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St. Louis, MO 63117
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Ask The Chef

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Ask the Chef Archive

In a participation cooking class the other night, the chef-instructor (Cary McDowell of Revival) repeatedly asked the student to “aggressively season” the meat. What a great phrase! Don’t just sprinkle on a little salt, but aggressively season — meaning, coat the meat with flavor. Seasoning — especially salt — may be the biggest difference between […]

“I’d like to get my grand-daughter a sushi-making kit. Do you have one?” a customer called to ask. Yes, we have the sushi mat and rice paddle available. “I want a kit that has everything in it,” the grandmother said. To make sushi, all you really need is the wooden mat for rolling up the ingredients. […]

It’s apple pie season! Since we answer more questions on pie than any other cooking dilemma, here are the most common pie pitfalls: 1. Dough is too warm. Flaky pastry is the result of a cold dough hitting a hot oven. Plus, warm dough absorbs more flour. Flour does not add flavor! Be sure that […]

Dear Chef,  I have been cooking for over 50 years and have never deveined my shrimp. Never saw the real need for it. I love cooking and ethnic foods. Friends and family never complained. A couple of friends my age are shocked that I don’t devein. Are there many people who don’t devein? How important […]

Dear Chef, I’m trying to find out why we bother to pound chicken breast. It’s already very tender. Why can’t we just slice it to the thickness we want? Does the pounding somehow change it in a good way? Thanks for your time! Melissa There are two reasons to pound meat: to make the meat […]

Frequently in cooking class, a student will ask “aren’t we sealing in the juices by searing the meat?” or “won’t the milk sour if it comes to a boil?” It’s time to debunk some common kitchen myths. Searing the steak seals in the juices. Searing the steak browns the meat and caramelizes the exterior, thus […]

olive oil

I would like to cook creme brulee and I have been told that it’s best to use a bain marie? What is the best method to use when cooking it? Rob from London Creme brulee is a custard, which means the combination of eggs and cream heated to 180 degrees. A perfect custard is voluptuous […]

Dutch caramel cookies

chicken piccata