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Ask the Chef(s)


It’s been requested by a few people, I for one know @amy2 and @jojo will appreciate it, to start a little foodie corner for a small change of pace :wink:
I thought it may be fun to start a general food thread for helps/tips, inspiration, pictures or anything really! So post or ask away!!

I have helped a couple people out here in my time on ELR but I know we also have a few more chefs then myself, so I would love to see where this goes (if anywhere)

As for a brief bio on myself I found my passion for cooking before I was even old enough to spell it! I grew up in and around Chicago and have been extremely fortunate to had been surrounded by some great chefs!
I was classically trained in french cooking when I was in my early teens and trained under a chef from the original Maxim’s in Paris and from there I gained “global” experience by training under a variaty of local talent like the late Charlie Trotter.
I ended up taking my first executive chef position at the very young age of 18 and had a few morning shows on the local networks in my early 20s and have continued on through me 30s to be humbled with a James Beard award a few years back.
I am by know means your stereotypical arrogant chef and I believe there is always something to learn even if it’s from a 15 year old bus boy!
I just love what I do and have devoted myself to my career and the crazy roller coaster life it provides!

Steeping Time for Various Flavors
Recipes for the new year's eve
Be polite and introduce yourself! (Feb. 2015 to Feb. 2017)

And a few more on my phone…

@amy2 here are your raw items :wink:


My god you are making me hungry with all them pics :smile:

Looking forward to seeing where this thread goes.


This job has allowed me to purchase a…

…Great reliable car!

The silver one there, next to the mini van :wink:


No clue as to what any of those foods are, but I’ll be damned if I don’t want to taste every single one of 'em!


You have mad skills DV. I watch a lot of those reality tv chef shows. Chef Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen) is my dawg. I also like Top Chef. I blew my chance at a Culinary Career at a young age. I took a Culinary Arts class in high school where our teacher… a chef himself, Bill Haygood tried to tutor me and told me I had a lot of potential, but I was young and dumb and didn’t take his advice. I love cooking myself and I will keep an eye on this thread for ideas and guidance. Very nice post and I hope it takes off.


Thanks man I really appreciate the respect. And yeah you really have to love cooking to be in this business that’s for sure but it can be extremely rewarding!
Like who knew I would be one day signing a chef jacket with Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and others to sell it for a mad amount of money to go to charity, crazy shit man!


Not to be a smack in the face, but do you (any of you) use short cuts (at home not in the restaurant) for complex things? I used to use Minors demi glace and was thinking of purchasing some more, it’s been awhile since I had gotten some… or do you always make things from scratch?
My “big thing” right now (besides vaping) is smoking (as in pork butts) as rustic as it sounds, extremely (shall I say it…?) Good Eats.


Demi glace isn’t a simple thing to make at home…you need to get veal bones, preferably knuckle, roast them and then slowly simmer them with everything else for a minimum of 24 hours and then strain/reduce…just not something that is feasible to do in a regular home kitchen.
Now there are some companies that make premade demi that are really good! But they aren’t easy to find in your regular grocer.

All the companies like knorr, minors, etc arent actually demis they are more like a beef base-
If you interested I can send you some suggestions on demi but depending on where you live it may not be easy to find
Provimi is a “decent” example, sometimes depending on the grocer they may sell tubs or bricks of it back by the seafood/butcher area


Classic traditional au natural French demi is only made with Veal bones, Mire poix (Carrots, onion, celery), tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley stem, peppercorns and garlic-
Simmered over night and then strained.
Then you reduce your stock to a nice thick, coat a spoon like consistency.
When done you have your demi which you would use for a base on all your other sauces like Bordelaise, wine reductions, etc


Which this working person was looking for a good concentrate that hold up for a long period in the fridge lol… it isn’t something I would use often but nice to have when wanted :stuck_out_tongue:


And to answer your question in all honesty…I would rather throw a frozen pizza in the oven for myself than cook lol
There’s that saying…mechanic’s car is always broken…
Last thing I want to do after an 18 hour day is come home and make demi glace :wink:
I do cook nice meals for my family and at times some REALLY nice dinners but rarely do I pull my pasta roller out to make pasta for dinner…just keepin it real
I do a lot of private/personal chef work though and when I’m cooking at a clients home I try to make everything I can from scratch, right down to the bread!


Yeah it’s a great thing to have OH! I would suggest ordering some online and store it in your freezer and just break some off as needed.
Even if you start with a company like provimi you will be blown away in comparison to the shelf stuff that claims to be “demi” but they are simply bases or dare I say…gravy


Oh my goodness that all looks so good ! I want some food now. Beautifully crafted and presented as well !

I will have something to look at on lunch now and wish I’d be eating lol.


So since I moved to the south…although I personally do not consider Florida to be "The South"I had to make me some Gumbo! 55 gallons of it to be exact :wink:


So I was thinking about teasing you @Amy2 and posting this earlier…

But I decided not to post it.

…oh…wait :wink:


I am allergic to shellfish


Bogus :, ( does that extend to shrimp as well? Some shellfish allergies do and some don’t


Geez I just nominated DarthVapor to chef at our First Annual E.L.R. Convention. Whenever that may be.


Oh sure John put me to work while you kids play…just like my family does on my days off for holidays…