Would you like to improve your cooking skills? David Lebovitz has 10 easy steps to get you there—and who better to believe than a former Chez Panisse chef who’s since run off to Paris and has a shiny Euro patina on him? I’d trust the guy.

Cooking not being rocket science (it’s far, far more important than that!), some of these tips won’t be earth-shaking to a careful cook (use fresh herbs, upgrade your oil and vinegar, etc.). But there are enough excellent pointers even for experienced gourmets. Lebovitz comes out in favor of shallots and their many uses, and sings the praises of lentilles de Puy, green French lentils that taste worlds better than the brown ones typically found on American supermarket shelves. He also includes cookware suggestions (though the cast iron versus nonstick debate rages in the comments section).

I’d recommend adopting Lebovitz’s suggestions as New Year’s resolutions—and hey, use the holiday season to stock up on good cookware and knives (my one beef with the list is the missing mention of the wonders to be found in a kitchen with sharp knives). Surely someone owes you a holiday present. Why not make it All-Clad? (And while you’re at it, check out the tip in the comments section about the annual All-Clad sale coming up this month—wowza.)

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