Gourmet Grilled Cheese

In France they’re called Croque Monsieur or a Croque Madame if there’s a fried egg on top. In Puerto Rico it’s a jibarito and in Mexico a quesadilla. The English call them cheese toasties or simply toasties. Australians call them … [Read more...]

An Introduction to Induction Cooking

We want to get rid of our electric stove. It’s impossible to regulate the heat and it fluctuates between hot and cold without even turning a knob.  Sometimes, I think we have a family of gremlins living under the burners playing … [Read more...]

Herb and Spice Blends

Herb and spice blends are combinations of flavors that are commonly found in many dishes. Although they are pre-mixed and sold in stores, most can be mixed by the cook as needed. This is what I recommend, because your homemade … [Read more...]

Moist Heat Cooking Methods

There are four basic moist heat cooking methods. Moist heat refers to applying heat to food by submerging it into a hot liquid or by exposing it to steam. All four procedures are integral to a professional chef's cooking … [Read more...]

Knife Blade Material

Before you begin to worry about what types of knives you need, I suggest you bone up on knife blade material. Here I discuss knife construction from a material perspective. A good knife begins with a single piece of metal or … [Read more...]

Kitchen Utensils and Appliances

Stocking your kitchen with high quality kitchen utensils and appliances is a key element in becoming a gourmet cook. If I've learned one thing in my 30 years of cooking, it is that having the right tool for the job is of … [Read more...]

Kitchen Staples

Never mind your stapler. Here we are discussing kitchen staples, or foods that are used often and in many different dishes. These are things like spices and herbs. It is very important to have them easily accessible, as you … [Read more...]

Principles of Cooking

To cook foods successfully, you must understand the science and principles of cooking. Now, bear with me. Yes, this page is about the science and principles of gourmet cooking, but please trust me, it is neither difficult to … [Read more...]

Uses For Herbs and Spices

Below I'd like to share with you the basic list of uses for herbs and spices that I started with. Their proper use leads to better-flavored and distinctively different dishes. Developing a natural sense of when to use which … [Read more...]

Vinegar Types

Many vinegar types are primarily used in food preparation, particularly in pickling processes, vinaigrettes, and other salad dressings. It is also an ingredient in sauces, such as mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise, as well as a … [Read more...]

Kitchen Measurement Tools

Quality kitchen measurement tools are very important, because recipe ingredients must be measured precisely, especially in baking, and foods should be measured when served to control portion size and cost. The kitchen … [Read more...]

Kitchen Knife Types

Mark my words, you will collect many kitchen knife types with many specialized functions during your life as a gourmet cook. No matter how many knives you have, it seems you are always happening upon something new and different, … [Read more...]

Gourmet Spices

Gourmet spices include all the old standards, along with a whole world of exotic and exciting spices unknown to most would-be cooks. I'm always surprised when I see a friend's "spice rack" and it contains only salt, pepper … [Read more...]

Gourmet Cookware

Gourmet cookware should be selected for its shape, size, ability to conduct heat evenly and overall quality for construction. Of course, if you're like me, you'll also want to consider style, color, and the general aesthetics of … [Read more...]

Gourmet Condiments

No gourmet cooking site worth its salt can overlook gourmet condiments. Not that there really are such things as gourmet vs. regular condiments, but even gourmet cooking benefits from the availability of condiments. A condiment … [Read more...]


Garnishing is simply any attempt to add color and/or flavor so as to accent or dress up a dish you are serving. A garnish ties everything together! Whether you are cooking at the White House or just at your house, it can go a … [Read more...]

Food Thickening Agents

I've decided to devote a separate page to food thickening agents. Why? Well, as noted elsewhere in my website, attaining a certain expertise with sauce making is a big part of becoming a gourmet cook. And one cannot achieve this … [Read more...]

Dry Heat Cooking Methods

Dry heat cooking methods include broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, sauteing, pan-frying, and deep-frying. Obviously, it would be very hard to be a gourmet cook and not be familiar with all of these cooking methods. Certain … [Read more...]

Food Strainers

A big part of being a gourmet cook is knowing which tool best suits which purpose . . . and having that tool at hand. This definitely goes for food strainers, as using the wrong one is hardly better than using none at all. Trust … [Read more...]

What Is A Leek?

A leek is a member of the lily family. They look like large, overgrown scallions with a fat white tip and wide green leaves. Their flavor is sweeter and stronger than scallions, but milder than common bulb onions. Trim the root … [Read more...]