PhotoChefs.com

These Old Shoes

 Chef shoes  Little umbrellas for feet Stronger than plastic wrap Tougher than burlap. Made for the kitchen, no good for sitting Run a mile round and round,  In the cooler, climb up, then down. Spray them with Armor All Protects like a coverall More lustrous than a Cadillac Or truffle duck fat fries For a Scooby snack. Skechers, clogs, Birkenstocks  find a shoe that fits your price  Rubber molds for your feet  Cushioned insoles to absorb the heat A pit bull’s grip – they never slip Like a feather in Hercules’ grip. We love these shoes, but cannot lie: A barefoot chefContinue Reading

Beer With Me

It was as natural as eating and, to me, as necessary. I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking a beer.” Ernest Hemingway The world is divided into two categories of people: those who drink alcohol and those who won’t. Whatever your viewpoint on alcohol and its effects, people will continue to drink – even as others tread  the path of sobriety. I like to drink beer, you prefer apple juice – and that’s fine. It’s freedom of choice that makes us unique individuals. But to deny yourself the chance to enjoy the guilty pleasures of this great world isContinue Reading

On Working & Photochefs.com

Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.  –  Julia Child I try to post at least once a week on PhotoChefs. Usually it takes at least five days of thought, writing, pictures and editing before I’m satisfied with the published content. In my initial research on food blogs, I bought two books on the subject: Blogging for Dummies, and another…. I can’t remember the name.  TheyContinue Reading

Diverse Impressions of a Passionate Cook’s State of Mind Eating New Orleans Soul Food – Part II

The swamp gives life and it takes life. This primordial cycle is simple, brutal and unforgiving: the laws of nature rigidly enforced in a lonely landscape painted pastel colors of green, blue, and gray. The heat, humidity and mosquitoes rise from the swamp to assault human inhabitants with unbridled ferocity.  They state the obvious: “You Are Not Wanted, Stay Out”. This vast expanse of marshland is interspersed with bodies of brackish water, cypress trees, Spanish moss, marsh grasses, vines, palmettos and irises. It is wild, pristine, harsh and beautiful. The marsh is teeming with life – crayfish, frogs, snakes, turtles, catfish, snowyContinue Reading

Diverse Impressions of a Passionate Cook’s State of Mind Eating New Orleans Soul Food – Part I

This has probably been the hardest post for me to write. I’ve sat with these beautiful  pictures for months, thinking on how best to put my experience in New Orleans into words. How do I describe the quiet majesty of the Mississippi River? It’s easy to imagine how commerce and trade and eventually towns and cities  sprouted along its banks. The streams I knew as a child were easy to ford and were only good for swimming with the help of a bamboo pole as a raft. I grew up with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain. I’ve traveled this river a thousand timesContinue Reading

Stewed Okra Sunny Side Up and Other Recipes from Below the Mason –Dixon Line

Shame on the inattentive cook who cooks okra to death.  But not today: Grandma Davis’ okra stew is delicious. Grandma has a few okra plants along the siding of her house, enough for a steady supply of this vibrant green Southern staple. A relative of hibiscus, okra is a hardy flowering plant in Grandma Davis’ New Orleans garden. Okra grows easily from seeds planted in good earth bathed in sunlight and water daily. When the plant has matured, take time to sit and watch as yellow blossoms unfurl, as delicate as butterfly wings greeting the rising sun. Scrumptious pods follow the flowersContinue Reading

Collard Greens and Other Recipes from Below the Mason–Dixon Line

Fresh collard greens can be found at your local farmers market year-round, but they are tastiest in the cooler, damper months. Usually quite cheap, this slightly bitter member of the cabbage family is classic  Southern comfort food. The dark green leaves have graced the dining tables of the South for many a generation. In my kitchen, “collards” are a side dish on our menu. I cooked them for months as a part of my station prep. At work, cooking collard greens started with sautéed applewood smoked bacon and Spanish onions. Pork – and the flavor of it – is an integral ingredient in this dish; inContinue Reading

S is for Sweet Potato – and Other Recipes from Below the Mason –Dixon Line

“S is for Sad… And for the mysterious appetite that often surges in us when our hearts seem about to break and our lives seem too bleakly empty. Like every other physical phenomenon, there is always good reason for this hunger if we are blunt enough to recognize it.” M.F.K Fisher, An Alphabet for Gourmets S is for sweet potato. And the alphabet is made richer for its inclusion. There is no sorrow in the letter S when it’s a tuber with parched, rust-tinged skin, uneven in shape and unassuming in appearance. But underneath that blotchy exterior lies flesh saturated with aContinue Reading

Ghost in the Kitchen – Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 “I bought another book today.” “Where, on eBay?” “Yes.” Christian shifts in his seat to face her. “Could you please… slow down.” She sucks air between her teeth, “Relax.” Silence. “I’m not speeding. And why waste money on books? No one reads like that anymore.” “I do.” His hands betray his annoyance at her tone and he deliberately turns his head toward the oncoming lights. “Do you?” “It’s old-fashioned.” His jaw tightens. The tail lights of a tractor-trailer wink in and out of the darkness. “Ten years ago, kitchens used real recipes to makeContinue Reading

Ghost In The Kitchen

“Lord, I need a break.” Christian muttered. Nora the grill cook snorted in disgust as her boning knife peeled the tough silverskin off a beef tenderloin. It was the last loin on her cutting board, and Christian glanced at her hotel pan, already filled with six long cylinders of butchered prime. As she hustled to get ready for the evening service, she pushed past him to grab the scale from the shelf and position it in front of her cutting board. “Christian!!! Are you talking to yourself again? Muttering all that mumbo-jumbo crap…. If you’re gonna go crazy, do itContinue Reading

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