or Connect
ChefTalk.com › Articles
482 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Put A Cork In It

A current debate in the wine world is whether traditional corks should be abandoned in favor of synthetic, man-made stoppers, or a screw cap.  A screw cap!  Can you imagine??? If you are a traditional wine lover, you probably have the same visceral reaction that I do to screw caps.  But, in the interest of proffering a balanced presentation of the issue, I will restrain my passions……. for now. The cork vs. screw cap debate is somewhat of a head vs. heart type of conflict.  The logical mind must acknowledge that the screw-cappers have some valid points.  Not that the... read more

How To Make Bread

by: Chef Jim Berman Far better is to knead than be in need as it is a much better condition to be resting dough rather than resting ones feet. And certainly tugging, pulling and otherwise manhandling yeasty dough is preferred to tugging and pulling a rusty lawnmower through a not-so-well manhandled back yard. Bread baking is the great Jacuzzi that lives with us all; give up the chic spa with reckless abandon as rejuvenation and meaningful solace comes from starting a loaf of bread, manipulating it and watching it come to fruition. It is not a rush nor is it a burst of... read more

Garlic

Vampire RepellantGarlic.  What would we do without it?  Garlic's reputation precedes itself.  And a ponderous reputation it is.  Garlic has been alleged to perform everything from curing countless illnesses to warding off evil spirits and vampires.  The Egyptians fed garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids believing it increased their physical strength.  Man has harvested garlic for at least 5,000 years.  Horticulturists argue about its exact origins but a popular theory places its genesis in, of all places, Siberia.  Modern medicinal claims purport that garlic... read more

Searching For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Part Three Costa Rica

Dateline: May 1, 2001, Eugene, Oregon SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE - PART THREE - COSTA RICA Chef Patrick & Arnoldo Levia cupping in Costa RicaI arrived in Costa Rica in October just as the coffee cherries were beginning to ripen in the mountains near San Jose. I had missed an International Coffee Buyer Convention in the city by a couple of days and read with interest the news about the anticipated Costa Rica coffee harvest. Predictions were for a good harvest but low coffee prices again this year. Having previously spent two months in Costa Rica, I... read more

Enjoying Homemade Ice Cream Without The Risk Of Salmonella Infection

 Every year homemade ice cream causes several outbreaks of Salmonella infection with up to several hundred victims at church picnics, family reunions, and other large gatherings. From 1996 to 2000 (the latest year for which surveillance was completed), 17 outbreaks resulting in more than 500 illnesses in the United States were traced to Salmonella bacteria in homemade ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ingredient responsible for the outbreaks is raw or undercooked eggs. A person infected with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE),... read more

Searching For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Part Two Costa Rica

Dateline: March 1, 2001, San Jose, Costa Rica Following my interview with Norman Saurage the CEO of the Community Coffee Company, I couldn't wait to broaden my knowledge about coffee. The next stage of my development involved a coffee "cupping." Similar to a wine tasting, a "cupping" was arranged for me by Norman at one of his companies new Coffee Houses in Austin, Texas. I arrived at CC's Coffee House at North Lamar and 6th Street in Austin at 1:00 PM and was greeted by David Walsh, CC's District Manager and Melissa Piker-Purvis, the store manager. I was impressed... read more

Cooking Pumpkins

It's the Great PumpkinAccording to an Irish myth, one day a man known as "Stingy Jack" for his miserly inclinations had a drink with the devil.  True to his name, Jack convinced the devil to transform himself into a coin in order to pay for the drinks. The devil did so but Jack kept the coin for himself.  He placed it in his pocket next to a cross so the devil could not change back.  Jack then freed the devil under the conditions that he would not bother him for a year and could not claim his soul upon his death.  The following year, Jack trapped the devil in a tree by... 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

On Fad Diets

Last night I was at a gathering with a bunch of my wife's teacher coworkers.  During the multitude of different conversations that we had the subject of food inevitably came up and along with it different ways of eating and even dieting.  One of my wife's coworkers mentioned that she no longer ate beef, chicken or pork, make herself a "mostly vegetarian" since she still ate fish and seafood. This was all find and good since she was contentiously making that choice and not really "dieting".  Another then mentioned that she and her husband have been trying out the "paleo"... read more

Emulsions When Opposites Attract

It’s a lazy, rainy, Sunday morning and you want a no fuss lunch for the family.  You’ve got cold cuts on hand so sandwiches become the obvious answer.  As you peruse the fridge you realize you’re out of mayonnaise.  Darn!  It’s pouring outside and you don’t want to schlep to the store in the rain for a stupid bottle of mayo.  Then you remember the cooking show where the chef made homemade mayonnaise.  You copied down the ingredients during one of those “I’ll have to try that sometime” moments.  You know.  You get the recipe, stick it somewhere and then never make it. ... read more

ChefTalk.com › Articles