Careers in the culinary arts go beyond basic cooking. There are a variety of specialized chefs that focus on anything from sauces to deserts. In bigger establishments there are chefs whose duties almost exclusively involve the management of other chefs and there can even be chefs who manage them. Here are some of the culinary world careers.

Executive chefs are going to be those chefs at the highest levels and are considered executives. Their main functions are to manage the chefs and preparation workers at a restaurant. They can also advance to be responsible for multiple restaurants in a chain. They are required to plan the menu, estimate food needs and cost plus supervise the staff of chef and other kitchen help. They are also responsible for the hiring and training of new chefs. They still may have some regular cooking duties or may just prepare certain meals and at special functions.

Sous-chefs are also managers but are below executive chefs. They are responsible for the direct supervision of the staff. They also play a hands on role in the training of new techniques, equipment and recipes. They also may be involved in menu planning, food and supply ordering. They are usually still required to prepare the main dishes as well as help in special events.

A saucier is exactly as is sounds, a chef whose main purpose is to prepare sauces and also dished cooked in sauces or gravy. Sauces are a foundational part of cooking so a saucier needs to be very knowledgeable. They need to know everything that has anything to do with the possible permutations and mixtures that go in to creating a fine sauce.

A garde manager, also known as a chef garde manager, is also used to describe a chef that is in charge of all colds foods. Garde is a French term for a pantry where cold dished are stored and prepared, prepared foods such as desserts, salads, sandwiches, dressings, cold sauces and appetizers. They are usually very skilled at using left overs in a creative way to invent new dishes.

A pastry chef may have the most delicious job of all. They have to make a variety of confections and baked items. This may include pastries but also cookies, cakes, chocolates, beignets and petitfours but they can routinely make any desert imaginable. Not only are the very knowledgeable of the flavors and tastes involved in deserts, they can also fill supervisory roles in establishment large enough to a pastry staff.

Upscale establishments the career an extensive wine list will employ sommeliers. Sommeliers are experts in wine and they routinely suggest wine for customers that are complimentary to their meals. While some may think that a job that requires you to consume and judge a ton of wine sound like a dream, it can be difficult work the needs a lot of practice and an abundance of knowledge. There are classes that can be taken that will focus on wine. They will teach you the chemistry that goes into making wine as well as how to properly taste wine. You will also learn how to judge wine based on its aroma, flavor, color and body.

When considering the best coffees in the world, I went to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) for research. They are the organization that sets the quality standards for specialty coffee, which the public calls “gourmet” coffee. All specialty coffees use arabica beans. The other category of is the robusta bean, which is of inferior taste quality to arabica. Within these categories, there are several varieties of bean. Arabica beans are grown at a higher altitude than robusta.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and is graded in a similar manner as wine. This event is called a “cupping” and has a set of strict standards. Winning a cupping is very prestigious and has a direct effect on the prices a coffee grower can get for his crop.

History of these “cupping” winners has shown that three areas of the world produce the most winners. Interestingly, these regions have a very similar latitude when looking at the world map. The three regions are Ethiopia, Sumatra and Panama.

Ethiopian/Kenyan Coffee (Africa)

Ethiopian coffee is aromatic, highly flavorful, and also known to be some of the best coffees in the world. It is also the origin of all coffee. The Ethiopian people have a legend that says that a goat herder discovered Ethiopian coffee around 850 AD. This legend claims that the goat herder noticed that his sheep were very excited and nearly dancing after eating red berries from a tree. The legend of the founder goes on to say that the herder sampled the red berries for himself and took some of the berries home to his wife who insisted that he take them to the monks. The monks supposedly threw the berries into a fire and noticed the delicious smell that the berries produced. The monks are said to have removed the berries from the fire and boiled the berries in water to create the beverage that we now know as Ethiopian coffee.

Whether this legend is true, or in fact just a legend is forever a mystery. Regardless, Ethiopian coffee has been used for religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are still held today and if a guest is invited to participate in the ceremony, it is well known to be a very beautiful experience.

Locally, Ethiopian coffee is served with either sugar, or in some parts of Ethiopia, salt. Milk or any type of creamer is never used in traditionally brewing. The process of making the coffee varies by region. In some regions it is dry processed and in some other regions it is washed. The Ethiopian coffee found in stores today is dry processed.

The process is often grueling and coupled with with importing adds to the reason of why Ethiopian coffee can be expensive.

When consumers purchase Ethiopian coffee to be brewed at home, it is wise to consider fair trade Ethiopian coffee. The obvious reason to consider fair trade is so that the producers of this wonderful product can reap the benefits of their hard work. Ethiopian coffee has a rich, bold, and exciting history and a taste that has been favored by many people for a long time.

