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467 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

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

Japanese Knives 101

There are several wiki articles here presenting classic basics of knives, but thus far they’re all out of date. Something has changed lately — something big. That’s the advent of high-quality Japanese knives. This wiki is intended to give you some fundamental information about these knives. There are a number of people on this website who know a great deal about Japanese cutlery, who ought to join in and fix or add things. Table Of Contents [if anyone can figure out how to make this clickable to skim through, please do so!] What’s The... read more

Burgatory - Behind the Burger

Behind the Burger: Burgatory, Pittsburgh by Jim Berman CCI     Is the twelve-course degustation menu going by way of Baked Alaska and Tomatoes in Aspic? Perhaps, so. Perhaps the local movement will embed and hang tough; the way we ate 200 years’ ago is new again. Bold plates of quality ingredients is the rage. Only this time around, it is because we want to, not just because we have to; going back to our roots, as if we ever are able to abandon them, if you will. Roots, by definition, provide footing, vital life-giving juices and at the end of the day, a... read more

Fast Food Chinese

  Panda Palace, Jade Garden, #1 China, Noodle House. Chinese restaurants dot every neighborhood, across every demographic, around every socioeconomic pitfall and paradise. They can be tattered looking, plexiglass-enclosed safe houses to brightly lit, neon glistening meccas of General Tso, Pekin Duck and Mu Shu. The menus are always ridiculous in depth, far-reaching and spread across the culinary landscape to squeeze every possible ingredient into a stir-fried confluence of deliciousness. And they are inexplicable. They are staffed by warrior-like operators that... read more

The 5 Facets of a Good Restaurant

        The 5 Facets of A Good Restaurant Jim Berman   A good restaurant is not just about the food. It is about the experience. The experience is about service, the surroundings, the food and a bit of the colorful panache that gets served with each dish. And a bit about the way a titillating dining experience makes you feel after you leave.   1. Do I want to go in there? The cut-out, strip-malled, fake stucco and neon green trim is no more inviting than going to the proctologist with your girlfriend. The McRestaurant landscape is plum-full of... read more

How to, What To, When To Sear

How to, What to, When to Sear Jim Berman CCI       Searing is profoundly necessary in the contemporary kitchen. Quick hits of serious heat can be a formidable technique for the right ingredients. And you can get some outlandish results. So why does searing prove elusive to even some otherwise competent cooks?   Fundamentally, the searing experience should start with a screaming hot sauté pan and a trace amount of high temperature-tolerant oil. The pan, preferably steel or cast iron should be dashed with a coating of fat. I stay away from the non-stick... read more

Grilling 101 Part 2 The Basics

  • by PeteModerator

              In Part I of this series I discussed the pros and cons of charcoal vs. gas grills.  Now that you have your grill, the next step is learning how to use it.  Sure you can just “fire it up” and probably get some pretty good results.  Let’s face it, that’s what most people do and they all produce an edible if forgettable product.  Hopefully, you are reading this because you want to rise above the masses and create a meal that makes your friends stand back and take notice.  I’m here to help you do that.   The first thing we need to discuss is the... read more

How To Make Hot Chocolate

    by: Chef Jim Berman I am simple. I treasure that which holds great significance without pretension. Fussy-less, wrinkle-free, add water and stir. Old denim jackets, well roasted turkey and one comfortable chair that fits my bottom just so. I like to look at the stars without knowing a thing about Orion or Vega. Crisp mornings, crunchy leaves and nowhere to go. Pocket-sized novels, earmarked for the tenth time. Well-worn brown leather shoes with but a trace of the lining left for the wear. There is a lot to be said for complexity, rich knowledge and the... read more

Going Electronic in the Kitchen

Bringing Technology to the Kitchen     A computer is handy for a cook FOR the kitchen in streaming cooking shows or tutorials off of youtube. It's a great resource for new recipes or for your old family recipes as well. But a computer hasn't been handy to have IN the kitchen. A keyboard to fill with debris and spills, same for the mouse. And where do you put the monitor? Not to mention all the cables. Now with smartphones and tablets, you have some options to help you out smoothly and seamlessly.   It would be nice to have a stand to angle the tablet... read more

Review Of Planet Barbecue Spice Pastes Rubs

By Chef Peter Martin   As a young chef, I read countless cookbooks to expand my knowledge and help me develop my own style of cooking.  While I have many favorites there are probably only a few that really helped to truly define me as a chef.  One of those books was Steven Raichlen’s “The Barbecue! Bible.”  I had been dabbling in barbecuing and smoking foods for a number of years by then, but it was while reading that book that I became inspired to really delve into the world of barbecue and learn all its aspects and nuances.   Needless to say, in the... read more

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