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495 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Garnish: Not Just Gratituous Greenery

OK, so what is a garnish? What does that mean? Quite simply, a garnish is just something that makes food look better and gives a little pop. Most people think that garnishing food is only reserved for restaurants or the Martha Stewart types out there. I am here to let you in on a little secret. Garnishes don't have to be elaborate or hard. Even the simplest little touches can add a world of eye appeal to a dish or plate.   The basics of garnishing can be broken down into a few guidelines. First of all, your biggest allies are color and contrast. Food is beautiful.... read more

How To Choose The Right Knife

Every Cook Needs a Good KnifeKitchen gadgets are supposed to make our busy lives simpler but there are still only two really essential pieces of equipment a cook needs (other than a heat source, of course): a good pan and a high-quality chef's knife. The knife, though, is really most important; there is no other tool in the kitchen that is as useful as the chef's knife.  Sure, other things may look good on a shelf, but all the chrome-plated garlic presses, cobalt blue mixers, and three-speed immersion blenders combined do not compare with the importance of the humble... read more

Passion of a chef

Passion of a Chef   With the advent of the internet, food channels, cooking shows, and celebrity chefs on TV, cooking has suddenly become some sort of glamorous. Out of the blue, culinary schools are springing up like mushrooms, packing to the brim with eager-eyed youngsters looking for a quick and easy road to fame and money.           But is it really that easy?   Passion of a Chef – Starting Out These youngsters started out excited and raring to go. But after some time in the killer restaurant industry, reality hit them hard when they... read more

My Own Home Canned Dilly Beans

Summer brings a wonderful bounty of gorgeous fresh fruits and vegetables.  Summer also brings the Monsoon Season in the Desert South West. For a little Hawaiian gal like me, it terrifies me!  This year is starting to be a particularly bad or good, depending upon how you look at it, Rainy/Lightening/Thunder Season.  Today was an exceptionally bad weather day and I was stuck inside for a second day. I was inspired by another Chef Talk member, thank you thatchairlady, to try again to “put up” as my Great Grandmother would say, some Dilly Beans. ... read more

Kauai Coffee Company

If you were asked to name a commodity of Hawaii, you might likely respond with pineapple, or maybe even cane sugar.  However, with few exceptions, pineapples and sugar cane have not been widely grown commercially on the islands for years.  There is one item, however, that is not only growing, but thriving on the Hawaiian islands—coffee.    Hawaiian coffees are nothing new.  In fact, Kona coffee has enjoyed such storied success that it is synonymous with “Hawaiian coffee.”  Unfortunately, this generalization leads many to conclude that Kona coffee... read more

How To Improve Employee Performance And Ensure Consistent Service

Consistency is essential if you want your restaurant or hotel to be successful in the long run. Customers expect to receive the same high quality service every time they enter your establishment. Employees need to know how to do their job effectively in order to ensure the consistent success of your business.  Employees who receive inadequate training or are unaware of their job responsibilities will cost you customers and revenue.  The more you leave to your employees' judgment, the less likely it is that they will do things the way you would like them done.  Your... read more

Krups Km 8150 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

  Krups KM 8150 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker   Donated by EverythingKitchens.com   Reviewed by: Brook Elliott   About 45 years ago came a revolution in American coffee making habits. Melitta made a big splash with its drip coffee making system.   It was a simple concept. Hot water would slowly ooze through a cone of ground coffee, steeping instead of boiling. This produced a clear, clean brew, with no muddiness or bitter oils.   Until then, most Americans made coffee in a stovetop percolator. A small minority, who’d been exposed to European... read more

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Basics

This is something I wrote a few years back for a now defunct forum with Camp Chef. Why the name Dutch Oven? There are different versions of why the name Dutch Oven. One is that it derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch who cooked in them. Another is that a Dutchman invented the casting method by which such ovens then became best known. A third is that the better ovens were imported from Holland and so you'd prefer a Dutch Oven over other similar ovens. There is no definitive answer. How do I season a cast iron dutch oven? Generally the most asked... read more

Tools Every Kitchen Needs The Essentials

Chefs get asked all kinds of questions. Recently, I received the following question: "Dear Chef Christopher-- I dream of being a great cook. What equipment should I have in my kitchen so that I can fulfill my dream? I want everything I need to be a great cook." For those who aspire to be the best cook they can be, having the proper kitchen equipment is paramount to maximizing success and limiting the frustration (you know, the kind you get when trying to whip egg whites with a fork and a small plastic bowl, or roast a turkey in a flimsy pan that's plainly too small--all... read more

Why You Shouldn’t Be Using Commercial Equipment in Your Residential Kitchen

The dancing flames of a large open gas burning commercial range seem to beg for a pot or a pan to be used, to create a scrumptious dish that will leave your family and friends ooh-ing and aah-ing. Perhaps a fabulous outdoor kitchen set up is part of your dream house, and a large piece of commercial equipment would complete the look. Or maybe, you want to upgrade your refrigerator or freezer to something with more oomph.   Think again.   Commercial kitchen equipment is not made for residential use. Let’s take a look at why:   Your home fire insurance... read more

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