Sumatran Coffee (Indonesia)

Sumatran coffee comes from the island in Indonesia called Sumatra. The taste of Sumatran coffee is spicy, herbal, and very distinct. It is considered to be one of the best coffees in the world and was first introduced by the Dutch around 1699 when the Dutch wanted to keep up with the demand of coffee to Europe. The Dutch traders knew the difference between Sumatran coffee beans and other coffee beans by the appearance, which are irregularly shaped and bright green.

Sumatran coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and has a low acidity which makes it highly favored among other types of coffee. The beans are usually grown in full sunlight and with no chemicals. A highly popular type of Sumatran coffee, yet thoroughly disgusting in many peoples opinion, is the kopi luwak Sumatran coffee. The kopi luwak coffee is coffee beans that have been eaten by the small animal known as a luwak. After the luwak digests and excretes the coffee beans, local villagers collect the excreted beans and roast them. These excreted and roasted beans are said to cost about $300 a pound. Of course, not all of Sumatran coffee comes from the excrement of the luwak. There are many other varieties of Sumatran coffee as well.

Most of the Sumatran coffee beans are processed using the wet and dry processing method. This processing method is another reason why Sumatran coffee is so popular. Most other types of coffee beans are processed by using either a wet method or a dry method, hardly ever both.

When purchasing Sumatran coffee for use at home, a person should try to purchase fair trade Sumatran coffee. Fair trade beans can be found at various online retailers and also at gourmet coffee retailers. This insures that the growers benefit from all of the hard work that they put into growing this delicious coffee.

Finding an antique coffee grinder is the best thing you can do to create a special coffee or espresso. The taste and flavor of coffee initially dissipates after the coffee beans were grinded. So it is much enticing tasting a coffee or an espresso if you were the one who grinded the coffee beans.

A coffee grinder plays a big role because the machine is essential on how the coffee beans would look like after they were ground. Espresso grinders tend to be very sensitive about the type of grind it can work best on. On the other hand, a drift coffee machine is a little more forgiving because of the quality of grinds they give.

There are many options to choose from when buying coffee grinders. You may just want to keep your antique coffee grinder and place it on your collectible items and keep save it for special coffee grinding sessions. Here are some other antique selections of grinders that are recommended for your coffee making sessions.

1. The Antique Burr Grinder can crush beans to a more uniform size. You can find Burr grinders that are conical and flat in shape. The grind setting on this type of grinder can create the similar and almost perfect grind on the beans. With their convincing accuracy, these grinders are recommended for use with any type of coffee brewing sessions.

Nonetheless, you should pay attention on the grinder setting when grinding large amount of coffee beans. Some grinders may not perform well as an antique burr grinder especially when making Turkish coffee or French press coffee.

2. The Antique Blade Grinders use only a single blade that can rotate at very high speed to grind beans. The perfection of the chops is mainly controlled for how long the blade will spin at fast mode. It is better to let longer run for the blades to create a perfect grind. The Blade grinders are appropriately matched in making drift coffee. It can actually compensate the type of grinds of drift coffee filters of the Antique Blade Grinders.

3. There are also those Bodum products for the coffee maker enthusiasts. They have impressive coffee grinder designs with timeless classics like the antique Bodum Chambord coffee grinder that keeps old and new coffee customers to come back and drink the finest grind coffee around. As their slogan says “nothing makes your day better than a perfect grind cup of coffee.” They know this even better, which is why they created the best coffee grinders in the business. Two of their popular best sellers are the Bodum Antigua Grinder and the Bodum C-Mill Grinder.

Even if you are new to the coffee world or you are a seasoned coffee lover, it is still recommended that you know how to find the best purchases of coffee grinders. There are many types of grinders you can choose from that can satisfy to your coffee making needs. Always remember to take care of the grinder that you bought and always keep it clean so that it can last for more and tasteful coffee making sessions.

Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.

DURING this if you want to eat bread, you usually have to buy at supermarkets and traditional markets. Now, make the bread can be done at home!

According to Herman Achmad, Chef Pane del Giorno, a key in making good bread just need some basic groceries, namely wheat flour or wheat flour, yeast or leaven, salt, and water.

“Making bread can be done at home, easy way. Moreover, all food ingredients can be found anywhere,” he told Okezone, when met at the sidelines of the visit bakery Pane del Giorno, in Region Sentul, West Java.

In addition to food that is easily obtained, the process can use cooking equipment in the house.

Chef Herman is said, the first equipment is a must-have mixer or mixing machine. This machine will allow you to do a good mixing process in order to produce perfect bread dough.

