Leafing through the Modernist Cuisine Collection

I’m hardly the first person to write about receiving the Modernist Cuisine Cookbook Collection and I am sure all of you that have been coveting this collection have already heard all the stats about the book (lbs. of ink, 2,438 pages etc.). Continue reading

Using my new CVap oven

The CVap in its home

The past two months have been crazy at the Kitchen Table.  In December we set new records for class sales and gift cards.  January has brought tons of eager cooks and wine enthusiasts to our Table.  All this has meant the time I wanted to spend experimenting with the CVap oven I won during the 2011 Starchefs ICC has been trimmed.

The oven arrived at my back dock all wrapped in black plastic and on a palette.  The delivery guy dropped it off and took off.  Continue reading

2011 Starchefs – International Chefs Congress – Day 3

Ground Zero

This morning we were able to catch up on sleep as I wasn’t expected to be at the Congress until 12:30pm.  We took the opportunity to head down to ground zero.  Continue reading

But if you try sometime….you’ll find….you don’t need to knead

My first attempt at No Knead Bread

So I have been curious about the no knead bread craze for awhile but it wasn’t until I read this blog post that I was motivated to try Jim Lahey’s famous NYT recipe.

I’m definitely a convert.  This is the easiest dough I have ever worked with and can literally be made in about 10 minutes.  Then you wait a day, crank up your oven, bake it in a covered stock pot for 30 minutes, remove the lid and finish the bread for another 15 minutes. Voila. Continue reading

Red hot tamale

Grilled vegetable tamale with poblano crema

If there is one project I have been fairly consistent about, it is the monthly entry for Deep Plate blog.  The above picture I sneaked in after teaching a class on Vegetarian cuisine, Flavors of the Southwest: Tamales.  It is the Deep Plate entry for August.

Some of you that know me well might be asking what are you doing teaching a vegetarian class, much less one based on tamales.  Well my new position as General Manager at The Kitchen Table means, that if no one else is available to teach a class, I teach it.

This was a full day class (we have been trying to get our day classes rolling) with only one self admitted vegetarian.  Continue reading

Zevro Gravity

Zevro gravity spice rack and vacuum seal storage containers

I was approached by Mike at Open Sky about getting free samples of products from a company called Zevro.   So I signed up for the samples and they sent me three Vacuum storage containers and a magnetic spice rack. The containers rock.  Four clips to insure that the lid does not come off and it uses a standard Vacu-Vin suction gadget to remove the air in the container.  The containers fit inside each other when not in use for even greater efficiency in long term storage.  I instantly thought camping or rafting.   This is the perfect container for that use.  As far as chefs are concerned,  some of the flaws are that they are not perfectly stackable and they are not square so they take up more room than necessary.  Square containers are harder to remove all the contents from, but perfectly stackable and neat on shelves are a big draw for chefs.  Zevro also offers a rectangular set and you can find them on my open sky storeOXO has containers that are very popular amongst chefs as they have a push button air sucker and you can clearly see the contents of the container.   Removing the air from a container is very important as it dramatically increases the shelf life of a product. For example, put brown sugar in a non air tight container and it dries out and turns into rock sugar.  Even an airtight container will keep it moist for a long time.  Put it in a vacuum container and it will stay moist forever.  The guy growing medical marijuana in my previous post would love to have these to store his product.  I can think of many other legal uses, but specifically for a chef they can be used to store a whole panoply of herbs and spices as well as all the new fangled hydrocolloids every chef needs to have in their tool chest.

This spice rack caught my eye and I love that you can attach them to a magnetic strip.  Mike at Open Sky arranged for me to offer you a 15% discount on the spice rack offered at my store and if you want to buy it, then when you check out type ZEVRO15 as the coupon code to receive the discount.

Magnets are big draw as they open a whole new option for storage.   The unit they sent me is a good space saver, but I would prefer a magnet strip I can screw into the wall wherever I want and place these spice canisters.  The design of the canisters are not optimal for my use either.  Chefs like spices in whole form.  As soon as they are ground they lose tons of aroma and intensity as all the surface area comes in contact with oxygen.  Most people should throw away most of their spices in their spice drawer as certainly they are quite dead.  Maybe you have seen the McCormick’s ads that show a spice container with their old label that says “if you have one of our spices with this label throw it  away.”

Buy whole spices as much as possible and buy a coffee grinder to grind your spice mixes.

So I would prefer a spice container with a vacuum seal as well as quick access to my whole spices and the ability to pour them out easily.  A few tweaks and these would be great for amateurs and pros alike.  However, if you like to buy pre-ground spices or make your own blends and are low on space these could work very well for your needs.

On a side note, I spent some time updating my store on Open Sky and all of you should check out the new stuff I recently added.  Father’s Day will be here before you know it and you might find just the right product to make him happy at my store.


Why do you do what you do?

This is a very inspiring presentation on why some ventures are successful and others are not.  Should cause reflection on why you do what you do or why you are not doing what you should be doing.

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