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689 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Grilling Tips and Tricks

  • by PeteModerator

It's the first weekend in April, and although the "official" grilling doesn't start for another 7 week with Memorial Day weekend, I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there pulling out their grills already.  For us hardcore, year round grill jockeys this weekend is pretty much like any other weekend as we don't allow a little cold or bad weather keep us from our grills. To help start the season out properly I thought I’d offer up some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. To some people many of these tips might be second nature, but for others, it... read more

Steak Tartare

  • by PeteModerator

  WARNING This post is all about the consumption of raw meat and eggs. If the above and below images make you queasy then stop reading.     If you are a militant vegan or vegetarian you might want to stop reading. If you are grossed out by eating raw foods you might want to stop reading. If you work for the USDA you might want to stop reading or at least take note of the disclaimer below. If you are a lawyer you might want to stop reading or take note of the disclaimer below.   DISCLAIMER As much as I dislike having to put up this disclaimer, I feel that, in... read more

Sopes con Carne

  • by PeteModerator

  Growing up in small town mid-America I wasn’t exposed to a whole lot of ethnic foods beyond the standard Americanized Italian, Chinese and Mexican. While I loved “Mexican” food, I really hadn’t realized that there was much more to the cuisine than tacos and burritos stuffed with either ground beef or chicken and served with a side of beans and rice. Sure, I encountered the occasional enchilada and even more rarely, the occasional tamale, but my experiences were rather limited. Once out of high school though, and able to travel, I discovered that Mexican cuisine was... read more

Fourteen Mistakes Made by Novice Instructors

    So here you are ... you've finally left the long hours of the food service industry behind you and you're now a Culinary Arts instructor. You're looking forward to having most evenings and weekends off. You're also looking forward to paid vacations that include four days for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas, a week for Spring Break, and two months of summer vacation where you can kick back and relax. You've custom ordered a set of culinary jackets with your name emblazoned on the front pocket and you've got a bright new toque to put on your head. You are... read more

Eulogy for a Chef

     Last week a professional colleague of mine passed away at the age of 52 after a very brief fight with cancer. She wanted no memorial or obituary, apparently content to pass into history with no public farewell. For that reason I will only refer to her as Chef B.  I cannot allow her to pass into oblivion without relating to someone the impact she has had on me and I suspect many others.  This forum seems the most appropriate place to do so.       After thinking of little else for the past week, I believe I understand why I am so bereft at her passing. She was a... read more

On Becoming A Culinary Instructor

  In 2005 I was a working chef in Pennsylvania and I literally worked 360 days out of the year. I was pulling 84 hour weeks largely because I kept having to work double shifts and/or because I was called in on my days off. The final straw for me came after I was called in during what would have been my annual one week vacation.    I thought about making a change ... but instead of finding another job in the industry, I went into teaching. There were districts in Arizona who were looking for Culinary Arts teachers and although one route towards teacher certification... read more

Artisanal chocolate figure, part two

We left off in part one with brushing the decorted mold with a layer of milk chocolate. By brushing with a silicone brush, I can see any bubbles in the mold and pop them before they harden and show up as blisters. Before the chocolate fully hardens,the perimeter of the mold is scraped clean. This is very important, because if the mold halves are not clean, you will get a large and unsightly seam when the figure is cast. Now the mold is clipped together. Here you can see the mold before it gets filled. Now the mold is filled with milk chocolate. It is allowed... read more

Pan Seared Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

  • by PeteModerator

  The weather is still cold, rainy and generally pretty crappy, but despite the lousy weather I’ve been in the Spring mood. It might be nasty out but a walk through the local forest has already offered up the first ramps of the season, which I used not long ago on a previous post. I also went out and checked on our herb garden. The mint and Lemon Balm are already starting to emerge and take over (that means lots of weeding to keep them in check) and the tarragon already has 3-4 inch shoots.   I was in the mood for something simple, light and “Springy” for dinner... read more

Chicken Pot Pie

  • by PeteModerator

  Chicken Pot Pie is one of those great comfort foods I remember from my childhood. Unfortunately, they often came frozen, from a small blue box, you remember the ones. I can remember my Mom making a number of different “chicken topped with some kind of pastry” casseroles, but I don’t ever remember her making actual Chicken Pot Pie. Too bad for me, because I imagine if she had set her mind to making a chicken pot pie it would have been a pretty good one.   Chicken Pot Pie is not difficult to make, especially if you already have pie dough on hand, or if you do like I... read more

Pickled Beets

  • by PeteModerator

  The first time I really enjoyed beets is when I finally gave in and tried my parents' pickled beets. They were a revelation. I couldn’t believe that I had disdained these bright red root vegetables for so long, although I don’t think at age 10 I actually used the word disdained. I doubt I even knew the definition of that word at the time. Well, for the first time in my life my parents did not have to force me to eat my beets. Since then, I’ve come a long way. I love beets, and find many ways in spring and fall to incorporate them into my cooking often.   While my... read more

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