chef-quiz.gif

We all want to cook like a celebrity chef — and hopefully not burn the meatloaf in the process. But which of the many celebrity chefs does your natural cooking style come closest to? Take this quiz to find out — and share the results with us!

(I turned out to be a Jamie Oliver: :It’s crash, bang, wallop when you’re in the kitchen. You’re an inspired cook and you’re not afraid to throw flavours together. You’ve got a hands-on approach and rule out anything too fiddly.”

female-hef.jpg

It’s funny: while women are traditionally seen queen of the kitchen, the professional culinary world tends to be very discriminating of female chefs.

Daniel Rogov, wine and restaurant critic says: “Many men who encourage or ‘allow’ women to enter the kitchen often do so only at an entry level and rarely allow them to rise to that point where they will become serious competition for themselves.”

He adds that since 17th century America, the belief that women can only be chefs in taverns and corner restaurants, while the more exclusive places were ruled by men. In England, women handled the kitchens of Princes, Dukes and Earls, while men handled the meals of the King and Queen. “Not a single woman has ever been admitted into the ranks of the Royal Society of Chefs,” he says.

The belief is that women lack the management skills to handle the chaos of a large kitchen, even if in equally creative and pressure-packed industries like publishing and TV, they consistently lord over staffs much larger than the typical restaurant crew.

nigella.jpg

We love Nigella’s simple but elegant desserts — very doable for even ordinary cooks (though we’d never look half as good in an apron). Here she shares a recipe from her childhood. Get more from her website or her numerous cookbooks.

Ingredients

350g dark chocolate
3 Metric Cups (750ml) Cream
5 Dessert spoons Honey

Combine the chocolate, broken into pieces, the honey and 3/4 cup of cream over a barely simmering water bath. Stir until chocolate has just melted and combined with the cream and honey. Set aside to cool. While the mixture is cooling, whip the remaining 2 1/4 cups of cream to not quite firm, but a little more than soft peaks (this is exactly what I have written in my book). Gradually fold in the whipped cream to the now cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into one serving bowl or individual bowls if preferred (this makes a generous amount) and refrigerate. If using one large serving bowl, the mousse will probably take a good 3 hours to set.

gordonramsay_ramsay_photo.jpg

Make a quick, easy and delicious gourmet meal as Gordon Ramsey demonstrates an idiot-proof way of preparing porkchops with pecan sauce. The video alone makes you want to make a beeline for the kitchen. He makes it look so easy, and yum those chops look great!

padma-on-voue.jpg

Most men won’t bother trying to be poetic. “She’s Yummy!” they say, of celebrity chef / supermodel / goddess Padma Lakshmi. But they also notice her scar — though the story behind it makes her more beautiful. She got it in a car accident she experienced when she was 14. The wreck was so severe that they had to use the “Jaws of Life” to get her out of the car. When she woke up, she had a 7-inch long scar on her arm.

She was very conscious of the scar and even practiced a pose in the mirror that would let her hide it under her hand and thumb. “But I also knew my scar was a symbol of my survival,” she said.

Many people thought the scar marred what otherwise would’ve been perfect beauty. “Such a shame,” said strangers, “she could have modeled.” When she starred in a college play, the director had the scar hidden under makeup. Later discovered by “Elle” magazine during a trip to Spain, she also hid the scar under makeup — or had it Photoshopped. Microdermabrasion was too painful.

However, photographer Helmut Lang taught her to see the scar as something beautiful. “When he caught a glimpse of my arm, he shrieked, “What have you done?” “Didn’t they tell you about my scar?” I began to panic. “Yes, yes,” he answered, “but why have you erased a part of it? You’ve ruined the beauty of it.”

