or Connect
ChefTalk.com › Articles
477 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Top Chef & The Long Road Paved with Poorly Cut Vegetables

The Oberod Estate is not tucked, nestled or otherwise hidden from the sight from the road. Rather, it is a castle-like stone manse on top of a manicured, green field, stretching to a forest’s edge. It is an unabashed take on imperial living. The approach is a black topped, asphalt cut-out that climbs through the field, with the luxury car commercial-style ‘S’ curves, complete with a summit view. This is no ordinary house, as the painted white signs at the flagstone entry direct “visitors” and “deliveries” to opposite ends of the gray palace. I parked my unassuming Jeep... read more

ChefTalk Monthly Cooking Challenges

2014 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges                                                     2013 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges   Starting back in April 2013 the ChefTalk.com community began picking monthly food items to cook. Everyone who participates in the challenge elects someone who has entered to pick the next months challenge. There are no prizes and really no winners just everyone entering great creations they have made centered around the particular subject. If you would like to review past challenges please click on the links... read more

Garnish: Not Just Gratituous Greenery

OK, so what is a garnish? What does that mean? Quite simply, a garnish is just something that makes food look better and gives a little pop. Most people think that garnishing food is only reserved for restaurants or the Martha Stewart types out there. I am here to let you in on a little secret. Garnishes don't have to be elaborate or hard. Even the simplest little touches can add a world of eye appeal to a dish or plate.   The basics of garnishing can be broken down into a few guidelines. First of all, your biggest allies are color and contrast. Food is beautiful.... read more

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - Not my usual preparation

We all have dishes that remind us of our childhood. Dishes that when you smell the aroma and taste the flavors transport you to a different time and place (often a much simpler time I find). For me one of those dishes is Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers.   This is a dish I have prepared more times than I can remember but almost always the same way. Hollow the tomatoes and peppers, cook some ground beef, par cook the rice, stuff, roast and Voila! Recently however I have become a fan of the Olivetomato.com blog which is run Elena Paravantes. We (ChefTalk.com) have no... read more

Helpful Suggestions for Ordering Counter Side

So, let  me start this post by giving a little explanation.  Most people might be wondering why I, someone who works in the kitchen, would have a valid idea or opinion about ordering at a counter.  Well you see, where I work is set up to I am not only the one preparing the food, but I am also taking your order and serving you.  The way it works is that after I finish prepping everything, I set up a hot line where the customer comes up to a counter of sorts, look at the food and order it.  I think the purpose of this set up is that there will be a better connection from... read more

Food vs Service

  I decided to write this post because of a conversation I had with my sous chef.  He and I were discussing the merits of a restaurant that had great food, but not so great service.  While he and I both agreed that the food was the important part of the equation and that it can make up for bad service, we had some coworkers who did not agree.  This got my curiosity going so I decided to find out what people thought on the matter.  I did a little research asking professionals in the culinary field, friends, and various other people.      In all, eighty-three people... read more

Pan Sauces

Many people don't know what they are missing when they cook something in the pan then discard what's left.  Those are the most scrumptious bits stuck on the bottom loaded with flavor and are perfect for making pan sauces. In a few simple steps I will give you the keys to making your own pan sauces. The fist step is to cook whatever it is your are cooking in a large enough saute pan to hold your liquid for your sauce.  Use enough fat (oil, butter or a combo of both) to cook your protein, but not so much that you have a puddle of fat left in your pan.  If this is the... read more

The Secret Guide to Culinary Career

Culinary Cooking Career Guide Those entering into a culinary career need to know the ins-and-outs of the industry to be successful. To do this, a person needs to know what culinary professionals do, where they obtain training as well as where they can find employment. It is important to keep in mind that there are different types of culinary professionals, meaning that the training they receive will somewhat differ from others in the same industry.  What is a Culinary Professional? Most times, a culinary professional is referred to as a chef; however, this... read more

Tips for Americans on Eating Out in France

Here's what I've learned from experience, and a little research: GARCON! Calling the waiter, "Garçon!" is considered rude. You can address the wait staff as "monsieur," for men (meaning "sir") and the female waitresses as, "madame" (or "mademoiselle" for a younger woman).  FRENCH WAIT STAFF. A note about the wait staff in France: being a waiter is considered a dignified profession unlike the U.S. where one may wait tables simply to make money until they get a big break in another profession (like arts or theatre). Most Parisian waiters are dressed more... read more

Gramercy Tavern

      Very fortunate to cross paths with Gramercy Tavern's Nancy Olson. What followed was an exchange of emails that led to an invitation to spend the day in one of New York's (arguably, the nation's) most noteworthy restaurants. What follows is a snapshot of the day, from morning muffins, to a trip to the market, to family meal with the Tavern crew.   Blueberry Muffins and just-squeezed orange juice greet us                    Prep work starts early; a quick look in the kitchen before heading to the market               found a flurry of... read more

ChefTalk.com › Articles