1. Use herbs and spices.

    There’s more to seasoning than salt and pepper. Make use of fresh herbs and dried spices to boost the flavour of any dish without adding calories.

  2. Read ahead

    We can’t stress this one enough: read the whole recipe through several times before you begin cooking, making sure you have a clear mental image of each step.

  3. Be prepared

    The French call it mise en place, and it means prepping everything before you start cooking. Timing is everything in the kitchen, and having everything ready to go leaves you to focus solely on each step of the recipe.

  4. Mind your knives

    A sharp knife makes cooking easier, more efficient and safer. Invest in a knife sharpener and use it regularly. Store your knives in a block or on a magnetic strip rather than a drawer, to avoid unnecessary blunting. Wash your knives in the sink rather than putting them in the dishwasher, and only use wooden or plastic chopping boards.

  5. Make room for acid

    Adding some form of acid — such as citrus juice, vinegar or white wine — is often the best way to give an instant lift to a dish. Acids, especially citrus, are best when added at the end of cooking.

  6. Taste as you go

    Flavours change as you cook, so it’s important to taste as you go. Add salt in stages as you build a dish to bring out layers of flavour.