Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chopping Bok Choy at the CIA

Korean Pancakes

A good chef never stops learning.  I have always found pleasure in cooking things differently and trying new things. Culinary inspiration can come from many places, but some are just better than others.
Stir Fry

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a cooking course at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The course was on Asian Ingredients and Techniques with Chef “Ski” Skibitcky.

Fresh Spring Rolls
The goal for Chef Ski is to make sure you can create a dish that represents each cuisine, and more importantly, that you understand the differences. Every day you learn a new cuisine, starting with Chinese, then moving on to Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, and Indian. The class does not make you an expert in these cuisines, but if you’re looking to learn and be inspired, then you’re in the right place. 
 Massaman Curry

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Kitchen Essential

We have to share with you a book that we consider to be an absolute kitchen essential: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs  by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.  It should be in every kitchen library.

Despite the title, it is about far more than flavors.  It is about learning to recognize the language of Food.  It is about understanding that elusive equation: Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + The X Factor. 

For anyone who loves to cook, this book is a revelation!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Worth Checking Out...

Here's a blog we are adding to our "Tasty Links" on the sidebar.  Chubby Hubby is a website from a much-travelled food blogger from Singapore. The site features interesting articles on food, restaurant reviews, recipes, and has beautiful photos.  We also love the extensive blogroll with more fascinating links to Asian cuisine and beyond.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Verjus, the Lemon/Vinegar Alternative

We're hearing more about the increasing popularity of Verjus or Verjuice, a sour, acidic juice extracted from unripened grapes.  Popular in the Middle Ages, it fell out of favor, but is currently enjoying a revival.  Typically, it is used wherever you might use lemon juice or vinegar and we hear it makes a great sorbet. 

We're looking forward to experimenting with this old/new ingredient and reporting back to you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Salsa Time by OakleyOriginals
It's fascinating to see how, once a food item migrates from its home country to a new one, the impact that the new culture has on that dish.  Salsa is a good example.  It careened into popularity in the US, famously leaving ketchup in its wake as the country's most popular condiment.

But what we know as salsa in the US seems to be a far cry from its origins in Mexico.  Which is why we appreciated this article that appeared in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago.  Not only is the article well-written and informative, it features some great authentic recipes, like this one for Salsa Ranchera.

Friday, April 2, 2010

On Restaurants and Near Misses

We are not restaurant critics and that is not the purpose of this blog.  But we are chefs and hope to share with you now and again thoughts we have on some that we particularly like, or maybe even the near misses. 

When in Phoenix recently, we, like pretty much everyone attending the RCA tried to get to the much-touted Pizzeria Bianco, recently voted as the best pizza in the country.  And, like so many others, we were daunted by the crazy lines that started to form at 3pm each day for a 5pm opening.  We didn't have enough beer and wine to wait that long, but maybe another time.  Being so close to NYC, it's hard to be disappointed for too long.     

We did want to share one restaurant that has become a real favorite of ours,  Vie near Chicago serves up amazing seasonal contemporary American.  Check out this menu!  Paul Virant is a great young talent.  And the wine list isn't bad, either.  It's nice to see a great selection at reasonable prices.