8 Chefs Share the Best Cooking Advice They've Ever Received

These are the tips the pros remember.

Pineapple and pulled pork tacos
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Even professional chefs need cooking advice. With pointers on everything from how to make an excellent quiche to how to grill the perfect steak, it can get a little tricky to know which pointers to follow and which ones to skip. That's why we tapped several chefs and other food pros and asked them to share the best cooking advice they've ever received. From cooking with love to cleaning as you cook, keep reading for some tips that the pros swear by!

"If you ruin anything, just cover it with a salsa and eat it in a taco." -Pati Jinich, chef, host of PBS' La Frontera and Pati's Mexican Table, and author of three cookbooks. Her latest is Treasures of the Mexican Table

"The best cooking advice I have received came from my Master Chef mentor, Saverio Stassi. First, that in the kitchen, nothing is personal. As cooks we are under a lot of pressure and tend to raise our voices, but once service is over, that should all be left behind. He also reminded me that we are blessed with a diversity of ingredients produced on our island, and the traces of our heritage contained in our national dishes must remain alive." -Chef Noemi Guzman of Jalao, a traditional Dominican restaurant in New York City

"My father would say, 'Time is the most precious asset that we have.' It's always a reminder for me to enjoy every moment of my life. I find it also applies to cooking, because when you enjoy your time cooking, your food comes out better. It's made with joy. Operating a restaurant, I'm not able to cook for my family every night, but come Sunday afternoon we crank up the music, enjoy some wine, and make dishes to eat throughout the week while the kids play." -Fernando Navas, chef and owner of BALVANERA

"Clean as you go, clean as you cook. You want to have a clear mind when you cook. If you cook messy and you have things all over the place, you more easily get overwhelmed and you don't cook with enough love and intention for the dish. I learned this early in my career, and I still follow this advice even to this day, and my cooks do this as well. I learned this from Jeremy Culver, executive chef of Joseph's Citarella in New York City where I began my culinary career. Once my grandma and mom knew I liked to be in the kitchen, they also gave me the same advice. I wish I would have asked more questions growing up. In reflecting back on it now, I should have asked my family before a chef had to tell me. -Chef Nelson German

"For me, my crew, and the chef, it's all about cooking with love. You have to put love into the food. If you don't put love into the food, nothing will taste right. That's the first ingredient, the first technique, the first everything. You have to have that feeling behind it, you have to really care about who you're cooking for." -Gerry Torres, founder of City Tacos in San Diego

"Cook for yourself, but with other people in mind." -Illyanna Maisonet, food columnist and author of the upcoming cookbook, Diasporican

"My father always told me: Do it right or don't do nothing. He was the kind of cook that, regardless of the cost of the materials, he would put lots of the best ingredients [in his food] even though he might not earn anything from that. That's what I believe is real love for cooking and the factor that differentiates his food from others." -Chef Tomas Matsufuji, of Al Toke Pez in Lima, Peru. "The best piece of cooking advice I ever received came from my mom. She is the person I turned to when I was first learning my way through recipes I missed the most after moving away for college. I'd call her often asking for recipes for this and that, and during one of our calls, she said 'ponle tu propio estilo' or give it your own spin. I've carried those simple words with me ever since, and I feel like they've allowed me to be creative with the recipes I develop and the work I've done as Chicano Eats and it's totally paid off." -Esteban Castillo, food blogger and author of the upcoming cookbook, Chicano Bakes

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