The Best New Restaurant host shares his one "common sense" tip for mastery in the kitchen

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 08, 2020 01:13 PM

With his Bravo show Best New Restaurant kicking off Wednesday night, Tom Colicchio has a few carefully guarded pieces of information (like, say, the winner) up the sleeve of his chef’s whites, but he is willing to give up one key tidbit for aspiring chefs watching from home — whether or not they want to hear it is another thing…

“There are no tricks to cooking. There’s no secret,” Colicchio tells PEOPLE. “If you want to be a better cook, cook more. That’s it. It’s practice!”

The host and judge of Top Chef urges that new and intermediate cooks shouldn’t worry about slicing-and-dicing at Hung Huynh speeds — and they certainly don’t need to approach each new meal as a Quickfire Challenge. “Slow’s okay,” he assures.

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“I was actually thinking about this the other night,” he recalls. “It was a cold day. I wasn’t going anywhere. I was making a bunch of different braised meats like a bollita mista. I said [to myself], ‘You know what? I’m going to start doing this early because I don’t want to rush through it.’ I enjoy doing it. I enjoy the process of it. Why rush?”

A combination of personal and professional helped Colicchio, who has more than three decades of restaurant experience, not to mention a discerning trio of critics at home. “Too often in the city I’ll come home around 5 or so to see the kids, and I have to get dinner on the table in 10, 15 minutes. Rushing through it’s not fun. When you take time, think about it, it’s fun,” he says. “Even working in restaurants, after a while, you get burnt out by it.”

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Colicchio also takes care to note that at-home cooks “don’t have to do elaborate things,” but they will benefit from one ingredient: passion. “[Cooking isn’t] something I do because I have to. It’s something I do because I like doing it. Is that a trick? I guess, but it’s common sense.”

Best New Restaurant premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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