Category Archives: Chef and Recipes

Talented Chef Featured On The Trove

Jamaica has a beautiful landscape and embracing culture. Those were among the many aspects of island life, Reniel Billups would miss. However, the mouth-watering cuisine was what she admired most. As a child, Reniel came to the U.S. and her desire for food and culinary arts only grew.

Reniel wanted to share her island flair with the U.S. Her passion for culinary arts started when she was nine, playing with food and cooking new dishes. As she became more comfortable in the kitchen her knack for cooking became an expertise.

Most of Reniel’s cooking style is credited to her children. She became a mother at the age of 14 and was forced to create dishes that were nutritional and cost friendly. Reniel’s recipes became her sole source of revenue. Her family and friends turned their backs on her and Reniel used her gift to support her children. Now, Reniel has managed, owned and cooked for a number of restaurants. She has even prepared dishes for the United States Coast Guard’s largest stateside base.

Reniel came to talent Web sites and instantly began using them as her interactive online resume. After using one of the sites, she was discovered and offered her own cooking show, but decided to decline because she felt it interfered with her values as a mother and chef. Reniel continues to post new recipes and how-to videos on the talent site. Her struggle as a young mother has only strengthened her spirit.

“I was a mother at the age 14 and had made many mistakes by then,” Reniel said. “…I decided that I was not going to allow myself to go down hill any more, so I found a passion and invested myself in it.”

Reniel wanted to continually set good examples for her children and husband. She showed them that it was achievable to come from nothing and to have made mistakes; it would still be possible to find a niche and perfect it. Reniel claims most of her existence was very hard because of her dysfunctional family. Thankfully, she was able to take the negative energy that had been surrounding her and transform it into a constructive aura.

Reniel enjoys borrowing recipes from others and making them into her own. She likes to add and subtract key ingredients in the recipe, which in turn perfects her dish. Reniel’s turbulent life has truly paved the path for her to succeed in anything and this is evident in her cooking.

Healthy Snacks Also Make Easy Appetizer Ideas

Eating healthy is a challenge, Coming up with easy appetizer ideas can be equally difficult. Why not save some time and stress by taking your healthy snacks and turning them into appetizers for your next dinner party or large gathering?

Healthy snacks tend to be simple, raw, and meant to refuel. What you want to serve for an appetizer should have a little more flavor and personality. Often, though, appetizer recipes can be heavy, rich, or too complicated. So let’s channel our inner health guru and whip up some easy, but savory, healthy bites.

Dips:

Dips come in many varieties. To make it even healthier, why not use lots of veggies in place of heavy cheeses and cream. Try layering shredded carrots and zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers with hummus. Add shredded chicken, olives and seasoning and scoop it up with a healthy baked snack cracker.
Have you ever nibbled on edamame? It’s a healthy snack that can be turned into a creamy dip.

8 ounces frozen shelled edamame

1/4 cup water

2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce

1 tbs minced fresh ginger

1 Tbs rice vinegar

1 Tbs tahini

1 clove garlic

1/8 tsp salt

Hot pepper sauce to taste

Cook edamame according to package directions.

Puree the edamame, water, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, tahini, garlic, salt, and hot sauce in a food processor until smooth.

Chill for 1 hour before serving

You may want to serve something that looks like it took more effort, but don’t throw out processed, calorie laden goodies. There are some healthy, easy appetizer ideas that won’t make you crazy. We found this Hoisin-Tofu Lettuce Wrap appetizer recipe you’ll love.

1/2 cup water chestnuts

12 ounces firm tofu (fresh bean curd, not silken style)

3 Tbs rice vinegar

2 Tbs soy sauce

1 Tbs sugar

1/4 tsp Asian chili sauce

Dash of toasted sesame oil

1/2 cup shredded carrot

2Tbs Hoisin sauce

1 cup fresh cilantro

16 leaf lettuce leaves

Cut tofu into 1/4 inch cubes

In a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, Asian chili sauce, and sesame oil: stir to dissolve sugar

Heat same skillet over medium-high heat and add tofu, carrot, water chestnut and vinegar mixture to the skillet.

Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until vinegar sauce mixture is absorbed.

Stir in the 2 Tbs hoisin sauce; mix well.

Add 1 cup cilantro, heat and stir for 1 minute.

Serve mixture in lettuce leaves.

Use your imagination, add some twists, and turn healthy snacks into appetizer ideas that won’t have you feeling guilty!

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What A Chef Is Not Supposed To Do 3 Things

When you go to a restaurant for a nice dinner and an overall good time, you take it for granted that the food that is served to you is as per your hygienic and quality standards. To maintain that standard that you expect, chefs have a NOT TO DO list.

*Re-use of implements and raw materials: Baked potatoes of the previous night may be peeled and used for making French fries. Oil used for non-vegetarian preparations to be used for vegetarian preparations. These are but two examples of chefs wanting to save time, money and effort in day-to-day operations.

Although the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) have certified certain standards to be maintained for kitchens around the world, some chefs tend to overlook these points and find a few loopholes. This ends up in affecting the quality of the product and if found out by the customers can affect company reputation.

*Basic Hygiene: Basic hygiene standards either for the chef or the kitchen surroundings are an imperative factor as put forth by the HACCP. The chef must not be shabby, unclean or filthy in his habits. Common facts like washing hands after using the bathroom must be maintained. The chef’s workstation must be as clean as his self. Lack in hygienic standards reflects on the final product and the restaurant business may be affected. Simple acts of cleaning utensils properly after use can make a difference in hygienic standards around the kitchen.

*Personal Conduct: As a chef working with a restaurant, you must be open to all kinds of criticism from guests. Many restaurants work with the philosophy that the guest is always right. So if a guest feels his soup is too thin, IT IS TOO THIN. At such times, chefs need to show patience and work on the dish that is sent back to the kitchen.

Many culinary professionals have been witness to appalling and most of the times disgusting habits of chefs to get back at their customers. Vandalizing the dishes sent back is a commonality and WRONG. If the guest feels that his dish is not as per his liking, he has every right to send it back. After all, the guest is paying a large amount of money for the dish.

Improper hygienic standards, improper use of raw materials and utensils and personal vendettas on guests is just the tip of the iceberg. Points of improvement can never be less!

Have Exotic Coffee With Hot Drinks Vending Machine

The taste of vending machines is indeed good and we tend to like it all the more as well but what about the long term? In spite of the fact that the taste of the coffee is enriching and great, yet it only long last for a week or so as it turns sour in just few days. But thanks to hot drinks vending machine, the taste remains the same for weeks. It has the taste which can be termed as quite enriching. We love to have coffee since it offers energy and we tend to feel refreshed and rejuvenated like never before. Hence, it has made an integral part in our lives. Any time we tend to feel exhausted we have it from hot drinks vending machine. Hence it is beyond doubt that vending machines stands out to be the perfect way of improving the productivity of every one be it of employees or others. Hence, you just need to place the hot drinks vending machine any where you want.

A cup of coffee is enough in giving requisite energy and we tend to work even harder as well. In such a hectic life we tend to feel a bit low especially at certain time of the day and we feel sleepy as well. Hence, this is the time when the importance of drinks vending machine become all the more. It does not need any sort of supervision and it can easily be installed in the office as well. Market is flooded with various online sellers and you just need to choose the one who is the best among the rest.

Hot drinks vending machine give you the perfect time to remove your dullness. The best thing to serve clients or other important dignitaries is coffee since it has its own class and every one love to have it as well. Hence there are numerous benefits of the same as well. If in case you are not in a position to buy drinks vending machine, you can take on rent. It is important to buy the machine from reputed companies. They are the ones which offer and provide various ranges of quality vending machines so that your business needs can be addressed in the best possible way. If you take due care of the employees, then the productivity will rise even further. Hence get it so that the lives of every one can be changed for the better as well.

