© John Kernick

Inspired by her book, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, F&W editor in chief Dana Cowin takes a cooking lesson from a chef. Her teacher this month: Seamus Mullen of Tertulia and El Colmado in New York City.

February 29, 2016

DO: Grinding spices takes a little bit longer than I want to wait. One way to speed things up is to shake the grinder as it whirs, like a mixologist.

 © John Kernick

DON’T: If you grind spices too finely, they’ll burn in the pan. Keep them chunky!

 © John Kernick

Related: Chicken Drumsticks

DO: Using the back of a Microplane when zesting lemon means less pith.

 © John Kernick

DO: Seamus rubs the meat with oil to make the coating stick.

 © John Kernick

DON’T: Don’t get the skillet hot, hot, hot before searing the chicken. The spices will burn.

DO: When toasting sesame seeds, stop when they become fragrant; don’t worry about the color.