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How To Listen To Your Employees

Do you listen to your employees? Really listen? Letting employees talk is not the same as listening. You have to work at it, the same way you work at anything else you want to succeed at. Here are five things to remember that will make you a better listener: - Put your work away. As soon as an employee comes to you and wants to talk, put whatever you're working on away. Remove all temptation to do anything other than give your full attention to the employee. Listening means really concentrating - and for many, that's hard! - Bite your tongue. One of the first signs... read more


The newest cheese in Judith Schad's repertoire of fine American cheeses in the French style is the SOFIA. Judith Schad is the award-winning farmstand cheese maker in Greenville, Indiana who is always experimenting, and always achieving excellent results in her pursuit of taste and knowledge. Hand-made from fresh acidic curd, this cheese, a truncated brick in shape, is layered with several strata of vegetable ash in the center, covered with a layer of vegetable ash around the entire surface of the cheese, and ripened with a light white mold over the ashen surface. The... read more

Lemon Verbena

No doubt about it. The rather bland looking lemon verbena, Aloysia triphylla, is not going to be stage center in those herb gardens where esthetics play a strong role, but the wise cook will most assuredly find a place for this homely child; it can work wonders as a flavor enhancer in dishes from desserts to entrees - even in iced drinks. Referred to as "a member of a select group of olfactory ambushers" by a well-known herbalist, one need only smell the scented leaf to understand its culinary value. And yet this exotic herb is seldom seen in recipe books. Considered a... read more

Jackets And Toques The History Of The Chef Uniform

  Chefs, for the most part, wear their uniforms almost every day of their working lives, replete with toque, checked pants and double-breasted jacket. Though these uniforms are ubiquitous in the foodservice industry worldwide, they are often taken for granted and worn without much thought. However, many may find that the origin and reasons behind traditional chef's attire are as interesting as it looks. Much of the chef's uniform has developed out of necessity. The jacket, for example, is double-breasted so it can easily be reversed to hide stains that may... read more

Finding A Chef Job On The Internet

Chances are, if you are even remotely computer literate, you have seen job postings on the Internet for provocative positions in exotic and far-away places that seem like just the thing for you. I'd like to share with you a recent experience of mine about just such a situation. I am a professional Chef with over twenty years experience in upscale hotels and resorts. Over the past five years I have accepted four jobs that I found via the Internet. I have found these positions on hospitality industry web pages and Chef bulletin boards. The ads usually read something like... read more

How To Use A Chef Knife Part II

In our last class session, we discussed the importance of knives and learned how to judge the quality of a knife. In this class we will look at which knives any well-organized kitchen should have, and how to keep them sharp. A trip to a cooking store will reveal a wide array of different knives. They vary in length, thickness and function. While each knife is valuable, I consider the following 5 knives essential tools for any serious cooking: Chef knife-This is the workhorse knife that chefs reach for the most often, and for that reason it is the most important... read more

How To Use A Chef Knife Part I

The most important tool on the kitchen? Even though chefs disagree about almost everything, most, if not all would agree that knives are the most important tool. Without their knives--their own personal knives--chefs would not perform as well as they do. It's like a professional musician who intimately knows how his or her own particular instrument plays. Knives are the one thing in the kitchen that are absolutely worth spending the money on. A good knife will last decades and may even be passed down to the next generation. But how do you know which knives are the best?... read more

Savoring The Flavor

Ice Cream: America's favorite dessert! How did it all begin? Where did it come from? How did this plentitude of diverse flavors develop? Back in the early 1600's, confectioners of royal families in Europe first created ice cream. Only the wealthy few could afford the necessary ingredients. Ice, a scarce commodity at the time, and salt were required to freeze the cream. Sugar, an integral part of the formula, was an extremely expensive commodity. The early ice creams were molded like elaborate confectionery pieces and served at royal banquets, such as swans, flowers,... read more

Illusion Dishes

As I stumbled into the kitchen this morning, I glanced out the window and was somewhat surprised to see a wild tom turkey strutting about in the back yard. Half asleep, I drifted from thoughts of roast turkey with all the trimmings to recollections of Chef Paul Prudhomme's marvelous recipe for turducken, a wonderful dish of a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. Collecting illusion food recipes has been a hobby of mine for a long time, you see, so it doesn't take much to get me thinking about it. (If you're not familiar with them, illusion foods are dishes... read more

How To Cook Fish N Chips

There are a few things that I need to say regarding one of my country's most favored foods. Dating back to the seventeenth century, fish and chips have had a long standing as Britain's best loved fast food. Fish and chips are not served in newspaper. The news paper thing is from days gone by. The reason for the use of yesterday's news to serve this fine product was not just our century old tradition of recycling but of course cost. Being that newspaper print is a little toxic people started going off the concept of eating food from it. Cod & Chips! When I return home... read more

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