The magnetism of Indian sweets and food snacks

It may amaze you but sweets have been one of the reasons of human endurance. The act of buying sweets in Indian sweets shops are simply manifestations of what our instincts tell us to do. As most people know, nibbling on a piece of -kesar burfi’ or a -milk cake’ or one of the many -Bengali sweets’ can make a person more relaxed and it is not only just because of the sweet delectable taste that this treat offers, but also the soothing effect it leaves on the senses. Indian sweets are truly some of the sweetest pleasures in life that most people love to indulge in. Wrapping them with personalized sweets wrappers make them even more unique than they already are. These implausible Indian sweets can be used in a wide variety of purposes and occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, corporate parties, and the list goes on. It is no surprise if any good news is conveyed with a packet of sweets. Be it getting a job or passing an exam with flying colors, it is sweets that create the blissful aura.

Humans will always find irresistible for anything nice and sweet. In fact, the way we pine for anything sugary is something inherent and inexorable. This is almost certainly the reason why people from all ages are such -Bengali sweets’ fans. Admit it or not, we all love Bengali sweets and this is perhaps the reason why these delectable sweeties never go out of trend. Wholesale or retail, there will forever be a market for these sweets. Whether you’re talking about -chenna’ based sweets such as anarkali chenna sandesh, chenna toast, rasgulla, ras bhari, ras kadam, malai rasgulla, kesar sandesh, etc. or -malai’ based sweets like malai chap, malai roll, malai rabdi, malai cup, malai king, etc., these Bengali sweets have always tantalized our taste buds.

Many simple Indian food snacks like bhakar badi, bhel puri, chatax, crunchy munchy, samosa, pudina mathi, etc. have an incredible history! However, if you are looking for some delicious, alternative dietary food snacks, look no further than Indian namkeen. Namkeen, depending on the variety, is quite a nutrient dense food. Kashmiri mixture, kaju mixture, peanut masala, ganthiya, cornflakes mixture badam lacha, khata meetha, matar masala, navratan mixture, etc. are some of healthy namkeen choices, and because all these namkeen food snacks are nutritious, you shouldn’t have a hard time in indulging on them.

If there’s one ordinary thing that one and all like doing, it’s going out to a restaurant. Whether you are familiar with the service industry or you’ve always been curios of being the owner of a restaurant, a restaurant franchise could be perfect for you. Owning a restaurant franchise is one of the most sure-fire ways to have an unbeaten business. People love to dine out at brand restaurants, and when you become a restaurant franchise owner you’ll be competent to offer a brand name and menu to customers.

Paleo Diet Snacks – Presenting the Quickest Way to Get Heaps of Incredible Paleo Snack Recipes

I used to feel sick of dieting the Paleo way simply because there was a lack of simple and tasty recipes on Paleo diet snacks. Naturally, I turned to the internet for help but alas, surfing for hours online in search of quality Paleolithic diet recipes proved to be futile.

See, I discovered quite a large number of recipes that were supposed to be -Paleo-friendly- from an all-in-one-place recipe website but the problem was-

Those recipes did not adhere to guidelines set by the Paleolithic diet rules!

Now, I understand that some people do not follow the rules vigorously, thus may wish to add one or two non-Paleo food ingredients to enhance the flavor of a particular recipe – but still-

Great tasting Paleo diet snacks recipes were very difficult to find!

Okay to cut a long story short, I finally uncovered a really quick way to obtain heaps of not only snacks, but also Paleo appetizer, main course, dessert and even special sandwich and noodle recipes that can all be prepared without breaking the Paleo guidelines.

Here’s how you do it-

What you should do is access a registration-free Paleo diet foods discussion site. The members in discussion/chat sites are very generous and they’re always willing to share helpful information including recipes and resources for the benefit of all Paleo diet practitioners

In fact, one of the site members (Special thanks to user name:paleocaveguy82) was so kind enough to point me to a site where I was able to download digital cookbooks containing more than 300 Paleo recipes. Incredible stuff!

Now, I have all sorts of ideas on how to conceive Paleo diet snack recipes that are not only easy to do, but taste wonderful as well.

Anyway, you can also download an entire set of Paleo cookbooks that are chock full of tasty recipes, all in-one-place. Very handy reference so download by following this link:

The Meanings Of Different Cooking Terms

Cooking can be very satisfying, and learning about the different ways to cook and finding new; different recipes to experiment in the kitchen is exciting. This had led to a bunch of television programmes appearing and even more cookbooks arriving to offer chefs tips, advice, and recipes. However, a good starting point for many wanting to get into the kitchen and to begin putting recipes into practice is to know the different terminologies used with cooking.

