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596 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Malaga, a walk along tapa bars

- Málaga is this town in Andalucía where I always want to come back to for the past 30 years. Let's explain first that I prefer to reside in a nearby town, Torremolinos, which has a metro-style small train that travels continuously to Málaga in less than half an hour for only a few euros. It allows me to visit Málaga as many times as I like. Especially these last years, Málaga has grown into a place that seems to attract more and more city-trippers and other tourists... I heard Málaga many times being called "Little Barcelona", and that is so true! Málaga is not exactly... read more

Champagne

In the James Bond movie "Goldeneye", 007 and the villainess are playfully racing down a scenic mountain roadway.  Bond's passenger is a young female coworker sent by M to evaluate him.  Having no stomach for his perilous antics she orders him to stop his Aston Martin immediately.  Bond complies and proceeds to seduce her, but not before opening a secret chilled compartment revealing a bottle of the 1988 Bollinger Grand Annee Champagne.  An outstanding choice, and not just for romance. Another New Years Eve is upon us and countless people the world over will celebrate... read more

Apples

Sinfully DeliciousThe famed Greek writer, Homer, gave mention of apples growing in his father's garden prior to the 8th century BC. When Eve entered the Garden of Eden she found a fruit so perfect and enticing that she was in awe, and also, she was tempted. Though various historians have claimed this succulent and tempting fruit to be everything from an apricot, banana, or even a pomegranate, it is most often written that it was an apple. The Latin word for apple is pomum, which is also the Latin word for fruit, implying that the apple is the "fruit of fruits", or at... read more

The Resort Circuit

The most frequent question I'm asked from visitors to my web site; The Adventures of an Itinerant Chef (http://www.chefpatrick.com/) is, “How do you find all these jobs?”I've decided to take advantage of this column to answer that question. I began my culinary career as an apprentice in 1971 working in restaurants, hotels and resorts on the “resort circuit.”The “resort circuit” is nothing more than any restaurant, hotel, resort, lodge, camp, yacht and other business that operate on a seasonal basis. To “work the circuit”one could work the Summer season at a lodge in... read more

Packing in Festive Feasting (How To Make Fruitcake w/ Photos)

By Becky Billingsley   A densely packed fruitcake lovingly laced with grape juice is a memorable holiday treat with a creamy texture using this old southern method.   Holiday dishes served at the South Carolina coast have influences from several cultures (German, Scottish, Irish, French, African), but about an hour west of Myrtle Beach the roots run deep to 17th-century England. That heritage is found in a generations-old recipe called Packed Fruitcake.   Pulitzer Prize-winning author Julia Mood Peterkin (1880-1961) wrote about old southern ways in her books and... read more

Stock

  One of the first lessons of any cooking course is learning how to make stocks.  Stocks form the basis of most sauces and soups.  A stock is basically the liquid that eventuates from simmering bones and/or meat with vegetables, herbs, & seasonings. Types of stock include beef, veal, chicken, fish, and vegetable. Let's peruse the stock making procedure.     Virtually all stock recipes instruct you to start with bones.  I prefer a mix of actual meat and bones.  I find the meat/bone combo to yield a deeper flavor.   For a beef stock I use cubed chuck steak.  Never... read more

Where Are The Employees

One of the questions many of my restaurant clients have asked me is, "Where are the employees?"With everyone howling about the labor challenge and so many restaurants competing for the same people, it's important to remember that our best recruiting strategy is employee retention.You've already found performers. Today's real challenge isn't finding new people, it's keeping the best ones we already have and making sure that they're feeling happy, challenged, fulfilled and excited about what they're doing. Why not focus the next six months on making the employees - the... read more

The Human Equation

We conferred endlessly and futilely and arrived at the place from whence we began. Then we did what we knew we had to do in the first place, and we failed as we knew we would. - attributed to Sir Winston Churchill Whether the opening quote is accurate or not, the thought behind it deserves consideration. Are we becoming incredibly adept at ineffective procedures? Have you ever thought that there had to be a better way to run a restaurant? Does the idea that you have to work 60-80 hours a week to succeed in foodservice strike you as a suspicious notion? Most operators... read more

A November Sunday in Torremolinos

- Torremolinos, sunday 10th of november. Sunday is when the Spanish families come out, many in their best sunday clothes, going to church, have a tapa, go for a coffee and a pastry and enjoy their sunday. Also, this time of the year, many Spanish people from other parts of Spain seem to visit Andalucía. It's just past noon and I decided to go for a walk on my own outside the town center and have a tapa later on. I'm in the neighbourhood of one of my favorite places in Torremolinos, Jamón.es, wine and tapa bar annex wine and Spanish charcuterie shop. Jamón.es is an... read more

Retaining Younger Workers Isnt Difficult

One of my clients calls younger workers hummingbirds because they flutter from job to job. While it's difficult to get Generation X workers to stay put, it's not impossible. We suggest you follow these strategies: Ask them for their opinions. Studies have shown that one way to reduce turnover with younger employees is to convince them that you value their opinions. Involve employees in decisions, especially when those decisions affect them. Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to employees, as much as they need or want. There is a difference between... read more

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