Knife Blade Material

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 ceramic, stamped, cut or, best of all, forged and tempered into a blade of … Read more

Kitchen Utensils and Appliances

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 paramount importance. It makes everything easier and safer. The wrong knife, or a … Read more

Kitchen Staples

Curry Powder - Kitchen Staple

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 will most likely be using one or more in every dish, every time you cook. Seasonings … 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 understand nor boring. It is merely the stating of a few basic facts that we all need … Read more

Kitchen Measurement Tools

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 measurement tools used are, for the most part, basic hand tools designed specifically to make food preparation easier and more precise. Measurements may … Read more

Kitchen Knife Types

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, the latest thing in knives, and you just have to have it. But that comes later. … Read more

Gourmet Cookware

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 the pieces in terms of how well they blend into your kitchen’s decor. Metals and Heat Conduction Metals … Read more


Strawberry Garnishing

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 long way towards making an otherwise hum-drum meal appear interesting and … Read more

Food Thickening Agents

Food Thickening Agent

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 without a good understanding of the various food thickening agents used to finish the many … Read more

Dry Heat Cooking Methods

dry heat cooking methods - grilling

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 meats and vegetables thrive under the broiler, while others cry out for the roaster. It all depends on the cuts … Read more

Food Strainers

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 me. Chinois and China Cap Both of these are cone-shaped … 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 end from the leek. Cut away the dark green top. Slice the white portion … Read more

Food Processing Equipment

Food Processing Equipment

One of the real benefits of living in the modern age is our modern-day food processing equipment. Imagine how much time and effort it used to take to make homemade peanut butter or knead enough dough for a few loaves of bread. And, believe it or not, people used to have to go out for … Read more

Mise En Place | Everything In Its Place

Mise En Place | Everything In Its Place

Mise En Place (MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine, up to the point of cooking. Mise En Place (meez ahn plahs) means literally, “to put in place” or “everything in its place.” The concept is: A cook should have … Read more

Plating Food

“Plating food” refers to placing food on a plate in as appealing a manner as possible. Many cooks give short shrift to this concept, but let me assure you, presentation is a very important part of the dining experience because we eat with our eyes first. One of the things we all most enjoy about … Read more

Beef Cooking Times

The correct beef cooking times will become second nature to you as you advance on your path toward becoming a gourmet cook. I am quite comfortable relying on the “touch” approach, and you will be too. But I recommend that you stick with a meat thermometer at first. Chefs generally gauge beef cooking times by … Read more

Cooking Equivalent Measurements Table

Here’s the simple Cooking Equivalent Measurements Table I relied on when starting out. As you get going on becoming a gourmet cook, refer to it often, as proper measurements are critically important. However, as you become more and more familiar with the effects of herbs and spices and so forth, you will need to rely … Read more

Cooking Food With Wine

cooking food with wine

The main reason for cooking food with wine is the benefit of added flavor! When you are cooking food with wine, there is one basic rule to remember: always use a good wine. That doesn’t mean you have to use an expensive wine, simply use a good tasting wine, or one that you like to … Read more

How To Brine A Turkey

How To Brine a Turkey

I’ll bet you never thought you’d be reading a web page entitled “How to Brine a Turkey”. Brining is not exactly at the forefront of current turkey preparation and cooking methods.But it should be. Just wait until you try the recipe you will find below. I predict it will become your standard Thanksgiving Day recipe … Read more

Principles of Stock Making

principles of stock making

The principles of stock making are really quite straight-forward and simple. Still, for whatever reason, many would-be gourmet cooks seem to draw the line here. They feel that stocks are used only by the great chefs, and that their “mysteries” must therefore run too deep for a beginner to manage. Well, let me say this … Read more