Celebrity chefs have huge pantries at their disposal—but what’s the one ingredient they can’t live without? Six of them share their secret.
Clarissa Dickson-Wright: Heinz tomato soup. She also depends on chicken stock, but prefers to make her own. For regular blokes, she says, “”There’s a place for the stock cube in every kitchen.”
Richard Corrigan: Organic Swiss vegetable bouillon. This is something he only uses at home, since he makes his own stock from scratch in the kitchen.
Antony Worrall Thompson: ketchup, worcester sauce and anchovy essence
Delia Smith: Sainsbury’s fresh bolognese and freshly made gnocchi. “This is a total cheat – but utterly gorgeous”
James Martin: Supermarket’s own-brand fresh stock. “It’s my favourite thing at the moment. It makes a great sauce”
Sam Stern: Marmite. “The best shortcut for stock is having the real thing around in your freezer whenever you want it”
If you never noticed, most professions in this world require some sort of uniform attire. For lawyers you have the business suit and tie. For pilots, stewards and the like, they have their own corresponding uniform to wear to work. Even athletes wear their uniforms proudly during each of their games and yes, playing a sport is still considered a professional job. But, what most of you may not know is that chefs not only have a uniform as well, but it comes in so many different styles that you may have never heard of or noticed before.
Most of you would probably be very familiar with the standard Chef Coat. It’s an all white long sleeved garment that has a very loose fit, also known as a chef jacket. Down the center, you will usually find two columns of buttons that are aligned symmetrically. When worn with a chef apron, this is the stereotypical uniform for this profession.
But, there are many different variations of the chef’s coat and they even have corresponding titles for it. For example, women’s chef coats are exactly like the standard ones except the shirt closes on the side instead of the center.
If you are looking for a drastically different kind of chef’s coat, the Japanese use one that looks more like a Kung Fu uniform. There are no buttons and the sides simply overlap and are fastened by a belt around the waist.
Aside from those mentioned, there are actually so many more kinds of chef’s coats around the world. Actually, almost every nation in the world has a distinct design that makes their chefs and food unique. The topic is all very trivial but definitely interesting and worth taking a look at just for the sake of doing so.
With a dozen best-selling cookbooks tucked under his belt, Jeff Smith, is best known for hosting the popular American cooking show that began in Washington. The show was aired in PBS from 1988 to 1997.
Smith was a United Methodist who graduated at the University of Puget Sound in 1962 and Drew University in 1965. His first run at food ventures was the Chaplain’s Pantry where he held cooking classes to the public and stored deli and kitchen supplies as well.
Being in the celebrity status that he is in the world of cooking, Smith has had his share of controversies as well. Legal issues concerning sexual harassment in the 70s were just some of the trials that Smith had to go through.
Known to be the food genius that he is, Smith has authored several books under his wing including The Frugal Gourmet (1984), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine (1986), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American (1987) and The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome (1989).
Ainsley is known for his brilliant barbecue talents, so here’s one of his best-loved recipes, incredibly easy to make, although better if marinated the evening before to achieve full flavour.
This is from his book, Ainsley Harriott’s Barbecue Bible, which talks about the best barbecue techniques from around the world. Not just a recipe book, this comprehensive study on the evolution of the “Barbie” is a great source of information touching on style, equipment, and flavours. It is also a great guide to entertaining on the barbie ( after all, who fires up an outdoor grill for a lone meal?), with masses of tips to help you plan and execute a successful barbecue with simple ingreadients and a hassle-free, proven method.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Kebabs
Preparation time over 2 hours
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins
900g/2lb boned shoulder or leg of lamb
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp harissa paste
1 small red onion
1 small lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 30cm/12in flat metal skewers
1. Trim any excess fat off the outside of the lamb and then cut it into roughly 5cm/2in chunks. Place it into a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, spices, garlic, harissa paste and some seasoning and mix together well. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
2. Peel the onion, leaving the root end in tact and then cut it into 8 wedges.
3. Thread the lamb, lemon and onion wedges alternately on to the skewers and barbecue over medium-hot coals for about 10-15 minutes, turning now and then, until they are nicely browned on the outside but still pink in the centre.