A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (2024)

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Anneta Konstantinides


A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (1)

  • The Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett curated and re-created 300 classic recipes around the world for his new cookbook, "The Recipe."
  • Speaking with Insider, the New Zealand-based chef shared nine essential dishes that he believed every home cook should know how to make.
  • The list includes some classic staples like eggs and chicken pot pie.
  • But it also includes international recipes like Ireland's colcannon dish, China's wonton soup, and England's banoffee pie.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (2)


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A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (3)

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (4)


When the Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett began working on his new cookbook, "The Recipe," he first made a list of hundreds of dishes that he considered to be classic.

"They had to be a thing," Emett told Insider. "They had to be something that was completely embedded in people's culture or way of life."

It's safe to say Emett knows a thing or two when it comes to essential recipes, having compiled more than 300 recipes from 150 chefs from around the world for his book, which is why Insider asked the New Zealand-based chef to share the dishes he believed every home cook should learn to make.

While some are beloved staples like eggs and chicken pot pie, there are also dishes from around the world that Emett believes are easy enough for anyone to add to their repertoire.



Emett believes every home chef should master a chicken pot pie.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (5)

The origins of chicken pot pie are said to date as far back as the ancient Greeks, who served a mixture of chicken and vegetables on an open pastry shell in a dish that they called artocreas.

Chicken pot pies were also popular in the Roman Empire, where they were served at lavish banquets and were said to sometimes have "live birds under the crust," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Meat pies of all sorts have since become staples around the world, and in America it's especially common to find chicken pot pies in supermarket freezers.

But Emett believes chicken pot pies can be "very satisfying to make" at home, and he has some tips for turning the recipe into a "quick midweek option."

"We all love a pie with a flaky pastry top, which makes this the perfect family-friendly dish that will win hearts every time," he said. "Just buy a cooked chicken and stock, both the best quality you can get your hands on — free range and organic is my preference."

You can find the chef Bruce Poole's recipe for chicken pot pie on pages 206 to 208 of Emett's book.


Spaghetti alla carbonara can easily be made in 10 minutes, according to Emett.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (6)

There are two main theories as to how spaghetti alla carbonara — an Italian dish of eggs, guanciale (Italian cured meat from pork cheek), black pepper, and pecorino Romano cheese — came about.

The first known reference of the dish can be found in the 1957 American guidebook "Eating in Italy," according toThe Houston Chronicle. Many believe that the recipe was created in World War II, whenItalian cooks combined the rations of bacon and eggs given to them by American soldiers with their own local cheese and pasta.

But others say the dish was actually invented by the "carbonari," an Italian word for workers who made charcoal by burning wood. They say that as these workers mixed pasta, cheese, and cured meat for their meals, specks of ash from the charcoal would fall into the dish — black pepper was said to have been introduced to the dish later to pay homage to this.

However spaghetti alla carbonara came about, Emett loves that the classic Italian dish "can be knocked up in 10 minutes."

"This is a dish you could make when in a hurry or to impress friends," he said. "And it's a must-have in any cook's repertoire."

You can find the chef Giorgio Locatelli's recipe for spaghetti alla carbonara on page 50 of Emett's book.


Wonton soup is a staple at Chinese restaurants around the world, but Emett advises that the recipe by acclaimed the Chinese American chef Ken Hom is "the only version you will need."

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (7)

"A delicious broth with delicate parcels of pork and prawn, this is a clean and fresh soup that will erase away all the stresses of the day," Emett added.

Hom describes wonton soup as an "authentic Chinese classic" that "somehow managed to avoid being corrupted beyond recognition."

"Why this is so is unclear," Hom wrote in his memoir, "Easy Family Dishes." "Of course, wontons are small dumplings, and dumplings in any form, whether fried, poached, or steamed, are universally popular. Perhaps it is simply that they sell themselves as they are, and Chinese chefs wisely stayed with the original."

You can find the chef Ken Hom's recipe for wonton soup on CKBK or page 26 of Emett's book.


"Banoffee pie is such a classic, and I've never met anybody who has been able to resist a slice," Emett said. "The combination of caramel, bananas, a crunchy base, and fresh cream is brilliant."

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (8)

Banoffee pie is an English dessert that was invented at The Hungry Monk Restaurant in Sussex, England, by the owner Nigel Mackenzie and his chef Ian Dowding in 1971.

Dowding revealed on his website that banoffee pie was the adaptation of an American dessert called Blum's coffee toffee pie. Dowding made the dessert for Mackenzie, who told him, "Surely we can make this even better." After they experimented with adding apples and mandarin oranges, Mackenzie suggested bananas.

"Straight away, we knew we had got it right," Dowding wrote. "Like the classic combinations of strawberries and cream, bacon and eggs, and sausage and mash, it is something that is more than just the sum of its parts."

Mackenzie called their creation "banoffi," and the name stuck. In 1997 it was officially recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary.

Emett's tip? Add just "a touch of sea salt" in the caramel filling.

You can find the chef Curtis Stone's recipe for banoffee pie on page 360 of Emett's book.


Colcannon is a classic Irish dish that combines mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage, as well as spring onions and butter.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (9)

The dish emerged in the mid-18th century and was traditionally served on Halloween in Ireland, according to Smithsonian Magazine. A coin, rag, or stick was cooked inside the mashed potatoes as a way to predict one's future.

"A coin meant wealth in the coming year, a rag meant poverty, and a stick meant your spouse was going to beat you," the Dublin-based chef Dr. Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire told the magazine.

The trinkets have since disappeared from the dish, but Emett loves the "super simple and very cost-effective" recipe.

"This is the perfect side dish to a piece of fish or grilled meat," he added.

You can find the chef Darina Allen's recipe for colcannon on page 134 in Emett's book.


