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526 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Q And A Forum With James Peterson This Week

James Peterson grew up in northern California and pursued a degree in Chemistry at UC Berkeley. After his studies, he traveled around the world, working his way from Japan to Hong Kong, to Bangkok, to India and eventually, by land, to Europe. It was in France that he found his calling, inspired by the French attitude toward food and drink.Eventually, Jim  settled in France and worked at two of what were France's greatest restaurants at the time, George Blanc in the Bresse district, and Vivarois in Paris. It was largely his experiences in these restaurants that shaped... read more

Infiltrating The Kitchen!

For those who are interested, I did it. For one day, I was a cook in a commercial kitchen. The whole day really seemed like a lucid dream. In parts, it was like I was living a POV day-in-the-life docudrama.   It started routinely enough. I woke at 6:30am having packed my work clothes and knife roll the night before. My brain hadn't allowed me much sleep as I went through every scenario to give me the best chance of not screwing ANYTHING up. The nagging fear of failure coupled with REM made it feel like I had a bumblebee stuck in my skull all night desperately looking... read more

Why Do You Cook?

Why Do You Cook? Andres Cantu “It’s like I always knew,” explains San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, the culinary dynamo behind True Flavors Catering and El Machito, among others. Having grown up in his father’s restaurant, Hernandez had no doubt that cooking would remain the focal point of his life’s work.   There aren’t many of us who can claim such provenance, yet here we are: boiling and broiling, slicing and dicing, turning and burning, all with varying degrees of passion. Slippery floors, stainless steel corners, boiling water, fryers, fires, blades, soaking... 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

Basic Knife Care

  It's a common misconception that knives are suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The truth is, the dishwasher is considerably more aggressive in its action than cleaning by hand.  Highly concentrated cleaning agents, long periods in hot steam and even the residue of certain kinds of food can lead to spots or corrosive actions on the knife blade. It is recommended cleaning knives by hand, using a soft cloth and mild cleaning agent. After cleaning, the knife should be carefully wiped dry to avoid spotting of the blade.   Certain handle materials, and designs... read more

How To Buy and Store Lobster

About a year ago I was asked to teach a class on how to buy, prepare lobster and this article and others to follow are a result of the notebook I put together for the class. This is part one of the class. Part two is  ​ I hope they are useful to members of ChefTalk.com   Best way to buy Lobster: Alive There are three ways to purchase lobster: Fresh Frozen Cooked   Important: Warning: Never buy raw uncooked lobster. All shellfish spoils rapidly once it dies.   When buying lobster, females are preferred because you get the roe (the eggs). The roe tastes... 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

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

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

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