Five Things TV Chefs Do That Are Wrong

As hard as it may be to swallow, the people who cook on TV are occasionally wrong. It's not just pronunciations (it's "broo-SKET-tah", damn it), it's techniques. Some of them are TV tricks using previously prepared food, and some of them are just plain errors.

1. How to hold a knife

Quick, what's the fastest way to tell professional chefs from rank amateurs? Watch how they hold a chef's knife. The second that index finger sticks out along the spine of the knife, it's a clear signal the person has never had to chop massive amounts of anything. It gives the illusion of control, but in fact the knife is less steady. Professional chefs hold both sides of the blade with the handle tucked under their wrist, from which vantage point it is impossible to slice one's finger off (see picture above). Sadly, this is more common than one would think on the television.

2. Oil in the pasta water

Mario Batali must have a heart attack every time some non-Italian puts a blob of oil in a pot of boiling water for pasta. It should be common sense. Oil floats on water, even boiling water; if it's floating on top of the water, it can't keep the pasta on the bottom from sticking, can it? Even putting the pasta through the oil on the way down won't help. If you want your pasta not to stick together, boil it in plenty of salted water, then save a bit of the cooking water for when you finish your pasta in the sauce (you do that, right?)


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >