or Connect
ChefTalk.com › Articles
484 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Leaving the Business: The Dark Side

  • by PeteModerator

  A few years ago, I wrote an article for this website entitled “ ​.”  In the years between then and now and I've discovered another dark side to this industry that so many of us gravitate to.  This job, this lifestyle, is an addiction.  I’m not talking your  garden variety, “Oh, I’m addicted to my morning coffee” kind of addiction.  I’m talking the gut wrenching, hardcore withdrawal symptoms, battling the urge to sink back into oblivion every day for the rest of your life kind of addiction.   When I wrote that article, I was still in the halcyon days of the... read more

Infiltrating The Kitchen!

For those who are interested, I did it. For one day, I was a cook in a commercial kitchen. The whole day really seemed like a lucid dream. In parts, it was like I was living a POV day-in-the-life docudrama.   It started routinely enough. I woke at 6:30am having packed my work clothes and knife roll the night before. My brain hadn't allowed me much sleep as I went through every scenario to give me the best chance of not screwing ANYTHING up. The nagging fear of failure coupled with REM made it feel like I had a bumblebee stuck in my skull all night desperately looking... read more

Perfect Choux Pastry

Hello everyone!   After 7 months of research and development for the perfect choux pastry formula, I would like to present to you, dear friends, the fruits of our labor. Enjoy!   Department of Research & Development   The data contained herein is the intellectual property of the Joey Prats School of Baking & Pastry Arts   Choux Pastry   Formula   Yield: Makes 1,150 GRAMS OF CHOUX PASTRY DOUGH   INGREDIENTS SPECIFICATION WEIGHT BAKER’S % TRUE % WATER STILL... read more

The Secret to a Sexy Fettuccine Alfredo

Oh yeah, show off those sexy cooking skills by whipping up a nice alfredo sauce that is not watery, very flavorful, and sticks to the pasta. For home cooks the easiest means to make an alfredo sauce has always been to buy it bottled... SHAME ON YOU! It's not hard to do and buying the ingredients to make it is not that difficult. I think the one issue people have with making alfredo sauce at home is dealing with the cream. "What do I use?" and "How do I get it creamy?!" are usually the questions I get and after many, oh so many, years of making it I am glad to share it to... read more

Milanese Creamy Pesto

Hi ho, TheBEEF! here with a simple Eyetalian style dish that is not as oily as standard pesto sauce. The number one complaint I get from a lot of people involving pesto is that it is too oily and it is messy etc... This is mostly true and many restaurants have removed Pesto from their menus because of such rumors and foolishness.   Now, (edit because it was longer ago than thought) thirteen years ago I was in Milan (northern Italy) and this crazy old Italian chef had a restaurant on the outskirts of the city and I made it a point to come to his restaurant. Well, I... read more

Steak Cooking 101 (home/indoor) by a Pro

  Just thought for my first major subject post I'd talk about something we would do in the fine dining restaurants I worked in over the years. The number one question I would be asked time and time again is how to cook a proper 5 star dining experience steak. So I guess I should share it (though I am sure many people know how it is done and has been discussed here, perhaps my take will revive the style).   First of all the cut: Look... there are a lot of cuts from NY Strip, Rib Eye, filet, and so on. But for all intents and purposes lets go with a standard BONE-IN... read more

Chef shortcuts for holiday goodies

  This time of year hectic schedules suit up for an epic battle against our desire for a festive holiday season. Team Festive can prevail when you pull some chef tricks out of your quiver and advance toward holiday fun. Because let’s face it, sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to host a cookie baking party host a cookie swap, although it can always be on the list for next year.     The key is to dress up standard goodies to make them more elegant, flavorful and fun.  Here are a few tips:   •    Get chocolate chips on your team. Chocolate chips are already... read more

Forgotten Christmas Candy - Divinity and Angel Food Candy

  • by PeteModerator

  I love Christmastime!  I is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the sights, the sounds, the smells, and just about everything that comes with the holiday....and yes....even the snow.  For me, it's not really Christmas if it isn't a White Christmas.  And, of course, I love the foods of Christmas!  You know the ones, those cookies and candies that only get made once a year, no matter how much you love them and crave them.  Those treats that just don't seem right when made in the middle of summer.  Most people, and families, have them, whether it is something... read more

Der Kuchen

It's 8:15 on a chilly November morning and I'm standing in a large empty kitchen stirring flour, yeast, and water in a small bowl and feeling a little stressed. I'm also thinking of my mother. She, of course, is not the reason I am feeling stressed; it's because of the busy day ahead of me. Though my mother has been gone for many years and the thought of her still comforts me. The recipe that I'm making—kuchen, or German coffee cake—is hers, and this is the reason I think of her at this moment.   Whenever I make this recipe I also cannot help but think of... read more

Keeping Great Employees

  Keeping the best people on the team is critically important. Take a bit to think about the gravity of having good kitchen kin at the most vital times. When the printer is vomiting tickets onto the cutting board and the GM is freaking out about the gluten-free demands of table 21, who is best to be standing by? Does loyalty want to be questioned at that time? Or does the discussion about a pay raise make for a jagged moment? What about not getting the schedule just right for the line cook that needed off for his kid’s birthday? How is this band of brothers and... read more

ChefTalk.com › Articles