Home cooks have mastered this many new dishes in 2020

More than 40% of Americans think their cooking skills have improved so much during the pandemic that they could now compete on TV's MasterChef, according to new research. More than six in every 10 Americans say their cooking skills have improved since the beginning of the pandemic, and a new survey of 2,000 Americans revealed new insights on how cooking has become a bigger part of people's lives since the pandemic began. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Certified Piedmontese, the survey examined how the pandemic has proven a kitchen confidence booster for many Americans, and how they plan to continue this culinary momentum in the new year and beyond. If your New Year's resolutions involve eating better, you're far from alone — but not necessarily in the way you might think. Six in 10 respondents reported that improving their culinary skills is at the top of their resolution list this year. On average, respondents have learned to cook eight new dishes in 2020. And that trend shows no sign of stopping, as 77% of respondents reported a desire to attempt to tackle at least one worldly dish in the New Year. Top sophisticated dishes respondents are aiming to perfect in 2021 included filet mignon (26%), croissants (25%) and beef wellington (25%). But that doesn't mean these fancy favorites will come easily to would-be Master Chefs. The average respondent reported that they'll try cooking a new dish six times before they can perfect it. The secret to perfection? Quality ingredients, according to eight in 10 respondents, who say that these are the differentiator between a great dish and a mediocre one. "Quality ingredients are the most often overlooked component of great cooking," said an Executive Chef from Certified Piedmontese. "Beginning with the best possible base - like a premium cut of steak - does wonders to elevate a cooking experiment to a true masterpiece." The study also found that 66% of people would love to cook with higher-end ingredients, but wouldn't go out of their way to buy them for themselves. However, the same amount of respondents admit when they find something on sale or at a discount, they don't hesitate to purchase it. Over seven in 10 respondents, in addition, agree that knowing where their food comes from is very important to them. Moreover, two-thirds of respondents check to verify that the claims about their food are verified and that the food came from a reputable source. "Understanding where your food is coming from is extremely important to taking your cuisine to the next level," the Executive Chef added. "Whether you're whipping up prime rib to celebrate New Year's Day, crafting that perfect roulade to impress your significant other on Valentine's Day, or marking any other special occasion with a new culinary endeavor in 2021, starting with quality-sourced ingredients is key to success."