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732 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Recycling Used Oil From Your Kitchen

As the air grows cooler and the long days of summer grow shorter and shorter, a whole new season of comfort food swings into action. Football and hockey games, end of season baseball and the rugby world cup will drive fans to bars and grills across the country. Late night college crowds will begin to stumble into after-hours cafes and restaurants, while couples and families look for warm comfort on a plate. Sounds like it's time to start up the fryer. And with that fryer going full tilt, the accumulation of used oil in your kitchen will continue to grow. So what do... read more

Chicken Salad - A Lesson in Presentation

  • by PeteModerator

  One of the most important lessons I learned as a young, professional chef was that presentation is everything. Even in the finest of restaurants you can serve the most mundane of foods if you create a spectacular, or beautiful, way to present it. Soups were a classic example of this. Many of the soups we made, at some of the best restaurants, I worked at, in Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans, were soups that people make at home every day. The only difference was in the presentation. Vegetables were not roughly chopped, but meticulously cut into perfect little cubes.... read more

Cornbread Stuffed Squash

  • by PeteModerator

    Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I can’t wait!! I love Thanksgiving; a day of cooking, eating, chilling in front of the TV, eating, playing board games, eating, hanging with family and/or friends, and eating. This year we are making the 5 hour trek to my parent’s house in Indiana which means I won’t have to do much of the cooking (a wonderful break, as any chef will tell you). I’ll still be involved and will gladly help out as part of the joy of Thanksgiving is having the whole family in the kitchen helping out, but I’ll also have a chance to chill in... read more

Vodka Cheers Comrade

Cheers Comrade What comes to mind when you think of Russia?  Communism? The Cold War? The Iron Curtain?  As a chef and epicure, my first association is vodka!  (And caviar of course).  The Brits would agree.   In the 16th century, the British ambassador to Russia deemed it their national drink.  The word vodka comes from the Russian "zbiznennaia voda" which translates as "water of life", a rather hospitable phrase that has been oxymoronically linked with bellicose, totalitarian regimes and evil dictators.  Ivan the Terrible, the unspeakably ruthless and murderous... read more

Samosas with Tamarind Chutney

  • by PeteModerator

  It wasn’t until later in life that I discovered Indian food. It’s not a surprise as I grew up in rural Vermont and rural Indiana. Neither of them known for their diverse ethnic cuisines, especially back then. It wasn’t until I had moved to NYC that I got my first taste of real Indian food. I was instantly hooked, but it wasn’t until culinary school and my travels aftewards that I really came to truly appreciate the complex flavors and spicing of the dishes. One of the first things I fell in love with are Samosas, those puffy triangles of fried dough filled with an... read more

Rushing Water Fisheries

In a culinary world where chefs quest for new commodities and methods of cookery it is understandable that the idea of cooking with trout does not purvey the concept of modern cuisine. Nor does it really spark the culinary imagination. This is certainly the way I felt - until I encountered the fish form Rushing Waters. In the heart of the Wisconsin countryside - Palmyra to be exact you can discover Rushing Waters Fishery. Rushing Waters is a trout farm with a difference. It is an operation that is focused on quality not quantity. A rare philosophy in the fish business... read more

Dried Cherry Tomatoes-Achieving Maximum Flavor

  • by PeteModerator

    For the second week in a row we have been blessed with a good amount of cherry tomatoes in our CSA box. Last week, my wife got her hands on them and I never saw them again, so this time I made sure I grabbed them before she did. My goal was to place them into our dehydrator and turn them into little flavor bombs. Freshly picked, perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes, on the own, pack a hefty amount of flavor, but dry them out a bit and you can up that flavor to epic proportions.   It’s important to note that what I am acheiving by this is not a way to preserve the... read more

Milanese Creamy Pesto

Hi ho, TheBEEF! here with a simple Eyetalian style dish that is not as oily as standard pesto sauce. The number one complaint I get from a lot of people involving pesto is that it is too oily and it is messy etc... This is mostly true and many restaurants have removed Pesto from their menus because of such rumors and foolishness.   Now, (edit because it was longer ago than thought) thirteen years ago I was in Milan (northern Italy) and this crazy old Italian chef had a restaurant on the outskirts of the city and I made it a point to come to his restaurant. Well, I... read more


  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

Trends in Kitchen shirts

  The old standard in kitchen shirts is facing some new competition. Gone are the days where the cooks all wear white cook shirts. With more and more restaurants designing open kitchens and other elements that allow diners to see the people who make their food, restaurants have become more mindful of the image their cooks present and are expanding their options.   Don’t get us wrong, the standard cook shirt is a great option.  Kitchen whites will forever be a classic uniform, and nothing screams that your kitchen is spotless and safe than a line cooking wearing a... read more

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