Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

A Taste of Beaujolais

Beaujolais and its wines are easy to understand, easy to buy, and easy to love. With few exceptions, they are juicy, bubble-gum reds produced in a light style for easy drinking. A huge amount of red Beaujolais is produced, all of it made solely from the Gamay grape. A small […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Pâte à Choux

Pâte à choux is a simple and versatile French pastry batter made from milk (or water), butter, flour, and eggs. It is typically piped and baked to a crisp, hollow shell that is perfect for filling with sweet or savory ingredients. Even if you’ve never made pâte à choux, you’ve […]

Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments

Béchamel Sauce

Ingredients 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1/4 cup minced yellow onion 5 cups milk, warm Salt, as needed Ground black or white pepper, as needed Freshly grated nutmeg, as needed (optional) Directions In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and butter. […]

Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments

Beurre Blanc

Makes 1 quart sauce Beurre blanc is a classic French sauce, made creamy thanks to the emulsion formed between the fat (butter!) and the liquid (wine). The key to not breaking an emulsion is patience and an even, moderate cooking temperature, so take your time adding the butter and take […]


Blitz Puff Pastry

Makes 2 pounds of dough There are a few ways to make ultra-flaky puff pastry, but this one is the quickest (that’s why it’s called blitz!). The layers in puff pastry are a result of folding the dough four times. We included a photo at the end to show you what […]

Breakfast and Brunch


Makes 1 loaf or brioche à tête Buttery, rich, and delicious, brioche is one of those breads that may not be a health food, but sure does taste good. As long as you are going to the trouble, make an extra loaf and freeze it. You can use it for […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Celebrating Julia Child

It may come as no surprise that the halls of The Culinary Institute of America echo with admiration for the grande dame of approachable French cuisine: Julia Child. She was not the first powerhouse woman chef—and if today’s CIA students have any say in the matter, she certainly won’t be […]


Chocolate Éclairs

Makes 12 éclairs The shape of a baked éclair depends upon the shape it is given before baking. It is easiest to make a nice, round éclair using a pastry bag, but you can also drop the batter from a spoon. Use a table knife dipped in water to smooth […]


Chocolate Mousse

Makes 4 to 6 servings Heating the egg whites and egg yolks not only pasteurizes them, making them safe to eat without further cooking, but it also dissolves the sugar and denatures the proteins. This creates a smooth and strong structure in your egg foams that helps to keep your […]


Crème Caramel

Makes 6 servings Crème caramel is a dessert that produces its own sauce, as long as you are patient with it. After the custard bakes, it needs to cool long enough for two things to happen: the custard must become firm enough to unmold, and the caramel underneath the custard […]