To start off the new year, we compiled some helpful cooking and kitchen tips from a few of our favorite chefs! Here at Oldways, we also have a few tricks up our sleeves! From making dishes more delicious, making preparation easier, reducing food waste, or keeping organized in the kitchen—we have some clever ideas for you to try out in 2023! 


Jesse Ziff Cool: Owner/Creator/Chef of Flea Street 

Jesse suggests making your own Shiitake Mushroom Dust! Simply dry them, and grind in a Bullet Blender or spice grinder!

This easy DIY gives you a tasty homemade umami flavoring that can be added to so many recipes! We think it would taste delicious added to this Sprouted Brown Rice and Zucchini Risotto.

Michael Lombardi: Co-Executive Chef and Partner at SRV & Chef and Owner Si Cara

A simple cooking tip Chef Michael suggests to make home cooking more flavorful would be to use more vinegar! “Acid really makes food pop and home cooks tend to use it only in salad dressing. Use it in all your side dishes and they will shine a bit brighter,” he says.

We were lucky enough to learn alongside Chef Michael during our October 2022 culinary tour in Naples and the Amalfi Coast! To go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip accompanied by a professional chef—check out our upcoming tours

Pomegranates in Turkey

Ana Sortun: Executive Chef at Oleana, Executive Chef/ Co-Owner Sofra Bakery, & Co-Owner of Sarma 

According to Chef Ana Sortun, “This is the time of year to enjoy pomegranates. I love splitting them in half through the belly and juicing them like you would an orange for fresh juice (in fact combining them with equal parts orange juice is a super dose of Vitamin C.)

“Also, a quick and easy way to remove the seeds to sprinkle over a salad or rice dish is to split the pomegranate through the belly, crosswise as you would for juice but then hold the pomegranate in your hand, upside down (cut side in your hand) over a large mixing bowl and hit it with a wooden spoon.  Capture the seeds in your hand and let some fall in the bowl.  Pick out any white/yellow pith that falls into the seeds.  Keep hitting with the spoon until the pomegranate cavity is empty. This is quick, easy and a no wash/rinse method as when you soak pomegranate seeds in water, they dilute the flavor.” Watch how Chef Ana removes the seeds of a pomegranate here!

Join Chef Ana Sortun in Turkey on a small-group cooking experience on the Aegean Coast of Turkey! 


Tom Berry: Chief Culinary Officer COJE Management group restaurants

Chef Tom recommends using a sharp knife! “A good, sharp knife makes everything more enjoyable; it reduces stress on the joints, makes prettier food, and ironically is less likely to cut you!  Also, don’t underestimate the value of a good, serrated knife, perfect for wafer thin slices of bread, tomatoes and anything that is crispy/fried,” he says.

Learn more from Chef Tom during our culinary adventure in Costa Rica!

Catherine Katz: Creator of Cuisinicity

Catherine has two easy tips to grill veggies perfectly—one being get a good grill pan, and the other is to get a squeeze bottle that helps you from using too much oil!

See her explanations and examples

Kathy Slidell: Owner Saltie Girl & President and Culinarian MET restaurant group

Chef Kathy shares step-by-step how to easily de-vein shrimp!

Plus—our Oldways staff have a few hacks of their own!

Kelly: Kelly uses a special cookbook marking system to stay organized, and to keep track of recipes she has already made or wants to make!

Hannah: Hannah has a simple, but life-changing way to zest lemons and other citrus.

Katherine: Want to keep your herbs fresher for longer? Katherine stores hers in water to preserve them for longer! 

Abby: Former employee Abby has a great way to peel ginger—With a spoon!

What are your favorite kitchen hacks? Connect with us on social media and let us know!

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