What kind of Cookware do chefs use in Restaurants?

Professional Chef

Having a chef in your family makes your life easy in various ways. You get to eat king size food in the parties, enjoy fabulous weekends by enjoying tasty snacks while chatting away your time. If you need advice on buying cookware, you can call them. If you need help in organizing a meal, you can take their help. If you want to take your date to a good restaurant they will be your right guide. And of course, they can help you in a number of other ways, the way my sister has helped me.

Cookware used by chefsYesterday, we were chatting about the various brands of cookware, and the discussion moved towards the cookware used by the professional chefs in the reputed restaurants. I got to learn a lot about the cookware used by chefs and a lot of myths were busted.

To be very frank, every good restaurant has almost all kinds of the cookware. Yes, they have stainless steel cookware, cast iron cookware, copper cookware and the non-stick one too. The restaurants serving very authentic cuisine also have ceramic cookware to cook rice and other things. Hence, you should not think that there is only one kind of cookware in the kitchens used by chefs. Further, the myth that the chefs prefer to have a cookware set from a single brand is also a myth only. All the reputed restaurants have cookware pieces from different brands. For example, they may have Mauviel Copper Pot, Le Creuset Boilers and Skillets etc. Actually, the main aim of the chef kitchen is to deliver you the best flavors in the best cooked food. Hence, they cook every dish in only that cookware which lends them the maximum taste and cooks them in the best manner.

Now, you should not get an impression that all the restaurants have this kind of standard. I mean, most of them use medium quality brands of the cookware and even some of the pieces are of aluminum too. That is why some of the restaurants are cheaper than the others. Though, some other factors also count in the pricing.

Cookware BrandsNow let us have a look at the cookware brands which are generally used by the chefs. All Clad Stainless Steel cookware, Le Creuset Cast Iron cookware (enamelled too), some heavy duty cookware that doesn’t come with any brand name, and the restaurant grade heavy duty aluminum cookware are generally used by the chefs for cooking in the restaurant. Some other prevalent cookware brands used by the chefs are Calphalon, Circulon, and Vollrath. The Foodista is one of the best places to read cookware reviews.  It is often the first stop chefs go to when they want to read reviews about a product.

The main focus of the chefs is to deliver your orders to you in as much small time as possible and with as much taste as possible. The cookware in a chef’s kitchen is handled roughly and hence, it is important that the cookware is durable and heavy duty. The choice is made keeping a lot of decisions in mind. All the cookware pieces are not bought at once. The menu of the restaurant also plays an important part in deciding the type of cookware to be purchased.

I hope the post has helped you in gaining an insight into the chef’s kitchen and understand the cookware which is used by them.

Why a Rice Cooker

cooking rice in pressure cookerRice has been in the kitchens across the globe since ages and same goes for the cookers for it. Initially, it was cooked in open pots and used to take hours to be perfectly cooked (depending on the quantity of course). Then someone realized that very high temperatures can be attained at high pressures and that if this can be applied to the rice cooking, the time will be minimized. This led to the manufacturing of the pressure cooker. Then, the times advanced and the rice cookers came in the kitchens with all the functionality of auto – off and keep warm features. And now, you can find thousands of the rice cookers with hundreds of options and varieties.

But still, a lot of people question the requirement of the rice cooker. I mean, the pressure cookers are as good as them for the cooking right..?? This post shall be directed to all those people.

The modernization of the various appliances led to the modernization of the kitchen as well as the cooking methods. They didn’t only reduce the time spent in cooking but also reduced the effort in the same. Further, the modernized methods also reduced the gas and electricity consumption. This is another advantage. I mean who doesn’t want to have homemade food which is easy on the pockets.

rice cookerRice cooker is one such thing. Not only the time and effort in making the rice are reduced, but also you have got a lot of choices and options to choose from. You can make rice in it, steam vegetables in it, make porridge in it and do them side by side. Steaming the vegetables while the rice is being cooked will not only save your time but also reduce the expenses in the terms of electricity. There are hundreds of options to choose from. Chef Brazil can help you get the best rice cooker within your budget.

Apart from the white rice, you can cook the brown rice, sushi rice, rice porridge, stew the vegetables, and make soups in the rice cooker. Further, purchasing an advanced model will let you choose a rice texture you would prefer. For example, you can have soft, extra soft, dry and wet rice and that too in a SINGLE rice cooker.

Cooking in the rice cooker will save you from churning the rice while cooking, checking times and again whether the rice has been cooked or not and deliver you the perfectly cooked rice in much less time. Coming to the nutritional benefits of cooking rice in a cooker, the rice cooker will cook the rice under high pressure which will change the structure of the starch in such a manner which will make it digestive too.

You can also find the rice cookers which come with the additional functionality of adding aroma to the rice. These cookers will also offer you a set of settings which can be done to make the rice rich in the desired aroma.

The rice cooker will automatically, either switch off after the cooking (normal cookers) or keep the temperature to that level which will keep the rice warm for up to 12 hours. Isn’t it good that the rice will stay warm till the time you eat it and will not develop clumps; as it generally does on getting cold?

