Tips and Tools

Ergo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!

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Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first 2017 edition of Chop Talk!. What a year we’ve had in 2016 and we are looking forward to an even better 2017. This past year held some great adventures for us here at Ergo Chef, from the Costco Road Show with Chef Randy, to the awesome events in Chicago, Memphis, Cleveland, New Hyde Park with the CIA and more. We also had new product launches throughout the year as well with our newly redesigned and upgraded My Juicer and our new Shinzui Chef Knife. We are excited to announce the opening our new showroom in Danbury, CT, as well as our sponsorship of a local Connecticut TV Show,  Edible Nutmeg On The Road, hosted by our good friend Chef Plum. Whew!!!! No wonder we’re exhausted, lol. Here’s a quick recap, as well as a new recipe for you highlighting the Michael Symon Vegetable Clever. Last but not least, to celebrate the New Year, a special “coupon code” sale.

nra5First up started the year off at the IHH Show in Chicago where we introduced Michael Symon’s new 6pc. Knife set with Magnet StripThe Myron Mixon Pitmaster’s Grill ToolPresidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife and our new Pro Series 2.3″ wide 8″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds. This year’s IHH will be no different as we introduce some exciting new products, so stay tuned for more details.

ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_01 MSBMS ISO XLMMPGT 3 XL8 inch pro chef - wide


wcbbqcc-logo-201613239289_10209196514054663_8535084697776038394_nWe traveled to Memphis in May with Myron Mixon’s BBQ Team and the Grill Tool, where Myron won Grand Champion of the Competition!!! Though Myron brought those awesome Pitmaster skills, we’re pretty sure the Grill Tool is what put him over the top this year! The Grill Tool has been huge hit with it’s awesome 3-in-1 design. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it! The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.


Culinary-School

ciacia5Each year The Culinary Institute of America holds it’s annual Run For Your Knives scholarship fund raising event, and Ergo Chef is proud to be a sponsor. This years event, while rainy, was a huge success and we were privileged to provide culinary knife kits to all the student winners.


shinzui-bannerWe were very excited to introduce our new Japanese Damascus VG10 Knife SHINZUI in late October, which turned out to be a tremendous success with many chefs loving the razor edge & wicked performance of this knife. This 8 inch Chef (Gyuto) knife is appropriately named “SHINZUI™” to encompass it’s total composition. It’s the Japanese meaning for core, strength and essence.  From the blade it highlights the super strong and durable VG10 “core” having super “strength” and to the look and “essence” in the form and functional design of this 8” Japanese chef knife to give you ultimate performance in your kitchen!

shinzui-full-iso shinzui-8-sweet-potatoes-2-not-square shinzui-8-lhs-ds shinzui-8-in-box

 

 

 

 


Recipe : Cassoulet, a hearty stew to keep you warm 

Ingredients

1/2 lb bacon, cubed
1-15 oz can white kidney beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1 large Spanish onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 lb ground pork
1/4 lb shredded duck confit
1 T dried parsley
2 T dried thyme leaf
1 T rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 t rubbed sage
1/4 to 1/2 c sherry (dry)
2-3 qts water (enough to cover all ingredients )
salt and pepper
fresh parsley
Method
In a slow cooker, or large heavy bottomed pot, spread the bacon cubes, evenly over the bottom of the pan. This will be the first layer. Drain and rinse the beans. Mix beans, onion and garlic together and spread over the bacon creating the second layer. Crumble the ground pork and duck over the beans. This is the third layer. Mix all the herbs together (except the bay leaf) and sprinkle over the meat. Add water and sherry making sure all the ingredients are covered. This is important, so to ensure proper cooking. Add the bay leaf. Set temperature on very low and cook 6-8 hours or overnight if possible. If you are using a traditional pot, bring to a boil and then lower temperature and simmer on very low for 6-8 hours. After cooking is complete, gently stir in chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

The Michael Symon Vegetable Clever is the perfect too for chopping all your veggies for this dish.

We thank you for being a loyal Ergo Chef Customer and friend and to that end we are offering a Happy 2017 site-wide sale throughout the month of January! All month long we will offer up an Extra 12-20% off randomly – so shop often! Use the Coupon Code: HAPPY2017  when you check out!

Thanks again and All the best for this coming year!

Ergo Chef

Mike StaibErgo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!
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16 Must Have #Autumn Ingredients & “The Chop Talk #BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout Sale!”

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Hello everyone and welcome to August.

It’s hard to believe Summer is almost over and the kids will be going #backtoschool. It certainly has been a hot one. In this SPECIAL edition of Chop Talk we have some great info and promotions for you. First up, in Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips. In keeping with the fact that everyone loves a good list, we thought we’d give you a great rundown of the some of the abundance of autumn produce and ingredients that are available, or coming available, in this coming season. In addition we are bringing you our #BacktoSchool Blowout Sale with all products on the website at huge discounts. We also have two delicious video recipes for you from our partners, Pitmaster Champion Myron Mixon and America’s Favorite Chef,  Michael Symon. We hope you enjoy.! 

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Autumn Produce

Autumn has long been associated with the transition from warm to cold weather, the primary harvest has dominated its themes and popular images throughout the world. For many of us, especially here in the States, the smell of freshly made donuts, watching through the window while cider is being fresh pressed, and folks starting to get that wistful look in their eyes as they start to glimpse the hint of Thanksgiving and Christmas just over the horizon, is a childhood memory that brings warm thoughts of family and friends. We’re sure many of you can remember returning home from the farmers market with arms full of fresh produce, apples, cider, fresh donuts, placing pumpkins on the front stoop to await their fateful appointment with the carving knife that would soon transform them into the Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween night. The cooling of the nights, the touch of color in the leaves and the anticipation of the coming holiday season always gives the air clarity, as if shaking off the haze of summer.

Apples ApplesThere are thousands (7500) of varieties of apples, ranging from tender to crisp to sweet to tart. Apples are available year-round, but they’re best from September to November. Apples contain phytonutrients which can help you regulate your blood sugar. Eaten raw, or used as a great addition to any cheese board, baked alone, or used in a pie, they are healthy and delicious. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples.” All other varieties were brought here from Europe.

Celery Root (Celeriac) celery-rootCelery root, also known as celeriac, is the root of the celery plant. It is often available year-round, especially in temperate climates, but is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you’ll find it during the summer and early fall). Freshly harvested celery root is sometimes sold with the stalks and leaves still attached, as pictured here. It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to celery stalks. It can be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes.

Chestnuts ChestnutIn Europe, Asia and Africa, chestnuts are often used as an everyday potato substitute. Although they are wonderful straight from the oven or fireplace, you can make use of the winter chestnut crop in many ways, both sweet and savory. Before trying one of the many chestnut recipes, learn about chestnut history and how to store them. Probably one of the first foods eaten by man, the chestnut dates back to prehistoric times.  The majority of the chestnut trees currently found in America are of native European stock, but Native Americans feasted on America’s own variety, Castanea dentata, long before European immigrants introduced their stock to America.  Today, most of the chestnut food crop is imported from Japan, China, Spain, and Italy. Legend has it that the Greek army survived on their stores of chestnuts during their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. Chestnuts contain twice as much starch as potatoes. It is no wonder they are still an important food crop in China, Japan, and southern Europe, where they are often ground into a meal for bread-making, thus giving rise to the nickname of “bread tree.”

Cranberries Cranberries95%  of all cranberries are used as to make juice. The remaining 5% is used to make sauce, compotes and jellies. They are a a major commercial crop in the U.S. with Wisconsin the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer. Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded as we’ve all seen from the TV commercials, with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is the driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines. Although most cranberries are wet-picked, 5–10% of the US crop is still dry-picked. Labor costs are higher and yield is much less, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and are usually the ones sold at your favorite farmers market or fresh fruit stand.

dates

Dates Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which grow in the desert. Harvested between September and March In the US they are grown in Arizona and California. They have a sweet, caramel-like taste and soft texture. Farmers markets may have fresh dates in season, but they are also available mail order from some growers and can usually be found at Middle Eastern markets.

Fennel fennelFennel has a light anise, or licorice, flavor. Crisp and refreshing when raw, but melts into a savory sweetness when slowly cooked. The tall green stalks look like celery with wispy dill-like leaves at the top. The stalks grow from a white onion-like bulb. All parts are edible, although the mild, tender bulb is most commonly used and served and is most associated with Italian cooking. It is often available year-round, but is at its best during its natural season from fall through early spring.

Hazelnuts hazelnutsHazelnuts are used in confectionery to make some pralines, in chocolate for some chocolate truffles, and in hazelnut paste products. They are rich in protein and unsaturated fat and contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. In season primarily in October, the majority if not all the hazelnuts available in the US come from Oregon. In Austria, hazelnut paste is an ingredient in the making of tortes(such as Viennese hazelnut torte). In Kiev cake, hazelnut flour is used to flavor its meringue body, and crushed hazelnuts are sprinkled over its sides. Dacquoise, is a French dessert cake, and often contains a layer of hazelnut meringue and is also a primary ingredient of the vodka-based liqueur Frangelico. Over 2,000 tons are imported annually into Australia, mostly to supply the demand from the Cadbury-Schweppes company. Hazelnut oil pressed from hazelnuts is strongly flavored and used as a cooking oil.

Mushrooms mushroomsThere are over two thousand types of mushrooms, but only 2 ½ – 5 % are edible. Though you can usually get mushrooms all year round they are at their peak in fall and winter. Always look for mushrooms that are firm, not broken and avoid those that seem damp or smell of mildew. There are many varieties available, from Shitake to Crimini, to Portabello and more exotic varieties like the Black Chanterelle.

Pears pearsThe pear is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across Asia. Most of North American pears are grown in Oregon and Washington, and the harvest months listed here reflect that. Pears have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of fructose and glucose, plus Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit. Great raw, on cheeseboards, and poached.

Peas peasFreshly frozen garden peas and petits pois are frozen within just two and a half-hours of being picked. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus. They are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre and low in fat which is mostly of the unsaturated kind. The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.

Pumpkin pumpkinsAs one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year. The top pumpkin producing states in the U.S. include Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Pumpkins are a warm weather crop that are usually planted in early July. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Often, it is made into various kinds of pie which is a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holiday. Pumpkins that are still small and green may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow/zucchini. Pumpkins can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup.

Quince QuinceA quince is a hard, round or pear-shaped fruit. It looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and pear. Unlike apples and pears though, quinces are inedible raw. When cooked, quinces develop a slightly grainy texture similar to a firm pear and develop a rosy amber color. Their season is very brief, from October to December, so be sure to get them when you see them. Quince is a great side for duck and other game meats. You can use it as a paste on cheese boards, compote, poach it and also tarte tatin.

Sage sageOnce prized for its medicinal value, the most popular use of sage these days is in stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. In ancient Rome, it was considered to have substantial healing properties, particularly helpful in the digestion of the ubiquitous fatty meats of the time, and was deemed a part of the official Roman pharmacopeia. Sage has been used effectively for throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. Great when used with game meats.

Squash Types

The term “summer” and “winter” for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. “Summer” types are on the market all winter; and “winter” types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter.

BakedAcornSquash1_optAcorn This winter squash is shaped like an acorn. Great for baking. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. In addition to the dark green acorn, there are now golden and multi-colored varieties.

ButternutSquashButternut Beige colored and shaped like a vase, this is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. The more orange the color, the riper, drier and sweeter the squash.

Spaghetti A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, Spaghetti-squashnut-like flavor. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti. The most yellow squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Those that are nearly white are not very ripe. Spaghetti squash also freezes well.

Think outside the box when setting up your weekly menus and try different ingredients and techniques. You’ll be glad you did and it’s always great to get the family to try new things and expand their palette.

Ergo Chef


#BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout!

My Juicer Back to School Special 20% OFF* 1 week only using Discount Coupon code: MYJUICER20 My Juicer

*Sale ends 8/22/16 Midnight.

my-juicer-bannerMy Juicer II Personal Blender Smoothie Maker with Grinder Assembly & Extra 20oz. Sport Bottle.

Blend Well – Live Better!

My Juicer II Extra bottle & grinder setThis new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful heavy duty 300+ Watt motor for crushing Ice, blending juice drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle. The My Juicer II by Ergo Chef extracts the nutrients from the food your blending so your body can better digest and absorb the nutrients, for a healthier you. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, Flax & Chia seeds & fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen.

INCLUDES: Stainless Steel and Composite black plastic Motor Base with suction feet, Blade Assembly, 2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottles, Grinder Blade Assembly & Cup, Instruction ManuGrinder Blades_XLal & Recipes.

