Food author Michael Ruhlman on the three biggest differences between home cooking and restaurant cooking:
Amazon.com: Aside from a heavy hand with butter, what are the top three things that set restaurant cooking apart from home cooking?
Ruhlman: Proper use of salt throughout the cooking process and fresh stock are THE main differences. Neither are difficult to do or to learn. I’d say the next one is getting your pan to the right temperature.
I actually have a whole theory on this subject that I don’t have time to type up right now, relating to which types of dishes you probably ought to order out and which types you are best to make at home. Ruhlman’s answer seems to pertain more to basic skills that many home chefs lack.