Food Network chefs share secrets for getting to grips with cooking

Preparing a meal for a group of people for the first time can cause a bit of anxiety and make you feel like you’re under a microscope. However, seasoned chefs like Ree Drummond and Ina Garten are there to help you unwind. Here are some tips from some of the Food Network stars on how to get to grips with cooking.

Pioneer Ree Drummond

Robin Roberts and Ree Drummond | Donna Svennevik/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

If you need confidence when you’re in the kitchen, The Pioneer Woman is here to help. She says Taste of home the first step is not to think too much. It’s easy to get so worked up that you become too anxious to cook a good meal. Drummond says the only way to get good at cooking is to practice.

“You’re going to mess up a lot and it’s not going to go exactly right,” Drummond told Taste of Home. “But one day you’ll make like the best meal ever.”

Drummond also recommends starting with a simple dish. Don’t try to do anything too complicated. The Food Network star reminds home cooks to have fun. “Cooking should be synonymous with pleasure!” she says.

Carla Room

Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall raise a glass of wine on the set of The Chew
Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Carla Hall | Content Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney General Entertainment via Getty Images

If you’re new to the kitchen and planning to cook a meal for a large group, you’re probably feeling anxious. According to chef Carla Hall, the best way to manage your first meal for a large group is to prepare meals you’re familiar with. She also advises making fewer dishes and asking others for help.

“Do what you know, first,” Hall tells Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Eliminate the pressure by not trying to recreate a dinner your mom made, or your grandparents made, or whoever was cooking.”

Hall explains that it’s best not to try to copy the person who did most of the cooking, as they probably had more practice than you. Don’t expect to make a meal that tastes exactly the same as theirs. This person has been cooking meals for many years, so be patient with yourself.

“What you remember about them was probably 20 years after the game started,” Hall says. “If there’s something you’re not sure about, have someone bring it!”

Ina’s Garden

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barefoot countess star Garten encourages home cooks to not think too much and use store-bought ingredients if it’s more practical. When you throw a big dinner party, you might start to panic. You want everything to go well, and just thinking about making a mistake can make you nervous.

Garten offers great advice for home cooks planning a dinner party. In her cookbook Contessa Barefoot Parties! she advises cooks to “stay very, very cool.” Staying calm will give you a better chance of keeping everything under control. If you are not frantic, you will be able to make the best decisions when faced with a stressful situation.

Samantha Seneviratne

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Samantha Seneviratne also advises new cooks to relax and not think too much about what they are going to do. She tells Showbiz Cheat Sheet that it’s best to make meals that aren’t too complicated. The Food Network chef strives to show dishes that almost anyone can make.

“My theme would be doable, homemade, homey, baked goods,” says Seneviratne. “These aren’t always the easiest recipes, but they’re certainly doable in a home kitchen.”

RELATED: ‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond reveals the highlight of her career so far

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