• Cooking,  Industry

    The Middle of the Line is Where It’s At

    We are all different and so we all want different things. From dishwasher to executive chef, there is a drastic shift of responsibility and duties but neither extremes have much opportunity to do the desired: cook. A dishwasher seldom handles food beyond fetching. An executive chef’s time is taken in meetings and managerial tasks related to kitchen operation. So where is the sweet spot? Well, right in the middle sounds pretty sweet: a lead cook, one step short of a salaried chef de partie. Why? First, you get to cook. Every day. Whether it be on a restaurant line staring at 50 chits on the board, in a prep kitchen…

  • Cooking,  Ingredients

    Grapefruit / Flaxseed / Avocado

    Cooking is the preparation of ingredients. But what are the ingredients? You could spend several lifetimes learning all about cooking and how to prepare food in a way that is all-together satisfying, and you still wont know everything. But to that end, in the fruitless effort to know everything about cooking, what I find many cooks undervalue or neglect to consider at all is the learning about the ingredients themselves. They will know how to work with them and cook with them, but not them themselves. That is what this series of posts will look into: some fundamental information on ingredients. There are hundreds of books written about ingredients from…

  • Cooking,  How To

    Three Rules to Successfully Read and Follow a Recipe

    More food to come! For a blog titled Just On Food, there really isn’t much food happening yet, is there? That will change. I have ideas that need planning and executing, but it is happening. I have recipes and reviews and how to’s and all kinds of stuff in mind coming up. First, though, I’d like to briefly lay a bit of ground work, starting with how to read and follow a recipe. Sounds simple, right? Read ingredients. Gather ingredients. Read method. Follow instructions. Et voila! The fact is that everyone – I repeat, everyone – has screwed up a recipe. Why? Most likely because the instructions weren’t read properly.…

  • Cooking,  Industry

    What It Takes to Be A Cook

    Being a professional cook doesn’t actually have a whole lot to do with cooking. Anyone can cook; but to be a cook, you need so much more than the ability to work with food to survive in a commercial kitchen. Anyone can learn to cook, just like anyone can learn to write or weld or garden or paint; it’s just a skill. Sure, some people are more adept at it right off the bat while others have to work at it. But you do work at it. Hard. You have to. Because no matter which group you identify with, cooking is your passion. But it’s not your only job. In…

  • Cooking,  Equipment

    10 Essential Kitchen Tools I Cannot Cook Without

    Despite what department stores and TSC want you to believe, you really don’t need an extensive toolbox in the kitchen in order to cook, and to cook well. Here, I will share with you my top 10 essential kitchen tools I could not cook without, at home or at work; why I could not cook without them; and what I can do with them that makes them so worth it. First off, let’s talk about why I believe streamlining your kitchen items is beneficial. Have you seen those television commercials for an avocado slicer? What about the cherry pitter? Or a spaghetti serving spork? Whether those inventions sound silly to…