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Star Chefs Whats Real And Whats Not

Star (stär), n. 1. Any of the luminous bodies seen in the heavens. 2. A conventional figure having five or more points, representing a star. 3. A person of brilliant qualities, who stands out pre-eminently among their peers.Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary Chefs are not rock stars. Chefs are managers, business people, and sometimes entrepreneurs, but mostly chefs are cooks, at least the good ones are. But the media insists the contrary. Take the latest issue of Gourmet Magazine (October 2003). Here's one of the most well-known and respected food and dining... read more

Thanksgiving Libations

  • by PeteModerator

  America has come a long way since the days of jug wine, cheap, tasteless beer, and sweet sparkling "champagne."  I can remember, from my own childhood, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas usually meant that the adults drank Cold Duck and Asti Spumante.  For those of you too young to remember, Cold Duck was a sweet sparkling red wine that was often used as an inexpensive celebratory beverage.  It was popular throughout the mid century but started to lose its appeal as American wine producers started to make affordable, quality wines and sparkling wines.  We... read more

Canola Oil

Leave it to the Canadians to transform "industrial rapeseed oil" into one of the world's most prized cooking oils. How could oil one uses to make machinery hum possibly be made consumable? Well, after fifty years of plant breeding and research, what should appear but a highly regarded cooking oil under the more appealing name of canola oil. Under its new name, rapeseed oil has become the third most important plant-extracted cooking oil ranking only after palm and soybean, and surpassing old-timers like peanut, cottonseed, and sunflower oils in worldwide production.   ... read more

Vande Rose Farms Products

"Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessaries."  –Oliver Wendell Holmes The economy is stagnant, but our appetite for the opulent does not wane.  Certainly, four or five dinners out each week may be but a fleeting memory; cross-town jaunts just for the sake of doing so may be out of the gasoline budget; the newest iPod may be a purchase held off in anticipation of winning the lottery. But, we still like to eat well, be it at home now rather than in a white tablecloth restaurant. The best ingredients are still readily available and we have an... read more

I Met a Guy Named Jim, Just in Time

  I met a guy named Jim. I was sitting at the bar at the restaurant and I met a guy named Jim. The snow was that grayish, murky slush that is neither pleasant nor entertaining. Late February and nothing is fun. The flurries have lost their appeal. Now the weather is an annoyance and warmth seems so very far off. There is that bone-chilling cold that riddles everything with a nervous anxiousness that simply can not be warmed or comforted even with tequila. It just keeps coming back, that cold. But I met a guy named Jim on a day that I needed to meet somebody to restore... read more

Thai Spiced Grilled Chicken

  • by PeteModerator

  While I prefer mostly burgers and pork products gracing my grill, my wife loves chicken (not that she doesn’t love the other stuff also) and since I am supposed to be trying to eat healthier, on a more regular basis, I have been trying to cook chicken more often. I tend to find chicken to be on the bland side and, honestly, rather boring, so I am always looking for ways to add some flavor and excitement to it. My most recent experiment has been with Asian flavors, especially those of Thailand.   This recipe calls for a few less mainstream items, but most of the... read more

Polenta's Potential Predicated

Polenta. What is it exactly?  It sounds like something exotic and crazy.  But really, it is such a simple dish that has the potential to be extraordinary!  For those of you who grew up in the south, polenta is no more than Italian grits.  Now I know some will cry out that "Grits and polenta aren't the same thing!"  Well, yes and no.  You see polenta and grits share some very fundamental and basic attributes.  Polenta and grits are both essentially dried ground corn that is slow cooked in hot liquid to make a porridge like concoction.  Both can be cooked with water alone,... read more

Pickle Me This

    "Preserving was almost a mania with Mrs. Bergson....When there was nothing to preserve, she began to pickle."  --Willa Cather, 'Death Comes for the Archbishop' (1927)         I'm the type of person that tends to wonder a lot, and I've been this way as long as I can remember. Being an avid bicyclist, for example, I often wonder what it was like before the advent of the automobile. People traveled less, no doubt, and worked close to home—indeed, to travel 20 miles may have taken the better part of a day. Now you may be wondering what this has to do... read more


Braising can take the chill out of winter I am not a winter person.  But I must admit, there’s nothing like a hearty winter meal followed by a good brandy or a hot cup of tea in front of the fireplace.  Historically man consumed rich and robust fare in winter to counter the cold and add some thermal padding.  Culinary anthropology aside, I simply love spending a cold winter Saturday or Sunday preparing soul warming fare that fills the house with its embracing aroma. It starts with a technique called braising.  Braising refers to cooking food, often meat with... read more

Protection Of Beluga Sturgeon

Endorsements roll in for proposed U.S. Endangered Species listing; international trade officials freeze beluga caviar exports Article originally printed at (October 27, 2002) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to list beluga sturgeon - the source of coveted beluga caviar - as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has been met with support from a Caspian Sea nation as well as more than 50 scientists, 70 chefs and thousands of individuals in the United States and beyond. The Service's 90-day public comment period... read more › Articles