How to/ Basics

Seven Simple Steps for Party Planning Success

March 21, 2015
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Here at chez Former Chef, we’ve been known to throw a party or two in our time. Our New Year’s Day brunch attracts 30-40 people every year and we often do a 4th of July BBQ for about the same. These are not pot lucks either. Pulling off parties of this size with food that […]

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How to Lose the Lawn and Create a Water-Wise Front Yard

February 15, 2015
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A good portion of the country is still buried under snow, but here in California we are facing an unprecedented drought. Water levels in reservoirs are at an all time low and the lack of water is starting to affect the agriculture industry, and thus, nationwide food prices. Last year we let our lawn die. […]

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How to Make Fish Fumet (Fish Stock) and Seafood Stock

September 30, 2014
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This post is the last in a series on home made stocks. Make sure you check out the posts on chicken stock, veal stock and vegetable stock for more on the basics of making stock.  Fish fumet (pronounced foo-may) is a fish stock made from fish bones (and sometimes the head) of white fish such […]

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Emulsified Sauces and How to make Hollandaise

August 10, 2014
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Emulsified sauces are one part chemistry, one part culinary magic. Take two ingredients which, “like oil and water”, should not blend together, and with a little effort, they become one delicious whole. An emulsified sauce is literally the blending of fat (butter or oil) and water (wine, vinegar or egg yolk- which is more than […]

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Steak au Poivre

July 12, 2014
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Like most classic dishes, steak au poivre has as many versions as there are colors in a jumbo box of crayons. Food historians think that the dish originated in the Normandy region of France in the 19th century. Lore has it that it was a favorite late night meal in bistros and bordellos due to the reported […]

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All About Pepper

July 7, 2014
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A little bit about pepper…. You might be surprised, but pepper is the most traded and most popular spice in the world. Peppercorns are the fruit (aka drupes) of the tropical vine, Piper Nigrum. When the fruit is ripe, it turns red, but sometimes it’s picked and processed before it’s ripe which then changes the […]

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