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741 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Roasting Coffee At Home In A Popcorn Popper

“Coffee in styrofoam is against my religion.”  ~Betsy Cañas Garmon   The difference between your average cup o’ joe and the freshly roasted, ground, and brewed coffee you are about to see here is like night and day, black and white, right and wrong…you get the point.   Too often I hear people say things like, “I don’t like my coffee too strong, it tastes bitter” or “All coffee tastes the same to me.” Well, the truth is, over-extracting coffee grounds with too much water is more likely to give you a nasty, bitter taste. As for all brews being the same…well, I’ll give... read more

What Is Sauerkraut

So you know how it tastes, but do you know anything else about Sauerkraut? What is Sauerkraut?Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented in salt. Where did the word Sauerkraut come from? The word Sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German. Who invented Sauerkraut?Credit the Chinese for the creation of Sauerkraut more than 2,300 years ago. Originally it consisted of shredded cabbage that was pickled in wine. Workers building the Great Wall of China were among the first to enjoy it. Around the end of the 16th century, salt was used in place of wine in the fermentation... 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

Cooking With Urbani Truffles

by: Jim Berman I asked a group of young cooks what they knew about truffles. Of course I got the predictable "chocolate" and "expensive" and "good!" I also, surprisingly got "don't they use pigs to find them?" and "it's like a mushroom." So, given the opportunity to bring some Urbani truffles into the kitchen, I was enthused about the opportunity to do so. Urbani does not deal with the chocolate lovelies that fetch way too much money around Valentine's Day. No, no, the colorful heritage of the Urbani Family brings the subterranean delicacy from the soils of Italy to our... read more

ChefTalk Monthly Cooking Challenges

2016 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges                                                                2015 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges                                                         2014 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges                                                     2013 - ChefTalk.com Cooking Challenges   Starting back in April 2013 the ChefTalk.com community began picking monthly food items to cook. Everyone who participates in the challenge elects someone who... read more

The 5 Facets of a Good Restaurant

        The 5 Facets of A Good Restaurant Jim Berman   A good restaurant is not just about the food. It is about the experience. The experience is about service, the surroundings, the food and a bit of the colorful panache that gets served with each dish. And a bit about the way a titillating dining experience makes you feel after you leave.   1. Do I want to go in there? The cut-out, strip-malled, fake stucco and neon green trim is no more inviting than going to the proctologist with your girlfriend. The McRestaurant landscape is plum-full of... read more

Myths About Olive Oil

All extra-virgin olive oils are basically the same. Just because the bottle reads "extra virgin" does not mean that the oil is made from quality olives, or that the olives used weren't bruised, oxidized, olive fly-infested, or overripe. In fact, it is possible for an olive oil to be made from low quality olives but still achieve the "extra virgin" requirements through chemical processing. However, these oils will always be found out by their oily, fatty, bruised apple-like taste and their processed aroma. Every single one of Lucini's olives is hand-picked and pressed... read more

Burgatory - Behind the Burger

Behind the Burger: Burgatory, Pittsburgh by Jim Berman CCI     Is the twelve-course degustation menu going by way of Baked Alaska and Tomatoes in Aspic? Perhaps, so. Perhaps the local movement will embed and hang tough; the way we ate 200 years’ ago is new again. Bold plates of quality ingredients is the rage. Only this time around, it is because we want to, not just because we have to; going back to our roots, as if we ever are able to abandon them, if you will. Roots, by definition, provide footing, vital life-giving juices and at the end of the day, a... read more

On the Road with Dega Catering and the Dave Matthews Band

  When the kitchen is always in motion, how do you feed one of the biggest bands in the world? Dega Catering is the long-running food crew charged with fueling the Dave Matthews Band as the group snakes its way across the country during their nearly annual summer concert tours. Feeding the band members, riggers, drivers, stagehands, sound technicians and guests with restaurant quality food can be daunting. Executing the food that is befitting the demands of a rigorous tour schedule is a feat all its own. Fold in the desire to minimize a negative environmental impact,... read more

Food On Film The Big Night And Dinner Rush

Restaurants and chefs are hot topics these days. Open any newspaper or magazine (including this one) and you’re bound to see some sort of restaurant news. Chefs are treated as celebrities and restaurants as nightclubs; i.e. adult playgrounds. I’ve read that some food writers describe America’s obsession with food as “the new sex”…personally, I’m not buying that one. At any rate, movies are no different, these too often portray—and glamorize—food and the foodservice industry. This is nothing new, of course, big screen “food movies” have been popular for years— Babette’s... read more

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