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Guidelines for Every New Chef

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For the kids who are really very eager to help their moms in the kitchen, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind so your moms will let you in the kitchen with her.

Before You Start

  • Always ask an adult permission to use the kitchen and any tools you may need, especially when the recipe calls for chopping or cutting with a sharp knife and using the stove or oven. It’s always best to have an adult assistant if you should need it.
  • Read the entire recipe from beginning to end to make sure you have everything you need in the kitchen before you begin.
  • Have all your ingredients measured and your equipment out and ready to use – this is called Mise En Place, which is French for “everything put in place”.
  • Make sure you use proper measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients.
  • Make sure that you have enough time to prepare the recipe you’ve chosen. 
  • Never rush in the kitchen, you should always take your time and focus on what you are doing.

Keep It Clean

  • Always wash your hands before you start!
  • If you aren’t feeling well or are sick, you shouldn’t cook.  Your germs can easily spread to food and those who eat it.
  • Never cut raw food and cooked food on the same cutting board. 
  • If you only have one cutting board, wash it with warm soapy water in between cutting.
  • Wash any fruit or vegetables before using them.
  • Wear an apron or a chef jacket to keep your clothes from getting dirty.
  • If you have long hair, pull it back in a ponytail or wear a hat so hair won’t get into the food.

Play It Safe

  • When there are more than one of you in the kitchen, always communicate with the other person  - especially when handling sharp knives or hot pans etc. 
  • In professional kitchens, you’ll often hear the term “behind you”, which is a good way to let someone know you’re behind them.
  • Always use an oven mitt or hot pads when handling hot pots and pans or cookie sheets – never use a kitchen towel or a wet kitchen towel (remember that water conducts heat-ouch!)
  • Beware of steam, it can burn just like a touching a hot surface.
  • Always walk with a knife blade in front of you and turned towards the floor.
  • Never hand someone the blade end of the knife, always pass them the handle very carefully.
  • Believe it or not, the sharper the knife, the least likely you are to cut yourself.  A knife that is dull will tempt you to press down harder where the blade is likely to slip from your hands and cut you.  A sharp knife allows more control.

When You’re Finished

  • Clean as you go! Be sure to always leave clean kitchen behind you.
  • Be sure to turn off all the appliances when you're done using them.

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September 24, 2017

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