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Chef Stories

Amy Glaze writes How To Talk Like A French Chef:
I’m not learning the kind of French I intended to. The other night on one of my days off, I ordered a cocktail at an upscale restaurant that I had never heard of before. It was a mixture of rum and spirits with fruit juice. It sounded interesting but a little too sweet for my taste. I asked the server if it was dégueulasse (deh-guh-lass), which I thought meant ‘gross’.
and The Chocolate Chip Caper:
My hands are permanently blood stained (out out damn spot!) and no matter how much bleach or hydrogen pyroxide I use it won’t go away. They are swollen from gutting hunted animals by hand and getting pricked by tiny bullet shattered bones – so much so, that I can’t even get my engagement ring over my knuckle let alone make a tight fist. The scars on my hands, wrists and arms from cooking and accidents (like the time I tripped on a box left on the floor and landed hands first onto our massive hot plate stove burning the entire side of my hand and wrist) are obscene.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 18, 2014 - 41 comments

"What were the reasons behind the dictums and cooking lore?"

Hervé This: The world’s weirdest chef [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 26, 2014 - 6 comments

No Bullshit Hiring Histories

"Pastry work takes a level of skill, precision and rigor that I lacked in spades. I could’ve maybe become a decent pastry cook, with months of practice and a patient boss, but I was in no way qualified to be a pastry chef. I gave it my best effort, for three days, until the chef-owner realized her mistake and fired me. The place closed in less than 6 months. I never got paid." Laurie Woolever at The Billfold talks about how she went from Botantical Garden Intern to Anthony Bourdain's assistant.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 3, 2014 - 26 comments

Chocolate and water DO mix!

Molecular gastronomy at its most basic: Chef Heston Blumenthal makes chocolate mousse in five minutes using nothing but chocolate and water. (Heston Blumenthal (previously, pre-previously) [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A on May 13, 2014 - 29 comments

Work the Line

Conservative bon vivant Michael Anton writes about the thrill of cooking in an haute cuisine restaurant, as well as the rise of celebrity chef culture and personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 2, 2014 - 21 comments

'contemplating the nexus between meat and mortality in a post-BBQ frenzy

Food And Loathing In Charleston: Cook It Raw comes to Charleston, including the world's best hog roast
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 19, 2014 - 14 comments

Allez Cuisine!

"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." -- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 22, 2013 - 152 comments

"Michelin-starred restaurants began to look and taste the same."

Vanity Fair: What's Wrong With The Michelin Guide. Esquire:Why It's Hard To Trust The Michelin Standards. FT:Star-Crossed: Once universally revered, the Michelin Guide is now dismissed by some as a relic of a bygone age
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 14, 2012 - 56 comments

The rise of the secret supper club

For the past two years, in a loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles, Craig Thornton has been conducting an experiment in the conventions of high-end American dining. Several nights a week, a group of sixteen strangers gather around his dining-room table to eat delicacies he has handpicked and prepared for them, from a meticulously considered menu over which they have no say.
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 1, 2012 - 51 comments

Adventure Chef, c'mon tell your friends, we'll cook in very distant lands.

Rutabaga, a webcomic about an adventuring chef.
posted by curious nu on Nov 15, 2012 - 9 comments

Happy Birthday, Julia

Tomorrow would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday. To celebrate, PBS Digital Studios offers: Julia Child Remixed. They also have created a celebration page, complete with an infographic, recipes, quotes, videos and more. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 14, 2012 - 52 comments

Charlie Trotter

You have only 128 days left to eat at Charlie Trotter's eponymous restaurant in Chicago. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 11, 2012 - 66 comments

You know what every kitchen needs? A Bloonderbooss or a Boomashootn, and Swedish Chef shows us why.

The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 16, 2012 - 45 comments

We're here for deliciousness people.

Noma's Chef Rene Redzepi, whose dishes include Vintage Carrot and Chamomile; The Sea; and Asparagus and Spruce, on the science of deliciousness and the importance of using local ingredients. [more inside]
posted by lemuring on Jan 31, 2012 - 8 comments

Did Gordon Ramsay “nightmare” kill off Austin’s El Greco?

Kitchen Nightmares shows Gordon Ramsay helping restaurants make miraculous turnarounds. Ramsay helped relaunch Austin, Texas's El Greco, but the restaurant still ended up closing. Some people are saying that Ramsay's interference may have been the final nail in the coffin for the restaurant.
posted by reenum on Jan 22, 2012 - 112 comments

Is Cooking Really Cheaper Than Fast Food?

Is Cooking Really Cheaper Than Fast Food?
posted by reenum on Oct 7, 2011 - 192 comments

The cost of healthy food

Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive? In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 23, 2011 - 129 comments

"You are missing one ingredient... the HEAT of SATAAAAN!!"

Vegan Black Metal Chef makes pad thai.
posted by flex on May 10, 2011 - 86 comments

Slaving Over a Hot Oven All Day

Chris Kimball prepares a 12-course meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 cookbook. Using only a coal stove and other authentic Victorian-era kitchen staples, the chef, who lives in Fannie Farmer's former home, recreated a classic holiday Victorian meal from her iconic 1896 cookbook.

The twelve courses included: "rissoles (filled and fried puff pastry), mock turtle soup with fried brain balls, lobster à l’Américaine, roast goose with chestnut stuffing and jus, wood-grilled salmon, roast saddle of venison, Canton punch, three molded Victorian jellies and a spectacular French-inspired Mandarin cake."

