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482 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Life After Culinary School Career Change Part II

(Devil on my left shoulder)  180 days into the job I received my 90-day review.  Unfortunately the raise was only retroactive one pay period.  Back in my high tech days a 4% raise wasn't too shabby.  It doesn't carry the same wallop when you make $12.00 an hour.  I have reached a point where I am finally able to reflect on my career change.  The newness of Seattle has dulled and the excitement of being out of school is gone (however my first loan repayment check written tonight reminds me of the good times I had).   I would be lying if I didn't say once a week I think,... read more

Best Practices in Tagging

Now that you're equipped with the mechanics of tagging, you might be wondering, "This is really awesome, but what's the best way to put this into practice?" Glad you asked.   Below is a list of Best Practices to tag intelligently and efficiently.     Pick your forums wisely. Don’t open up the New Posts page and haphazardly tag across the whole site.  Pick the most popular, most product-oriented forums and start there.     Look for threads with product names in the title. To get a lot of bang for your buck, if you can first tackle threads that mention specific... read more

Finding Comfort Between Two Slices of Bread

Finding comfort between two slices of bread   Jim Berman   There is probably more in print - and on television - about Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers than every James Beard Award winner. Combined. And that is the last the time "James Beard Award" and "Primanti Brothers" will appear in the same sentence. In case you missed the article in National Geographic, the spots on Man vs. Food and the Jon Stewart Show or are not a 'burgh resident, then you probably do not know about Primanti's goodness. From the wall-hung catalog of about 20 meat/fish choices, the rest is... read more

Barbecue, Macarons, Pizza & Burgers

Exploring A few days in Georgetown & Glover Park, Washington, DC Jim Berman   While on hiatus from my day-to-day calling, I have explored some locales that I had not really ventured to and through. Going back to sixth grade, my long-time friend, David, is a gracious host and even more generous with the space in his Glover Park home. Invited to explore the area around Washington, DC, I bounded for the iconic Wisconsin Avenue strip with its (seriously) countless restaurants, dives, bodegas, "gentlemen's clubs" and Whole Foods. Over the years, I had done the usual... read more

How To Make Pheasant Stock

For any of you who follow me on ChefTalk.com know that I am an avid upland game hunter and in particular pheasant hunting. A few fun threads regarding my antics are:             One of my biggest goals when actually hunting and animal for sport is to respect it completely by eating what I kill and using all of the bird as much as possible. A direct result of this has been using all of the bones to make stock and I have to say not only is it very simple I find it is not as strong as chicken stock. Also the stock seems to me to come out much clearer than chicken... read more

Tagging Tutorial

Tagging Overview   Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and any other major search engine has changed the game for product discoverability. Your site connects its members and visitors directly to products, and these are products people are asking about, researching, and thinking about buying - this notion is incredibly empowering. Tagging gives a site the ability to harness this intent, and lead people to make excellent purchasing decisions while making some cash yourself. This is literally a win-win, so keep reading because this is the best thing in your life.    There are various... read more

A Simple How-To Guide to Making Risotto

  • by PeteModerator

  Risotto.  The mere mention of the word often strikes fear in novice cooks.  Only stir the risotto clockwise.  Don't scrape the bottom of the pan.  Don't add boiling liquid. Don't add cold liquid.  Don't add the liquid too fast or too slow.  Don't overcook it.  Don't under cook it.  The list of do's and don'ts go on and on and on.  With all of these stipulations, and more, it's amazing that anyone can turn out perfect risotto at all.  Luckily, risotto is not nearly that finicky.  Yes, there are a few requirements to making, and serving, the perfect risotto, but it's... read more

Perfect for a cold winter's day: Mexican Hot Chocolate

With the weather still being cold especially in Houston, I was reminiscing about some of my favorite cold weather foods. One of my favorites when I was growing up was hot chocolate.  However, since I grew up in a Mexican household, we would often drink Mexican hot chocolate.  It is very similar to your everyday variety, except that traditional Mexican hot chocolate includes semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. In Mexico, hot chocolate remains a popular national drink. Besides the instant powder form, hot chocolate of this type is commonly sold in circular... read more

How to smoke ham hocks

This past year we purchased our annual pig from our local farmer Anthony Bauer of Bauer Custom Meats. Typically we get the ham hocks smoked at the processing plant but this year I decided to smoke them myself. This is how I did it.   First start out by creating a brine for the ham hocks. For my brine I use Brian Polcyn's brine from:  ​    The brine is like most typical brines which is water, salt, sugar and pink salt. You combine all the ingredients and the add your ham hocks. The hocks were in the brine for three days then removed and dried a bit on a rack in the... read more

Oatmeal

by: Chef Jim Berman My younger daughter is, and always has been, quite taken by the color yellow. Yellow teddy bears. Yellow butterfly stickers. Yellow paper for which to make her favorite friend's birthday card. She insists on the yellow set of badly marred, well-worn plastic fork and knife set for every meal. "Is the dishwasher clean?" you can hear before any meal, "I need my stuff."  Yellow is her signature color, if a five year-old is needing of a signature color. And besides, it's rather cute. So it was of no surprise that as we made our way across the just... read more

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