Chef and Food Network star Guy Fieri is known for his shows like "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
While partnering with King's Hawaiian, Fieri told Insider his biggest tips for beginner home cooks.
Make sure to use high-quality ingredients and be adventurous with your pantry staples.
It's no secret Guy Fieri is a household name and foodie icon.
In addition to presenting successful TV franchises like "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," the chef has given back to his communities in several ways, from donating over $25 million to restaurant workers during the coronavirus pandemic to operating mobile kitchens during California wildfires.
Recently, Fieri partnered with King's Hawaiian to help home cooks master simple dishes and he told Insider some of his best tips for beginners.
Make sure to include contrasting flavors and textures in each recipe
According to the chef, the key to an interesting plate is the juxtaposition. This applies to every dish, from sandwiches to salads.
For a good sandwich, he recommends mixing acid, flavor, and crunch with giardiniera (pickled vegetables), crispy lettuce, thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes, sweet onions, high-quality mustard, and premium deli meats.
He told Insider that bread is key to a good sandwich and King's Hawaiian is his top pick.
"The sandwich always starts with the bread," Fieri added. "First thing that makes it in your mouth, first thing you see on the plate is the bread."
He said a toasted King's Hawaiian roll can add the perfect touch of sweetness to a sandwich, tying everything together in a symphony of great flavors and textures.
When it comes to condiments to add moisture and flavor to a sandwich, Fieri said he doesn't shy away from mixing something up from scratch, whether that be his famous donkey sauce (a garlicky sauce with a mayonnaise base) or a homemade aioli.
Don't be afraid to be adventurous with your ingredients and switch up recipes
For example, bread can be more than just a sandwich base.
Fieri said he likes to tear up some sweet King's Hawaiian bread to throw into a panzanella salad or toasts chunks with a little olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs for "fantastic croutons." He said the ingredient also works as a panade, the starch-liquid mixture that is added to the ground beef, for meatballs.
Fieri said he and his family also make sure to plan ahead with recipes so they can keep their meals from feeling repetitive.
"... Even before lunch today, we started having the discussion about what's going to be for dinner," he told Insider. "So we will have that discussion because that will set up what we have for lunch."
Turn to family recipes and spotlight fresh flavors
Although he isn't big on breakfast, Fieri said when he does enjoy a rare morning meal he gravitates toward foods he ate growing up.
For example, when he's in the mood for an early pick-me-up, he gravitates toward grits, a mild porridge typically made from boiled cornmeal.
"My mom is from North Carolina, so we grew up eating grits and ham, and red-eye gravy," he said. "... If we're gonna have a family breakfast, Sunday football, or we're having a brunch and we're having friends around, my wife knows we gotta make sure we have some good stone-ground grits in the house."
The chef also said he enjoys preparing homemade granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, a dish he also ate growing up.
"My mom used to make the best granola when I was a kid, and I just look for the texture. I like granola made with honey, and I like there to be nuts in it," he explained. "But just a little bit of yogurt, just to kind of add a little moisture and kind of smooth it out a bit, and then some fresh berries."
Never forget the importance of high-quality ingredients
Fieri told Insider that every recipe will taste better if you put more thought into the ingredients, from the bread for a grilled cheese to the honey going into granola.
"The key to great cooking, you guys, is great ingredients," he said. "Ingredients make all the difference. It's really not using subpar ingredients and then having to doctor things up. Use great ingredients!"
Don't be afraid to keep things simple and work with what you know
Although his partnership with King's Hawaiian has also led to the creation of several easy dishes for home cooks, from hot dogs to meatball sliders, the chef's biggest tip for honing your kitchen skills is to take things slow and try one new recipe at a time.
Trying to tackle several new recipes at once to throw together an impressive meal can often lead to more trouble than good.
"How about you cook the rice that you know how to cook, the vegetable that you know how to cook, and then get adventurous on the protein, or vice versa?" Fieri said.
"Don't try to take on all these different endeavors at the same time, because you are inevitably going to mess things up," he added. "So slow and steady."
Focus on gradually building a catalog of great go-to recipes, and pay attention when others cook for you
Fieri told Insider that over time, home chefs will build up a catalog of dishes they are great at cooking, so every meal will be easier to make and more delicious.
In addition to building your own collection of recipes, let others cook for you sometimes so you can taste new recipes and get inspired.
For example, the chef said he's stepped back from the kitchen before to let his sons, Hunter and Ryder, take over.
"Any time my boys take over the helm in the kitchen and say, 'We got this, we're gonna go do this, we want to make dinner for you,' or even when Hunter wants to make chicken salad — he makes a great chicken salad — it always tastes better when somebody else makes it for you," Fieri said.
"Cooking is so much about comfort, and so much about emotion, and so much about family," he added.
You can learn from both experience and example in the kitchen and connect with those around you over your shared enjoyment.
Want to cook some of Guy Fieri's recipes at home? Check out his first cookbook:
Read the original article on Insider