I’ve found that a lot of people are afraid to touch food, and this always takes me aback, because our hands are our most important tool. Touching food is good. It brings you closer to the food itself and gives you results impossible to achieve when you’re using long metal utensils. The closer you are to the food, the more control you have. Learn to handle food in your hands- don’t be afraid you’re going to get burned laying a fillet into hot oil. When you have better control of the food, you can work closer to the heat.
Thomas Keller- Ad Hoc at Home: Family-Style Recipes