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Looking for some simple ways to give your at-home cooking game a leg up? We’ve asked some of Hong Kong’s top chefs (from the likes of Artemis & Apollo, Pici, Conrad Hong Kong and Island Shangri-La) to share their top tips for cooking like a pro.

Trust your taste buds

‘Don’t be afraid to go a little off-recipe and trust your taste buds. Taking the next step in the kitchen, I always think, is about getting the balance of acidity and richness right. So if you’re cooking something rich like lamb, try squeezing a little lemon over the chops as we do at Artemis & Apollo, or if you’re making a leg or shoulder, experiment with a red wine vinaigrette. These little details make all the difference.’ — Billy Otis, Development Chef, Black Sheep Restaurants

The freezer is your friend

‘Always keep plenty of herbs at home, as they give a different dimension to the dish that helps bring out the flavour. You can also freeze them — most herbs will still keep their aroma and smell. Another tip for the freezer is to make large batches of fish, vegetable and chicken stock (all easy to make) and pour the stock into ice cubes and pop them in the freezer for easy access.” — Andrea Viglione, Executive Chef, Pici

Souped-up salt and pepper

‘Whether it’s sea salt, Himalayan salt or fleur de sel, you can find good-quality salt quite easily these days. Make sure it’s not in powder but in flake form, and crush it with a knife blade or with a mortar and add it into the dish at the last minute. The same goes for black pepper. Use grains inside a pepper mill and use it freshly ground. The end result is so much better!’ — Claudio Rossi, Executive Chef, Conrad Hong Kong

Simply the best asparagus

Want a great go-to side dish? ‘The best and simplest way to cook white asparagus is using the traditional French technique: simmer it in water with a slice of lemon, some salt and a pinch of flour for four to six minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. It’ll cook it perfectly, and won’t dull its pearly white colour.’ — Chef Ricardo Chaneton, Island Shangri-La