Why the Puffer Fish can be 1,200 Times More Lethal than Cyanide

The puffer fish is one of the funnier looking animals in the world. Their primary defense mechanism involves gulping down enough water so that its belly extends to the size of a foam dodgeball. They are also considered to be the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world (right behind the poison dart frog). The…

Recipe – (Chicken) Stock

Stock is a flavored liquid preparation that chefs use as a base for many dishes, mainly soups and sauces. Making stock involves simmering animal bones or meat, seafood, or vegetables in water or wine, adding mirepoix or other aromatics for more flavor. This recipe includes the basic ratio for chicken, veal, game, and beef stock….

Poem – Ode to Parsley

Parsley, oh parsley, you wondrous herb! You raise any dish’s caliber from just mediocre to superb!   With bright green leaves, curly or flat, Your versatility amazes us, and we are grateful for that.   You freshen our breath just when we need it most, Like if we eat too much garlic, or a big,…

The Secret Between Beavers and Vanilla Flavoring

Beavers are some of the more overlooked animals across the world: they cut down trees with their teeth, create small lodges on water using sticks and mud, and emit chemical compounds from their private parts that you have probably put in your mouth at some point in your life. In the food industry, beavers are…

Recipe – Fond de Veau Lié

As a flavorful brown sauce, fond de veau lié can be the basis for a number of other sauces. For example, it can be infused with fresh sage and then paired with a wild mushroom strudel. However, chefs use fond de veau lié mostly as a meat sauce or glaze (depending on how thick you…

The French Cook – What Is “Cookery?”

“Cookery is an art appreciated by only a very few individuals, an art which requires, in addition to a most diligent and studious application, no small share of intellect, and the strictest sobriety and punctuality; without the latter, the very best Cook is unavoidably deficient in the delicacies of his profession: there are cooks, and…

Most Wasabi is Just Green Horseradish

Wasabi is a Japanese plant most commonly used as a condiment for raw seafood and sushi. Grown along stream beds in the Land of the Rising Sun, it has a very pungent taste and odor with vapors that can stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue. It also happens to be one of the few foods…

The Logistics of Pound Cake

This shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise. Pound cakes are generally desserts which utilize a pound of its four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. So, you’d have to do a 1:1:1:1 ratio of the ingredients to get that real “poundy” flavor (which tastes very similar to a brick) that equates to essentially 4 ounces…

The Danger of Rhubarb

The stems of a rhubarb plant are treated as fruits in the kitchen – similar to celery stalks – even though they are simply herbaceous perennials. However, rhubarb leaves are poisonous, and as they resemble spinach, they are always cut off the stem and sent straight to the trash.  Humans have been poisoned after ingesting…

Why We Say “Sleep Tight”

Did you know where the expression “sleep tight” came from? In the old days of inns, a bed consisted of a wooden frame with a rope zig-zagging from side to side. On top of the rope was a mattress. When the innkeeper tightened the rope that was sagging after many uses, he/she would tell guests,…

The Hidden Problem with Gluten

  In the current food industry, there is one big word that both chefs and customers throw around with a whole lot of gravitas: gluten. Since we are part of a cooking school, of course we have an obligation to say something informative. Let’s start off by copying and pasting the first paragraph from the…

The Big Trans Fat Lie

Did you know that even if your food label says “trans fat: 0 grams,” it may still contain trans fat. Yeah… Man, seriously. This is because, due to some extremely idiotic labeling rules, food companies only need to list trans fat content if the food contains 0.5 grams or more per serving!!! So, if a…