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Chef John Foster: Big-city food diversity calls, but Lexington has the promise of opportunity


  I spent a quick couple of days in New York City in early February as a culinary adviser to a Sullivan Lexington student chosen to be one of nine regional contestants for San Pellegrino’s “Almost Famous” culinary competition. The …

Chef John Foster: Creativity in the kitchen most often means reinventing old ‘friends’


  As I was rummaging through some of my cookbooks this past week, preparing to pique the boredom of snow days with a thorough reorganization of my stash. I was slowed by an old spotted a greased piece of paper …

Chef John Foster: A warm kitchen provides refuge from winter’s interminable clutches


  Winter has shifted into a higher gear these past few weeks, and it’s becoming nearly impossible to escape the cold hard truth of several more weeks of the same.   And that means a steadily shrinking choice of fresh …

Chef John Foster: Paying homage to the potato, the building block of many plates


  See my potato recipes below:   In my ongoing efforts to investigate and revisit foods and dishes from my past, I stumbled upon some menus from brunches I cooked at Dudley’s and Joseph-Beth.   I must confess I am …

Chef John Foster: The search for warmth
and satisfaction leads to a look at the past


  See my recipe for cassoulet below:   Cold, cold, cold, and nothing I fix to eat seems to fill me up or keep me warm.   It’s a common problem for most parents of teenagers to keep their kids …

Chef John Foster: Out of gift ideas? Consider the gift of gardening, cooking and, yes, eating


  See my “Christmas Coffee Cake” recipe below   This is about the time of the Christmas buying season when I run out of gadgets to give. My tech is bought, any bauble is wrapped and most of the stocking …

Chef John Foster: Once the Christmas cookies are gone, pass around the memories instead


  See my Quick Gingerbread recipe below   I am always fascinated by traditions, especially the ones having to do with food and the holidays.   Thanksgiving certainly is heavy with symbolism, embodied by traditional foods served just the way …

Chef John Foster: Cooking through the lens
of history adds challenge to a necessary act


  See my recipe for scones below:   I wonder sometimes what we really know about cooking. In a 21st-century world of 24-hour cooking shows, instant celebrity chefs and immediate access to infinite recipes, where does the act of cooking …

Chef John Foster: Consider apple pie or crisp as Thanksgiving dessert alternative this year


  As a devotee of local foods and a strong proponent of letting the ingredients speak for themselves I feel I must re-visit a topic that I’ve covered before; apples.   I won’t bore you with a long discourse on …

Chef John Foster: It’s too early for Christmas music, but not to think about party appetizers


  I heard my first Christmas song one day after Halloween! I know the holiday season is coming, I can feel the weight of it starting to creep into my brain – parties, shindigs, get-togethers and gatherings all requesting or …

Chef John Foster: What’s all the buzz about pho? Give it a slurp and see for yourself


  Soup weather is upon us and with it the opportunity to make and enjoy homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese, hearty minestrone over a few days, and all sorts of purees from potato to butternut squash.   Simple, quick …

Chef John Foster: Changing the tide of processed food not easy but well worth it


  See my “Quick Teenager-Friendly (and Healthy) Sandwich” recipe below:   At last we seem to be on the right track when it comes to talking, writing and blogging about changing our eating habits and choices. Articles and debate about …

Chef John Foster: Making Portugese Caldo Verde puts some ‘greens’ into a gray day


  The Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show at Rupp Arena and Heritage Hall in Lexington is now finished for another year, but it was great fun while it lasted.   On a drizzly, damp day with a home football game …

Chef John Foster: Why should pumpkins get all the attention? Other squashes lovable, too!


  See my roasted butternut squash hash recipe below:   October, for obvious reasons, is pumpkin month.   Oranges, browns and reds color the landscape. Thousands of the things are shilled in front of stores, gas stations and churches. Inflatables …

Chef John Foster: Once called ‘skunk egg,’
the onion is truly the kitchen workhorse


  See my red onion jam and “brothless” French onion soup recipes below:   I feel once again that I must put in a good word for the onion. Son of a large family with some 325 varieties, of unknown …

Chef John Foster: Time now to focus on quick prep, versatility and foods that fill you up


  September contains some of the most glorious weather of the year, as it slides from the clinging warmth of August to the crispness of fall. And with it comes the decay of a summer’s worth of gardening and the …

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 …