The Expert Fish Tip Eric Ripert Taught Adrienne Cheatham - Exclusive

Fish can be a finicky food for the home cook. While there are so many varieties, many are often characterized by soft flesh and delicate flavors that can be ruined very quickly by the wrong ingredients and techniques. However, when you do get it right, the reward is often a light and tasty meal, full of luxurious textures and flavors.

So how do you make sure to get it right every time? You turn to the experts. In this case, we looked to Chef Adrienne Cheatham for guidance on all things fish. The "Top Chef" finalist is a published cookbook author with a background in fine dining, and one of her first mentors in the business was the one and only Eric Ripert. While working in the kitchen of Le Bernardin, Cheatham became well versed in all things fish, gleaning firsthand culinary insights from the world-renowned French seafood chef. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Adrienne Cheatham shared the expert cooking tip she learned from Chef Ripert in order to achieve perfectly cooked fish every single time.

You always want to undercook your fish, according to Cheatham

Working under a chef like Eric Ripert gave Adrienne Cheatham the chance to learn "so many cooking lessons," but none like the fish expertise she acquired from her time working at Le Bernardin. And you might be surprised to hear the most crucial piece of advice she picked up for cooking your filets with finesse: "Especially when it comes to cooking fish, ... if you cook it until it's cooked all the way through, it will be dry and overcooked by the time it hits your plate."

According to Cheatham, "It's the same thing as meat, where it pulls onto that residual heat when you take it out of the oven or out of the pan. That's why they say to rest your steak, because the temperature will actually go up by five to seven degrees depending on the piece of protein you're cooking." She added, "So you should cook your fish to medium rare, medium ... The internal heat will still go up by a few degrees to finish cooking it all the way, but it will still be juicy and delicious."

And while you're cooking your fish as Eric Ripert himself would approve of, Cheatham shared another piece of sage wisdom: "Fish doesn't need a lot, especially if you have fresh fish." She explained, "Sometimes people ... do too much to it." Cheatham says to let quality fish shine. "When you have good fish, just a simple salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil is a staple and it can go with anything." For some added inspiration, she suggested pairing it with a jicama salad or a cucumber, tomato, and feta salad.

Catch Adrienne Cheatham on the 4th season of "Selena + Chef," now streaming on HBO Max.