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721 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

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

Pulled Pork

  • by PeteModerator

  Barbecue…barbeque…BBQ; no matter how you spell it, that word makes me giddy. I’m not talking when it is used, in the generic sense, meaning any type of cooking on a grill, or over an open fire, but real, god honest barbecue; the kind done slow and low that can turn some of the toughest cuts of meat into melt-in-your-mouth morsels, bursting with smoke flavor. Not that I’m against cooking out, in any of its forms. In fact, a rather large portion of the food I cook is done on a grill, but there is something special about making true barbecue, whether it is ribs, beef... 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

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

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

What makes up a great Chef Uniform?

Take a peek inside any commercial kitchen around the country and you’ll most likely see at least somebody wearing something that resembles a traditional chef’s uniform.  This includes a white jacket, toque, and checkered pants.  This traditional uniform dates back to the mid-19th century and is a symbol of professionalism and pride within the culinary community.   Many features of a traditional chef coat were born out of necessity of the job. Today’s kitchens are filled with chef coats in a variety of colors, but traditionally they are white, and it is only recently... read more

Grapefruit Sorbet

  • by PeteModerator

  Years ago, while working as a sous chef, one of the restaurants I worked at lost their pastry chef. It fell on me to cover pastries until the owners decided if they wanted to hire a new pastry chef or do without. Now, I can hold my own in a pastry shop, but I have to admit it is not one of my favorite things to do. Sure, I love playing around and baking every now and then, but to do it for 8-10 hours a day, day after day is not something I really enjoy all that much. There was one exception though, and that was the making of ice creams and sorbets. I absolutely... 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

Pickled Beets

  • by PeteModerator

  The first time I really enjoyed beets is when I finally gave in and tried my parents' pickled beets. They were a revelation. I couldn’t believe that I had disdained these bright red root vegetables for so long, although I don’t think at age 10 I actually used the word disdained. I doubt I even knew the definition of that word at the time. Well, for the first time in my life my parents did not have to force me to eat my beets. Since then, I’ve come a long way. I love beets, and find many ways in spring and fall to incorporate them into my cooking often.   While my... read more

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part I An Introduction to Tea

  • by PeteModerator

  If you had told me 1 ½ years ago that I would be writing a Beginner’s Guide to tea, I would have laughed.  To me, tea wasn’t a “thing.”  Sure I drank it when I went to Chinese or Japanese restaurants, or I’d brew up a fruity, herbal tea when I wasn’t feeling well during the long, cold winter months, and of course, during summer there is always a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge, but that was about the extent of tea in my life.  Then one day I wandered into a tea shop in the mall.  There, on the back wall, were tin after tin of loose leaf teas with names such as... read more

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