of Everything You Need
- How to Stock Your Pantry With These Puerto Rican Staples
- How to Stock Your Pantry With These Persian Staples
- How to Stock Your Pantry With These Filipino Staples
- How to Stock Your Pantry With These Colombian Staples
- The 16 Basic Kitchen Tools That Every Cook Needs
Week 2: SET
In the second week, you will continue to pour your foundation as we build your intuitive cooking skills. “Intuitive Cooking, Kysha? Really?!” Yes, really! Honing this skill doesn’t happen overnight, but we will give you some foundational tools around food pairings and cooking techniques. Finally, I offer you my best tips for successful grocery shopping replete with a comprehensive list on how to properly store your groceries.
- GET SET! Intuitive Cooking Is Where the "Ah Ha" Moments Happen in the Kitchen
- 10 Essential Cooking Skills That Every Cook Should Know
- How to Hold a Chef's Knife the Right Way
- What Is Mise en Place?
- Your Ultimate Guide to Ingredient Substitutions
- How to Store and Preserve Everything in Your Kitchen
Week 3: COOK
This is the week when all of your preparation comes together in the kitchen. You are encouraged to cook with intention and purpose and execute on the meal plan you have written. We offer you tools for time maximization and time management in the kitchen to get all components of your meal on the table at the same time. And after the cooking is done we have compiled a thorough guide to storing cooked food and leftovers.
- COOK! The 5 Steps to Becoming a Smarter, Faster, More Mindful Cook
- 5 Things You Should Know About Using Your Slow Cooker
- The 5 Most Important Things You Need to Know About Sautéing
- 5 Things You Should Know About Using Your Air Fryer
- 5 Things You Should Know About Roasting
- 5 Things You Should Know About Steaming
- Your Sheet Pan is The Unsung Hero of the Kitchen
- How to Store Cooked Foods
Week 4: EAT
This week will be a graduation of sorts. You will walk across the stage with the knowledge you have gained in the previous weeks and a hot plate of food in hand. There’s thunderous applause as you take your first bite. What else could we offer you? In a word, leftovers. We offer how to reheat and repurpose leftovers with care. And when all else fails and the fridge is bare, we introduce you to the power of the pantry and the meals it holds thanks to your planning. Finally, we urge you to venture back out into the world, eat at a new restaurant, and get reinspired to do it all over again.