Even if you’re the top chef in your household there’s always room for improvement.

From a conversation with Vikram Vij about one of his dishes created for Hopscotch, Toronto.

“You want to bruise the cilantro so it gives off those beautiful juices and the flavours. Always [bruise your herbs]. That’s why when you eat pho [a Vietnamese rice noodle soup], they always give you that basil whole. The idea is when you put the basil in and you break it, it releases its juices. You don’t cook with it.”

Watch the full interview HERE.

From Chef Michael Smith’s recipe Brown Butter Fiddleheads

“Brown the butter. Begin by simply melting it over medium heat, swirling gently until it’s a pool of evenly melted goodness. Don’t stop though! Keep on cooking and swirling gently until eventually the water within the butter heats, steams, foams and evaporates away. Once that moisture is gone the butter fat left behind can then rise even higher in temperature – past the boiling point of water – into the browning, flavouring zone. Take it as far as you dare – the deeper the colour, the deeper the flavour – but be ready. The line between deliciously brown and burnt black is brief, and turning off the heat to stop the cooking isn’t enough. You have to stop the butter in its tracks – that’s what the water’s for. Turn off the heat, pour the water in and stand back until the hissing dies down.”

For the recipe, click HERE.

Chef Lynn Crawford

“My dad’s steak is famous. His secret? The marinade. It combines saltiness, sweetness, tanginess and some heat, and it tastes phenomenal. I also use it to marinate the mushrooms, which act as fantastic sponges and, when served alongside the steak, really showcase the marinade’s wonderful flavours.”

For the recipe, click HERE.

From Honest to Goodness: Everyday Recipes for the Home Cook by Christine Tizzard.

“Roast beets so that the peel slips off more easily. To roast beets, place washed, trimmed, unpeeled beets in a double-layer foil package with 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil drizzled overtop. Seal the package and roast at 425 F (220 C) for 45 minutes to an hour, until fork tender. For more flavour, add a few garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme to the package. When the beets are cool, their peels will slip off easily.”

For more tips and recipes from her book, click HERE.

Voula Halliday on her Roast Vegetable and Orzo Soup from her latest cookbook, Eat at Home.

“Roasting the vegetables beforehand caramelizes them and adds a depth of flavour.”

For the recipe, click HERE.

Naomi Duguid, cookbook author, food writer. Her latest book is Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan.

“You can use [saffron threads] whole, but you get better colour and aroma if you grind them to a powder. Just take a pinch and place it in a small mortar or bowl. Add a few grains of salt or sugar and use a pestle or the back of a spoon to grind the threads into a fine powder.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 2018 issue with the headline, “Top Chefing,” p. 44.