Emett calls quiche Lorraine one of his "favorite dishes of all time."

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (10)

"You can eat it warm or cold the next day, and it's also great for picnics or for a light lunch with friends, served with a very simple salad," he said.

While quiche Lorraine can be found on the menu of most cafés in France, its origins can actually be traced back to Germany (quiche comes from the German word "kuchen," which means cake).

The dish originated as an open pie of heavy cream, eggs, and bacon or chopped ham served on a brioche pastry. Cheese, particularly the soft Swiss varieties Emmental or Gruyère, was added to the recipe later on.

You can find Annie Smithers' recipe for quiche Lorraine on page 314 of Emett's book.


Pacific island-style cured fish is huge in New Zealand.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (11)

"Coming from New Zealand, this is a dish you see a lot on menus across the country, given that we are so close to the Pacific islands," Emett told Insider.

"When you have the ability to catch and buy extremely fresh fish, a cured fish dish is the way to go. It's simple to prepare and the coconut milk really makes it."

Emett included the "MasterChef" judge Monica Galetti's recipe for the dish, which has been called "ceviche with a Samoan twist," in his book.

There are only six ingredients in this fresh dish: stone bass fillets, tomatoes, lemon, celery, spring onions, and coconut milk. Galetti advises using sea bass if you can't find stone bass.

You can find Galetti's recipe for Pacific island-style cured fish on the BBC's website or page 170 of Emett's book.


Fried chicken and gravy is a favorite in Emett's home.

A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (12)

"Who doesn't love fried chicken?" Emett said. "This recipe is next level and, although it requires some planning — as the recipe calls for an overnight brine followed by a buttermilk marinade — it's still really simple. This is one of my kids' favorite dishes."

And his kids aren't alone: Fried chicken has been beloved for centuries. A recipe for fried chicken is said to have appeared in a 4th-century Roman cookbook, and the dish was embraced by Americans as early as the 1830s.

The dish is still hugely popular, whether at dedicated fried-chicken fast-food restaurants like KFC and Popeyes or in its many variations in Southern cuisine, including chicken-fried steak (part of the official state meal of Oklahoma) and Nashville's hot chicken.

You can find the chef Sean Brock's fried chicken and gravy recipe on pages 202 to 204 in Emett's book.

You can buy "The Recipe" on Amazon.

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A Michelin-star chef shares 9 classic recipes every home cook should know how to make (2024)


What should every home cook know how do you make? ›

17 Dishes Every Home Cook Should Know How to Make, According to Chefs
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How many recipes does the average person know? ›

A survey found that, on average, people claimed to know how to make 15 recipes without having to look them up.

What is the hardest chef dish to make? ›

1. Consommé Devilish dish: A clear soup made from meat, tomato, egg whites and stock, slowly simmered to bring impurities to the surface for skimming. Techn-eeek: Even some of the most experienced chefs cannot master the complex clarification process required to make consommé.

What dishes does Gordon Ramsay use? ›

Gordon Ramsay's best recipes include Beef Wellington, Coq au Vin, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Piccata, Rack of Lamb, Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill, Shrimp Scampi, Beef and Guinness Stew, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Beef Burgundy.

What do chefs say all day? ›

All Day. In chef slang, the expression all day is used to indicate the total number of orders needed. As tickets come in, a chef will shout out the orders followed by all day. If there are three orders of fries on one ticket and four orders of fries on another ticket, there are seven orders of fries all day.

Is Bobby Flay a Michelin chef? ›

The Las Vegas Mesa Grill earned Flay his only Michelin Star in 2008, which was taken away in the 2009 edition. Michelin did not publish a 2010 or 2011 Las Vegas edition, so the star could not be re-earned. Bolo Bar & Restaurant closed its doors on December 31, 2007, to make way for a condominium.

Who is No 1 chef in world? ›

Joël Robuchin holds the number one spot amongst the world's top 10 chefs, making him the best chef in the world according to Michelin star ratings.

Who is the most respected chef in the world? ›

1. Joël Robuchon: 31 Michelin Stars. Many consider the late French chef Joël Robuchon the best chef of the modern age. And with 31 Michelin Stars spread across three continents, it's hard to argue this claim.

Why did Gordon Ramsay lost a Michelin star? ›

In October 2013, the Gordon Ramsay at The London restaurant in New York lost its two Michelin stars owing to issues encountered by the Michelin reviewers. The guide's director Michael Ellis stated that he was served "some very erratic meals" and also experienced "issues with consistency."

Does Wolfgang Puck have any Michelin stars? ›

Puck and his Fine Dining Group have opened restaurants across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Among them his flagship restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills and CUT, Beverly Hills and Singapore all have earned Michelin Stars.

Who taught Gordon Ramsay? ›

After earning a vocational diploma in hotel management from North Oxon Technical College in 1987, he moved to London and began honing his culinary skills under chef Marco Pierre White at the restaurant Harvey's and under chef Albert Roux at La Gavroche.

Do you think everyone should know how do you cook? ›

Cooking improves your health

There is a whole lotta truth to this statement. Consider that by learning to cook you are not only in control of your calorie intake, but you're also building healthier habits, and the healthier you eat, the more energy you'll have to keep cooking.

Why everyone needs to know how do you cook? ›

Preparing fresh foods will put necessary nutrition into your diet and increase your energy and quality of health in the short and long run. You will learn proper planning and preparation skills to see a task through while contributing in a positive way to the health of your family and friends.

Should 14 year olds know how do you cook? ›

There are many benefits for teens who know how to cook. They eat fewer fast food meals and eat more vegetables. Studies have shown that adolescents that cook have fewer incidences of depression.

How do I start learning to cook at home? ›

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