MasterChef’s top tips to stop you blowing your lid when entertaining friends and family...
Keep it simple
Be realistic about what you can achieve in the kitchen. If your risotto always burns or choux makes you want to scream, don’t attempt them. Keep dishes simple to stop you tearing your hair out later.
Yell for help
Learning the art of pastry-making from your mum, doing a course in Thai cuisine or asking your friend to prepare dessert doesn’t make you any less of a chef. In fact, their assistance may help you improve your technique.
Don’t over-dramatize every bad situation in the kitchen. It’s easy to smash a plate and magnify the negatives when things go wrong, but it’s better to take yourself to a calm place where you can gain control of your emotions.
Visualise your pan-related problems as a knot – the more you panic and pull, the tighter it will become. Unravel the issue gradually, while focusing on a mental image of you gliding around the kitchen like a domestic goddess!
Light some scented candles and play your favourite music - light jazz or soulful strains could help keep you relaxed as you work your culinary magic.
Tell yourself “I can cope in the kitchen” five times before you start prepping the meal. Whenever you feel yourself getting stressed out, repeat the mantra again.
Breathing can help you escape a stressful kitchen situation. Turn the stove off, close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose for five seconds, then exhale through your mouth for five seconds. Keep repeating until you feel calm.
Never leave cooking until the last minute. Prepare food early, so that you have time to go for a walk, have a bath or put your feet up before your dinner guests arrive.
Stop the clock
The MasterChef contestants can’t ignore the fact that time is ticking, but you can. Your friends won’t mind waiting an extra half hour to have their bellies filled, so just enjoy preparing the food and take your time.