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504 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Peter Martin

  • by PeteModerator

I got my start in the restaurant business at the ripe old age of 8 years old. My parents owned a restaurant over which we lived. Oftentimes, if a dishwasher quit, I was drafted into service at the last minute and, during summer vacation, I wasn't allowed to go out and play until after I bussed tables for lunch service, all for high wage of $.25 per hour!; Later in life, I tried to avoid the call of the kitchen, bouncing around from college to college and from major to major. Finally, after giving in to the call, I enrolled in New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier,... read more

Pineapple How To

The pineapple may be a prominent symbol of Hawaii, but this sweet and tangy tropical fruit is popular beyond the Pacific Islands. Pineapples have actually been cultivated in South America and the West Indies since ancient times and were not introduced to Hawaii until 1800.  The Spanish (pina) and English names are derived from the fruit’s resemblance to a pinecone. Although there are numerous varieties of pineapples, only four are of commercial importance.   Pineapples, as popular as they are, can be intimidating for those who don't know how to purchase or process them.... read more

Family Meal: Feeding the Crew on the Cheap

It’s 3 p.m. and while most of the working class has scurried back into their offices or hit the road onto the next work site, another group is grabbing the first breath of fresh air since they punched the clock. Following the late lunch rush, restaurant staff finally has time to take a breather; they take opportunity to shove down anything that will hold them over until they punch out for the shift. That “anything” comes in the form of Family meal, the single most coveted five minutes in the work day. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a freshman working in food... read more

When Things Go Wrong A Guide To Fixing Kitchen Disasters

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin Let's face facts; we have all had our fair share of kitchen disasters, even us “professionals”, though we might not admit it.  From food being too salty, to scorched soups, to broken hollandaise, disasters do, and will, happen.  The good news is that many of these so-called “disasters” can be fixed relatively easily, with only a few that are beyond salvaging.  Below is a list of some of the most common kitchen disasters and how to fix them.   Too Salty From thinking the recipe said tablespoons instead of teaspoons, to being distracted and... read more

Restaurant Menus: The chorus of the kitchen

The voice of a restaurant is in its menu. Yes, service is the backbone to hospitality. Certainly, decor is critical in ensuring a great experience for customers. Hours. Parking convenience. Pretty servers. All bits and pieces that make up the formula to keep the lights on. Ultimately, the cuteness of the place is shadowed by the need for great food; not food that has to educate the customer base; not food that has to be cutting edge; not food that has to be part of some new movement. Rather, food that appeals to the broadest section of the spectrum that includes... read more

Kitchen Technology: Internet of Things is Not Ready for Prime Time

If you follow the Consumer Electronics Show, or home automation or kitchen appliances at all, you'll have seen a number of connected kitchen appliances from coffee makers to refrigerators come on the market. Unless you have a very specific and comparatively short term need, these are probably not the best devices for you to get.    There are a number of different issues involved in the Internet of Things, specifically as it applies to homes and kitchens.  In broad terms there are a few main areas of concern and they do tie in to each other in different... read more

True Cooks

  There is a very clear, yet unspoken language among cooks. Call it a familiar handshake. Most definitely a lifestyle. But it is not a secret society. Instead, it is a very public honor among thieves sort of thing, emblazoned with stitches, burns, inspired food, dark-ringed eyes and tobacco-stained fingers. And a declaration across the front of a shirt.  Much like the pride of belonging to a gang, or wearing a Pirates’ baseball hat, a Star Wars jacket or displaying a Rise Against bumper sticker, there is a certain feeling in belonging by showing an association.  At... read more

ChefTalk Monthly Cooking Challenges

2015 - ChefTalk.com 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... read more

Managing the Management: How Cooks Can Cope

Manager:    “Why didn’t you do the lamb?”             Me:        “Wasn’t my task, sir. Prep cooks have that on their list.”             Manager:    “Why did you clock in so early?!” Cook or not, those of us who have any experience in the workforce know there are supervisors or managers who have a proclivity for finding flaws in their charges’ performances. I’m not talking about a sup who will call you out on shortcomings when you deserve it (like that one time you forgot to dice a case of tomatoes before clocking out). I’m referring to those who would be happy to... read more

What does Shake Shack's ChickenStack mean to restaurant menus?

      The cornerstone of the contemporary burger scene broke the internet with the launch of a chicken sandwich. Seriously. The Shake Shack chicken sandwich started trending on Twitter within minutes of the first chicken dip in the fryer. And that says something for the burger-only (mostly) establishment that kicked the stock market in the pants with an opening day initial offering that doubled, making a lot of burger investors very happy. So what does that mean for a burger-centric chain that looks to gobble some of the chicken market? Is it a sell-out for, say,... read more

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