  • Powerful Heavy Duty Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit with 300+ WATTS (320 Watt Max Power)
  • Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office
  • 2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Composite Plastic Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle Fits in most car cup holders
  • My Juicer_II_1XLBottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills
  • Bottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right
  • Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup!
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

Motor Base Dimensions: Height: 6.750″, Width: 5.125″, Depth: 5.5″, Weight: 2 lbs. 5 Ounces, 2 Prong 120V Extension Cord Length: 44″ Long, Height with Sport Bottle Attached: 14-3/8″ TallMy Juicer EC105 w extra bottle_S

Sport Bottle Dimensions: Height with Lid: 9.5″, Dia. at Base: 2.925″, Lid Size: 2.9″ Dia. with 1.3″ handle length for easy carry, Spout: 1.050″ Outer Dia.  / .780″ Inner Dia. / .550″ Tall

GGrinder Assembly_XLrinder Blade & Cup Dimensions: Height Assembled: 4.5″ Tall x 3″ Dia. Blade Assembly, Grinder Cup Size: 3.650″ Tall x 2.5″ Dia.

Cleaning: Simply place warm water in bottle upto fill line after use with a few drops of dish soap.  Place on motor base and turn on. It will blend & naturally clean itself.  If needed use sponge for dried on drinks. Take apart and dry with a clean towel.

ORDER NOW: My Juicer


erg047_19.5x19.5_DISPLAYheadersCulinary School Kits & ALL WEBSITE PRODUCTS (services excluded)

USE Coupon Code: August15 for 15% OFF

That’s right you read correctly, 15% off everything on our website!

Culinary Kits

Culinary-School

10pc Prodigy kit XL picOur Culinary kits were designed for‪ #‎professionalchefs‬ and ‪#‎homecooks‬ who shop for exceptional value and want a reliable knife set without spending a fortune. Designed for ergonomic comfort and precision, the blades are crafted from high carbon stainless steel and have an 18 degree cutting edge so they can slice, chop or carve up any food product you need.

Order Now: Culinary School Kits


Myron Mixon

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MMPGT 4 XLThe Myron Mixon @Lord_of_Q 3-in-1 Grill Tool is the ultimate tool for you Pitmasters. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it! The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.MMPGT 2 XL (1)

A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high MMPGT 5 XLcarbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control. Next, a flipper hook to easily grab your Q and turn it on the grill. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your favorite beverage.Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool”.

4pcgrillkitMyron_XLSPECIFICATIONS: • Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz. • Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″ • Blade Height: 200″ • Blade Length: 8″ w/ Precision Sharp 7″ Cutting Edge • Flipper Hook: 2.750″ • Handle Size / Material: 5-3/8″ long / Non-Slip TPR • OAL: 16.125″ • Blade Material: One Piece Carbon Stainless Steel (5Cr15MoV

Only $29.99 or upgrade to our Kit with Ergo bag & a 15” DUO Grill Tong for only $59.99 here: Grill Tool


Michael Symon

Michael-Symon-Cutlery (1)

Save big on all Michael Symon’s Cutlery like this 3pc Starter Knife Set!

3pc MS CUP set XLThis Michael Symon Cutlery set provides you with your essential 9″ Chef knife for chopping up large fruits, vegetables and proteins. You also get a 6″ Serrated Utility knife for slicing up smaller soft veggies, bread, bagels and cheese. Lastly you have a 3.5″ paring knife for peeling and small cutting tasks, as well as fancy garnishes. Get cooking in your kitchen with these high quality tools.

Set Features: 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated Utility knife, 3.5″ Paring knife, Lifetime Limited Warranty~30 Day Satisfaction Guaranteed – Money Back Guarantee! We guarantee you’ll love the quality & craftsmanship of these tools designed with Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Order Now: Michael Symon Cutlery


Crimson Series

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3 SH crimosn chef knives w names

 

 

This is a special 3pc Crimson G10 Knife set deal – List Price $390

Special $139.99 less extra 15% with a coupon code Crimson 3 PC Set Special

 

We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll be back with another blog post in October. Till then, all the best,

ERGO CHEF

Mike Staib16 Must Have #Autumn Ingredients & “The Chop Talk #BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout Sale!”
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Happy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Independence Day edition of Chop Talk. We’re full on into summer and we’ve got some great info for you. First up we take a look at the origins of the backyard barbecue. Next up we take a trip around the country to the most famous places for BBQ in the US and expand on the styles, tastes and traditions of regional barbecue. We are very pleased to introduce the new My Juicer II, our updated and improved version of our personal blender. Next it’s Myron Mixon and his Pitmasters Grill Tool to get you set for summer grilling and finally a terrific new sweepstakes giveaway of a 7PC Michael Symon Cutlery Set by Holiday Contest and Sweeps. We hope you enjoy and have a great safe and wonderful summer!


The Origin of the Backyard Barbecue?

The most plausible theory claims that the origin of the word “barbecue” is a derivative of the West Indian phrase “barbacoa,” which describes a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word back to Haiti, and others claim that “barbecue” might actually come from the French phrase “barbe a queue,” meaning “from head to tail.”

In America, barbecue can be traced back to colonial times, with a Virginia law written in the 1600s providing that, “discharging of firearms at a barbecue was prohibited.” In George Washington’s diaries, one entry, dated May 27, 1769, describes him traveling to Virginia for a barbecue. What we find most fascinating about his subsequent entries over the next few years, is that it reveals George to be the very antithesis of what we have come to believe with regard to his personality and demeanor. To most of us, the ‘Father of Our Country‘ is portrayed a stoic and serious individual, yet most of his entries concerning barbecue, are usually followed by entries about his ‘laying low for a few days and doing nothing of note.‘ Seems ol’ George was a partier at heart and we might very well have documentation of the first Presidential Hangovers! You Go George, Party like it’s 1799!”

In 1820, in a letter to her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Randolph wrote him of  ‘a great barbecue’ held on the Fourth of July in Charlottesville. By that time, Independence Day barbecues had become the norm. It is even recorded that upon the marriage of Abraham Lincoln’s parents, on June 12, 1806, the ‘reception‘ was a barbecue. From the book, “Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 1927,” written by Carl Sandburg, a guest at the wedding, Christopher Grahm wrote, “We had bear meat, venison, wild turkey and duck eggs, both wild and tame, maple sugar lumps tied to a string to bite off with coffee or whiskey, syrup in gourds, peaches and honey, a whole sheep roasted in a pit over coals of burned wood and covered with green boughs to keep the juices in.”

So as you can see, the tradition of gathering with your friends to cook some sort of meat over wood or coal outdoors seems to have been around for centuries.  Now if only our Award Winning DUO tongs were available then, they may have made BBQ easier.


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Styles of American Barbecue

From Carolina pig-pickin’s to Kentucky mutton, the idea is the same everywhere; an outdoor party with friends, food, and beer. The meat is generally marinated before being put on the grill, where it’s brushed with whatever kind of sauce is available or popular. More than anywhere else, American barbecue makes use of specific kinds of wood to impart flavor in the meat: in Texas, mesquite brush is common, but hickory and oak are more readily available elsewhere. Outside the South, culinary specifics often take a back seat to the social aspect. You’re more likely to find burgers, hot dogs and vegetable skewers than pulled pork at a BBQ, but the soul of the barbecue is alive and well.

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is probably best known for its dry barbecue. Most frequently used on ribs, the dry style is highly flavorful and is less messy to eat than wet. In the dry process, the ribs are coated with a rub made from ingredients such as garlic, paprika, onions, cumin, and other spices. They are then cooked in a smoker until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Typically, dry ribs are served with a sauce on the side.

Memphis barbecue sauce has its own distinctive flavor, as well. Though the specific ingredients will vary from cook to cook, Memphis sauce is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy, and somewhat sweet. Memphis sauce is poured over pulled pork or served along side of dry ribs. Nicknamed the “Pork Barbecue Capital of the World,” Memphis considers itself a leader in the world of barbecue. In his book, The Grand Barbecue, Doug Worgul credits the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which started in 1978, as the country’s oldest barbecue competition.

Meat: Smoked pork ribs on the slab, and pulled or chopped pork for sandwiches.
Sauce and Flavoring: Ribs are served with a dry rub made with ingredients like garlic, paprika, onions and cumin. The sauce, made with tomatoes, vinegar, and spices, is served on the side.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over indirect heat.
Side Dishes: Coleslaw and baked beans.

Kansas City, Missouri
This style barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use.

Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as “world’s barbecue capital.” Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, coleslaw, and other soul food staples.

Henry Perry is known as the “Father of K.C. Barbecue.” Perry is famous for the slow-cooked ribs he served for .25 cents a slab out of a trolley barn in the early 1900’s. His legacy thrives with the city’s countless barbecue restaurants and The Kansas City Barbecue Society, which has more than 8,000 members worldwide.

Meat: Beef and pork.
Sauce and Flavoring: The sauce is tomato-based and sweetened with molasses or brown sugar.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over hickory wood for as long as 18 hours.

North Carolina

Two styles, western (aka Lexington) and eastern, dominate North Carolina barbecue. The annual Barbecue Festival has been held in Lexington, N.C. every October since 1984. According to the festival’s official website, the event attracts more than 100,000 people each year.

Meat: Pork shoulder (western) and whole hog (eastern) chopped or pulled.
Sauce and Flavoring: The western style sauce is called “dip” and is a thin tomato-based sauce mixed with brown sugar and spices. In the east, the sauce is a blend of vinegar, sugar, water and pepper.
Cooking Method: Both styles are slow cooked over indirect heat with oak or hickory wood. To preserve the pork and smoke flavors the meat is never basted.
Side Dishes: BBQ slaw, hush puppies (western), mayonnaise-based coleslaw and corn bread sticks (eastern) complement the barbecue. Sweet tea for a beverage and banana pudding or peach cobbler for dessert is served in both the western and eastern parts of the state. The town of Lexington alone, with a population of about 20,000 people, boasts more than 20 barbecue restaurants.

Texas 
According to the Travel Channel show “Food Paradise,” the state legislature declared Lockhart the BBQ capital of Texas. The Office of Texas Tourism marks the so-called “Texas Barbecue Trail” as starting just north of Austin and continuing further south to Luling.

Meat: Beef, particularly untrimmed brisket.
Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over coals or wood in above ground smokers.
Sauce and Flavoring: No sauce is used before or during cooking. Pepper and salt are the most common seasonings. A thick tomato-based sauce with a sweet and spicy taste is served on the side of the barbecue meal.
Side Dishes: In Texas the focus is on the meat, but occasionally beans, potato salad and thick toasted white bread called Texas Toast are added to the meal. Traditional desserts include pecan or lemon chess pies.

We’re pretty sure we’ve covered the topic thoroughly. Now, all that remains for us and barbecue is the eating. Our grill has been heating up for the last 15 minutes, the ribs and shrimp marinating for the last 24 hours and veggies are all prepped and ready for grill marks. Enjoy yourselves! Experiment. have fun.


The New My Juicer 2

My Juicer II Extra bottle & grinder setThe new My Juicer II is now available to Purchase Today!  My Juicer II Personal Blender with Grinder Assembly. This new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful motor for crushing Ice, Blending Juice Drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, flack seed, fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen. 

Powerful Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit Up to 300WATT. Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office

Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle – Fits in car cup holders. Bottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills
Grinder Assembly_XL Grinder Blades_XLBottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right

INCLUDES: Motor Base & Blade, 1 Sport Bottle, Grinder Blade & Cup, Instruction Manual & Recipes Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup! 1 Year Limited Warranty

 

Order Yours Today:http://www.ergochef.com/proddetail.php?prod=MyJuicerII


The Myron Mixon 3-in-1 Pitmaster Grill Tool is the ultimate tool for you Pitmasters. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it!myron-banner

The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.

MMPGT 4 XL A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control. MMPGT 5 XL

MMPGT 5 XLNext, a flipper hook to easily grab your Q and turn it on the grill. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your favorite beverage.

Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.”

4pcgrillkitMyron_XL

SPECIFICATIONS: • Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz. • Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″ • Blade Height: 200″ • Blade Length: 8″ w/ Precision Sharp 7″ Cutting Edge • Flipper Hook: 2.750″ • Handle Size / Material: 5-3/8″ long / Non-Slip TPR • OAL: 16.125″ • Blade Material: One Piece Carbon Stainless Steel

Only $29.99 or upgrade to our Kit with Ergo bag & a 15” DUO Grill Tong for only $59.99 here: http://www.ergochef.com/MyronMixon….


 Michael Symon Sweepstakes & 3 PC Set0002957

It’s The Summer Kitchen Fun with Ergo Chef/Michael Symon Cutlery Giveaway!!!

Holiday Contest and Sweeps is pleased to bring you a great giveaway from Ergo Chef. Two of our readers the chance to win a 7 Piece Ergo Chef Knife Kit Featuring Michael Symon Cutlery. Ergo Chef is by far the finest Cutlery you will ev3pc MS CUP set XLer find and by combining their knife set with World Famous Chef Mi3pc set with 5 pocket bag XLchael Symon it doesn’t get any better.

