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Test Kitchen video tip: Breaking down a bell pepper

October 04, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Breaking down a bell pepper.
Breaking down a bell pepper. (Alex Broking )

At one of my first restaurant jobs after culinary school, my daily prep list often included "breaking down" (i.e., cutting up) a case of bell peppers for my station. It was just one of dozens of items to prepare for the several dishes I was responsible for during my shift.

Most restaurant cooks prep their individual cooking stations, where they put together the particular dishes they are assigned that shift. The cook has a limited amount of time to prepare each ingredient or component (sauces, dough, garnish, meat, etc.). Time is precious.

I'll never forget one of the experienced line cooks, Carlos, who worked next to me. Having worked in a number of restaurants over the years, he could break down a case of artichokes in minutes. Carlos took pity on me my first few weeks and showed me how to prep my station in the time I was given, and to find my rhythm in the hot, busy kitchen.

Cutting up a bell pepper was the first trick Carlos ever showed me, and I still think of him every time I see one in the kitchen.

To learn how to break down a bell pepper easily and quickly, check out the video above.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at


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