Manu’s tips for 5-star cooking on a budget

Manu Feildel reveals how you can impress in the kitchen without blowing out your budget.

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Can you cook gourmet meals if you don't have truckloads of money to spend on fancy ingredients? Are you able to impress your family and guests with your culinary skills even if you've got zero time to drive all the way out to a wholefood store for ideas. Is it possible to cook like a 5-star chef on a budget? Well, we decided to go straight to the source and ask our favourite 5-star chef and judge of My Kitchen Rules Manu Feildel.

"Of course you can cook gourmet food on a budget," Feildel says. "But it depends on your definition of gourmet, I guess!"

So how can we do this? Well, Manu says one of the tricks to masterful cooking is actually to opt for simplicity, rather than attempting to impress.

"Keep it simple and achievable. Good quality simple food can be the most delicious."

With this in mind, we asked Manu for his top tips and advice on how to impress in the kitchen and cook like a chef, even if you don't have a bottomless bank account.

Use great ingredients

"Look for protein that has been reduced in the supermarket, often this meat is slightly more aged so more tasty!"

"Buy fresh produce from farmers' markets and always cook with fruit and vegetables that are in season – if you buy out of season you will pay a premium."

"Keep it simple – you don't need fancy food for a fancy meal, good quality simple food can be the most delicious."

Choose crowd-pleasers

"You can't beat a great simple roast. Roast chicken, fresh vegetables and a great sauce feeds a family for a great price and is full of flavour."

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Seasoning is a make or break

"Seasoning is key. A bland, tasteless dish can ruin a meal."

"For me you must always have some sauce – it brings a dish together. Understand the correct way to cook the protein you are using – no one wants an overcooked steak or a dry lamb chop!"

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Nail what you know

"Keep it simple and achievable – this is more impressive than failing at a meal because you are trying to impress with ingredients or techniques that you don't know or understand."

"Make sure you use ingredients that make sense together – flavours that complement each other."


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