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how to organize, shop, and plan like a professional chef

as we hope you know, one of chef sara’s missions as a restaurant owner and community figure is to share the knowledge she has gained throughout her education and professional career. she has said on many occasions that she not just wants to share this knowledge, but also feels like it’s her duty to do so. she wants to encourage people to experiment, learn, and grow in their own kitchens while also learning about the food sources found within our community.

so, it was a great pleasure for her to hold a seminar at the mccracken county extension office to educate the public on how to organize, shop, and plan like a professional chef. she spoke to a great crowd of several dozen community members both young and old, giving tips and answering questions about how to keep your pantry organized and meal planning like a pro.

first tip? organization! she stressed the importance of keeping an organized pantry so you always know what you have and always know where everything is. while this is especially important when running a restaurant, it can prove to be very helpful when planning, shopping, and cooking at home, too. plus, it’s just great to be organized for the sake of order, don’t you think?

another bonus to being organized is that it will help you plan out your weekly shopping list, which will dictate your weekly meal planning, too. which brings us to the next big point: having a plan. planning for multiple meals in a row can make dinner prep easier while making sure to maximize the potential of your ingredients. furthermore, it helps to reduce waste by incorporating your leftovers into the next day’s meal when possible.

when it comes to shopping, chef sara says follow this golden rule: stick to the perimeter of the store. the reason? that’s where all the electrical outlets are, and subsequently, also the freshest ingredients. as you may have heard her say before, food is best served in season, and that’s where you’ll find the all the good stuff.

the biggest takeaway from the event was probably chef sara’s take on the theme of the talk, healthy eating. while eating fresh fruits, meats, and veggies lends itself toward a healthier lifestyle, she stressed that healthy eating should be more about mental health rather than calorie count. “cooking and eating should make us feel good. it should make us happy,” she said. “and that means you might have to use some butter.”

if you’re disappointed you missed out on the class, you should be. but if it’s any consolation, you can still copy the recipes shared at the event on our recipe page. and next time, be sure to mark your calendar.

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