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505 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

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

The Truth About Leftovers!

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not writing this as a warning or an expose.  I am just writing this as an informative piece on the business that is running a professional kitchen.  I just want to provide a little insight into how things work behind the scenes give everyone a little peek.  So, with that being said, I want to address leftovers.  On more than one occasion, I have been asked by a patron at many of the places I have worked at what exactly happens to all the food that is leftover at the end of the day.  The truth is that the answer is not cut and... read more

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 PeteModerator

    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

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