Three Red Flags that You’re Spending too much Time on Presentation

The name alone conjures the ambiance of high art. The Art of Plating, LLC has a mission to promote culinary art, featuring high quality photography of plated dishes on its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

With over 560,000 followers on Instagram alone, The Art of Plating serves as a celebration of food as an art, and showcases the importance of color, balance, and plating.

David Wynne, an instructor at the Culinary Institute at Seattle, revealed in an interview that he emphasizes the importance of presentation with students. In fact, students are even delegated time to visual plating, sometimes with the unconventional methods of using play-dough, before cooking.

And while presentation and proper plating is integral to a personal or private chef appearing professional and for attracting clients (see our full article on plating methods here), chefs can make a colossal mistake. Continue reading “Three Red Flags that You’re Spending too much Time on Presentation”

Boredom is a National Crisis: Four Meals Clients are Sick of Eating


Eating Out: Health Crisis?

Six years ago, Timi Gufstafson, a registered dietician and founder of an online health network offered a solution to America’s obesity crisis.  And it didn’t involve specific workout or diet plans.

Her advice was simple: Americans need to eat at home. Continue reading “Boredom is a National Crisis: Four Meals Clients are Sick of Eating”

You’re Making Salsa Wrong: Quick Fixes

While hamburgers seem quintessentially American, it turns out that they are less popular than a simple dish that didn’t begin as American at all: Tortillas, with a side of salsa.

For personal and private chefs, salsa is usually an afterthought, a side for a Tex-Mex or Latin American inspired meal. But even chefs who go a step above and beyond and make salsa from scratch, are likely doing it the wrong way. Continue reading “You’re Making Salsa Wrong: Quick Fixes”

You’re Cooking Pasta Wrong: Instructions you Need to Ignore

Pasta is one of the most versatile and beloved dishes a private or personal chef can make. It is also possibly one of the most misunderstood. Too often, conventional training results in bland and forgettable pasta.

For chefs looking to serve restaurant quality meals at home, there are commonly practiced pasta preparation methods that need to be ignored Continue reading “You’re Cooking Pasta Wrong: Instructions you Need to Ignore”

Substitutions in a Pinch: Simple Baking Swaps

Chef Vicky Bhogal is known for her quirks: whenever she goes to dinner, she takes her own ground masala or flavored oil. Most of her dishes were inspired by her family, who valued instinct over measuring, and memory over written recipes.

As unconventional as this may sound for a professional, Ms. Bhogal believes fervently in a skill, above all, that helps chefs succeed: improvisation. It’s something many chefs, especially personal and private chefs, may tout in theory, but one she practices daily:

“A real [chef] is someone who will be able to cook something with any ingredients. Endlessly adaptable.” Continue reading “Substitutions in a Pinch: Simple Baking Swaps”

Becoming Certified: Food Safety Series

Five years ago, Ted Conover moved from his home in New York City to an innocuous city in Nebraska. His decision led to an unlikely career change, and to the publication of a groundbreaking article published in Harper’s Magazine. “All the Flesh” relayed a first person narrative about the conditions of a cattle slaughterhouse.

While his article joined a growing body of interest in both regulations and conditions within the meat industry, Conover’s account was distinguishable in one significant way. He focused more on worker’s conditions, as opposed to the treatment of the cattle themselves. As a new USDA health inspector, no one was aware he was documenting their daily work. Continue reading “Becoming Certified: Food Safety Series”

What Milk? Making Sense of Milk Alternatives

It’s an American staple. Poured over cold cereal, swished in coffee, mixed with Ovaltine or used as bases for sauces. From the time we are infants through adulthood, most of us have more or less grown up with cow’s milk. A report by the Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans, on average, consume nearly 18 gallons of milk a year.

If that sounds like a lot, consider this: in 1970, the average American consumed over one and a half times that amount, or 30 gallons per year. Though milk is still a staple in both daily diet and for cooking purposes, its decline in popularity  is stunning. Continue reading “What Milk? Making Sense of Milk Alternatives”