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498 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part II The Basics

  • by PeteModerator

  In Part I of this series I introduced you to the world of tea.  In this part we will explore the basics of tea; purchasing, storing and brewing.  Of these topics, brewing is the most complex, and this is where many opinions can be found, many of which claim that they are the best, or only way to brew proper cups of tea.  I try to not get too caught up in the minutiae as, to me, brewing and drinking tea should relaxing endeavor, but there are certain guidelines regarding steeping times and temperatures that do need to be followed in order to brew a good cup of... read more

The Unsung Heroes of the Kitchen

They go by many names.  They have many jobs. These jobs are often the lowliest, crappiest, most overlooked and easily forgotten ones in the kitchen.  I would bet that most people outside of the profession have never even given these hard workers even the fleeting thought.  I would be willing to even bet most cooks and others that work in the kitchen don't think about them.  Who am I talking about? Sometimes they are called utility staff or stockers.  More often than not they are simply known as the dishwashers. This group of  people is absolutely indispensable for any... read more

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part I An Introduction to Tea

  • by PeteModerator

  If you had told me 1 ½ years ago that I would be writing a Beginner’s Guide to tea, I would have laughed.  To me, tea wasn’t a “thing.”  Sure I drank it when I went to Chinese or Japanese restaurants, or I’d brew up a fruity, herbal tea when I wasn’t feeling well during the long, cold winter months, and of course, during summer there is always a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge, but that was about the extent of tea in my life.  Then one day I wandered into a tea shop in the mall.  There, on the back wall, were tin after tin of loose leaf teas with names such as... read more

Mentoring New Cooks

Mentoring the Food Truck Generation   Building a successful kitchen includes shining the light for the minions that have shed the stuffy chef coat for the short-sleeved dishwasher shirt and black tee. Opening the restaurant door for the newer denizen of eager cooks that have kicked off Doc Martens for Mozo and Chuck Taylors is the mission. These are excited, quality-driven, foodistas that aren’t necessarily looking to work 80 hours this week and are probably not about to give up seeing the Foo Fighters in exchange for keeping their $8 per hour job.   This is a... read more

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

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