This 7 Piece Michael Symon Knife Kit includes the Ergo Chef 5 pocket Roll Bag. This kit has the essential knives for food preparation. A Symon 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated utility, and a 3.5″ Paring knife. Includes Edge Guards to protect the blades and your fingers, in colors for easy identification. All store nicely in our Ergo Chef durable Nylon/Polyester Roll bag with a handle and business card holder. Bag holds up to 5 knives.

To ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN: http://holidaycontestandsweeps.blogspot.com/…/summer-kitche…

Visit our store by clicking the VISIT OUR STORE at the top of the page to see our entire lineup of products

*This giveaway is in no way endorsed,associated or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 7/12/16.

Mike StaibHappy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!
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Marvelous May; Moms, Myron Mixon, The NRA Show & Memorial Day…

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Hi All,

2016-Happy-Mothers-DayWelcome to the May edition of Chop Talk. Wow, this month has really shaped up into a busy one with lots going on. First up as a treat to all the Mothers out there. In celebration of Mother’s Day we are offering a great special deal for mom downloadfrom Michael Symon. Second up, Ergo Chef Vice-President Michael Staib & Pitmaster Myron Mixon will be at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis. The big NRA show is coming up and Ergo Chef will have a team from C-CAP – Careers through Culinary Arts Program working with us at our booth, #8150, in the McCormick Place, North Building, 5/21-5/24, 2016. Last, Memorial Day is coming up and Ergo Chef is supporting Rolling Thunder with every purchase of our New Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal~Stealth Black, 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife. Enjoy!


6pc_set_with_Magnet_Strip_XL‪‎Mother’s Day‬ Bonus 

Order Michael Symon’s 6 Piece Knife Set between now & Mothers Day & Receive his cookbook “5 in 5inF_For_Every_Season5 for Every Season Cook Book* & a 10″ Oval Diamond Sharpener** as a FREE bonus!

This knife set Includes a wall mount Bamboo Magnetic Strip & 5 knives: 9″ Chef, 7″ Vegetable Cleaver, 6″ Chef Knife, 6″ Serrated Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife. Note: Due to natural variations of our high quality hand selected bamboo, the final colors may vary from pictures on our website.

SteelChef Symon’s Knife Tip: “For good control, grip the base of the knife blade, just in front of the handle with your thumb and index fingers on my MS logo as a starting point. Wrap your remaining three fingers around the handle of the knife. Now you’re ready to prep. Enjoy!” ~Michael

Warranty: Lifetime Limited Warranty~30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Order yours now


wcbbqcc-logo-2016Ergo Chef Vice-President Michael Staib will be in Memphis with our partner, Pitmaster Myron Mixon for the 2016 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, May 12-14, 2016 Thursday, May 12: 11 a.m. – midnight
Friday, May 13: 11 a.m. – midnight, Saturday, May 14: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.Myron Card Outer

Each year, the Contest entertains visitors from around the world. In 2013, visitors came from all 50 states and 8 foreign countries. Please let our guest services volunteers know you are our visitor, and they will explain all of the rib-tickling entertainment offerings.If you’re planning on visiting the event, please take advantage of the following programs and events for visitors.

While local codes prohibit teams from selling barbecue to the general public, the Kingsford Tour of Champions allows you to taste and judge world-class barbecue. If you are attending, stop buy the Mixon Team Pit and pick up this exclusive card for an online discount when you buy Myron’s new 3-in-1 Pitmaster Grill Tool.

MMPGT 2 XL (1)MMPGT 3 XL MMPGT 5 XLThe Myron Mixon Pitmaster 3-in-1 Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3 in one design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook. “Pop it, Flip it & Slice it!” Only $29.99 Order yours today: Grill Tool


NRAShow2016_IFM_Lockup_RGB

The big NRA show is coming up and Ergo Chef will have a team from C-CAP – Careers through Culinary Arts Program working with us at our booth, #8150, innra5 the McCormick Place, North Building, 5/21-5/24, 2016. These students will be actively promoting and demoing all things Ergo Chef & handing out information about C-CAP. the great non-profit culinary education program. We are grateful to be supplying some of their school programs for 2016 with Ergo Chef knife kits. Discover. Learn. Connect. Whether you want to try out new equipment, brush up on emerging trends, collaborate with more than 63,000 food-service pros, or get hands-on culinary training, NRA Show has what you need.See you There!

Learn More…. https://show.restaurant.org/Home


Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal ~Stealth Black 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife
10% of profits help support “Rolling Thunder” when you buy our new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife.

Crafted from high quality ceramic ground a razor edge, this knife is much more durable than past ceramic knives due to new technology and fibers to strengthen the blade.

Ceramic is the next hardest material to diamonds so it will hold an edge with years of proper use. The handle is non-slip providing great feel and control for all your smaller cutting tasks. Created in a stealth look with Presidential Chef’s Choice Chef, Sam Morgante.
ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_01 ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_04 ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_05 ErgoChef Ceramic Paring Knife_06Features Include: ~Official Silver Foil Printed Gift Box with Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal ~Stealth Black 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife w/ Protective Sheath ~Comfort Texture Handle Grip for Safer Control ~Exclusive Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal Laser Etched on Ceramic Blade
Regular Price: $24.99 May Price: $19.99 Order Now: ttp://www.ergochef.com/Presidential.php
Mike StaibMarvelous May; Moms, Myron Mixon, The NRA Show & Memorial Day…
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New Website Design, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili, New Ceramic Paring Knife & Kosher Knives

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Welcome to April!

Spring is in full swing and Ergo has some new and exciting news for you all. First up is the new design of our website and blog. We’ve made them much more user friendly, with a new sleek look and, we’ve added a great new “Live Chat” feature so you can now talk live to a customer service rep with any order or product questions you may have. Just click the blue “Live Help” button on the lower right hand side of the home page.

In this edition of Chop Talk, Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips covers a topic we can never revisit enough Knife Basics & Sharpening. We’ve got a delicious Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chili recipe for you from Elaine Giammetta,The Gourmet Girl. Finishing up, we have 3 new products for you to check out; Our new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4″ Stealth Black Ceramic Paring Knife and our Pro-Series Extra Wide 2.3″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds and our #Kosher Marked Knives by Rabbi-Q’s Mendel Segal. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

Sharpening Your Knives

 

sharpenerIt’s important to keep knives sharp to stay safe when cooking, as dull knives are a safety hazard and can be very dangerous. The more blunt a knife’s edge is, the more pressure it takes to cut something, the more likely you are to slip and cut your finger instead. Sharpened knives reduce the time it takes to prepare your meals as well. To sharpen a knife, you can use a professional sharpening stone, also known as a whetstone, or a sharpening stick. Directions are usually provided with the sharpening products. Our 10″ and 12″ diamond sharpeners will keep your knives razor sharp with just a few passes or you can use our new Fast Edge manual pull through sharpener which cuts an 18 degree edge on your knives every time.

See the different types here: Ergo Chef Sharpeners. If you don’t feel comfortable sharpening your knives yourself, many retailers offer professional sharpening or you can Google for knife sharpening in your area. You could also try your favorite cooking supply store, as most offer sharpening services.

How To Properly Hold & Use Your Knife

Ergo_Knife_Collection_1448910000_2965029_ver1.0_640_480For more precise control, adopt a grip on the blade itself, with the thumb and the index finger grasping the blade just to the front of the bolster and the middle finger placed just opposite on the blade. When slicing or chopping, keep your fingertips curled inward. Use your fingernails in what is called a “claw grip,” to help grip the food. The knife blade should rest against the foremost knuckle, helping keep the blade perpendicular to the board.


Recipe

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili courtesy of Elaine Giammetta

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, deveined, seeded and minced
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
1 c each: black beans, pinto beans (if canned, well drained)
2 c red kidney beans (if canned, well drained)
1/2 c dark ale
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 dried hot red peppers (crushed)
1 t oregano, dried
pinch cumin powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
1/4 c low fat or organic creamy peanut butter
3 T serrano chili sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T shaved dark chocolate

Method
Heat 2-3 T oil in a large heavy bottom pot. Add the onion, green peppers, & garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent. Next add the crushed tomatoes, beans, beer, and spices. In a separate pan brown the ground turkey and pork, then add to chili mixture. Simmer for 45 minutes over low heat. Add the peanut butter, hotsauce, lime juice, cilantro and chocolate. Simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Plating
Spoon into soup bowl, top with dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Shave chocolate over topping. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and shredded cheddar. Serve with a tall glass of the ale used in the recipe.

Bon Appetit!


Product Spotlight

Presidential Chef’s Choice Stealth 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife

black ceramic knifeThis knife is crafted from high quality ceramic ground to a razor edge. The ceramic is much more durable than past ceramic knives due to new technology and fibers to strengthen the blade. Ceramic is the next hardest material to diamonds so it will hold an edge with years of proper use. The handle is non-slip providing great feel and control for all your smaller cutting tasks.  Created in a stealth black ceramic with Presidential Chef’s Choice, Chef Sam Morgante.

Every purchase helps support “Rolling Thunder” by giving 10% of profits from sales to help veterans and active duty military & their families.

Includes: Official Silver Foil Printed Gift Box with Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal Special Stealth 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife w/ Protective Sheath Comfort Texture Handle Grip for Safer Control. Exclusive “Presidential Chef’s Choice The White House” Seal Laser Etched on Ceramic Blade. 

To Order: Ceramic Paring Knife $24.99


Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife

8 inch pro chef - wideOrder the New Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife & get a Free Diamond Sharpener!* Clean sides with no hollow grounds!Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife This new 8” Pro-Series Wide Ergonomic Chef knife has an extra wide blade height 2.3”, and is NOT hollow Ground.

Nice clean sides with no hollow grounds for easy cleaning and keeps it’s strength and durability even after you sharpen it for years. Precision balanced and fully forged for a lifetime of use.The 8″ Chef knife is the work horse in the kitchen. Our patented design, with its ergonomic angled handle, can make virtually all types of cutting more comfortable and effortless than standard knives (cutlery).

This chef cutlery helps reduce wrist movement during chopping, and can decrease stress on the muscles in your wrist, hand and forearm; and the extended heel or blade of the knife prevents your knuckles from contacting the cutting surface. The cutlery is perfectly balanced and ground to perfection. Once you try it, you will want no other. Our knives were highly rated by many publications and by many culinary professors!

Features: Blade: German Made Carbon Stainless Steel (X50CrMoV15), Blade Length: 8″ of Cut, Blade Height: Wide 2.3″, Handle Length: 5.2″ Long, Handle Material: Durable POM, Knife Weight: 9.3 Ounces, Precision Balanced at Bolster, Lifetime Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

To Order: Pro Series 2.3″ Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife $69.99 

*Limited Time Offer. While supplies last.


rabbi_q_web_bannerWe now have #Kosher Marked Knives by Rabbi-Q’s Mendel Segal. Save 10% with coupon code: IntroRabbiQ10
These are the best, most ergonomic and affordable knives on the market for your Kosher Kitchen! All knives are laser marked “Pareve” “Dairy” or “Meat” by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q.
Available knives:
Mendel’s RaBBi-Q 8″ Chef Knife Marked Dairy by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This 8″ Crimson G10 Chef knife is laser marked for Dairy use in the Kosher kitchen. Cut with confidence feel the ergonomic difference in these precision balanced and edged kitchen knives. The 8″ Chef knife will slice, and chop everything except bone in your Kosher kitchen.
6″ Utility Knife Marked for Dairy by RaBBi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This Crimson G10 handle utility knife is made from high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and easy maintenance. Designed for slicing all small dairy products with ergonomic comfort, balance and precision in your Kosher Kitchen.
8″ Chef knife marked Meat for a Kosher kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q. This Crimson G10 Chef knife features a high carbon stainless steel blade for precision cutting of all your meat. The ergonomic handle creates a comfortable grip for superior control and performance with great balance for smooth efficient slicing in your Kosher kitchen.
This 6″ Utility Knife Marked Meat for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi Q is easily identifiable. Made with quality high carbon stainless steel and G10 fiberglass resin handles for extreme durability. Slice your smaller proteins easily with the precision sharp edge on this quality blade in your Kosher kitchen.
This 8″ Bread Knife Marked Pareve for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q is easily identifiable with the laser marked “Pareve” for your kitchen. It’s made with quality high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and durability in any kitchen. The ergonomic G10 fiberglass resin handle is one of the world’s strongest materials for a lifetime of use. Slice your breads, cakes and all items Pareve in your kitchen with this offset serrated bread knife.
This 3.5″ Paring Knife Marked Pareve for your Kosher Kitchen by Rabbi Mendel of RaBBi-Q is easily identifiable. Made from quality high carbon stainless steel for long edge life and easy maintenance. The G10 fiberglass resin handles are one of the world’s strongest for a lifetime of use. This is a perfect paring knife for small Kosher kitchen tasks.
To find out more or place an order click here: http://www.ergochef.com/Kosher-Marked-Kitchen-Knives-by-RaBBI-Q.php
Until next time, happy cooking!

