Bianca Borges

The Art of Kitchen Improv

Master cooking without a recipe.
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Your Outcome

Learn our fourteen must-have cooking techniques; if you never learn another cooking method, you’ll still be set for a lifetime of great food. You'll also learn to crack the code of all recipes by mastering the Milk Street Theory of Cooking.

Course Offers

  1. 1
    Learn two dramatically different ways to prepare each of seven ingredients. These are our must-have techniques; if you never learn another cooking method you’ll still be set for a lifetime of great food.
  2. 2
    Crack the code of great recipes by mastering the Milk Street Theory of Cooking
  3. 3
    Practice reverse-engineering your dinner. When you know your goal you’ll make the right choices from start to finish.
  4. 4
    Memorize 10 essential Milk Street cooking tricks and techniques. These little recipes with techniques and tips are the tools you need for true kitchen improv.
  5. 5
    Use Milk Street’s essential spice blends
  6. 6
    aromatic combinations and condiments to endlessly customize a recipe template to fit your preferences.
  7. 7
    Learn what equipment is actually essential. We give you our bare-bones list of kitchenware and nothing more.

Course Info

The Art of Kitchen Improv Media

We’re going to teach you to reverse engineer your cooking: an essential skill for cooking with ease any night of the week. When you reverse engineer cooking, you think about your desired end result before you pick up a knife; once you know where you want to go, then you will know how to select the techniques, ingredients and equipment to get you there. No recipe needed. This class is carefully edited and sequenced to optimize your learning and success. It includes:

- The Milk Street Cooking Theory. Our theory is the touchstone for more than our recipes; its principles guide all of our cooking. Once you learn to cook according to our theory, your cooking will be transformed. We put it first in class because our theory underscores all that follows.

- Heat basics. We’ll cover the two key temperatures and two material facts you need to memorize in order to improv. If you can remember these four heat lessons, you’ll have essential tools needed to cook with ease and confidence.

- 14 recipe templates. This class is centered around seven main ingredients and two dramatically different recipes for each. Each recipe, though, is really a launching point for endless variations. We promise: if you only know two ways to these seven fundamental ingredients, these are the two you need.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re making chicken for dinner. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what kind of meal do you want:

- When you want a rich roasted dinner, you’ll choose our tray bake technique, switching between a caramelized garlic and roasted cauliflower version and one with crispy scallions and lemon “pan sauce” (amongst endless other variations).

- When a meal calls for a light and fresh take on chicken, you’ll want to use our unique poaching method, which you can make with sake and ginger or cider, mustard and thyme.

In this class you’ll learn two equally different approaches for all seven ingredients and how to customize them to your tastes.

- 10 essential Milk Street cooking tricks and techniques. These are little recipes and techniques that will make you a better cook and help you improvise quickly and smoothly.

- Milk Street’s essential spice blends, aromatic combinations and condiments. These are slimmed-down and streamlined lists of essentials. Again, if you remember only these few options, you’ll be in excellent shape for outstanding cooking.

- Bare bones equipment must-haves. We’ll tell you what knives and pans we literally cannot cook without, and nothing more.

Your Instructors

  • Bianca Borges Headshot
    Bianca Borges Headshot

    Bianca Borges

    Master Chef

    Bianca Borges, Milk Street contributing recipe developer and television cast member, was formerly the culinary director for the “Today” show. While working with Christopher Kimball on his segments, she enjoyed their easy rapport as they discussed thoughts on food and cooking. In the '80s, Bianca unwittingly launched a career in food by giving up waitressing to roll out pasta. Over time, she became pastry cook, pastry instructor, recipe developer and food stylist for the newly launched TV Food Network, as well as other positions created during this exciting period of growth within the food industry. She became food stylist for the “Today” show in 2003, working alongside the most talented chefs and innovators in food, including Chris. Following three and a half decades of food travel and work, Bianca is thrilled to find a home at Milk Street, and to have two grown daughters who still text her for cooking advice.

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30 Day Money Back Guarantee