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473 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Packing in Festive Feasting (How To Make Fruitcake w/ Photos)

By Becky Billingsley   A densely packed fruitcake lovingly laced with grape juice is a memorable holiday treat with a creamy texture using this old southern method.   Holiday dishes served at the South Carolina coast have influences from several cultures (German, Scottish, Irish, French, African), but about an hour west of Myrtle Beach the roots run deep to 17th-century England. That heritage is found in a generations-old recipe called Packed Fruitcake.   Pulitzer Prize-winning author Julia Mood Peterkin (1880-1961) wrote about old southern ways in her books and... read more

Hot Buttered Rum--A Kid Friendly Recipe

by: Ruben Urias   Hot Buttered Rums warm the soul, relax tired muscles, and comfort the weary--both young and old.  Yes, really.  Kids can also partake in the coziness of hot buttered rums by replacing the potent spirit with tasty apple cider.  But first, you need a flavorful, non-alcoholic mixer that can be added to whatever warm drink you wish.    For those unfamiliar with hot buttered rums, they are basically any rum drink that’s been warmed, sweetened, and given more body.  There are dozens of variations of this formula that vary by family, region, and... read more

Footprint on the Moon

  Cooking is a job. It is a way to take rough and raw ingredients, turn them into something palatable and, with a little experience and knowledge, perhaps make people happy with the bits and pieces on the plate. And that is all. Political opinion matters for nothing. Chefs that get all high and mighty by sharing their thoughts about, say, the fair treatment of wage-earners in Uganda are not lending any voice to the down-trodden and, more than likely, are laughable for their attempt. Stick to cooking. Desire to do something of measurable impact to save the environment... read more

On Being A Sous Chef

  For those of you not in the know I recently was hired on at the University of Houston as a sous chef.  This is a big deal for me as this is my first job as a sous chef.  I was very excited when I got my first chef coats with my name sowed in.  Well this happened back in mid August and it seems as things have finally settled down.  My schedule has been hammered down into a predictable pattern and I am finally starting to get a handle on all that I need to do as a sous chef.  I just want to share with you some thoughts as a first time sous chef. The first challenge I... read more

More than a Chef

"I bet you cook all the time right?" "What is your favorite thing to make?" "Your wife\girlfriend\husband must love you."   We as chefs get questions like these all of the time.  At best we smile ruefully, knowing that the person asking the question will never understand, and give a polite response.  At worst we seethe to ourselves at how stupid the average non professional can be. Maybe we even show it a little bit.  Having worked in food and beverage for 12+ years I have my own answers to these questions and their ilk.  It would probably surprise none of you to... read more

Cider-Autumn's Elixir

  • by Pete

    Autumn-my favorite time of the year.  It’s that time, at least in North America, when Mother Nature shows us her most colorful side as trees turn from verdant green to every imaginable shade of red, yellow, and orange; a time when the hills and valleys become ablaze with color.  The aroma of wood smoke fills the air for the first time in months as wood stoves and fire places are once again lit to ward off the chill that starts to pervade the night air.  Everywhere you look the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn are all around, from farmers frantically... read more

A Happy Kind of Crazy

    The kitchen is an open stage to act like a complete ass. Seriously. You can throw things, aggressively sexually harass the guy standing next to you, work entirely too hung-over, be an actual nutcase, and still maintain a job. Hell, you may be even be the guy in charge. It is a stage, yes. But, an act? No way. Cooks love what they do. They have to. You must really like what you do if working under immense pressure in horrid conditions, with the constant threat of injury proves not to sway you from returning the next night. And the night after. And, yeah, the night... read more

Roasting Coffee Beans At Home

If you are a coffee lover then the thought of roasting your coffee beans at home has probably crossed your mind. While the process is not complicated it does require some financial investment up front. There are many equipment options and while often roasting your own beans can be more a labor of love it can save you money. Coast savings aside there is nothing quite like the smell of freshly roasted coffee and the plain fun of trying different beans and experimenting roasting times.   Equipment There are numerous equipment options and in this article on ChefTalk you... read more

No Apologies

  Apologies have no place in the kitchen. Every movement is intentional, each gesture purposefully calculated. Every stroke, thrust and exploit have been prescribed as part of the cooking ritual. So, if Server Cody carelessly walks to the aft of a cook without the requisite “Behind!” bellow and gets burned, then Cody has, well, a scar to share with his friends at the next barbecue, and he has learned that cooks do not alter their paths for the sake of Cody’s peachy-white arm flesh. If Catering Coordinator Lady Sarah-the-Meanie gets barked at for doing some asinine... read more

Inspiration

Let me start be saying that great cooks, either professional or home, are made not born.  But why?  What gives someone that drive to learn to cook.  What makes someone say, "I could just boil this and eat it, or I could parboil it, then saute it in butter and it will taste amazing!"  The truth is that there is no easy answer to that.  Every person that has ever put on an apron and taken on the mantle of meal maker has different reasons for why he or she does that.  For some it is personal drive to be the best at what they do.  For others it comes from their past.  For me... read more

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