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Chef John Foster: Amazing how a ‘little lump’ of pasta can be so good – and so hard to make


  See my gnocchi recipe below Suddenly, I have a hankering for gnocchi, those beautiful soft pillows of pasta bathed in a parmesan cream or tossed with sage brown butter. The weather’s sudden turn to chilly brings out the sauces, …

Chef John Foster: Bridge the gap to fall, winter cooking with ‘less sexy’ cuts of protein


  About this time every year I yearn for a little break in the hot weather. Too much humidity and heat combine to make me not want to eat, much less cook, a meal. I end up picking at things …

Chef John Foster: ‘Go Orange’ this month
to bring attention to hunger in America


  Imagine, if you can, the grocery store or the local farmers market as an assembly line in a factory. Each aisle contains the parts you need to build a …(fill in the blank).   In building a simple meal, …

Chef John Foster: It’s amazing how little connection we have with raw ingredients


  See my simple peach gelato recipe below I baked two batches of chocolate chip cookies this past weekend, one for home and the other to pack away for my college-bound sophomore son. As the last crumb disappeared several days …

Chef John Foster: Grilling, smoking not just for meats … don’t be afraid to experiment


  See my Bowl of Red recipe below   Walk through my neighborhood on a weekend and you can catch the smell of wood smoke mingling with cooking meats. In fact, at least a couple times during the work week …

Chef John Foster: Time to rethink, restock and get away from the notion of ‘full plates’


  In my capacity as a chef instructor at Sullivan University, I daily watch students struggle with the task of preparing a dish. In my “Basic Skills” class, it often starts with the recipe itself; converting it from whole to …

Chef John Foster: Peaches, like most produce, are best used in their time frame – not yours


Check out the peach recipes below! As a fan and hopefully a champion of the local food system, the arrival of the first regional and then local peaches in the farmers market signals the symbiotic relationship that all food should …

Chef John Foster: Nature can, if allowed, lead us to a much better use of our food resources


  Making the most of what you had two generations ago was a common theme that ran through American culture from design to food to politics. A country on the verge of breaking out economically was looking backward in time …

Chef John Foster: ‘Three Sisters’ approach
to planting, cooking embraces nature’s best


  Check out my new (and hopefully improved) succotash recipe below.   Nature seems extremely capable of striking a balance between the extremes. At once frenetic, it can calm to a solitary sunset of unimaginable beauty. Provide bounty in one …

Chef John Foster: Corn, in purest form, is still great; its use in food processing not so much


  In the biggest picture of the food web we can draw, it always seems to center on our likes and dislikes. That’s even considering the amount of money marketing companies spend on developing slogans and generating buzz. We still …

Chef John Foster: Garden’s bounty is good
to have but better to give away a little, too


  Take a large ripe tomato, still warm from the garden. Brush the soil from the surface and wash it, if you prefer. Take a sharp knife and slice the tomato into half-inch widths, from top to bottom across the …

Chef John Foster: Don’t cook like your life
depends on it; cook like life is enriched by it


  When is a recipe not a recipe? Why don’t recipes work for me? Are online recipes better to use than Grandma’s?   I get those questions constantly – from students, people who read my columns and in conversations I …

Chef John Foster: Summer’s at the door and chilled soups could be cooling in the fridge


  As the real summer appears on our doorstep, it makes us think about something cool and refreshing like drinks, ice cream, slushies and an almost unthinkable dessert-for-dinner scenario.   Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I like …

Chef John Foster: With more crazy weather
in the Bluegrass, go with the flow for dinner


  Crazy weather huh? Crazy spring and early summer if you can call it that. Can’t really make any rhyme or reason of why it should bother me so much but I’m bugged.   It was 52 degrees the other …

Chef John Foster: Rediscovering the fun, excitement of pairing complementary foods


  In teaching culinary students, it is sometimes an added bonus that I learn something in the process. In the event of peer collaboration, the ideas that swirl around add another layer of excitement to the mix. Taken a step …

Chef John Foster: The subtle shift from spring to summer signals new creative challenges


  The last days of May have become so tangled in my mind that I’m afraid this column will be a mess of random thoughts without a common theme. So much going on with so many things already accomplished has …

Chef John Foster: This age-old gooey treat always has people asking for ‘some more’


  I say “chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker and fire” … you say what?   S’mores, of course, or more properly “some more,” which was probably the real phrase behind this iconic treat. I thought I might do a little research …

Chef John Foster: Cooking shouldn’t be just more of the same; seek challenge, creativity


  So often we find ourselves in a rut, often of our own making and, in some cases, our own choosing. After all, repetition is easy, predictable and holds no real danger … just more of the same.   If …

Chef John Foster: Americans are slowly coming around to embrace the lowly pea


  Pea. That singular word conjures up a myriad of feelings, images and emotions, most of it bad.   “Eat your peas or you won’t get any cake!” “Here you go Mr. Foster, salisbury steak and strained peas.”   From …

Chef John Foster: Popeye still would be loving spinach if he’d tasted that grown in Kentucky


  Popeye was right all along. In his travels through 20th-century cartoon America, he became the de facto spokesman for one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. Low in calories, high in iron and folic acid, it may not …