The rice cookers can also be used to steam the vegetables in a jiffy and that too without the loss of the important nutrients. This is owing to the fact that in the rice cookers, the high temperatures are achieved under high pressures and the nutrients are not lost owing to prolonged steaming as the steaming is done in few minutes.

Hence, the rice cookers are much more than JUST a RICE COOKER. Ok, do ONE thing, buy one for yourself and explore all the benefits. Happy cooking.

Bread Machine Tips

making bread in bread machineBread machines are the new craze in the cooking enthusiasts. The ease of making freshly baked bread and given the popularity of the DIY cooking experiments, everybody loves experimenting daily with a new dish. The bread machine will save you a lot of time and money too in the long run.

However, some people fall prey to the machines which are cheap and claim to be as good as the other branded ones. But let me assure you, they are not even half as good as highest rated bread makers and they may even fall off of your counter tops if the dough is too dry and the machine is not sturdy. Well, I have assembled a list of all such do’s and don’ts for the bread machines to guarantee that you get the best of the breads everytime.

Maintain the order of the Ingredients:

Some machines prescribe the exact order of the ingredients which are to be put in the bread machines while baking. This order should be maintained because it really affects the bread yield. Some machines go for the liquids in the bottom and others go for the flour. Whatever the instruction list says, you are to obey the order of the ingredients always.

Capacity minded Baking:

bread maker overflowEvery machine has the capacity. It is indicated on the machine. Always stick to the capacity and don’t expect your machine to adjust to minor changes in the flour amount you put in it. The machine will NEVER EVER adjust the amounts and the material oozing out of the tray will only lead to problematic cleaning session or permanent damages to your machine.

Get clues from the Noises:

If the machine is vibrating on its own or making weird noises, get up and make a check at the bread dough. May be it is lacking water. Add water by small amounts till the dough gets the proper consistency. Looking into the matters right away will save you a lot of problems and a damaged machine.

Replacing Ingredients:

If you want to cut the fat, replace the butter or oil by the applesauce. You can also use the powdered butter instead of butter sticks or bars. You can avoid the salt if you want. It doesn’t make much difference.

Gluten Free Bread:

Gluten Free BreadIf you are allergic to gluten, then buy a machine which comes with the gluten free bread setting. Also, if you have a machine that allows customized settings, then go for the customized setting for the bread dough mixing. The gluten free bread requires prolonged mixing of the dough.

Sugar makes a DIFFERENCE:

Don’t replace the sugar in the bread recipe. The sugar will help the dough to rise along with the yeast. So, the sugar replacements will NOT work properly with the bread baking. You need to actually put the sugar as specified in the recipe or the instruction manual.

Learn by Experience:

And last, but not the least, the baking is an art which is acquired. You learn as you go and the common sense and thoughtful preparation will be your guide all the way.

Hope the post has been helpful for all the folks out there.

Wheatgrass Juicers

Most of us are well aware of the health benefits of consuming juices regularly. Wheatgrass juice, has been gaining popularity among health enthusiasts for the many health benefits that it offers. Wheatgrass is basically wheat sprouts that grow into grass when properly nurtured.

wheatgrass juiceConsuming wheatgrass juice on a regular basis boosts immunity and energy levels, cleanses colon, and facilitates in the detoxification of the liver. Wheatgrass juice has high content of chlorophyll, which helps in blood purification. Wheatgrass is rich in enzymes and contains over 97 enzymes, and has vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals that are used for cancer treatment. They are rich sources of Vitamin A, B-12, B-6, C, E, I, and K. They have beta-carotene too. Also, one develops immunity towards cold, as the resistance of the body towards infections increases over a period of consuming wheatgrass juice.

While, Wheatgrass has a lot of health benefits, lot of juicers are not capable of juicing wheatgrass on a regular basis. There are juicers specifically designed for this purpose. If you’re in the market for a new juicer, here are JUICER Editors’ Top juicers right now.

There are two kinds of wheatgrass juicers available in the market:

  • Manual Juicers
  • Electric single gear juicers

Manual Juicers

manual wheatgrass juicerIf you are unsure of whether you will like the juicing experience in the long run, then the manual wheatgrass juicer is what you need.

Some of the best manual wheatgrass juicers are quite affordable ($50-$150), quite handy, and easy to clean as compared to electric juicers. Some of them can juice fruits and vegetables too. Since, they are quite portable, they could be a part of your travelling kit as well.

Manual wheatgrass juicers, as the name suggests have to be operated by hand to extract juice from wheatgrass. They do not require electricity or batteries. The only limitation in such juicers is that the variety of produce that can be juiced is quite limited.

Nevertheless, the ease-of-use they offer for the price paid makes them a must buy for any family that loves to consume good quality wheatgrass juice regularly.

If your juicing process is limited to wheatgrass only, you can buy a manual juicer at an affordable price, probably even at half the price of an electric juicer.

Note: When you purchase a manual wheatgrass juicer choose one that has a counter with a lip that fits the clamp of the juicer, so that you can use the juicer effectively.

