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The Only Reason For A Bee Is Honey

Although it was in 1926 that A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh exclaimed "& the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey. And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it," humans for as many as 10,000 years have been wondering why a bee makes honey. No less a thinker than Aristotle seemed equally bemused and puzzled at the bee's handiwork. "One cannot well tell what is the substance (the bees) gather," he said, "nor the exact progress of their work." To metaphorically dispose of this imponderable question, honey has been romanticized by poets and... read more

Enduring Olives

The olive is a truly amazing food; there's no question about it. The age, history and uses of this fruit are so magnificent they almost seem inconceivable and made-up, like a myth. It's been around forever, well almost-olive oil and its seemingly miraculous qualities have been appreciated since the birth of western civilization, especially in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Cultivation of the olive tree is said to have started more than 5000 years ago and it was an olive leaf that a dove brought to Noah, indicating there was dry land ahead. What's even more... read more

Millennium Chef

As the year 2000 approaches us, we prepare for one of the most amazing times for chefs. We have entered through doorways to meet some of the greatest minds and pioneers of our day, bringing us newer technology to provide food for our culture. Yet we also stand at the threshold of some of the greatest problems ever. We walk into the year 2000 with a new ray of hope and a Pandora's box of troubles. The ever-growing legions of chefs that are now entering the food service industry are presented with one of the most distinctive problems approaching us today. As the earth's... read more

Cooking Mushrooms

The Fungus Among UsMushrooms are a unique and peculiar food, and they're also somewhat of a paradox. Most are edible and delicious, but a few others are toxic and can make you ill or even cause your demise, and some are also hallucinogenic. They're the type of food that people often obsess over-to some, they are one of the most delicious foods available, yet to others they are slightly scary and grotesque, not worthy of consumption. Though most often thought of as a vegetable, mushrooms are actually a form of fungus-they have no seeds, stems or flowers, and reproduce... read more

Myths About Olive Oil

All extra-virgin olive oils are basically the same. Just because the bottle reads "extra virgin" does not mean that the oil is made from quality olives, or that the olives used weren't bruised, oxidized, olive fly-infested, or overripe. In fact, it is possible for an olive oil to be made from low quality olives but still achieve the "extra virgin" requirements through chemical processing. However, these oils will always be found out by their oily, fatty, bruised apple-like taste and their processed aroma. Every single one of Lucini's olives is hand-picked and pressed... read more

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica fragrans, a tropical, dioecious evergreen tree native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia. Nutmeg has a distinctive, pungent fragrance and a warm, slightly sweet taste; it is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, confections, puddings, meats, sausages, sauces, vegetables, and beverages such as eggnog. Grated nutmeg has been used as a sachet; the Romans used it as incense. Around 1600 it became important as an expensive commercial spice of the Western world. It was the subject of Dutch plots to keep prices high, and of... read more

Choosing The Right Olive Oil

Author: litalia A DEFINITION: "Extra Virgin" is any olive oil that is less than 1% acidity, produced by the first pressing of the olive fruit. Most olive oils today are extra virgin in name only, meeting only the minimum requirement. Extra virgin is a chemical requirement that does not indicate either quality or taste. QUALITY: With an impressively low acidity level of 0.225%, Lucini has a level of quality that can only be achieved one way -- through hand harvesting and pressing within 24 hours. The premium flavor reflects the expert touch of our master cultivator:... read more

A Managers Guide To Employees

I would like to begin this article by saying that in the past 12 years of managing employees of various kitchens that managing union kitchens has made me a better manager of people. I have no doubt that some of our readers are currently managing kitchens that are unionized and have found it to be the most difficult experience that they have ever had. I can most certainly agree with them. But as I have been gaining more experience in this area I can offer my advice and share some of the tools that have helped me grow. In the early years of the development of the... read more

Picking The Right Restaurant Name

What's in a name? History says plenty!So you want to open a little place of your own. It's something you always wanted to do. Just a cute little place with good food, a few plants and small intimate tables where people like to gather. You've spent months mulling over the name. You could go with the obvious-"Henry's Restaurant". After all, this was the name given to the little stops along a travel route that served food and beverage to "restore" its weary patrons. Nice title, but you're right-it's obvious. You might consider a name that is a little more down to earth... read more

Making Salads With Gourmet Lettuce

It's summer, it's hot, and it's salad season. Besides watermelon and corn, salad is the perfect summer food. They're light, crisp and refreshing-- especially when paired with a tart dressing. They're fast and don't heat up a hot kitchen. And they're versatile with as many salads as the imagination can invent. At the core of most summer salads is lettuce. Lettuce, plain lettuce, was viewed for years as a tasteless part of a salad that existed to be covered up with a thick, sticky dressing. But what a metamorphosis lettuce has seen in the last 10-15 years. Interesting... read more

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