I remember cooking for my dear Uncle Jon at my dad’s house, and after sticking my finger into a simmering pot of sauce to taste it, he looked at me as if I’d just spit into the food. When I confirmed that he was indeed concerned about germs, I was astonished. He seemed to have no idea that any bacteria on my finger would be killed by the heat (billions on the food and in the pot probably had been) and that my hands were the cleanest in the kitchen because, as I was cooking, I was continually washing them. (Please no comments from ID docs telling me about heat-resistant toxins; I’m not picking my nose and sticking it in food.) Yes, the cleanest hands in the kitchen. I was alerted to the new Read On »

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Thomas Keller’s own store that has hand selected kitchen items, gifts, clothes and his own bi yearly magazine, via Finesse.com    

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Among the books that caught my eye this season, two of the most lovely are The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen and The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. I’m biased on the Midwestern book, as it’s my home turf, but the Minnesotan Thielen, who logged serious years as a cook and chef at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan until she began a family, brings new life to recipes that are so at home in this part of America, dishes featuring our lake fish and our abundant venison, and vibrant takes on pot roasts and meat pies, recipes from simple salads to more elaborate preparations for headcheese and red current jelly. The publisher sent me an extra copy—it will be a GIVEAWAY to a commenter, just name your favorite cookbook (other Read On »

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Here is a list recipes from chefs for holiday gifts, via WSJ.

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  What I loved about Judy Rodgers during the brief time I spent with her: She wore long skirts in the kitchen. And sweaters. I never saw her in a chef coat, and didn’t like to be called “Chef.” In evaluating food with her staff before the night’s service, she would use words such as “baroque” to describe a flavor. She held her abundant hair in a bun with No. 2 pencils. She let me work in her kitchen. She faxed me the notes she took as a 17-year-old of how the Troisgros brothers made their white veal stock. When I was making her famous ricotta gnocchi, she tasted them, told me to up the seasoning, and walked to the other side of the Zuni kitchen. I gave the batch another four-finger dose of salt. Read On »

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