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504 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Buying Soft Shell Crabs

Soft-shell crabs are one of America's favorite seafood delicacies. While all crabs shed their shells to grow, only a few species of crab can actually be eaten in this form. The Blue Crab is the only commercially available soft-shell product. The scientific name, callinectes sapidusis, is derived from Latin and Greek. Calli = beautiful; Nectes = swimmer; sapidus = savory. The translation is not only accurate but surprisingly poetic - the beautiful, savory swimmer. Blue crabs grow rather rapidly, 12 - 18 months, from the juvenile stage to adulthood. A full-grown Blue Crab... read more

The Power Of Presence

The first article in this series suggested that whether running your operation seems like being lost in the weeds or spending a day at the beach is strictly a function of your perspective. The beach is available to you but you can't see it from the weed patch. In the second installment, we looked at different models of management (the cop vs. the coach) and explored the idea that in the age of service it is our human skills that will determine the degree of our success. The principles we are talking about are simple and common-sense but the key to changing your... read more

Flavorful Fall Harvest

  The meaning of life is a rutabaga.             --Garrison Keillor     By: Chef Joe George   This dog days of summer are a memory. It’s time to batten down the hatches for the cold months. And if you’re a person who likes to cook and eat by the seasons using local ingredients, this may mean getting creative in order to keep meals interesting. The summer months are easier, I think: vegetables seem to have more flavor when the sun is shining (maybe it’s my imagination), and herbs that are almost easier to grow than they are to purchase will brighten any... read more

Recycling Used Oil From Your Kitchen

As the air grows cooler and the long days of summer grow shorter and shorter, a whole new season of comfort food swings into action. Football and hockey games, end of season baseball and the rugby world cup will drive fans to bars and grills across the country. Late night college crowds will begin to stumble into after-hours cafes and restaurants, while couples and families look for warm comfort on a plate. Sounds like it's time to start up the fryer. And with that fryer going full tilt, the accumulation of used oil in your kitchen will continue to grow. So what do... read more

Wild Maine Blueberries

Uncultivated taste and manners. That's what you can expect from a wild Maine blueberry. The tiny wild, blueberries native to Maine and Eastern Canada have a sharper, more distinct sweet and tart flavor when compared with cultivated blueberries grown in other parts of the country. And they are wild: grown and nourished with whatever sun and rain nature dishes out that season. The lowbush, wild blueberry (vaccinium augustifolium) thrives in the glacial soils and northern climate of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. Called blueberry barrens, these "fields" look like... read more

Fish Descriptions Part Ii

ChefTalk.com would like to thank Chef Charles Weber of Riva Restaurant in Chicago, Il. for sharing some of his fast knowledge about fish. Recently Chef Weber put together a comprehensive document of fish descriptions for his wait staff to help educate them about the subject. At our last Chef's Journal we asked Chef Weber if he would share it with the ChefTalk community and he was more than happy to do so. The list is very comprehensive, in fact, the list is so comprehensive that we have broken it up into two parts. SEARCH TIP *(If you are looking for a particular... read more

Preserving A Hot Trend

A classic way to enjoy figs is as preserves, and chefs throughout coastal South Carolina make them since the area has a prime climate for bumper fig crops. They start turning ripe in July, and the crop continues through August. Pastry Chef Tina Spaltro of the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, with encouragement from Executive Chef James Clark, figured out how to turn a lot of figs into delicious batch of sweetness. Making the preserves during the late summer of 2009, she says, was a spur-of-the-moment project that turned out well. "It was just a... read more

A Standard For All Seasons

Have you ever patronized a restaurant that doesn't have salt and pepper on the table?  The assumption is that the food is already properly seasoned, (seasoning primarily refers to salt), and applying more is not only unnecessary, but may be offensive to the chef.  This implies that his or her amount of seasoning is eternally and universally accurate.  I don't mean to offend anyone but I find such a perspective incredibly presumptuous.  Why?  Because this position predicates that everybody's palate is identical.  And that my friends is simply ludicrous.  Biology, age,... read more

History And Descriptions Of Chilies

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin Sweet Heat It all starts with a slight tingling in the mouth that quickly turns into a light burning sensation.  Your nose starts to run and perspiration beads on your forehead as your eyes turn blurry with tears.  By now your mouth has become a raging river of molten lava, or so it seems.  You have just swallowed a powerful alkaloid that has caused your brain to release neurotransmitters telling your body you are in big trouble.  So who is this insidious poisoner so intent on seeing you suffer?  You are, and mostly likely you will attempt... 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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