Ask any grownup cook you know how he or she learned to cook. Most will tell you they began by spending time in the kitchen helping their parents or grandparents prepare different foods. By assisting adults with the preparation of various dishes in the kitchen, you’re picking up on their tips and tricks without even realizing it. You’re learning so much about cooking by just helping as a sous chef!
Whether your parents are preparing a special holiday treat or just an ordinary week night dinner, volunteer to be the sous chef. The sous chef, or second in command, helps the head chef get everything ready for cooking. You make their job easier by assisting them with various (and very helpful) tasks. Every chef needs a sous chef, so if you’re just starting out in the kitchen, this might be the job for you!
Check out these fun and safe ways you can help in the kitchen:
1. Wash Produce. It’s important to scrub fruits and veggies to get as much pesticide, fertilizer, and plain ol’ dirt off of them before you eat them. Even organic fruits and veggies need a good scrubbing to get dirt, debris, and natural fertilizers off of them. You might be surprised to see how dirty your produce is before you wash them.
2. Prep Veggies. You can snap beans, shuck corn, tear lettuce, and more, to help get produce ready to be cooked. None of these activities involve the danger of a sharp knife, yet they are all important things that must be done.
3. Grease Pans. Put a healthy fat of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, etc.) on a paper towel and rub it evenly over the pan or baking sheet that your parents plan to cook with. The fat will keep food from sticking to the pan or baking sheet, so it will slide out easily when it’s time to eat.
4. Add Seasoning. Sprinkling seasonings onto food before it goes into the oven is another great way to help. Ask your parents to pre-measure the seasonings (or help them with this task, too!) and then sprinkle it evenly over foods like potatoes, carrots, or anything else that needs a dash of extra flavor. Another fun way to get foods evenly coated is by putting chopped produce into a zipper bag, adding the seasonings, sealing the bag and shaking the bag to coat everything!
5. Clean Up Crew. No, this isn’t the most fun job in the kitchen, but it’s a vital role that must be filled. Help out by sticking around after the meal is prepared to help wash and dry the tools used. Your family will appreciate it and you can feel accomplished, knowing that you’ve been a huge help!
What’s your favorite way to serve as sous chef in the kitchen? Leave a comment below!