"cook" news and stories
Snap out of it. You have bills to pay, screaming kids demanding your attention, and you still have eleven things on your to-do list that you were supposed to do yesterday.
And work in a job as a chef? Please. What you really need is a vacation.
Well, now you can do both. Vocation Vacations is a combination of a dream vacation with your dream job. They've put together lists of "vacations" all over the world that incorporate a few days of "work" in a dream job, and have a whole slew of food-related dream vocation vacations: brew master, baker, star chef. Personally, I'd love to be "restaurant critic" and fly all over the globe, eating in a different delicious restaurant every night.
But that one's not available.
If you prefer to stay in and cook, rather than to go out for romantic occasions, you might want to consider getting your date (and yes, it can still be a date if you're married to each other) involved in the kitchen with you if you don't already. The experience gives you more together time and makes the evening into an event, rather than just another meal. You can work together on any recipe from any cookbook, but Dinner Dates: A Cookbook for Couples Cooking Together gives you a good place to start because it is designed for this purpose. And if you tend to get a little protective of your space in the kitchen, it couldn't hurt to have the tasks divided up for you.
The "dates" are complete menus with both casual and more gourmet options. For example, "Fun with Fajitas" will get you margaritas, chicken and steak fajitas and ice cream sundaes, while the "Ultimate Valentine's Dinner" has french onion soup, filet mignon with herbed butter, and chocolate dipped strawberries and biscotti. There are a total of ten different dates, as well as information on prepping your kitchen and plenty of other foodie tips.
That said, there is plenty of flavor to be found in AB's baking book, I'm Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking, just not the extensive range of old and new combinations that you might find in a book from a professional pastry chef - and if you're not looking to emulate cutting-edge, five-star at home, you shouldn't have any problems here. Alton is precise, thorough and very accessible, due to a generous use of entertaining illustrations sprinkled throughout the text. His recipes and methodology are well explained and will provide the reader with a solid base of knowledge of the hows and whys of baking. On top of that, they always turn out good results (barring technical difficulties, of course), so you have a built-in way to reward yourself after learning a new lesson. Recipes include topics from scones and cakes to custards and candies.
Do you think that you have what it takes to be the next Top Chef?
Bravo is now casting for season 3 of the popular reality show. The only requirement is that you need to be a professional chef at some level. They want both self-taught cooks and those who have trained at top culinary schools. If you fit into one of the stereotypes that the show has used in both season one and season two, your odds of making the cut probably increase (overly confident molecular gastronomist, And, of course, you definitely have a better chance if you are young and attractive than not, simply because most of the competitors can be described that way.
There are two ways to apply. First, you can send in a video audition that is 5 minutes long and shows a little bit of your personality, your daily life, your hobbies and tells the production team what sets you apart from other chefs. Alternatively, you can attend an open casting call in Dallas, Miami, New York or Los Angeles. More open casting dates might be added, but the info for these cities can be found after the jump.
Filed under: Television/Film
Pasta is easy to cook. All you have to do is open up a bag and pour as much as you want into salted, boiling water, bring it back up to a boil and wait until it is done. The tricky thing about pasta is cooking it to the right consistency.
Al dente, a firm but not hard texture with a small amount of "bite," is usually what is desired and is rarely achieved by following the instructions on the packaging. A more reliable method of cooking pasta is to let it boil for several minutes and then testing pieces of pasta at 30-60 second intervals until you reach your preferred consistency. For this to work, however, you have to stand over the stove the whole time, so another option, this time in the form of a gadget, might present the perfect solution. The Pasta Per'fect Timer is dropped into the pot along with your noodles and changes color according to the level of doneness of the pasta. It gives three indicators, from thin (angel hair) to thick (lasagna noodles) and it will only take a couple of batches before you find exactly the right level of donrness and can hit it every time.