Electric Wheatgrass Juicer

Electric Wheatgrass JuicerGenerally, masticating juicers are electric juicers that can not only juice wheatgrass but also a lot of fruits and vegetables. They are available between the price range of $150 and $400. They can be used for leafy greens too. Apart from functioning as pasta extruder, homogenizer, and food processor, electric juicers can be used as a mini grinder too. You can even make peanut butter and apple sauce using them.

Normally, the wheatgrass juice extracted from an electric juicer gets processed at 80 RPM, extracting and squeezing out really high yield of juice with very less foam. Electric juicers do not get heated up easily and operate on twin-gear technology, thereby the oxidation is less, which means the nutritional value is retained in the juice for a long time. They operate with practically no noise, which is a big plus as well. They have a strong motor and most of the electric juicers come with a warranty period of 5-10 years.

Selecting the perfect wheatgrass juicer completely depends on your needs. If your juicing is limited to wheatgrass or a little more than that, a manual juicer sounds just fine. But, if your needs are varied and if you require a multi-purpose juicer that can function as pasta extruder, homogenizer, food processor, and grinder too, then an electric juicer is your best bet.

Ultimate Espresso Machine Buying Guide

espresso makerI can give you a thousand reasons for which you should buy an espresso machine. For example, it will save you a lot of money. Yes, a lot. The amount of money you would spend otherwise buying coffee everyday- trust me you are going to save a lot of that money if you buy an espresso machine at home. Plus, you can make your espresso with your favorite beans, you can adjust the strength of it, you can customize it the way you like and add flavors, milk and what not to experiment. The options are countless. My favorite one, though, is you can have espresso at any time of the day and not be bothered about if the coffee shop is still open(even at 3 in the night)!

But each one of us has our lifestyle and simultaneously our own needs from our caffeine. So accordingly you need to buy a machine that will suit your unique needs. There are a lot of machines available in the market today. If you want to get the best espresso machine for your kitchen, I personally suggest you to check out The Edge best espresso machines reviews of 2015. They write reviews to help you make all your buying decisions. The Edge, categories espresso making machines under two major categories, steam driven machines and pump driven machines. Of the two, steam driven machines are cheaper, yet pump driven machines brew the coffee under much higher pressure, resulting in a thick cream on top. Pump driven machines can be further classified into semi automatic machines, automatic machines and super automatic machines. The semi automatic are the lowest in price among these three and require some amount of manual labor to turn the pump on and also control the volume of the espresso. The automatic and super automatic machines are way more advance in their features, yet costlier than their semi automatic cousin.

semi-automatic espresso maker vs Super-Automatic espresso makerThe semi automatic is the most suited one for home use of the average coffee drinker. They are easy enough to use, reasonably priced and consistent in the coffee brewing part. But if you are lazy, or ready to spend some extra bucks for a superior coffee making technology, then you can always go for a super automatic or automatic machine. Other than this, if you do not want the hassle of grinding beans and dosing and tamping them, there is something for you too. Pod espresso machines use pre-packed coffee pods(that are available at all supermarkets) and hence you can totally be not bothered about cleaning coffee muck after every use.

And if you have a heart for everything vintage and are eager to really learn the art of manual espresso making, you can always buy a manual espresso machine.

double boiler espresso machineApart from this, there are a few other things you need to consider before choosing your machine. The value of the water tank is important. If you have a lot of coffee drinkers at home, you might want to buy a machine with a bigger water tank. Try to get machine with a removable water tank; it is easier to refill and clean that way. You also need to consider the grinding part. Either you have to buy a machine with an inbuilt conical burr grinder. Or invest in a good quality grinder, separately; it depends on your convenience. Also check the build of the espresso maker. Some machines have a plastic body, and some have a metal, generally stainless steel body. Since the process of espresso making involves a lot of heating, it is advisable to get a machine with a metal body. Some machines have one boiler, while some (more expensive ones) have two boilers. The advantage of double boiler is that you can brew espresso and steam/froth milk simultaneously, or right one after the other without having to wait. Always get a demo before you buy an espresso machine. Ask about cleaning and maintenance too.

Red Pearl Kitchen

red pearl kitchen
Tim and Liza Goodell had long sought the perfect location for their second Red Pearl Kitchen, and they found it in the heart of the Historic Gas Lamp District of San Diego. Their original Red Pearl Kitchen was a mainstay of the Huntington Beach dining scene for years and like the Orange County location, the new San Diego restaurant combines authentic Chinese/East Asian recipes with a hip, contemporary bar scene.

The extensive menu offers a new twist on traditional Pan-Asian Cuisine and is great for individual or family-style dining; guests can select from a wide array of Dim Sum, Salad, Hot Pot, Curry, Noodle, Wok-Fired, and Vegetable dishes. The menu, combined with the full bar and overall design gives it a vibe that is glamorous, exotic and sexy.

In addition to serving great food and drinks, the Red Pearl Kitchen is an active participant in the exciting Gas Lamp District revival, and a great destination for the local community.

Red Pearl Kitchen
San Diego, CA