Ergo

Mike StaibNew Website Design, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chili, New Ceramic Paring Knife & Kosher Knives
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Autumn means Stocks & Soups, Food Shows, Sweepstakes Event, Chef Kern & a Fall classic, Pork Osso Bucco…

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Welcome to October and the start of the Fall Season. We love this time of year for so many reasons. One, is that we get to attend some of the great food and culinary shows around the country and we look forward to to meeting and greeting you all face to face. That said, coming up this month is the Metro D.C. Cooking Show, Oct 24-25, 2015 in Washington D.C. & we’ll be heading to Cleveland Nov 13-15, 2015 for the Fabulous Food Show.

The Metro DC Cooking Show banner-15Headlining this year’s DC show will be Giada De Laurentiis and our good friend and partner, Chef Michael Symon. We’ll be displaying and demoing all our great products, including the new Michael Symon Cutlery Line (Chef Symon will be at the booth both days to greet you up close) and the new Myron Mixon Grill Tool.
Saturday October 24 – Sunday October 25, 2015
Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Washington, DC
Saturday Hours: 10 am – 6 pm ~ Sunday Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

We’ll be at Booth #1315. We hope to see you there!
Ticket prices: General Admission – $18 in advance; Children 4-12 – $10 in advance
Children under 4 free

The Fabulous Food Show, Nov. 13-15, 2015

FFS-Logo-156x203_50584The Nation’s Premier Culinary Celebration is bigger than ever! The 10th annual Fabulous Food Show returns to the I-X Center November 13-15, 2015. This is not your ordinary cooking show, it’s a full weekend of food, fun, and entertainment! Spread out over 400,000 square feet of indoor space, this unparalleled cultural experience features the country’s largest presentation of fine food, fine art, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants, and purveyors all under one roof!The Market Place: Sample and shop from a collection of hundreds of companies showcasing a variety of specialty foods and culinary gadgets.Taste, Try & Buy just in time for the holiday entertaining season.

SymonSimmonsValastroGiant Eagle Market District Theatre: Custom built open theatre hosted by Jason Roberts. Featuring live exclusive content on stage all weekend with Michael Symon, Buddy Valastro, Gail Simmons, Aaròn Sànchez, Frankie Avalon, The Samples and Gospel Brunch presented by House of Blues Cleveland. All performances are included with admission. Seating is first come, first served.

We’ll be there with all our great products and I’m sure Chef Symon will be stopping by to talk to you all about his new Michael Symon Cutlery Line. We’ll be at Booth #1352. For more info, visit the official website here: www.fabulousfoodshow.com


Food Tips & Kitchen Tricks

Stock

To begin, let’s take the simple definition. Most soups start with some type of broth or stock which is defined as; a liquid (usually water) that is fortified with a definite flavor. Different types of stocks include, vegetable, chicken, beef, duck, fish, lobster, corn, asparagus, etc The list is endless depending on what flavor you are looking for and, of course the ingredients that you are going to use it in. The final flavor you are trying to achieve determines how you are going to treat the ingredients going in. As an example were you to be making corn stock, your flavors would take on a completely different profile if you were using raw corn vs. roasted corn. Developing a base flavor is an important part, if not the most important part, of a successful soup and that can be achieved in many ways. If the home cook wants to make a meaty and rich soup for instance, it is important to caramelize the meat and vegetables first, then deglaze the pan with a liquid (sometimes red or white wine) to remove the flavorful pieces from the bottom of the pan (called fond) and add those flavors to the soup resulting in a richness of flavor called Umami.

A French term called ‘Mirepoix,’ is the foundation of most soups and stocks. This is a mixture of 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot, and 1 part celery. Make sure you have a good sharp Chef knife to break them down. Aromatics are flavor enhancers that are added to your stock to bloom or boost flavors. Aromatics include: peppercorns, bay leaves, juniper berries, any herbs, any onions, or garlic. Most importantly, we need to determine what type of stock we want to create, and then decide what the future of our beautiful stock will be. After you have added all your ingredients, you are now ready to let your stock simmer. A simmer is a temperature between 190-200 degrees and different stocks have different simmering times in order to reach their fullness of flavor:

Vegetable stocks~45 minutes
Fish stocks~1 hour 30 minutes,
Chicken (Poultry) stocks~2 hours,
Beef stocks~6 hours ( pre-roast the bones)

Once your stock is completely simmered to it’s full richness, the final step is straining it properly. What we are looking for is a pure, smooth and beautiful liquid so at this point we need to pass it through a strainer or “cheesecloth” to remove all impurities and vegetables, or large ingredients. Your stock can now be used immediately, or can be frozen in smaller batches to be thawed and used the next time you decide to make a soup or sauce.

Soupfallsoup

Soup is a food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables in stock or hot/boiling water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth. Traditionally, soups are classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consomme. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with béchamel sauce; veloutes are thickened with eggs, butter and cream.

Other ingredients commonly used to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grains and beans. The word soup originates from “sop,” a dish originally consisting of a soup or thick stew which was soaked up with pieces of bread. The modern meaning of sop has been limited to just the bread intended to be dipped. Cooking with the seasons can be a lot of fun, so when thinking soups and stocks, consider ingredients available at that time of year and enjoy gathering ingredients that are at their peek of freshness. Autumn is a great season for soups, so be creative and enjoy!


Chef’s Spotlight

JSKMHPChef Justin Kern

When you see Justin Kern handling a busy kitchen you’ll immediately say to yourself “that dude is fierce.” You’re not wrong. He gets it done. Hailing from Kingston, NY Chef Kern has been in the business since 1999. His love affair with food goes all the way back to his father. His father might not have been a chef, but he loved to cook and put his own spin on things. He explained, “From what I understand my mom couldn’t cook to save her life. Sorry Mom. My father was a Marine and he just loved to cook, nothing fancy, but very eclectic. I learned to eat a lot of different foods very early. My Grandparents also used to dine out on all types of cuisines, so they really exposed me to lots of different cuisines.”

Since building his initial kitchen chops at a pizza and BBQ joint in upstate NY, Chef Kern has been a private chef and caterer, been involved with beer dinners and special events as well as an uber successful series of pop-up dinners here in Connecticut. He stated, “I remember when I first started, it was a job. My very first job was pizza delivery and watching the guys in the kitchen, I was fascinated. I was 16 and within a year I was running the place, making all the food etc.”

Chef Kern has worked with chefs from all over the county, and quite frankly, from all over the world. He knows a thing or two and is passionate about delivering not just a delicious meal, but also one that uses quality ingredients. At the top of his list is always locally grown ingredients. He believes it’s important to support the people and businesses around him. Justin came to Meetinghouse Pub because he loved the vision of the owners. He also loved the team and how all the different personalities worked so well together. His favorite part of being a chef? “When you do it right, you can bring joy and make people feel good.”

Justin KernI asked him about his cuisine and food philosophy and he answered. “I love local and try to be local as much as I can with regard to my ingredients. For instance I can’t get Ahi Tuna locally but I can get deep water shrimp from local day boats, caught the morning in Connecticut waters and have them on the plate that night. As for my cuisine I’d call it Americano, upscale pub food, focused on local ingredients and simple comfort food flavors. Simple dishes executed with great technique consistently.” I asked him about Ergo Knives. “I love my Ergo knives. I have tendonitis in my hands and working with the Pro Series does take a learning curve, but I can use them all day with minimal abuse to my hands. I recommend them to everyone. They’re quality knives. My go to is my 10″ Pro Series Chef Knife.”

We then ended with brief rapid fire question and answer.

CT: Crocs or no crocs?
JK: No crocs
CT: Favorite tool in the kitchen?
JK: My 10″ Ergo Chef Knife
CT: Favorite junk food?
JK: Gummy Bears
CT: What do you eat after shift?
JK: (laughs) Alcohol
CT: Least favorite ingredient?
JK: Coconut
CT: Favorite ingredient?
JK: Pork
CT: Favorite spice?
JK: Salt
CT: Favorite cuisine to cook?
JK: Recently I’m exploring Italian. Sauces, pastas, etc.
CT: Favorite cuisine to eat?
JK: I’m a huge seafood fan, regardless of type, be it Asian, American.
CT: Fine dining or casual?
JK: I’m all about casual. The best things happen over food. Weddings, birthdays, holidays, all over food.

You can connect with Chef Kern via social media here: Twitter: @Chef_JKern Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jkern01?fref=ts


Recipe

12053374_10154261051874517_585699994_nPork Osso Bucco With Creamy Grits and Pumpkin Beer Gravy

Courtesy of Chef Justin Kern

 

 

 

Pork Ingredients:
4 Pork Shank
6 pack of your favorite pumpkin beer
1 Qt chicken stock
1 white onion roughly chopped
2 large carrots roughly chopped
1 bunch celery roughly chopped
1 head garlic
3 tbs EVOO

Grits Ingredients:
1 C Grits (yellow corn)
1 ¼ C Chicken stock
1 ¼ C Heavy Cream
½ Onion diced
3 Garlic cloves minced
1 Tbs EVOO
2 Tbs Mascarpone

Method
In a large pan sear off pork with EVOO until golden brown on all sides. Add vegetables to pot and cook until onions are transparent and starting to brown. Then pour in beer and chicken stock until pork is completely covered by liquid. Cover your pot with a snug fitting lid or tin foil and place in a 375 deg oven for 4-6 hours depending on thickness of pork.. Your looking for it to pull apart with ease. Salt and pepper before you wear off meat and salt and pepper to taste.

When Pork is finished, in a medium pot add EVOO and turn to high heat. When pan is hot add Garlic and onions and sweat until onions are translucent. At that point add chicken stock, heavy cream and bring to a low boil. Turn heat to low and add grits. Stir frequently until grits have become soft and they absorbed all liquid (if there is no liquid left and there is still to much texture to the grits add chicken stock ¼ C at a time until done). Stir in Mascarpone to finish

Reserve about 2C of your braising liquid. In a small pot add 1 Tbs of cornstarch and water mixed. Bring to a boil and smother pork on plate!


Product Spotlight

My Juicer complete kit LErgo Chef is excited about introducing a new product in Kitchen Electrics called “My Juicer(TM)” A Personal Juicer/Blender with Sport Bottle to quickly and easily blend all your Fresh or Frozen Fruits & Vegetables into delicious healthy smoothies. 

The Ergo Chef’s brand new My Juicer(TM) is made with top quality components for easily blending up healthy smoothies and shakes. The powerful 300 watt motor and 4 Stainless Steel blades are engineered for quick and easy blending of frozen fruits, veggies and even desserts. My Juicer(TM) is the first part of Ergo Chef’s new “Kitchen Collection” of electrics. Estimated Ship Date is April 2015. Includes: High Quality Stainless Steel & Black Plastic Base with NON-Slip Suction Feet. Durable BPA Free Plastic Sport Bottle with Removable Lid with Handle and One Juicer Blade Assembly. Pre-Order My Juicer today and  save!  To order click here: My Juicer.

Get 15% OFF this month with coupon code: OCT15 


Ergo Chef & Simply Symon Fall Sweepstakes

erg047_19.5x19.5_DISPLAYheadersContest on Ergo Chef’s Facebook Page!

Contest Starts October 15th at 10am! The Winner will be announced by November 16th via video on the event page by Chef Symon.  Simply join the event and RSVP as “Going” for your chance to win.  Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/ergochef 

Mike StaibAutumn means Stocks & Soups, Food Shows, Sweepstakes Event, Chef Kern & a Fall classic, Pork Osso Bucco…
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Tailgating, Chef Whitney Miller, Wine Tips for Tailgating with Michael Stubelt of The Wine Stash!

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vermont_valley_largeWelcome to the September edition of Chop Talk. It’s hard to believe it but Summer is gone and soon we’ll be getting ready for Goblins, Turkey and Pumpkins! With ‪football‬ season here and ‪Fall‬ right around the corner, in Food Tips & Kitchen Tips we’re talking ‪‎tailgating‬!! We’re also sitting down with the 1st US Masterchef winner, Whitney Miller, for some advice for this season’s contestants in this month’s Chef’s Spotlight. Whitney also provides us with a delicious Red Snapper Cevich Recipe‬. We’ll need something to wash it down with so we’ll be talking wine with The Wine Stash’s, Michael Stubelt, who gives us tips for what wines to have when we’re tailgating and his pick for this Autumn’s ‘must try’ wine. Last but not least it’s all about Kitchen Kapers, who’ve been “inspiring a little homemade fun in the kitchen since 1975….”


Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

firing-up-the-tailgate-grillIt’s that time of year sports fans….tailgating season and we’re giving you the lowdown on this annual fall tradition from it’s humble beginning right up to the modern day extravaganza’s fans now create before, during and after their favorite teams game. There are a few theories with regard to the origins of tailgating.

The first theory is that the tailgate party occurred during the first college football game between Rutgers and Princeton. Apparently, spectators spent their pre-game ritual grilling sausages at the “tail end” of the horse. This theory seems a bit weak to me, but it has persisted for a long, long time. The second theory seems a little bit more plausible, as it seems logical to the human mind. The story goes that a train transported a large number of fans to a Yale football game in 1904. By the time the fans had arrived to the game, most were quite famished and, according to Peter Chakerian’s excerpt, the fans made sure to bring food and beverages to the stadium prior to the start of the game. The third is that Green Bay Packers fans coined the actual term “tailgating” during the teams first year in business in 1919. Back then, the fans would back their pickup trucks around the field and fold down their tailgates for seating. Naturally, food and beverages were brought along to keep the appetite in check. Unfortunately, says Packers team historian Cliff Christl, there isn’t evidence to support this theory, however romantic. “I don’t believe the story about Packers fans tailgating around the field is true, and we have no pictures that even prove there was tailgating at old City Stadium (the Packers home from 1925-56),” he states, adding that, like the Yale fans, he believes people would bring food and drink in their trunks, a practice that “continued at the new City Stadium.”

Today tailgating is almost a full time occupation and it’s so popular that a full 35% of the people that attend tailgate parties don’t actually attend the game. In Knoxville, Tennessee, the so-called Vols Navy dock their boats outside of Neyland Stadium on the banks of the Tennessee River and partake in a floating tailgate they call “Sailgating.” In Oxford, Mississippi, students and alumni gather at The Grove, an atmosphere likened to the pomp at the Kentucky Derby. The Sporting News called The Grove the “Holy Grail of Tailgating Sites.”

The most famous tailgating party takes place on neutral turf. Since 1933, the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs have met in Jacksonville, Florida to, ostensibly, play football. What ensues from Wednesday to Saturday, this year’s game taking place in early November, is what’s called “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party,” a term coined by a Florida Times-Union sports editor in the 1950s. The city of Jacksonville even embraced the nickname, using it as the game’s slogan until 1988, but has since ceased doing so after a series of alcohol-fueled college antics.

Tailgating Defined

A tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food. Tailgate parties usually occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas, before and occasionally after games and concerts. People attending such a party are said to be ‘tailgating’. Tailgate parties have spread to the pre-game festivities at sporting events besides football, such as basketball, hockey, soccer, and baseball, and also occur at non-sporting events such as weddings and barbecues.

In schools and communities throughout the United States, there are athletic departments, coaches and parents of student athletes who rely on post-game tailgating parties to build community and support for their program and team. Smaller, underfunded programs are assisted by the voluntary participation of parents and friends to feed the team and coaching staff post-competition, which establishes a strong core of support year after year.

Click the link for a comprehesive guide to tailgaiting: Play by play guide to tailgating


Chef’s Spotlight

DSC_0308-650x380Chef Whitney Miller

Inspired by the hospitality of her 97 year-old great-grandmother and creativity of her mother, Whitney Miller’s passion for the art of cooking began at an early age. At twenty two, she won the show “Masterchef,” gaining the title of Fox’s 1st U. S. Masterchef. Soon afterward, Whitney obtained her degree, with an emphasis in nutrition, from The University of Southern Mississippi.

Whitney has conducted cooking demonstrations at many Home and Housewares & Food shows with celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri and Curtis Stone, Buddy Valastro, UK’s “The Spice Prince” Reza Mahammad, and Italian Michelin Star chef Giorgio Locatelli.  Her cooking demos have also been featured in the Masterchef app. As the youngest contestant and winner of Fox’s first America’s Masterchef, Whitney continues to inspire children, youth, and young adults, through cooking demos and speaking events at public and private schools, culinary classes and colleges, and children’s museum events across the United States. She has a new cookbook coming out and there’s even talk of a new cooking show. We caught up with her during a vacation break to get her take on this season’s Masterchef contestants and what’s happening for her now.

Chop Talk: So tell us about great-grandma and mom and their influence on your career….

WM: My mom I learned creativity of cooking…she had us in the kitchen from when we were little. Everything from scratch. From my great-grandmother I learned authentic Southern basics, from biscuits to how to make a roux to good gumbo. She taught me hospitality and how to feed a crowd. We had huge Sunday dinners at her house every Sunday after church. 30 people. I learned the skills of hospitality watching those great women cook and I decided I wanted to cook for a living. I saw how my grandma’s cooking made people feel happy, and I wanted to emulate that.

Chop Talk: So how did Masterchef happen? 

WM: I was in college and I saw online that Masterchef was having auditions in New Orleans. When I got chosen, I had no idea who Gordon Ramsay was,  so I went back and watched his shows and thought, ‘Oh no,  what have I got myself in for?’

Chop Talk: Do you have any advice  that you can pass along to this year’s or future year’s contestants?

WM: For me what really helped was my background in pastry and desserts. I see the same thing happen now, that happened in my season. When it comes to desserts those that are comfortable seem to have a better chance than those that are intimidated by pastry. Come knowing what you want to make as well. Have recipe’s down cold.

Chop Talk: How did winning Masterchef change things for you?

WM: First let’s talk the cookbook…they gave me four months. I grew up watching my grandma and a pinch of this pinch of that, we didn’t measure anything. so that was an experience.  I got to travel to four different countries after I won. Experiencing different cultures. Being in those kitchens was an education for me as well. and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to cook for so may people and introduce them to real Southern cooking.

Chop Talk:  So what’s coming up for Whitney Miller?

WM: I continue to do recipe developing for a number of publications. Guest blogging, writing for a few magazines my second cookbook is being released October 27th, 2015 called Whitney Miller’s Southern Table. I have a cooking show in the works, so that is a bit exciting as well.

Chop Talk : You use Ergo Knives…

WM: I do. They are my everyday knives. I love them. They are so easy to use. I have my roll kit and they go everywhere with me. Just the ease and the use of them, knowing that it’s gonna help prevent damage to my wrists in the long run is why I’m using them for the rest of my life.

You can find out more about Whitney on her website here: whitneymiller.net Whitney develops recipes, gives lectures, cooking demonstrations and cooking classes, and also can be booked to judge or MC awards events and benefits.  She can tailor an appearance to suit your needs.  To book Whitney Miller, contact Mary Miller by phone 601-795-3883 or email mary.e.miller7@gmail.com


Recipe

Red Snapper Ceviche by

Ingredients
1/2 ceviche-300x300pound skinless red snapper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup julienned jicama
7 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely sliced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
fine sea salt
Homemade or store bought Corn Tortilla chips

Method
Slice the red snapper into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the cubed snapper in a shallow container or bowl. Pour the lime juice over the top to almost cover the snapper. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Add the jicama, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño to the snapper. Lightly toss to combine.Season the ceviche with salt to taste. Serve immediately with the chips.


Wine Tips with Michael Stubelt of The Wine Stash

stubelt 2We caught up with artisinal winemaker, Michael Stubelt, of The Wine Stash for some expert advice on what wines go best with tailgating and thinking outside the box when selecting wines this fall.

He arrived in Northern California (by way of the east coast) in 1995 and he’s been appreciating Napa Valley wine and terroir ever since. Growing up enjoying wines from across the pond, he was deeply influenced by French styles with subtle notes. If there is one thing that most French wines have in common, it is that most styles are meant to accompany food. The pairing of the two is a love that Michael and his wife Coleen (a talented culinarian) both share. Michael’s philosophy remains in this tone; to let the grapes and the land dictate the direction of the varietal.

He does not limit himself to one region or style but truly appreciates the diversity that each bring. This opens the door for a wide-ranging culinary adventure. It’s a rough life…but someone needs to do it. By sharing his deep passion and first-hand knowledge Michael creates lasting memories and friendships – one glass at a time. With its first vintage in 2007 “The Wine Stash” was formed by a group of friends with one common interest, to make and share great hand crafted wines with friends and family. Today the list of friends and family have certainly grown but the partner’s philosophy is still the same. They locate small farmers and producers bringing hand crafted wines to the growing list of “Stash” followers.

Chop Talk: So Michael, what wine should we be bringing when we’re tailgating? 

MS: Start with light and crisp before the food. Something that wakes up your palette. Then, with meats and the types of spicy foods like chili, you want to keep it crisp,  not too much alcohol content. Some of the more hearty rose’s for example pair well with whatever’s coming off the grill and still has a lighter touch. .

Chop Talk: With Fall coming , so also comes the list of the traditional ‘Fall’ wines.  Can you give us something outside the mainstream thinking that makes a nice fall wine?

MS: Find a single varietal of a grape that is normally used in blending. It’s worth it to try different wines like this to see the subtle differences. Cab Franc for instance. This season through the Holidays. It’s a soft and subtle wine, but has a  lot of character. It’s very inviting to a wide variety of people because it has less astringency, it goes great with the cuisine this time of year. It’s usually used as a blend to soften say,  a Cabernet’s, but on it’s own it’s great, hint of cranberries, subtle little fruit notes.

Chop Talk: Tell us about The Wine Stash

MS: Everything we do is from Napa. so we have relationships with growers and producers in each district and the Valley really determines what wines we’ll be making. We’re located in Yountville and we seem to like varieties that are mountain/hillside grown, the complexities, a bit stressed. Something about the thicker skin, smaller more compact fruit.

The Wine Stash

Wine-Stash-ID-1From the Wine Stash website:

“The Wine Stash® is dedicated to crafting wines in small batches for friends and family. After 5 years we have produced some exciting and exceptional wines and as one can imagine we have a bunch of new friends.

All of our grapes are grown on family vineyards that in many cases are just a few select acres. We are very selective about the vineyards and how the fruit is harvested. In some cases the Wine Stash® team even goes out into the vineyard and will pick the grapes ourselves. We implement a gentle gravity flow system that allows us to reduce “bottle shock” so the wine goes directly from barrel to bottle. We produce some very small, select lots which will occasionally be hand crafted and labeled as well as now with production increasing we utilize a boutique bottling line to bring you the very best wines with the teams personal touch. Thanks for your support, sharing and allowing us to bring some of our wines to your dinner table.”

In addition to the retail establishments listed on their site, The Wine Stash can ship wine to all states that allow direct to consumer commerce. Click here for details: Where to Buy


Gourmet Store Spotlight

2011-logoA National Retailer with Local Roots, Kitchen Kapers has been Inspiring A Little Homemade Fun Since 1975. The seed was planted in 1975 when they opened their first store in Voorhees, New Jersey. Over the years they’ve carefully expanded their business and have been serving neighborhoods and communities all across the Greater Philadelphia Region with 10 retail stores from Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey. The secret for Kitchen Kapers continued success is rooted in offering customers value, selection and quality, combined with fast, friendly and knowledgeable service. The web, along with our mail order business, gave us the opportunity to serve neighborhoods and communities well beyond the Mid-Atlantic. Casual cooks and serious chefs throughout the United States have come to depend on them for the latest cooking and baking innovations along with a great selection of gourmet cookware, bakeware, kitchen knives and the hottest kitchen gadgets. And, of course their passion for good food and cooking with family and friends.

The Moorestown, New Jersey store located in East Gate Square features the Cooking School. Classes range from Cooking for Kids, Couples 5-star Cooking, to Girl’s Night Out Classes and Private Birthday Parties. ”

Visit thier website here: http://www.kitchenkapers.com/

Mike StaibTailgating, Chef Whitney Miller, Wine Tips for Tailgating with Michael Stubelt of The Wine Stash!
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Food Hacks, Chef Michel Nischan & the Myron Mixon Grill Tool!