Learning the different cooking terminologies is important as a dish may be prepared in a number of ways, and each of the preparation methods can result in varying flavours. Here are just a few of the terms cooking recipes may require you to perform:

Grilled

This is a more common term that many will already know, even if they dont often cook. When a recipe requires you to grill a food item, it will basically mean that you need to cook over an open flame, whether it is by gas or charcoal. Obviously the most ideal place to do food grilling is over a grill.

Frying and Deep-frying

These are terms that are often confused, but they are actually quite different. Frying can be done using a frying pan and with oil or butter, whereas deep-frying on the other hand means that the food needs to be submerged in boiling oil until it is cooked. This can often be seen in fast food chains where the food is placed in a basket and submerged into the boiling oil, often to produce french fries, tender breaded chicken, and funnel cakes.

Sauting

An alternative to frying is sauting, to produce strong flavours from your food. To saut food, cook quickly using a small amount of fat (oil or butter), and use a frying pan to receive best results when using this cooking method.

Broiled

When a recipe calls for the food to be broiled, it means that the food should be cooked by direct exposure to a flame or heat element. You may find the broil setting on many ovens, although it is important to place the food on the top rack when using this setting.

For those that cook and prepare meals regularly or just beginning to become interested in cooking, familiarize yourself with the many different preparation and cooking terms. At least learn the basic terms so that you can prepare the food in the way that the recipe intended, and also, before you start cooking a new recipe or dish, firstly read through the recipe instructions so that you know the cooking terms and exactly how to execute them. This is especially important if you are cooking to time schedule.

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Ahh, Duet Cuisine Restaurant In Birmingham

When it comes to dining out, Birmingham really does have a wide choice of restaurants. It may be the second city, but it’s not second rate when it comes to fine dining. There are Indian, French, Chinese and Italian restaurants in Birmingham. However, as the saying goes you do have the mix of the ‘Good’ the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’. Birmingham is famous for introducing the Balti to Britain, but with so many Indian restaurants in Birmingham, how do you choose the best from the rest?

Well there are more than a few things to consider. But bottom line, it’s all about three things – the taste, the service and what I call the ‘Ahh’ factor. It’s this Ahh factor that a certain restaurant I know, Duet Cuisine certainly has. I’ll explain later. For now let’s start on the first two factors.

Any Indian restaurant in Birmingham that gets the taste right, is probably half way there. Sensational taste and sensational aromas are what entices punters to part with their cash. Customers can usually spot a top nosh curry from an also ran very easily. They like to see variety. Give them choice. Everyone’s palate is different. Let them mix and match if they want to. Take them on a journey of exploration of taste buds. Leave them with a culinary experience that will last in the memory.

Any Indian restaurant that gets the taste right and the service wrong will lose customers. Modern Brummies are no longer afraid to complain about poor customer service. Service is crucial. We want to be greeted and treated. We want to be served by a waiter that is passionate and knowledgeable about the food on the menu. No-one likes to wait long for food, no matter how busy the restaurant.

Then there’s the Ahh factor. There are some restaurants in Birmingham that have that certain something else that you rarely find elsewhere. For some its the dcor. Somehow a restaurant with a stylish, elegant or historic ambiance seems to set off something that is so hard to capture elsewhere. For other restaurants it’s the location. How about a rooftop restaurant with a unique view of the city. For Duet Cuisine Restaurant it’s the extraordinary cross cultural menu.

Located just on the outskirts of the city centre, Duet Cuisine superbly combines the finest elements of the finest Indian cuisine in Birmingham with all that is good in Italian food in Birmingham. Clientele are free to explore the delights of either menu. However Duet Cuisine is the place to dine where harmonising both worlds on one plate is possible whilst staying true to the identity of each. Duet Cuisine ticks all the right boxes for taste, services and Ahh but in my book it’s the Ahh factor that sets it apart from the rest.

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