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490 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part III White and Green Tea

  • by PeteModerator

  White Tea is one of the most subtle of all teas.  Traditionally grown only in the Fujian province of China it is now also grown in parts of Nepal, India, Thailand and Taiwan due to its increased popularity in the Western world.  Most tea aficionados agree that the best white teas still only come from the Fujian province and consider white teas grown elsewhere to be of inferior quality best suited for mass marketed tea bags and bottled tea.   The season for harvesting white tea is very short, from early spring to late spring while the tea bushes are still budding. ... 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 the particular subject.... read more

Cutting Bell Peppers: The Elegant Solution

  Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers,  are a great and dynamic vegetable giving us multiple ways to use them.  From simply stuffing them, to dicing them as a garnish, to cutting them into slices it all depends on what the intended use for the peppers is.     The most common way for people to prepare their peppers is to simply slice them down the middle and scoop out the seep pod, stem and some of the white veins.   While this method is not terrible, it does make making precision cuts a bit more difficult. There is another method that is much more... read more

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part I An Introduction to Tea

  • by PeteModerator

  If you had told me 1 ½ years ago that I would be writing a Beginner’s Guide to tea, I would have laughed.  To me, tea wasn’t a “thing.”  Sure I drank it when I went to Chinese or Japanese restaurants, or I’d brew up a fruity, herbal tea when I wasn’t feeling well during the long, cold winter months, and of course, during summer there is always a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge, but that was about the extent of tea in my life.  Then one day I wandered into a tea shop in the mall.  There, on the back wall, were tin after tin of loose leaf teas with names such as... read more

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part II The Basics

  • by PeteModerator

  In Part I of this series I introduced you to the world of tea.  In this part we will explore the basics of tea; purchasing, storing and brewing.  Of these topics, brewing is the most complex, and this is where many opinions can be found, many of which claim that they are the best, or only way to brew proper cups of tea.  I try to not get too caught up in the minutiae as, to me, brewing and drinking tea should relaxing endeavor, but there are certain guidelines regarding steeping times and temperatures that do need to be followed in order to brew a good cup of... read more

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

The Unsung Heroes of the Kitchen

They go by many names.  They have many jobs. These jobs are often the lowliest, crappiest, most overlooked and easily forgotten ones in the kitchen.  I would bet that most people outside of the profession have never even given these hard workers even the fleeting thought.  I would be willing to even bet most cooks and others that work in the kitchen don't think about them.  Who am I talking about? Sometimes they are called utility staff or stockers.  More often than not they are simply known as the dishwashers. This group of  people is absolutely indispensable for any... read more

Mentoring New Cooks

Mentoring the Food Truck Generation   Building a successful kitchen includes shining the light for the minions that have shed the stuffy chef coat for the short-sleeved dishwasher shirt and black tee. Opening the restaurant door for the newer denizen of eager cooks that have kicked off Doc Martens for Mozo and Chuck Taylors is the mission. These are excited, quality-driven, foodistas that aren’t necessarily looking to work 80 hours this week and are probably not about to give up seeing the Foo Fighters in exchange for keeping their $8 per hour job.   This is a... read more

Confessions of a Sell Out Chef

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin This past fall I found myself unemployed.  With the economy the in the middle of its downward spiral, this was not a good thing.  And being a chef in Wisconsin my prospects were few.  While job hunting I got a call from a friend who had recently made the jump from the restaurant world into the world of institutional foodservice.  He claimed that he was enjoying his job and the lifestyle it afforded him, and better yet, he knew of a position open in his company working as a food service director for the county jails, and felt I should... read more

Leaving the Business: The Dark Side

  • by PeteModerator

  A few years ago, I wrote an article for this website entitled “ ​.”  In the years between then and now and I've discovered another dark side to this industry that so many of us gravitate to.  This job, this lifestyle, is an addiction.  I’m not talking your  garden variety, “Oh, I’m addicted to my morning coffee” kind of addiction.  I’m talking the gut wrenching, hardcore withdrawal symptoms, battling the urge to sink back into oblivion every day for the rest of your life kind of addiction.   When I wrote that article, I was still in the halcyon days of the... read more

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