“The first tool is to make bread mixer or mixing machine, its function is to stir all the ingredients of bread are used to flatten or until smooth. Actually, they can wear hand but it will take a long time in the stirring process,” he added.

The second is the mower equipment and weights. For him, the two machines have different functions in each usage. For weighing machine, serves to determine how much food is used. Because when the bread ingredients to be used is not measured, then the result will not be good for consumption. Meanwhile, the cutting machine is used to measure the thickness of the bread used, so the process of maturation of bread became more perfect.

“If it is smooth then put the bread dough in the closet, then closed. Well as at the bottom of the container should be placed bread hot water because it serves to warm up,” he explained again.

Lastly, is the toaster machine. In the process of cooking has five ways that can be used, as a means baked, steamed, smoked, fried, and in-steam. For the bread, then use the roasting process.

“If it has to do with bread baked way, ie you can use a high-temperature oven, which is 250 to 300 degrees. Levels of maturity bread became more perfect when consumed,” he concluded.

The Internet is a wonderful source of “miracle” foods and diets. Some claim to boost your brain power, others your sexual potency. And when it comes to high blood pressure there is certainly no shortage of culinary cures. But do any of these really work. (more…)

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

Sometimes we all probably feel like we are walking through a nutrition mine field. What one person or organization calls healthy is deemed unhealthy or even deadly by another. So what is a person to do when faced with the idea of trying to improve food choices in order to achieve a healthy fit body? Luckily there are a few things that we are absolutely certain of and these things are the focus of this article. There are a lot of everyday, common foods and food storage items that most people don’t give a second thought, but that in actuality could seriously affect their overall health and quality of life. (more…)

When it comes to cooking, it is important to keep in mind that everyone started somewhere. I do not know of a single person who was born with a wooden cooking spoon and ready to go. There is a lot of learning that must be done in order to become a prolific cook and then there is always room for improvement. Not only do you need to begin with the basics when it comes to cooking but you almost need to begin again when learning to cook a new cuisine such as Chinese, Thai, or Indian food. (more…)

Probably one of the most annoying things in this world is food intolerance. Unlike food allergies, which can be identified with testing, food intolerance is a hit and miss proposition that can drive the sufferer crazy. We’re going to give you the facts and the truth about food intolerance and tell you how it can be handled.

The first myth that needs to be dispelled is that people who are intolerant to certain foods are allergic to those foods. Food allergies are not the same as having an intolerance to certain foods. The symptoms may be very similar, which is why food intolerance is so difficult to pin point, but the causes are quite different.

With a food allergy, your body is actually allergic to the food in question and the reaction is that of your immune system itself fighting back, very similar to if you were allergic to pollen. The sneezing is your body fighting back against the pollen in the air. With a food intolerance, the immune system does not come into play. Your body does not believe that it is being invaded by a foreign body. However, your organs, usually your stomach and intestine which is where food is digested and eliminated, will react to certain ingredients in the food in question simply because it is intolerant to that particular food.

Food intolerance usually occurs because your body stops producing certain chemicals or enzymes that aid in the digestion of that particular food. This happens to quite a number of us as we get older. This is why so many people are lactose intolerant, as the enzyme created to properly digest lactose actually decreases in production as of the age of 2. It isn’t until we are much older, however, that we start to develop symptoms, which are sometimes quite severe.

The only way to tell if you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods is to take a food allergy test. This can be given by a regular allergist. If the test comes up negative on the foods tested, and they test quite a number of different foods, then what you are suffering from is an intolerance and not an allergy.

If it is determined that you are intolerant, how do you find what foods you are intolerant of? This, unfortunately, is the hard part. The only way to do this, since there are no clinical tests, is to systematically eliminate foods from your diet and see what the effects are. Personally, I found that I was intolerant to anything with high fructose corn syrup. This was easy for me to spot. I started drinking a fruit punch that I had never drank before. I got terrible indigestion from it. I stopped drinking it and the indigestion stopped. I then looked at the ingredients, where I discovered the only thing I didn’t normally have in any of my other foods. Since that time, simply eliminating foods with high fructose corn syrup, I have not had any indigestion.

Is it easy to find what foods you are intolerant of? No, it’s not. It’s especially hard if you eat a lot of different foods. However, most reactions occur after about 30 minutes to an hour after eating. So if you eat breakfast and you’re fine but then an hour after lunch you’re not feeling so well, it is most likely something you ate at lunch that is the culprit. Simply eat the same lunch the next day, except eliminate one of the items. Eventually you will find what is bothering you. The most common forms of intolerance are lactose and wheat. This should give you something to work with.