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505 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Top Ten Cooking Myths

  • by PeteModerator

  Myths and misinformation abound in the cooking world. From old wives tales to supposed anecdotes, much of what we have been taught is just downright wrong. Many myths just lead to added steps and time to your food preparation, and in the long run, an inferior product. Although most of this information can be found all over the internet, it bears repeating as these myths just don’t seem to go away. Not only do I hear this misinformation repeated back to me time and again from novices and home cooks, but many of these myths are still held as gospel by many... read more

Why Do You Cook?

Why Do You Cook? Andres Cantu “It’s like I always knew,” explains San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, the culinary dynamo behind True Flavors Catering and El Machito, among others. Having grown up in his father’s restaurant, Hernandez had no doubt that cooking would remain the focal point of his life’s work.   There aren’t many of us who can claim such provenance, yet here we are: boiling and broiling, slicing and dicing, turning and burning, all with varying degrees of passion. Slippery floors, stainless steel corners, boiling water, fryers, fires, blades, soaking... read more

Pineapple How To

The pineapple may be a prominent symbol of Hawaii, but this sweet and tangy tropical fruit is popular beyond the Pacific Islands. Pineapples have actually been cultivated in South America and the West Indies since ancient times and were not introduced to Hawaii until 1800.  The Spanish (pina) and English names are derived from the fruit’s resemblance to a pinecone. Although there are numerous varieties of pineapples, only four are of commercial importance.   Pineapples, as popular as they are, can be intimidating for those who don't know how to purchase or process them.... read more

Family Meal: Feeding the Crew on the Cheap

It’s 3 p.m. and while most of the working class has scurried back into their offices or hit the road onto the next work site, another group is grabbing the first breath of fresh air since they punched the clock. Following the late lunch rush, restaurant staff finally has time to take a breather; they take opportunity to shove down anything that will hold them over until they punch out for the shift. That “anything” comes in the form of Family meal, the single most coveted five minutes in the work day. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a freshman working in food... read more

Restaurant Menus: The chorus of the kitchen

The voice of a restaurant is in its menu. Yes, service is the backbone to hospitality. Certainly, decor is critical in ensuring a great experience for customers. Hours. Parking convenience. Pretty servers. All bits and pieces that make up the formula to keep the lights on. Ultimately, the cuteness of the place is shadowed by the need for great food; not food that has to educate the customer base; not food that has to be cutting edge; not food that has to be part of some new movement. Rather, food that appeals to the broadest section of the spectrum that includes... read more

Kitchen Technology: Internet of Things is Not Ready for Prime Time

If you follow the Consumer Electronics Show, or home automation or kitchen appliances at all, you'll have seen a number of connected kitchen appliances from coffee makers to refrigerators come on the market. Unless you have a very specific and comparatively short term need, these are probably not the best devices for you to get.    There are a number of different issues involved in the Internet of Things, specifically as it applies to homes and kitchens.  In broad terms there are a few main areas of concern and they do tie in to each other in different... read more

Managing the Management: How Cooks Can Cope

Manager:    “Why didn’t you do the lamb?”             Me:        “Wasn’t my task, sir. Prep cooks have that on their list.”             Manager:    “Why did you clock in so early?!” Cook or not, those of us who have any experience in the workforce know there are supervisors or managers who have a proclivity for finding flaws in their charges’ performances. I’m not talking about a sup who will call you out on shortcomings when you deserve it (like that one time you forgot to dice a case of tomatoes before clocking out). I’m referring to those who would be happy to... read more

True Cooks

  There is a very clear, yet unspoken language among cooks. Call it a familiar handshake. Most definitely a lifestyle. But it is not a secret society. Instead, it is a very public honor among thieves sort of thing, emblazoned with stitches, burns, inspired food, dark-ringed eyes and tobacco-stained fingers. And a declaration across the front of a shirt.  Much like the pride of belonging to a gang, or wearing a Pirates’ baseball hat, a Star Wars jacket or displaying a Rise Against bumper sticker, there is a certain feeling in belonging by showing an association.  At... read more

What does Shake Shack's ChickenStack mean to restaurant menus?

      The cornerstone of the contemporary burger scene broke the internet with the launch of a chicken sandwich. Seriously. The Shake Shack chicken sandwich started trending on Twitter within minutes of the first chicken dip in the fryer. And that says something for the burger-only (mostly) establishment that kicked the stock market in the pants with an opening day initial offering that doubled, making a lot of burger investors very happy. So what does that mean for a burger-centric chain that looks to gobble some of the chicken market? Is it a sell-out for, say,... read more

On the Road with Dega Catering and the Dave Matthews Band

  When the kitchen is always in motion, how do you feed one of the biggest bands in the world? Dega Catering is the long-running food crew charged with fueling the Dave Matthews Band as the group snakes its way across the country during their nearly annual summer concert tours. Feeding the band members, riggers, drivers, stagehands, sound technicians and guests with restaurant quality food can be daunting. Executing the food that is befitting the demands of a rigorous tour schedule is a feat all its own. Fold in the desire to minimize a negative environmental impact,... read more

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