The Salt and Pepper Rule.

Here is an interesting post I wanted to share from Chef John DiGiovanni who works at Nationwide Arena. All of us chefs do have our own unique methods.

As chefs we all have a method to our madness. It’s the little things that make us who we are. It may be something that was passed down from chefs we worked or mentored under. It may be something new we learn from another area or picked it up. I’m sure if you asked my cooks, I have many, but my main two are that my spices must be arranged in alphabetical order on their shelves and the salt and pepper rule.

The salt and pepper rule basically started one time when I was walking through my kitchen and finding little containers of salt and pepper mixes in random places made by different cooks and each blend was different. It would drive me crazy!   I don’t care for salt and pepper blends, mainly becasue I like to have more control when I season. Because of this, the salt and pepper rule was created:

“Kosher or sea salt. Keep the pepper in the mill. Keep them separated.”

I had to break it down even further:

“Kosher or sea salt“-I generally use kosher salt for curing and seasoning meats and sea salt for everything else. The kosher salt has large crystals and is more effective to pull out moisture in proteins. I like to use sea salt when I am cooking pasta or baking as it dissolves quicker than kosher.

“Keep the pepper in the mill”  How old is that pre-ground pepper in the pantry? Once ground, pepper loses its aromatics quickly.

“Keep them separated” Goes back to control. What if you have the right amount of salt, but need to add some pepper? Or vice versa? Also I usually like to add black pepper at the end of cooking.

I’m curious to see who out there agrees or disagrees with my salt and pepper rule and why. I love to learn new things. Do you have a particular “salt and pepper rule”?


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