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721 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Mexican Food Recipes Flour Tortillas

By: Ruben Urias   It’s all about the tortilla!  Whether you are munching on the tiniest of palm sized corn tortillas for tacos al carbon, or a giant sobaquera or sonorencia for a tasty burrito, the ever versatile Mexican tortilla has penetrated the menus of restaurants and homes alike.  In fact, it has gained such popularity in America and elsewhere that even fast food giants—for better or for worse—have embraced its utility.    However, despite their wide-spread use and popularity, many people have never tasted a fresh made tortilla.  Sadly, their tortilla... read more

Fourteen Mistakes Made by Novice Instructors

    So here you are ... you've finally left the long hours of the food service industry behind you and you're now a Culinary Arts instructor. You're looking forward to having most evenings and weekends off. You're also looking forward to paid vacations that include four days for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas, a week for Spring Break, and two months of summer vacation where you can kick back and relax. You've custom ordered a set of culinary jackets with your name emblazoned on the front pocket and you've got a bright new toque to put on your head. You are... read more

Chef Knives How To Really Use Them

Part I Basics with the chef knifeI teach a lot of cooking classes. Without fail, at some point early on in the class, the following scenario transpires: I pick up my chef knife and mindlessly chop something. Maybe I just roughly chop up some vegetables or possibly reduce an onion to a finely minced mass. I have been doing it for years. . The knife feels comfortably familiar in my hand. My chef knife and I are and have been good friends for a long time. My left hand works in rhythm with the knife as it guides each cut. It's no big deal. Or is it? As I am chopping, the... read more

Mexican Food Recipes Champurrado

With late winter storms postponing spring indefinitely, the allure of the common cup of cocoa is certain to wear thin. So now is the perfect time to try and make something new, like a cup of the traditional Mexican hot chocolate drink, champurrado. Champurrado is a rich and decadent hot chocolate drink, spiced with cinnamon and anise. It also distinguishes itself from its American counterparts by being thickened with masa, then whipped, into a frothy, fluffy cup of goodness. When prepared properly, champurrado is not unlike a traditional cup of cappuccino—espresso... read more

History Of Chef Titles

Defining The Different Titles In The Kitchen Our first class session of culinary 101 will answer a subject that many of our ChefTalk viewers have been asking about--what the different positions or divisions of the kitchen are. We will define each of the classical kitchen positions. Not every professional kitchen has a different person for each of these positions (i.e. in smaller establishments often one cook might perform the responsibilities of several different stations or positions). Chef: The term literally means "the chief" in French. Every kitchen has a chef or... read more

Food Photography For At Home Cooks

By: eastshores A lot of people that really love food, like talking about it online. If that weren't the case, cheftalk.com might be reduced to just a professional discussion board with a post a day discussing the latest professional equipment, or religiously zealous debates over which knife manufacturer is superior. So to fulfill this need, many have turned to online blogging, or something like cheftalk, where they can go and share with others their unique take on food. One thing is certain, images go a very long way toward expressing those food experiences. I... read more


The Japanese term santoku [三得] means “three virtues,” which has a distinct Buddhist connotation. Somewhere around 1920 or so, this term was applied to a hybrid Western-style knife, manufactured in Japan and constructed with the modern Japanese housewife in mind. Far more recently, the term has come to refer to an approximate blade shape that has gained a large market-share in Western, perhaps especially American, home kitchens. Despite the hype and advertising schemes applied, the knife in question is in no reasonable sense traditional to Japan. No clear figures are... read more

Is Silicone Cookware Safe

Dear Debra ~ I am looking for material(s) that works well as a non-stick baking and stir-frying surface and that will not harm my family. What do you think about silicone bakeware for environmental and health issues? I know Teflon is dangerous but what about silicone? L. G.Alameda CA Silcone bakeware and other kitchen utensils are safe to use. Silicones are made chemically by creating a "backbone" of silicon (from common sand) and oxygen molecules, a combination that does not occur in nature. Then various other synthetic molecules are added branching off of the main... read more

How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

There are a number of ways to make ice cream without a machine. Perhaps the easiest is to use a regular freezer and stir at intervals. The fastest is to mix the base with a couple volumes of liquid nitrogen, which gives you ready to eat ice cream in ten seconds. It's helpful to understand what the ice cream mixing machine does, in order to consider what you need to do to get a suitable product. Consider the clasic hand-cranked sort. The basic idea is that the dashers agitate the ice-cream-to-be, while the can rotates in the ice/salt mixture. The dashers agitate the... read more

Keeping Great Employees

  Keeping the best people on the team is critically important. Take a bit to think about the gravity of having good kitchen kin at the most vital times. When the printer is vomiting tickets onto the cutting board and the GM is freaking out about the gluten-free demands of table 21, who is best to be standing by? Does loyalty want to be questioned at that time? Or does the discussion about a pay raise make for a jagged moment? What about not getting the schedule just right for the line cook that needed off for his kid’s birthday? How is this band of brothers and... read more

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