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Cooking The Perfect Omelet (And Other Life Lessons)

Three-egg omelette with mozzarella and basil

Creating Young Chefs

Chef and cookbook author Didi Emmons fell in love with cooking when she was 12 years old after making applesauce in a home economics class. "Soon after, I mastered the omelet and made my parents breakfast in bed more Sundays than they really expected or wanted."

It's no surprise then that she has gone on to become a successful chef, opening four restaurants in the Boston area and writing three cookbooks, including her latest Wild Flavors.

She now spends most of her culinary time spreading the good word about cooking to the next generation. As part of Project Bread, she is in school cafeterias one day a week cooking lunches, and through her Haley House Café, she runs cooking classes for kids.

"This is the most empowering thing you can do to a twelve-year-old," she says.

How To Cook The Perfect Omelet

Emmons lays out her method for preparing a basic omelet:

  1. Start with a well-seasoned pan. Non-stick would be fine, but even better would be to have an omelet pan that you only use for making omelets and never wash it. (Gourmet recommends seasoning your omelet pan with a generous sprinkling of sea salt followed by one-inch of vegetable oil. Let it sit for 12 hours at room temperature. Then warm the pan over moderately low heat so that the oil is begins to smoke. Wipe the oil out of the pan. Only use this pan for omelets and never wash it after use.)
  2. Get your pan nice and hot.
  3. Add butter and heat it so you hear the fat sizzling. You need to hear a major sizzle when you add the eggs.
  4. After the eggs hit, stir quickly for 30 seconds, then turn the heat off and let it set.
  5. Incorporate whatever add-ins you like and enjoy!

To finish the omelet, she teaches the kids a technique for rolling it out of the pan and onto a plate. "When they get that, they're on this high."

More: Try our recipe for the French Sailor Omelet With Salmon And Brie -- delicious!

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