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Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: 10 Easy Food Hacks 

Food hacks are all the rage this year so we thought we jump on the bandwagon…although we’ve been doing Food Tricks here for going two years now, so we’d like to think that we were ahead of the curve and the rest of the food world is just catching up! Enjoy

1. Do you have a craving for hard tacos but no shells?  Here’s a speedy solution: Put soft tortillas in mugs and nuke em for a few minutes. They’ll crisp up without any frying!

tort-micro

2. Who doesn’t love fish on the grill? One of the problems is that is sometimes sticks to the grill. Place the fillet on a bed of lemons and you won’t be scraping salmon off of the grates.

fishlemons

3. After all your hard work making a cake, the last thing you want is for it to go stale.  After cutting into a cake, use toothpicks to cover the exposed portion with piece of bread to keep cake nice and soft.

cakebread

4. Love having barbecues but hate when the bugs want to share your cool refreshing drink? Exterminate that problem by putting cupcake liners over your drinks and sticking a straw through.

cupcakedrink

5. Have a waffle iron gathering dust. No more! Julienne  those potatoes and make them perfect in your waffle iron every time.

hashbrowns

6. Wrap banana crowns in plastic wrap and they’ll last 3-4 days longer.

bananas-crowns

7. There’s not much worse to a baker than to pull out the brown sugar to find you now have a brown sugar brick. Put a marshmallow in your brown sugar, though, and it won’t clump or dry out.

brownsugar

8. Rubbing egg shells with vegetable oil before refrigerating them helps keep them fresh for an additional three to four weeks.

one-dozen-eggs

9. Get the most out of your fresh herbs chop and mix fresh herbs with melted butter or oil, or just plain water, pour into ice cube trays to preserve portions for future meals.

rsz_herbs

10. Cut corn off the cob with no problem by using a bundt pan to both hold the cob as you cut and catch the corn that comes off.

corn


Chef’s Spotlight: Michel Nischan

11053346_10206132135571228_7457341083387100598_nMichel Nischan, Chef, Author and Food Equity Advocate

Michel Nischan is a three-time James Beard Foundation award winning celebrity chef with over 30 years of leadership experience advocating for a more sustainable food system. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill. He’s also the author of three cookbooks and a variety of articles focused on sustainable food systems and social equity through food. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Amazon Conservation Team, and The National Young Farmers Coalition.

He recently  joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a judge in the fourth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge early this year. The aim of the lunchtime challenge is to promote culinary education and healthy eating among youth across the country. On July 9 and 10th, Chef Nischan participated in a day-long welcome event for the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners, demoing some of his favorite, affordable and healthy recipes, and attending the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House.

logoNischan and his team at Wholesome Wave have been at the forefront of advocating for a healthful, just, and sustainable food system. Working through a network of partners, the team has been successful in increasing access to affordable, local produce in underserved communities, improving the health of individuals, and increasing revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses. A lifetime Ashoka fellow, Nischan serves on the board of the Rodale Institute and the Amazon Conservation Team, and is a former trustee of the James Beard Foundation and Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

 About Wholesome Wave

Increase Affordability and Access to Healthy, Locally Grown Food

vegetablesNearly 30 million Americans lack access to healthy, affordable foods. Our initiatives provide tens of thousands of families annually with the opportunity to purchase affordable, healthy, locally grown food, and open doors for schools, hospitals, and food banks to purchase farm fresh food from regional food hubs.

Improve Health Outcomes

stethoscopeOne in three people are overweight or obese. Annual medical costs of obesity in the United States are more than $145 billion. Prevention is key. Our initiatives lead to decreased BMI for participating children and increased fruit and vegetable consumption among participants of all ages.

Bolster Local and Regional Economies

Farm field and sunAmerican farmers receive just 11.6 cents of every dollar spent on food in the US. Farmers markets and food hubs provide forums for farmers to receive 100 percent of the revenue from their food sales. More than 3,500 local and regional farmers received $2.5 million in farmers market sales from federal nutrition benefits, nutrition incentives, and fruit and vegetable prescriptions. Hundreds of farmers, producers and fisherman received upwards of $7 million in revenue generated by our food hub partners.

Generate Revenue for Small & Mid-Sized Farms

TractorLocal food sales in the US totaled $4.8 billion in 2008, just 0.4 percent of total agricultural sales. SNAP, farmers markets and food hubs are powerful economic multipliers – every $1 in SNAP generates as much as a $1.79 in local economic activity. Our program participants spend their food dollars locally by shopping at farmers markets, and continue to spend at nearby businesses on market days. Increased revenue to farmers and food hubs results in the creation of new jobs and the retention of existing jobs.

To support Wholesome Wave’s initiatives, Donate Today 


Recipe: Chicken Wrap
Recipe courtesy of The Victory Garden’s Edible Feast by Chef Michel Nischan Grilled chicken salad wrapped in collard greens.

1312856343.452534_large-288x162

Ingredients
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
15 large collard green leaves
1/2 cup chopped green and black olives
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup diced assorted sweet peppers
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons assorted herbs hand torn
2 cups cooked black barley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions
Heat an oiled grill pan over medium high heat or preheat outdoor grill, grate oiled, to medium heat. Pat chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside and allow to cool for ten minutes. When chicken has cooled to touch dice each breast into 1/4-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanche the collard greens for 5 minutes. Using tongs carefully remove the leaves from the boiling water and shock in an ice bath. Once cooled, remove the leaves and set aside onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except collard greens and mix well.

Lay a collard green leaf onto a cutting board. Place about 1/3 cup of filling in the center of a collard green leaf. Fold the bottom third of the leaf up over the filing. Take the left side of the leaf and fold it over the filling. Repeat with the right side of the leaf, and then roll it up to enclose the filling.

Repeat using remain leaves and filling. Slice each wrap in half and place onto serving platter.


Product Spotlight
Ergo is partners with #BBQPitmaster’s Myron Mixon  for the Pitmaster Grill Tool! Only $29.99! Pre-Order NOW

The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3 in one design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.

A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control.

Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your beverage of choice. Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.”

See more Myron Mixon Products here:  Jack’s Old South and his Real Deal Pitmaster Smokers here: Myron Mixon Smokers

 We have exceptional customer service and will send you tracking via. email as soon as your Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool order ships. If you have any questions please call the customer service line at 877-796-0884 M-F 9am – 5pm

 SPECIFICATIONS:
• Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz.
• Blade & Hook Thickness: .100″
• Blade Height: 2.200″
• Blade Length: 8″ w/ Precision Sharp 7″ Cutting Edge
• Flipper Hook: 2.750″
• Handle Size / Material: 5-3/8″ long / Non-Slip TPR
• OAL: 16.125″
• Blade Material: One Piece Carbon Stainless Steel (5Cr15MoV)

Price: 29.99 Pre Order Yours Today: http://www.ergochef.com/MyronMixon.php

Mike StaibFood Hacks, Chef Michel Nischan & the Myron Mixon Grill Tool!
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History of Fried Chicken& Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…

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Hello and welcome to July’s Chop Talk!

Special announcement: Holiday Contest and Sweeps, is pleased to team up with Ergo and Chef Michael Symon to offer a chance for one lucky winner to own a Michael Symon Signature 3 Pc. Knife Set!!! Set includes: 9″ Chef Knife, 7′ Vegetable Cleaver,6″ Serated Utility Knife. Click the link below for contest details and to enter for your chance to win! 3 Pc. Knife Set Giveaway Offer Ends 7/20/15

This month’s Chop Talk is packed full of great info, chef’s and more. In Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips is History of Fried Chicken with a Step by Step Guide. We will help you look deeper into the world of Southern Fried Chicken! Our Chef’s Spotlight this month is Food Network’s Chef Duff Goldman. This month’s Recipe is sure to please; Simple Southern Fried Chicken and our Gourmet Store Spotlight is North Carolina’s Whisk is the destination for cooks, foodies, chefs and gadget hounds in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area. Enjoy!

Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips

bigstockphoto_fried_chicken_plate_2269322.s600x600Down south, fried chicken is a religion, and people swear by their own recipes and family traditions. While we may not be an authority in Southern hospitality, we will help you look deeper into the world of the amazing comfort food… Southern Fried Chicken!

History

The Scots, and later Scottish immigrants to the southern United States, had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat as far back as the middle ages, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken. When it was introduced to the American South, fried chicken became a common staple. Later, Africans brought over on the slave trade, became cooks in many southern households and incorporated seasonings and spices that were absent in traditional Scottish cuisine, enriching the flavor. Since fried chicken traveled well in hot weather before refrigeration was commonplace, it gained further favor. In the south, Fried chicken continues to be among this region’s top choices for “Sunday dinner.” Holidays such as Independence Day and other gatherings often feature this dish as well.

CrispyfriedchickenAsiaIn Asia, they have their own version of this dish, called Crispy fried chicken, a standard dish in the Cantonese cuisine of southern China and Hong Kong. The chicken is fried in such a way that the skin is extremely crunchy, but the white meat is relatively soft. The dish often served with two side dishes, a pepper salt and prawn crackers The pepper salt, colored dark white to gray, is dry-fried separately in a wok. Traditionally, it is to be eaten at night. It is also one of the traditional chicken dishes used in Chinese weddings and other Asian weddings.

800px-Korean.cuisine-Yangnyeom_chicken-01Korean fried chicken or seasoned chicken is traditionally eaten as fast food, at bars, or as an after meal snack in Korea. It is not often consumed as a meal. It is prepared in a way that removes the fat from the skin, resulting in a crust described by Julia Moskin of The New York Times as a “thin, crackly and almost transparent”. The chickens are usually seasoned with spices after being fried. In South Korea, chickens are relatively small, so Korean fried chicken restaurants fry whole chickens before hacking it into bits. In the United States, chickens tend to be larger and Korean restaurants find it more difficult to deal with large breasts and thighs. As a result, many Korean fried chicken restaurants in the United States usually serve wings and small drumsticks. Pickled radishes, beer, and soju are often served with Korean fried chicken.

So lets get to the how to’s. Making fried chicken is a LOT of work (at least according to today’s 30 minute meal prep orientation). The preparation of the chicken, the breading of the chicken, the temperature regulation, the actual cooking, the cleanup of the cooker, the kitchen and you, but the work is worth it in the delight of biting into a fresh, warm, crunchy,  piece of perfectly golden, home-fried chicken. It’s a food of love thing.

There are three main techniques for frying chickens: pan frying, deep frying and broasting;

jcf085Pan frying (or shallow frying) requires a frying pan of sturdy construction (cast iron works best) and a source of fat that does not fully immerse the chicken. Generally the fat is heated to a temperature hot enough to seal (without browning, at this point) the outside of the chicken pieces. Once the pieces have been added to the hot fat and sealed, the temperature is reduced. There is debate as to how often to turn the chicken pieces, with one camp arguing for often turning and even browning, and the other camp pushing for letting the pieces render skin side down and only turning when absolutely necessary. Once the chicken pieces are close to being done the temperature is raised and the pieces are browned to the desired color (some cooks add small amounts of butter at this point to enhance browning). The moisture from the chicken that sticks and browns on the bottom of the pan become the fonds required to make gravy. Chicken Maryland is made when the pan of chicken pieces, and fat, is placed in the oven to cook for a majority of the overall cooking time, basically “fried in the oven.”

deep frying chickenDeep frying requires a deep fryer or other device in which the chicken pieces can be completely submerged in hot fat. The pieces are floured or battered using a batter of flour and liquid (and seasonings) mixed together. The batter can/may contain ingredients like eggs, milk, and leavening. The fat is heated in the deep fryer to the desired temperature. The pieces are added to the fat and a constant temperature is maintained throughout the cooking process.

Broasting-Machine-CE-PFE-600-Broasting uses a pressure cooker to accelerate the process. The moisture inside the chicken becomes steam and increases the pressure in the cooker, lowering the cooking temperature needed. The steam also cooks the chicken through, but still allows the pieces to be moist and tender while maintaining a crisp coating. Fat is heated in a pressure cooker. Chicken pieces are then floured or battered and then placed in the hot fat. The lid is placed on the pressure cooker, and the chicken pieces are thus fried under pressure

Selecting The Best Chicken

jcf082The best size chicken to fry is a 4-pound fryer. Never fry any chicken larger than 5 pounds as it will take the pieces too long to cook. Chickens smaller than 3 pounds are too small for good fried chicken.Traditional fried chicken HAS SKIN. Skinless fried chicken is a weird invention of those who think that it makes for a lower-fat chicken (and what are those people doing eating Fried Chicken in the first place?) The skin is necessary to provide the support for the breading, and to add that element of ‘crisp’ that is the goal of the great chicken fryer. I also think that the skin actually helps keep the chicken meat lower in fat as it serves to shield the meat from the fat.

Follow these steps below to help you along the way:

southern-chicken-buttermilkMarinating: Some say that marinating or soaking the chicken in a brine or buttermilk for 30 mins to a few hours can increase tenderness and develop great flavor profiles.

Coating:jcf084 Apply different coatings and coating techniques. Try dipping the chicken in milk, then flour, then milk, and then the flour again. Some cast-iron cooks dip it in a milk-egg mixture and then dredge it in flour. Some don’t use flour at all and cover it with cracker crumbs, potato flakes, or cornmeal.

 Air Drying: After you coat your chicken, let it air-dry. Air-drying your chicken for 20 minutes to a half hour after it has been coated lets the coating firm up and produces a crispier crust.

