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743 article submissions by the 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

Onions And Garlic Healthy Cousins

Tonight while making ziti and meatballs for dinner I added raw garlic and onions to the meatball mixture, and as a preliminary step for tomato sauce I sautéed onions and garlic. Yesterday for dinner I had an asparagus omelette with onions and garlic, and the day before that, an apple and cheddar cheese sandwich with raw onion. In retrospect it dawned on me that I, like many people, use garlic and onions a lot, either together or separately. They're the type of ingredients that you either love or hate. Thankfully, I fall into the former category. I'm no rare exception,... read more

How To Use A Chef Knife Part II

In our last class session, we discussed the importance of knives and learned how to judge the quality of a knife. In this class we will look at which knives any well-organized kitchen should have, and how to keep them sharp. A trip to a cooking store will reveal a wide array of different knives. They vary in length, thickness and function. While each knife is valuable, I consider the following 5 knives essential tools for any serious cooking: Chef knife-This is the workhorse knife that chefs reach for the most often, and for that reason it is the most important... 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

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

ChefTalk Monthly Cooking Challenges

2016 - Cooking Challenges                                                                2015 - Cooking Challenges                                                         2014 - Cooking Challenges                                                     2013 - Cooking Challenges   Starting back in April 2013 the 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

Making Home Brewed Vinegar

In this day of wicked excess no self-respecting gourmand would be caught without a bottle - several bottles - of exotic vinegar from faraway lands, resplendent in chic bottles, some actually costing as much as vintage wines. Well, let's hear it for the humble home-brewed stuff, the kind that one might gather slowly and lovingly in a pantry. An old fashioned concept? You bet! Consider what Lydia Maria Child advised in The American Housewife back in 1828, "It is poor economy to buy vinegar by the gallon. Buy a barrel, or half a barrel, of really strong vinegar, when you... 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 › Articles