Becoming a better cook is a lifelong journey. From the first time we fry eggs to the day we can pull off pitch-perfect holiday feasts and beyond, we are always learning to hone techniques, tweak flavors and textures, introduce novel ingredients, and rise to the next level of kitchen domination. In short, the better we get, the bigger the challenges that we seek. So once you’re at the point of masterfully replicating great recipes at home—anticipating timing issues, monitoring temperatures, correcting confidently when problems arise—you’re ready to start designing your own dishes. There are plenty of things to think about, from preparation through plating, as you set off on your own path. We spend months developing the recipes that wind up on this website and end up discarding a lot of ideas and dishes along the way. To become a truly original culinary artist, you’ll need to do the same.