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454 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Tools Every Kitchen Needs The Essentials

Chefs get asked all kinds of questions. Recently, I received the following question: "Dear Chef Christopher-- I dream of being a great cook. What equipment should I have in my kitchen so that I can fulfill my dream? I want everything I need to be a great cook." For those who aspire to be the best cook they can be, having the proper kitchen equipment is paramount to maximizing success and limiting the frustration (you know, the kind you get when trying to whip egg whites with a fork and a small plastic bowl, or roast a turkey in a flimsy pan that's plainly too small--all... read more

Fennel Pollen Seasonings Newest Darling

Have you ever noticed that California fruit trees seem to be among the most fertile in the country? Artificial insemination. That's the answer. Dust pollen on the trees, the bees do their thing, and crop sizes increase. Sugar Ranch in Visalia, CA owned by Rebb Firman is one of a handful of agricultural producers of pollen, and he can become downright lyrical about a trade that traces back to his grandmother's inspired efforts. It is believed that she was the world's first collector of pollen to be sold to farmers for agricultural purposes. Undoubtedly, that doting... read more

Buying Fresh Fish

Buying fresh fish has never been easier. Restaurants commonly have a fish selection while more and more grocery stores are providing fresh fish counters. Finding fresh fish is not the problem. The problem is finding good quality fresh fish. For restaurants and retail stores "what sells" does not always keep customers coming back. Yet, a select number of eateries constantly have patrons asking the kitchen where they purchase their fish. So what are the secrets of these elite fish buyers? The goal of this article is to provide you with a description of fish buying basics... read more

A Guide To Buying Fish

Just Ask Why Chef Jon Campbell was faced with the biggest opportunity of his career. The chance to operate the city's most prestigious restaurant. Well recognized as the place where kings of industry meet, where the elite hold their soirees, this all is going to be Chef Jon's. The restaurant's chef of 26 years was retiring and Chef Jon was the winner over a short list of prestigious names. This was Chef Jon's big chance. He wanted to show the world that he was the best. His first order of business was to focus on operations. After all, the restaurant already had an... read more

The Fine Art Of Grilling

Welcome back to class. I hope that you have been successfully sautéing after last class session. As we learned in our last class, there are several broad categories of cooking methods--dry, wet, and a combination of both dry and wet. Sautéing is classed as a dry cooking method. Grilling also falls in the same category, in that it utilizes dry, intense heat to cook the product. During the summer months, grilling is the quintessential cooking method as it is done outside, thus not further heating up an already hot kitchen! While most people own a grill and use it... read more

Chives An Herb Gardens Distraction

Garden designers relish chives. The straight tubular leaves offer a pleasing distraction from the more commonly seen flat-shaped garden foliage. To cooks, this member of the allium family is more than a pleasing distraction. It represents the linchpin in summer's seasoning repertoire. Its light onion flavor is milder than cousins onion and garlic. Uncooked, it is sweeter than cousins leeks, scallions, and shallots. Its clover-like lavender blooms stand up well in herbal bouquets and stand out in salads. And for those who are indifferent to culinary delights, organic... read more

Citrus Zest Beauty Is Skin Deep

For the many who insist that beauty is only skin deep, I ask those good souls to consider the lemon; with that citrus wonder, a most worthy part is the skin. More specifically, it is the skin's very outer most colored layer where the good cook looks for the supreme element; it's called the "zest" and what an appropriate title it is. Too often shoppers fail to heed what they are passing over as they forage for the plumpest juice lemon in the neighborhood market. While squeezing and massaging each piece of fruit, the uninitiated are ignoring a vital area of the lemon. As... read more

Dutch Oven Cooking

DATELINE: El Paso, Texas - October 1, 2000 I am currently traveling on vacation in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains and the American South West. I arrived in Bellingham, Washington on September 16, 2000 after completing my fourth season as Chef on board the M/V (Motor Vessel) Explorer in South East Alaska. The M/V Explorer (http://www.yachtexplorer.com/), a 60 foot luxury yacht, seasonally provides seven-day gourmet charter tours for up to six guests between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska on the Pacific waters of the Inside Passage. It is a very rewarding but demanding... read more

Cooking For A Crowd The Dos And Donts Of Entertaining At Home

Have you ever experienced a party blackout? Not the kind induced by too much wine but rather the blackout induced by working so hard on preparing and serving food that your party memories consist of the pre-dinner prep, greeting guests, and end with loading the dish washer. What happened? The following do's and don'ts offer some helpful advice to help you plan and prepare so you can party at your own party. Do choose your menu wisely. This is the most important aspect of a successful event. Consider what type of gathering you're hosting, buffet, barbecue or intimate... read more

History Of Chinese Noodles

Whenever I mention that I write on the history of food, someone is bound to ask "When was pasta invented?" For Europe, that's a tricky question to answer. For China, though, we have a pretty good idea: about 300 BC. We have it on the authority of Shu Hsi, an official editor of ancient texts and one of the most learned men of China. A pasta enthusiast, in about 300 AD he composed a poem "A Rhapsody on Pasta." Although today we don't think of poems as culinary reference works, they were back then. Shu Hsi's rhapsody was effectively a pasta encyclopedia. The Chinese... read more

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