Updated: Nov 17
I decided (for no particular reason) that these two tips belonged together. I dice celery a couple of times a week as part of my Creole Trinity (onion, green bell pepper, celery). The first short movie below—with fun music!—is the fastest way to do it. While we're at it, I'll show you how to make beautiful carrot curls as a garnish. See the second movie with peppy soundtrack below!
How to quickly dice celery. Don't just start hacking away when you can do it nice and neat (and quick!)
Now, for the carrot curl garnishes! Peel a LARGE carrot, then create four flat (longwise) sides on the carrot as you use the peeler to make long wide strips. Fill a container with ice and water. Roll 4 or 5 strips up together at a time (if you want to do them individually they take even less time in the fridge), poke a toothpick through the ends to hold 'em, them place in the ice water. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Remove toothpicks, et voila, you've got curls!