Chris Kimball is the creator of public television's America's Test Kitchen) and Cook's Illustrated. Naturally, he chronicled the experience in a book, aptly titled, Fannie's Last Supper. In it, he offers some moden adaptations of Fannie Farmer's recipes. A film depicting the difficulties of authentically re-creating the meal airs this Fall.
posted by misha on Oct 6, 2010 - 45 comments

But can she speak Swedish?!

She’s an Iron Chef. The Executive Chef of Bon Appetit Magazine. The founder of Chefs for Humanity. A UNICEF spokesperson. The winner of a 'Hero Visibility Award' from the Human Rights Campaign. And now, celebrity chef Cat Cora is teaching the Muppets to cook. Two new video series have premiered online: "The Muppets Kitchen" and "Hasty Tasty Cooking Tips with Cat Cora and the Muppets." (Warning: autoplaying videos.) The series are "designed to inspire kids to get involved in the kitchen and to help moms prepare simple, nutritious and most importantly delicious dinners." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 15, 2010 - 36 comments

Oh! That's what they mean by browned...

For the more visually-directed chef: CookBlast - a search engine for cooking and recipe videos. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 15, 2010 - 2 comments

Alexis Soyer, Famine Soup, and the Magic Stove

Alexis Soyer lived quite an an amazing life. According to his wiki, he "was a French chef who became the most celebrated cook in Victorian England" who also "during the Great Irish Famine in April 1847, ... invented the soup kitchen and was asked by the Government to go to Ireland to implement his idea. This was opened in Dublin and his "famine soup" was served to thousands of the poor for free. Whilst in Ireland he wrote Soyer's Charitable Cookery. He gave the proceeds of the book to various charities. He also opened an art gallery in London, and donated the entrance fees to charity to feed the poor." And then there is also the remarkable story of Soyer's Magic Stove.
posted by puny human on Jul 30, 2010 - 16 comments

Grapes we can believe in

The first female White House chef, a naturalized Philippina named Cristeta Comerford, was appointed by George W. Bush - who told Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, "I am reminded of the great talent of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House." Despite the urging of American food icon Alice Waters, President Obama has left Comerford in charge of the White House kitchens - though he's keeping quiet about it. But on the basis of the wines served at Obama's Inauguration Day lunch, oenophiles are still hoping for change. (more First Food posts here and here )
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 7, 2009 - 56 comments

"A French chef in Marseilles taught me this."

Chef Gordon Ramsay cooks up a cup of tea, drinks Spunk with Ricky Gervais, and teaches Jonathan Ross to cook a lobster properly (language NSFW).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 22, 2007 - 69 comments

Gordon Ramsey Hates Liars

Perfect Scrambled Eggs | Really Fresh Venison | Pork Chops | Broccoli Soup | Gordon Ramsey Hates Liars
posted by sluglicker on May 20, 2007 - 92 comments

From cocaine to foie gras

"From the first day on pots and pans, I knew what I wanted. I was never cool with being small-time -- that's what got me locked up in the first place: I wanted to be the man."
In 1988 Jeff Henderson landed himself in a federal prison for dealing cocaine. In 2007 he's executive chef at Cafe Bellagio in Las Vegas. Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras is his story.
posted by teem on Feb 27, 2007 - 15 comments

A Valedictory Forbidding Antacids

Vittles and verse - two great tastes that taste great together. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the poetry of cookery. As an appetizer, Chris Tusa serves up a tasty bowl of gumbo; next comes the entree, Mark Strand's comforting pot roast. Meanwhile, Shanna Compton imagines herself as the food itself -- eager ingredients in the skilled hands of Jacques Pepin. If you'd prefer to dine out, Charles Simic presents the menu of Cafe Paradiso, while Don Winter, a former night manager at a Niles, Michigan Burger Chef, proffers a more downmarket culinary experience. Bon appetit! (Poemhunter.com previously on MeFi here. )
posted by GrammarMoses on Apr 26, 2006 - 4 comments

What Price Stars?

We know that the French take their food seriously, and restaurant ratings are a BIG deal over there. But here's a sad illustration of that: famed chef Bernard Loiseau was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide, and speculation centers around his downgraded rating from the influential GaultMillau guide. Shades of Vatel?
posted by Vidiot on Feb 26, 2003 - 17 comments

Happy birthday, Julia!!

Happy birthday, Julia!! American cooking diva Julia Child turns 90 years of age today. She might be slowing, but she hasn't stopped ... and she certainly hasn't stopped eating butter and cream.

Her contributions to American culinary arts, particularly in the area of home cooking, are nearly immeasurable. When you have a look at the way we were cooking before "The French Chef" came along, you'll be doubly grateful for what she's taught us.

She's left her longtime home in Cambridge, Massachusetts for much smaller digs in Santa Barbara, California ... and subsequently donated her legendary kitchen and over 1,200 items from it to the Smithsonian Institution, who disassembled it and painstakingly rebuilt it inside the museum. Julia's Kitchen at the Smithsonian opens to the public on Monday.
posted by chuq on Aug 15, 2002 - 35 comments

Food For Thought For Serious Foodies And Would-Be Pros:

Food For Thought For Serious Foodies And Would-Be Pros: Egullet.com is mainly written by professional cooks for professional cooks but obsessive, perfectionist gastronomes like you and I can join in too. It's delightful and delicious; like a MetaFilter for fussy gluttons, over-curious gourmets and gastro-porn addicts. Today, celebrated chefs Dan Barber and Michael Anthony, currently wowing New Yorkers at the Blue Hill restaurant, will be answering questions from hoi-polloi such as ourselves. My question's already in...[ From the August issue of Food and Wine magazine, where Michael Anthony was interviewed as one of the best new American chefs.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 25, 2002 - 12 comments

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