Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

5 Easy Fixes for Soggy Mushrooms

A beautifully golden brown mushroom that’s slightly crisp on the exterior, but tender and flavorful on the interior, is not a difficult outcome to achieve. And yet, it is one of the biggest challenges for CIA students and home-cooks alike. After observing the struggles to cook mushrooms with results that […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

A Sweet Guide to Tasting Chocolate

Looking for a fun time with other food-minded friends? Or, do you just love chocolate and want to know everything out it? Consider a chocolate tasting! Like wine, chocolate is a multifaceted food, with each step of its growth and processing—from bean to bar—impacting its texture, flavor, and usability. No […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

All About Gnocchi

Gnocchi may have a longer history than pasta in Italy. A cookbook from the fourteenth century includes a recipe for gnocchi made by mashing together cheese and egg and mixing them with flour to make a dumpling. Today, you can find gnocchi made from potatoes, semolina, polenta, squash, ricotta, and […]

Chef's Notes Plus, Family Fun

All About Meringues

Have you ever tried to make a lemon meringue pie and ended up with a sort of sad, droopy meringue top? We all have! Luckily, once you master the meringue, it’s a super simple trick to have up your sleeve for pies, cookies, and even cakes! Whipping egg whites with […]

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 […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

All About Quick Pickles

If your kitchen cabinets are currently storing more than one empty glass jar, you are officially missing an easy pickling opportunity. Pickled fruits and vegetables are the absolute best way to add some excitement to any recipe, cheese plate, or mid-afternoon snack attack. There are many pickling strategies, which can […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Roux

If you’re feeling the spirit of Mardi Gras, you may be inspired to try your hand at a Cajun or Creole recipe, like gumbo or shrimp etouffee. The key to many of these flavorful, complex dishes is the roux, a cooked flour and fat mixture that thickens, colors, and flavors […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Ask us Anything!

We’re all becoming quite well acquainted with our kitchens lately, and we bet you’ve encountered a question or two (or ten) along the way. Well, you’re in luck, because we are here to fill you in! Scroll to the bottom of this post and leave your questions in the comments. […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Bacon Lardons

Lardons are 1/4-inch thick pieces of bacon cut from a thick slab that are typically cooked until crisp. Commonly used in French cooking, lardons add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes, from salads and quiches to stews, potatoes, and vegetable dishes. Lardons can only be made from slab […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Basic Method for Puréed Soups

Hearty, robust puréed soups are made from filling foods that are easy to keep on hand in cupboards all year-round: beans, dried peas, lentils, potatoes, and other root vegetables. Like all soups, you can build flavor into them every step of the way. Cooking onions and garlic in a little […]