Seasoning: Use plain old salt and pepper or create special seasoning mixes. You may want to season the flour that you dredge the chicken through; you can also season the chicken itself. Some people swear that paprika enhances the flavor; others claim it’s just there for color.

jcf085Cooking: The real secret to the ultimate in comfort food, Southern Fried Chicken, isn’t in the recipe; it’s in the cooking. Properly pan-fried chicken is tender and moist (not greasy) on the inside and golden brown and crispy on the outside. Keep your oil very hot. To make sure that your chicken doesn’t get greasy, you want the oil hot enough (375 degrees Fahrenheit) that the water in the chicken stays above the boiling point during frying. The force of the steam leaving the chicken keeps the oil from being absorbed. The hot oil also makes the outside wonderfully crispy.

Some tips for keeping the oil at the temperature you want are as follows:

Use peanut oil, which has a hotter smoking point than vegetable oils or shortenings.

Allow the chicken to come almost to room temperature before you cook it so that when you put it into the hot oil, it doesn’t reduce the oil temperature as much as really cold chicken would.

Don’t overcrowd the chicken in the pan. Putting too many pieces in the pan causes the temperature to drop and takes it longer to heat up again. It can also cause the chicken to steam as opposed to fry.

Use a deep-sided cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven and an iron cover. Cast iron is the cook’s best friend when pan-frying. It absorbs heat evenly, eliminating hot spots and its ability to retain heat keeps the temperature of the oil as even as possible.

Brown the chicken quickly to seal in the juices. After the initial browning, reduce the heat to allow the chicken to cook through without drying. Then return the heat to medium-high to re-crisp it before you remove it from the pan.

Use tongs to turn and move the chicken. Tongs won’t pierce the chicken and let the juice escape.

Drain fried chicken on a paper towel and then place it on a metal wire cooling rack in a warm oven. This simple step keeps your cooked chicken crisp and warm. After all, what good is a crispier crust if it just gets soggy and cold while sitting in a puddle of oil?

Serving:Make sure its crisp, hot, and you have a napkin handy! It’s common to serve fried chicken with a creamy gravy, or a kicked up hot sauce. Enjoy!


Chef’s Spotlight: Duff Goldman

Chef Duff Goldman Unveils The Official Cake For The 2011 Culinary Institute Augie AwardsChef Duff has been cooking since the age of four, when his Mom caught him in the kitchen watching Chef Tell and swinging around a meat cleaver.  A few years later, his culinary curiosity almost cost him a finger when he decided the best way to carve a pumpkin was with the largest knife he could find in the kitchen.  Despite the incident, Chef Duff found his calling and started working professionally when he was just 14 and has never turned back.

Inspired by his Great-Grandmother, “Mamo”, a legendary baker and cook who came to the U.S. from the Ukraine at age 16, baking was in Duff’s blood. His artistic streak was expanded when he studied art  at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.  – – becoming a local graffiti artist of some notoriety.

Duff started working for acclaimed Baltimore Chef Cindy Wolf, and then left Baltimore to study pastries at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.  While in Napa, Duff was a stagiere at the French Laundry, working under acclaimed pastry Chef Steven Durfee.  Following graduation from the CIA, Duff became Executive Pastry Chef of the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in the mountains of Vail, Colorado.  With his culinary degree and growing experience, Duff left Colorado to cook and bake bread for Todd English’s Olives in Washington, D.C.

Duff Ace of CakesDuff’s entrepreneurial spirit took him back to Baltimore in 2000, where he finally realized his dream in 2002, and opened Charm City Cakes……in his apartment. A growing clients list helped propel Duff into an even bigger location: an old church he retrofitted into his current modern bakery. As word about his unusual and daring cakes got out, Duff hired staff with more artistic experience than the typical pastry chef, like painters, architects and sculptors. His out-of-the-ordinary team is known for producing highly creative cakes that range from Star Wars characters, a replica of the Stanley Cup,  a working life-size motorcycle, and Hogwarts Castle for Warner Bros. and the premiere of Harry Potter.

Following several appearances on its cake competition Challenge series, Food Network tapped Chef Duff and his fellow cake baking artists at Charm City Cakes to star in Ace of Cakes.  After 10 seasons on the Food Network, the show wrapped as one of the longest running reality shows in history to feature the same cast.

Duff has appeared on numerous shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Iron Chef America, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Best Thing I Ever Ate. His work  has also been featured on The Price is Right, Jon & Kate Plus 8, No Reservations, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Talk, The Chew, The View, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz and many more.  He is the best selling author of Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes (HarperCollins), which published in October 2009.

In 2009, Duff paired up with the team at Gartner Studios in Stillwater, Minnesota to  design and launch the Duff Goldman by Gartner Studios  line of cake baking and decorating products. The signature line of professional-grade products was designed to take the fear out of cake decorating with fun products that are easy to use. “I’ve built my career on an unconventional approach to cakes: having a good time and using tools that may not be considered traditional. When I was starting out, I wanted to use what the pros used. Later, I wanted to design a line of my own. Gartner Studios told me they could make a custom line of products to let people create signature cakes of their own. Now, anyone can do what I do at home with these products.” Duff was deeply involved in product development and personally approved every product, from cake tattoos, to edible cake graffiti, to an airbrush machine. Today, the product line is one of the finest collections available outside of professional bakeries.

In 2012, Duff’s horizons continued to expand as he opened Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles and Duff’s Cake mix, a do-it-yourself cake decorating shop. Duff  was also named Culinary Ambassador by the White House, and created the cake for President Obama’s Commander-in-Chief Ball. He is currently creating a new baking cookbook, slated for release in November, 2014.goldman bertinelli

Fans of Duff can find him on Food Network’s new series Duff Till Dawn, where he serves as both host and judge. He is also a judge on Holiday Baking Championship and Spring Baking Championship. And with Valerie Bertinelli, he hosts and judges Kids Baking Championship. More information about Duff can be found on his website, www.charmcitycakes.com.

Like Duff on Facebook, Follow @Duff_Goldman on Twitter


Recipe

Fried Chicken1Simple Southern Fried Chicken
Make 8 Pieces of Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Ingredients
For the marinade:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground dried herbs, or poultry seasoning
2 cups buttermilk
3 1/2 pound chicken, cut in 8 pieces

For the seasoned flour:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1-2 qt. Vegetable or Peanut oil (enough to fill a large cast iron pan 1/2 way)

Method
Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Add the chicken parts and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the chicken is submerged. Refrigerate for 6 hours or more.

Mix together the seasoned flour ingredients in a large baking dish. Drain the chicken pieces and toss into the flour. Toss the chicken and coat completely with the flour mixture. Shake off and place on a rack and let dry for at least 1/2 hour before frying.

Fill a cast iron skillet halfway up with oil and heat to about 375 degrees F. Carefully add the chicken, leaving at least 2 inches between pieces and fry for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, reaching and internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Allow Fried-Chicken-Mashed-Potatoes-and-Gravyto drain on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with smashed potatoes, brown gravy and some corn on the cob. And remember, be sure that the love and effort you put into the preparation carries through to the plate and whatever your cooking pleasure, be it baked or fried, we hope these simple steps help you wow your friends and family...


Gourmet Store Spotlight

whisk-logoThe Whisk Experience

You know the feeling. It happens rarely, but it does happen. It is the sense of wonder and adventure that takes place when you discover a really special store.

Welcome to Whisk — a unique retail experience that feeds your passion for cooking and home entertaining.

Whisk is the destination for cooks, foodies, chefs and gadget hounds in the Raleigh-Durham area, as well as anyone who aspires to improve their cooking experience. At our store, you will find a diverse array of merchandise for both food preparation and presentation.

Stocked with fine cookware and hardworking professional tools, attractive dinnerware, specialty foods, fun go-to gadgets, and one-of-a kind items, Whisk is a contemporary purveyor of food, fun and learning for Cary and the greater Raleigh community. Their vast product selection and assortment allow you the opportunity to indulge in all aspects of cooking — from technique and style, to the pure fun and enjoyment of crafting a newly-created dish.

Explore Our Array of Raleigh & Cary Cooking Classes & Services

Join them for one of their Cary, NC cooking classes, and learn something new from one of our many visiting chefs. Taste some of our specialty foods at one of our regular food samplings. Bring your dull knives in for sharpening and hone your skills in using them. Sample our coffee as you browse and just enjoy your time here.

We welcome you to partake in the rich experience of Whisk, and we hope you have as much fun shopping at our unique cooking store as we do working here.

Whisk is a Cary, NC cooking store that provides a unique range of kitchenware, cooking expertise, and culinary inspiration to customers in Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Morrisville, and beyond. We offer everything a kitchen or dining room could need, with a selection of cookware that includes kitchen appliances, gourmet foods, and cooking utensils — all from respected brands like Kaiser, Nordicware, and Wusthof.

Best Knife Selection in RaleighWhisk offers a full range of high-quality cutlery and kitchen knives to keep your cooking skills sharp. Having the right, sharpened blade for the job is the key to both safety and efficiency in the kitchen. Whether you need a trusty, all-purpose knife set or hard-to-find specialty knives, our Raleigh-Durham cooking store’s cutlery selection will meet any need.

We carry everything from cutting boards and knife sharpeners to cleavers, ceramic knives and steak knives from respected brands like Wusthof, Joseph Joseph, Kyocera, and Victorinox. Our cutlery products are held to a high standard, offering quality and value to match any skill level. We also offer in-store knife and scissors sharpening services.

Whisk is the Cary, NC kitchen store that brings the best in cookware, cooking classes, and culinary expertise to Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Morrisville, and beyond. Our selection includes high-quality products for every skill level, as well as top name brands like Kyocera, Wusthof, Zwilling and more.

Waverly Place Shopping Center, 316 Colonades Way – Suite 214, Cary, NC 27518, 919-322-2458 Store hours Monday-Saturday: 10AM – 6PM, Sunday: 12PM – 5PM

 

Mike StaibHistory of Fried Chicken& Spotlight on Chef Duff Goldman…
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Up Close with Chef Michael Symon by blogger Louis S. Luzzo, Sr.

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16208_10205206493744557_6653510623717721083_nI have known Michael some three years now, having first met him at the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland back in 2012. Relaxed, humble and completely accessible, if you are fortunate enough to spend any time at all in his presence, or watch him interacting with his family, or sit with him shoes off, feet up, watching a Browns game on a Sunday afternoon, you’d be hard pressed to associate this laid back everyman with the public dynamo we all know as the public ‘Chef Michael Symon.’ His trademark laugh and smile are always right below the surface waiting to bubble over at a moments notice. When he’s back in his beloved Cleveland, friends and family are his focus. But, underneath is a man who is driven. A man who’s aware of how lucky he is to have achieved what he has, but not one that takes it for granted. See way back when, he rolled up his sleeves and went to work, first cheffing, then as a restaurateur, then as a beloved TV personality. The accolades now, are the result of years of hard work and dedication. To his craft. To his family. To his employees and to his friends.

-dcdce867be975666I have watched as fans approach him, hoping for a minute of his time, or a smile, or an autograph. I have never seen him not stop to take the time to make someone who approached feel important, even if it’s a simple hello, a smile or to request a picture. Onstage, I have watched him capture the audience, making eye contact as if he’s talking directly to each and every person there. He makes folks feel like they could easily sit back and grab a beer with him, over conversation about food, or riding his motorcycle, or debating with him over his favorite Cleveland team, The Browns. I’ve heard folks remark of him, “Wow, he’s just like me.” Having spent time with him, I can honestly say, “It’s real.” It’s what has launched him to the top of his profession, garnering the title America’s Favorite Chef.

112_0806_03z+iron_chef_michael_symon+symon_cookingI recently caught up with him between shoots of his hit TV show The Chew, which he co-hosts with Daphne Oz, Clinton Kelley and fellow chefs, Carla Hall and Mario Batali. His TV career is varied and lengthy. Since 1998, with appearances on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, hosting over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot and his winning season one of The Next Iron Chef on Food Network in 2008, he has been a regular in our homes. He appeared on four Food Network/Cooking Channel shows, hosting Food Feuds and Cook Like an Iron Chef, judging season three of The Next Iron Chef and competing on Iron Chef America.In January 2012, his show Symon’s Suppers, premiered on Cooking Channel and in September 2011, he joined the cast of The Chew as one of the show’s five hosts. Most recently, Michael was a mentor on the first season of Food Network’s All-Star Academy. 

A successful restaurateur, Michael recently opened his 14th B Spot Burgers, to go along with his other eateries, Lola Bistro, Lolita,Roast, Bar Symon and Mabel’s BBQ. With his hectic schedule, I asked him if he misses being in the kitchen, just cheffing. “No,” he laughed emphatically, “You know, I think that the misconception of a chef, especially in my capacity as a chef-owner, is that we work the line every week. I’m in the kitchen yes, but not on the line at a particular station. If you work just a station,” he expanded, “when it gets busy, you see just that one station. I prefer to work the kitchen. I expedite, I watch the cooks a lot, but I haven’t worked a particular station in God knows how long. Now, I do spend time on each station with the cook the first week when we open a restaurant.”

