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492 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

In The Kitchen At Parties

It is 7:30 on a Saturday night and I'm leaning against a stove sweating. There's music blaring beyond the kitchen doors, but I'm contemplating the next course. We're at that inevitable lull, the point between appetizers and meal. Out front there are announcements to be made and toasts to drink.  We've been rushing since noon, but now we wait. And Sweat. Timing is crucial when cooking for a crowd and it's often dependent on longwinded speeches or announcements. In short, the initial push is a guessing game. It brings to mind a story of a banquet oversaw by chef August... 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

Book Review: Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller

  If you ever had the sneaking suspicion that the words ‘extra virgin’ on olive oil was a load of old cobblers, pat yourself on the back. Your consumer’s BS meter is working fine.   I certainly feel more educated in consumer BS of all kinds after reading Tom Mueller’s Extra Virginity, about the marketing of olive oil and the somewhat liberal interpretation of the meaningless phrase ‘extra virgin’. Blatted about by enthusiastic celebrity chefs slurping olive oil over everything and pronouncing it the best thing since balsamic vinegar (and let’s not go there) ... read more

Artichokes Al Judeo

When Chef Michael Altenberg, chef owner of Campagnola in Evanston, IL, told the Chef Forum about a dish that he frequently makes called artichokes al judeo, we at ChefTalk.com were intrigued. This Italian dish, which according to Chef Altenberg, originates in the Jewish ghettos of Rome, is unique in that the artichokes are literally smashed with the side of a sturdy knife or the bottom of a heavy pan. The dish uses baby artichokes. Before crushing the artichokes, they must first be trimmed to remove the exterior leaves. The tops of the tender leaves that remain are also... 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

All About Artichokes An Interview With Produce Expert Tom Corneille

ChefTalk: It seems as if there are always fresh artichokes available in grocery stores. Is there a season for artichokes? Tom Corneille: It's true, almost all the artichokes in this country are grown year round in a small area of California on the coast. But while there are artichokes available year round, the biggest harvests are usually around April/May and October. Artichokes are delicate to store though. Two weeks is stretching it and after that time, they lose premium flavor. CT: Speaking of quality and flavor, how do you evaluate an artichoke? What should the... read more

Facebook Connect Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Connect with Facebook?" mean? For a couple of years now Facebook has been offering a service to allow folks to sign into other websites easily without having to enter a whole lot of information everywhere they go. This system has evolved over time and we've integrated it here for our members' convenience. If you'd like to hear what Facebook has to say, check out their developer's guide and help pages.     Why is this on the site? The main benefit is an easy registration process for new members who discover this forum via Facebook. Traditionally,... read more

Inebriated Fruitcakes

  "Fruitcake is a geological homemade cake," Charles Dickens     When I was a kid I hated fruitcake. Ok, hate is a pretty strong word, an intense dislike is probably more appropriate, and this is coming from someone who's had a sweet tooth since the day they were born. But to be honest I didn't really gave it a chance.   One of the sticky little blocks always seemed to appear around holiday time, I'd spot it stashed in the back of the refrigerator. I wouldn't eat it even when there were no other sweets in the house. The way its plastic wrapping stuck to it kind of... read more

The Tasting Of Choice Rare Teas

Tea tasting is at its elemental level nothing more than the act of consciously assessing a tea’s quality, or if one is doing a blind tasting it’s identity as well. It is most important to state here that tea tasting is in no way to be thought of as the ever enjoyable act of drinking tea. Here we are concerned only with the actions and activities involved in consciously cataloging the sensory impressions that tea can stimulate. Almost all of what is commonly called the sense of taste is actually the sense of smell. This can be easily experienced by holding the nose so... read more

How To Make Gazpacho

On a recent hot and humid eveni ng I was standing in my garden with an empty plate in one hand and a small juice-glass of wine in the other; I was looking for dinner. I set down the glass of wine on the edge of the porch and picked a few leaves of basil and a couple small chilies, and put them on the plate. A couple perfectly ripe tomatoes also went in the mix, as did a cucumber and small bell pepper. As is often the case, I nibbled herbs and vegetables as I foraged. And as I bent to look in ankle-high weeds for low growing herbs I absent mindedly bit into a chili.... read more

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