Oil or butter is why restaurant food tastes good.
You don't need to use lots of different ingredients or go for complex flavours, sometimes less is more.
When I crockpot pork, I use beer instead of water.
Be flexible and adapt. Ingredients *will* vary and you need to test for seasoning or done-ness as you go. Don't follow a recipe dogmatically.
Water will not put out a grease fire
Taste as you cook so you don't over or under season.
Salt the water where you boil your pasta or eggs.
Was a pro chef for over a decade, my tip is simple. When seasoning or flavoring anything you cook, remember, you can always add, but you can never take away. As in, you throw way too much salt in that soup you've busted your ass making all day, it's ruined, but if it's not salty enough, all you got to do is add a little more.
When frosting a cake, always crumb coat. That is, frost with a thin layer of buttercream to lock in crumbs, and pop in the fridge for 20 -30 minutes. When you pull it out, you'll have a nice solid surface to frost, and you won't get any visible crumbs/bumps, which will make it look much more professional.
If you're trying to cook Asian cuisine or some sort of fusion add a few drops of sesame oil into your food and toss, its gives it that distinct Asian-cuisiney flavor.
Not a tip but, I recommend watching some of Gordon Ramsey's How to cook ________ videos on youtube. There are plenty of videos that teach how to cook simple things like a world class chef. Eggs, Steak, chicken, etc.
[here's a really simple scrambled eggs video](https://youtu.be/PUP7U5vTMM0) for example
Clean as you go.
Roux. Holy crap, roux. Once you learn how to make a roux, you'll never want to eat Easy Mac again, because a roux is almost as easy and a hundred times better.
A roux (pronounced 'roo') is basically an automatic thickener for homemade soups and sauces. You take equal amounts of fat (usually butter) and flour, heat the fat, then whisk in the flour.
From there, it depends on what you're doing for it, but for simple mac and cheese, you then pour in some milk, whisk it for a few seconds, let it cook til it bubbles and starts to thicken, then mix in your cheese and whisk it until it melts.
Boom, now you have homemade cheese sauce that's way better than any powdered garbage.
A falling knife has no handle, and you should google a substitution before you go ahead with it.
Cooking is art, be creative.
Baking is science, follow the recipe.