Michael-Symon-Cutlery

Many of you who are fans of the Iron Chef, will be happy to hear that Michael has a new signature line of cutlery coming out with Ergo Chef, LLC., available for delivery beginning in mid July, 2015. About a year in the making, Ergo and Symon will produce five individual knives for the Symon series. The blades will include a 9-inch chef knife; a 6-inch chef knife; a 6-inch serrated utility knife; a 7-inch vegetable cleaver; and a 3.5-inch paring knife. A four-piece steak knife set will also be available. The knives will be ground in the conventional Western-style, rather than with a Japanese beveled edge that is growing in popularity. Michael has opted for a small selection of blades, rather than an extensive collection of knives. “I’m of the belief you don’t need a giant set of knives, just a couple that perform at a high level,” Symon stated. “they have a unique handle that is not only stunning, but also very comfortable and durable.

11061317_10206200703880903_7222602543719262059_nI asked him, “Why Ergo?” “I love doing business with people that I like being around,” he offered. “and yes, they make a beautiful knife and they make it at a super reasonable price. But aside from that, Michael and Scott Staib are just great people. If you’re going to work with someone or partner with someone, you want them to have the same beliefs you do and the same morals you do. They are just really good people.” I asked Michael what was most important to him in making a decision to put his name on a knife or series of knives. “For me,” he responded, “there were a couple of things that were important. First, it had to be a knife that I was very comfortable using in the kitchen myself. Secondly, I wanted it to be a knife that any one of my professional cooks in the kitchens of my restaurants would use and be comfortable with. Lastly, I wanted it to be affordable for the home cook. Chef knives can be crazy,” he continued, “I personally have been collecting knives for 25 years and I have knives that are ridiculously expensive. I wanted to get the look and feel of those knives, but in a package that the home cook would be comfortable buying. I also wanted a knife that one of my cooks on the line would be comfortable using every night, on the line, putting up with the wear and tear of putting out 300 meals. It had to be at a very high level for me to put my name on it, from a quality and look stand point, but also something that would be accessible to the home cook.” Michael has not been shy in stating in the past that a chef or cook only needs a few good knives and I asked him to expand on that thought process.

B_q5VSRUYAAb30o“I don’t think you need every knife in the set in order to get everything done, We have 2 chef’ knives, both a 9′ and 6 inch, a good serrated knife, a pairing knife and a vegetable cleaver because I do love using a vegetable cleaver. Then, we also have our steak knives.” I mentioned to him that some have remarked that even at the reasonable price, it’s still a bit expensive. He answered, “Obviously life is about what you can afford. That said, to be able to get a knife for $69-$79 that will last you a lifetime, as opposed to a knife you can get for $20 that you have to replace in a year, it just seems like a pretty easy decision to me.”

slide-slide_d5df7999-6bae-4c45-9406-328f0567c456_2713x1078_source-1000x400-Q90_1407801074639Our conversation then turned to his new hit show, The Chew. Winner of the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host along with his co-hosts, I asked him if when he first started this journey with the show back in 2011, he had any idea it would be the juggernaut hit that it has become. “I think with anything in life you hope for the best and plan for the worst,” he offered, “Obviously I knew when we started that I already had a long term relationship with Mario, so I knew that was going to work. The other three hosts I had not met before. To end up being paired up with 4 other people who all have ended up being best friends, God I mean, you couldn’t ask for more than that. We all just immediately got along and it’s only gotten better from there.” He added, “All of us cherish it and don’t take for granted for a second how lucky we have it.”

the-chewI pressed him for a behind the scenes anecdote that I could share with you all and he immediately spoke to Clinton being the cast’s practical joker. “We’re like a family,” he explained, “so there’s definitely a lot of razzing, kinda like you get between brothers and sisters. Every one definitely can give a joke and take a joke. This past week for instance, Clinton got me a couple times really good, so I had the person in charge of wardrobe order all his pants two sizes two small. When he was getting ready he kept saying, ‘You know these are cut really weird, these are not fitting correctly.’ He laughed, “It happens all the time and we really do have a good time with each other.”

Grandma’s Risotto; A Recipe from Chef Symon

We then moved the conversation to a bit of the person behind the persona side of these interviews, discussing his relationship with his wife, Lizzie and his home life. “We met in the restaurant business back in 1990 and we opened Lola about 17 years ago. My favorite thing I ever do is cooking dinner for Lizzie and my family and friends, just making a meal at home. There’s nothing more enjoyable than that.” I asked about his hectic schedule and how the two of them balance it and their personal life. “It’s like anything else, you get used to it. It’s all about the people around me. I am fortunate to have folks around me that I’ve been working with some 20+ years now. Liz is with me at all times, no matter where CASTELLO MICHAEL AND LIZ SYMONwe are. We go back to Cleveland every weekend. We shoot Tuesday through Thursday then we head back to Cleveland.

I asked him to describe a typical day off for America’s Favorite Chef. “I’m an early riser,” he offered, “so I’m up usually by 5:30am. I head out and putz around the garden for about two hours or so, then I’ll head out on the Harley to the gym, get a quick workout in and hopefully sneak in 18 holes of golf. After that I head back home about 1 or 2 o’clock and see what Lizzie wants for dinner and we hang out the rest of the day, me, Lizzy, Kyle and the dogs. I asked him “What’s usually for dinner?” and he said “Well Lizzie is a vegetarian so oddly enough, being the meat chef, and I do eat a ton of meat, a lot of days I’ll cook a vegetarian meal for both of us. The good thing is that with Lizzie being vegetarian it always keeps me balanced.”

CQ1009_Michael-Symon-02_s4x3_lgI then asked Michael for the most important advice he would give to someone looking to make cheffing a career. “Be humble,” he answered immediately, “learn something new everyday and don’t be afraid of hard work because if there is one profession that truly rewards the hardest worker, it’s this one.” I followed up asking his advice to young culinary students. “I went to culinary school to be a chef and only a chef and maybe someday, own my own restaurant. If you’re going to culinary school to be a chef , be a chef. Forget being on TV,” he warned. “If you’re angle is to be on TV, then you should go to school for the arts and learn to cook along the way” He also offered some advice to the aspiring home cook who wants to up their game in the kitchen. “Learn the techniques, not the particular recipes. If you learn the techniques, then you can make any recipe and make it your own.”

I then turned the questions to a subject we both have in common; Our love. respect and admiration for Chef Jacques Pepin. Michael’s has been quoted as saying that Jacques has been the most influential TV chef of all time. I asked him to expound on that a bit. “The thing that I love about Jacques is every time you watch him on TV, you learn something. From that, he has still made it entertaining and fun. More so than all those things, he is one of the most humble, caring people you’ll ever come across.” I can attest to this. A few years ago, after sitting with Jacques and casually discussing food and cheffing over coffee, he suddenly invited me to spend the day with him and have lunch at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Little ol me! Truly a bucket list moment for me. I asked Michael if he had a personal anecdote about he and Jacques that impacted his life. “I was really lucky.” he stated, “I was the executive chef of a restaurant called Giovanni’s in Cleveland. I was 24. Jacques was in town and I got a call from his culinary producer, Susie Heller, whom I knew, and she told me she was bringing Jacques and Julia (Child) in for dinner.” He laughed, “Lou, I was literally a trembling mess. I went out after the meal to say hello and he said, ‘I loved the meal. I loved it because it was so simple.’ I’ll always remember that and it’s always how I’ve tried to cook. Clean and simple. I remember he had a veal chop with morel mushrooms” It was immediately obvious in that statement that this was a special moment for Michael and I remarked to him that I thought it telling that even 22 years later, he remembered the evening and exactly what he prepared as if it were yesterday. Cool story.

FFS-Bnr2014As we finished up I asked him one last question pertaining to the Fabulous Food Show held each November in Cleveland and the place where I first met him. As it his Michael’s hometown, it seems a special show for him. Invariably as we sit backstage in the talent’s Green Room as it were, which has the talent trailers, lounging area with food and so forth, it seems Michael’s entire family comes to visit. I have met his mom, dad, aunts uncles and cousins as they’ve enjoyed these small family reunions. I asked him what’s so special about doing the show. “I think that because of the size of it you really get to interact with the people that come to it. Though it’s a big show, it has a very intimate homey feel to it. It has a warm Mid-West feel to it. I just think it’s a special show. And, Lou, anytime you can do a show and your mom can come see you from 10 minutes away, it’s a good show.”

It’s seems there is no slowing down for this driven, dynamic chef. Michael revealed that he has a new show debuting on Food Network, Friday July 10th, but that was all he could share. Long-standing contractual clauses containing stiff penalties for disclosing specifics regarding any Food Network shows in production remain in force. Cleveland’s Iron Chef says he will continue co-hosting his popular ABC-TV daytime show, The Chew. His most recent Food Network series, All-Star Academy,, in which he mentored a team of home cooks while vying against star chefs Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone, just concluded.

To connect with Michael, visit his website, www.michaelsymon.com or connect with him via social media on Twitter: @chefsymon, Facebook; Michael D. Symon and Instagram: @chefsymon Michael also has a series of cookbooks, t-shirts, hats and more, all available here: Cookbooks and more….

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this brief glimpse inside the world of Chef Michael Symon as much as I did bringing it to you!

Until next time,

Bon Apetit,

Lou


Product Spotlight: Michael Symon Cutlery

Michael-Symon-Cutlery (1)

4070 MS 7inch Cleaver S

This 7 inch Vegetable Cleaver and Scooper Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon for chopping and scooping your vegetables and fruits from cutting board to fry pan or plate. The sturdy yet thin blade is .068 inches thin by 3.350 inches wide by 7 inches long blade allows you to cut and scoop up lots of food. It will get through the toughest veggies with little effort. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environments. The handle is .725 inches thick by 1.050 inches wide in the middle by 5.1 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the clean look. Order yours here: 7″  Vegetable Cleaver

4090 MS 9inch Chef SThis 9 inch Chef Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon and is known as the workhorse in the chefs’ kitchen. It’s a must have for chopping veggies to slicing chicken and proteins. The sturdy blade is .090 inches thick by 1.9 inches wide by 9 inches long allowing you to cut very large foods with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .725 inches thick by 1.050 inches wide in the middle by 5.1 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here:  9″ Chef Knife

4066 6inch Chef SThis 6 inch Chef Knife was designed with Michael Symon and is better known as the little workhorse in the kitchen. This smaller and lighter chef knife is perfect for those who get intimidated by larger knives and super for the beginner cook, while a seasoned cook will use it for small tasks. It’s a must have for chopping veggies and proteins. The sturdy blade is .090 inches thick by 1.7 inches wide by 6 inches long allowing you to cut through tough veggies with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .725 inches thick by .980 inches wide in the middle by 4.8 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here: 6″ Chef Knife

4060 MS 6inch Utility SThis 6 Inch Serrated Utility Knife was designed with Chef Michael Symon for slicing bread, bagels, and tougher skinned vegetables. A must have for every kitchen. The sturdy blade is .090 inch thick by 1.2 inch wide by 6 inch long allowing you to slice smoothly through tough crusts or soft fresh loafs straight out of the oven. The wide serrations produce very little crumbs and can even thinly slice meat without tearing. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German Stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. Order yours here: 6″ Serrated Utility Knife

4035 MS Paring knife SThe Michael Symon 3.5 Inch Paring Knife is designed for small peeling, garnishing and slicing of fruits and veggies. The sturdy blade is .068 inches thick by .780 inches wide by 3.5 inches long allowing you to cut smoothly through veggies with ease. This knife is crafted per my specifications from high carbon German stainless steel for durability and one of the world’s best handle materials G10 fiberglass resin which will withstand the toughest kitchen environment. The handle is .670 inches thick by .800 inches wide in the middle by 3.950 inches long including the bolster. Two polished rivets in the handle complete the look. Order yours here: 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

4045 MS 4pc Steak Set IMG SMichael Symon 4 Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set. This precision sharp serrated steak knife edge is designed for smooth slicing through tough crusted chicken, juicy steaks, pork chops and all your proteins. The special design and grind of the serrated edge tips will not tear your food. These steak knives even works great for bagels, bread and tomatoes. The beautiful G10 handle adds an elegant look to any kitchen table or special occasion. The set comes in a gift box with care instructions so we have you covered. Order yours here: 4 Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set

 

Til next time,

Ergo

Mike StaibUp Close with Chef Michael Symon by blogger Louis S. Luzzo, Sr.
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