Today, Padma says she “loves thes car, because it is part of me.”

cat-cora.jpg

Celebrity chef Cat Cora, known for her online cooking show “Chef to the Rescue” and being the first female Iron Chef, gives a great solution for leftover turkey: put it in soup. Soup mixes add moisture to turkey that usually gets dry and petrified when placed in the fridge. Here’s one of her favorite recipes

Ingredients

4 slices Oscar Mayer Bacon
3 cups sliced leeks, white and tender green parts (alternatives are scallions or green onions)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
Salt and white pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
1/2 cup Breakstone’s or Knudsen Sour Cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley
Triscuit Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers, for serving

Heat a soup pot over medium flame. Toss in bacon and cook till crisp. Remove (drain the oil on a towel) and then add leeks and garlic to the bacon drippings left in the pot. Cook, stirring often, for three minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and add potatoes. Cover the pot, allowing it to simmer till the vegetables are tender (usually takes half an hour). Remove from the heat.

Puree the soup (with a hand blender or food processer). Return the soup to the heat and fold in the turkey meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve in soup bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon and sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley. Serve immediately with crackers.

benjamin-christie.jpg

Try this gourmet version of mashed potatoes by Australian celebrity chef Benjamin Christie (or any other of his many recipes.)

Truffled Mashed Potato is carried by many of the world’s finest restaurants, usually paired with
ocean trout, beef fillet, lamb loin or pork cutlets. Serve it at your Thanksgiving dinner and impress your guests with your culinary expertise.

Ingredients

500g potatoes
60ml cream
40g butter
10g Alpine pepper
10ml Paperbark Smoke oil
10g salt

Instructions

Peel the potatoes and place them in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain and return to the pot. With a potato masher, roughly mash the potatoes. Ideally, use a potato ricer and pass the potato through to get a fine mash. Alternatively, keep mashing to smoothness. Add the cream, butter, Alpine pepper and season with salt to taste.

To serve as a side dish, try simply drizzling the Paperbark Smoke Oil over the top. Alternatively, mix it through for a delicious mash potato

chefs-nov-21.jpg

Celeb chefs are huge opinion makers, and it’s not uncommon for them to spin that image to their advantage by releasing cookbooks or endorsing products. But critics are wondering when they should draw the line. For example, Anthony Bourdain was disgusted by Rachael Ray’s decision to plug Dunkin Donuts, a product not really known for its refined flavor (more of refined sugar).

“She’s got a magazine, a TV empire, all these best-selling books — I’m guessing she’s not hurting for money,” said the Kitchen Confidential chef. “She’s hugely influential, particularly with children. And she’s endorsing Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s like endorsing crack for kids.”

The endorsement comes amid reports of increased juvenile diabetes, and in some people’s opinion, runs counter to TV chefs’ efforts to teach families to cook delicious, nutritious meals. Jamie Oliver, after all, actually went school cafeterias to think of non-greasy alternatives to the average school lunch.

celebchefs-nov 20.jpg

Gordon Ramsay may have won 12 Michelin stars, earned millions on cooking shows, and published several bestselling cookbooks — but his kids aren’t impressed.

His children — Megan, Holly, Maltida, and Jack — actually hate his cooking, prefering their mother’s. “They dream of their mother’s cooking because they’ve gone off mine. It’s a f***ing nightmare. I have to bribe them now with Jelly Babies to say what their mother has cooked is s**t and that they like Dad’s cooking.”

However, wife Tana may be a bigger fan. In fact, Gordon romanced her with his cooking. “The first night I asked Tana round to my flat, I cooked my favourite dish, roasted sea bass. Wild sea bass sat on a bed of crushed new potatoes and a nice tomato vinaigrette.” His tip for other bachelors: ladies enjoy eating their fish. “Invite them round for the first time on a date and they don’t want to be sat there chewing on a big piece of meat!”

Here’s a tip for you: serve your kids a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Works every time.

Everyday with Rachael Ray

Congratulations to Rachael Ray! Her magazine, “Everyday with Rachael Ray” was cited by Advertising Age’s yearly “A List” as one of 2007’s Top 10 magazines. Last year, the organization named it “Launch of the Year”.

Rachael’s really doing a great job of spinning her skills into a total, multi-media brand (guess Oprah’s giving her a few marketing tips, eh?).