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How to Become a Better Eater in 2016

Munchies Staff

Fully embody your best self and smash every one of those #lifegoals by learning to cook and eat like a badass, courtesy of MUNCHIES’ favourite chefs.

Forget early morning yoga classes and being nicer to your parents, as great as those woefully unrealistic visions of yourself are, why not set an achievable New Year's Resolution this year?

Why not pledge to become a better eater?

Drop the packet ramen. Stop spending two hours scrolling through Jamie Oliver recipes before settling on stir fry for the third time this week. Fully embody your best self and smash every one of those #lifegoals by learning to cook and eat like a badass.

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Because 2015 has seen some of the world's coolest chefs, bakers, sommeliers, and all-round food experts selflessly step forward to steer us lesser mortals out of our embarrassing eating habits. It would be insanity not to take heed.

First up, you're gonna need to raise your pasta game. As Mitch Orr emphatically informs us, cream does not belong in a carbonara. According to the Australian chef, if you fuck around with ingredients other than "egg yolk, Pecorino Romano, guanciale, black pepper, and pasta" in your carbonara—well, you probably shouldn't be within ten feet of anything even resembling Italian cuisine.

On the topic of warming, carb-based dishes: we need to talk about pho. Specifically, the fact that you've probably been eating (and saying) it wrong this whole time. Do yourself a favour and listen to father-and-son team Vincent and Mikey Kha of Pennsylvania's Pho & Cafe Anh Hong. They'll set you straight on how to properly prepare and enjoy the much-loved Vietnamese broth. (FYI: it's pronounced fuh.)

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OK, so we can be forgiven for needing a little extra help on the "foreign" food front but even the most inept among us can get fries right, right?

Sorry. The chefs at LA's Badmaash restaurant have a pimped-up take on French fries that involves both chicken tikka masala and poutine. Read and take note, young one.

As well as doing base-level, greasy fodder wrong, you may also have been slipping on that other guilty pleasure: booze. According to François Renaud, wine director at LA's Hanjip Korean eatery, charred kimchi and kalbi go best not with soju, but a lightly chilled glass of glass of Basque txakolina white wine. Similarly, Atul Kochhar (the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, no less) recommends pairing coconut-based Indian curries with a fruity sauvignon blanc, rather than your standard bottle of Kingfisher.

As you make your way to becoming a master sommelier, don't forget about the less-intoxicating corners of beverage world—namely: tea. We hate to break it to you, but you may have been making the innocuous hot drink the wrong way for 30 years. It might be wise to revisit George Orwell's words of tea-making wisdom (long story short: tea first, then milk. No question).

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Of course, sometimes it's not just what you're eating and drinking, but how you go about doing it.

Hungover and abandoned by your friends but with an insatiable hankering for brunch? Alison Stevenson has the art of dining-alone-and-not-feeling-like-a-loser covered. Find yourself in a Tokyo sushi joint and unsure whether eating an avocado roll with your fingers will brand you a social heathen? Sushi chef Naomichi Yasuda can help you out.

As you celebrate your imminent transformation from culinarily challenged caterpillar into better-eating butterfly, why not see out the vestiges of 2k15 with some last minute Christmas cookies? Just make sure to follow baking supremo Claire Ptak's ginger molasses version—including the coriander.

And to serve this cornucopia of expert-approved food offerings?

Any way you like, so long as it's not on a wooden board.