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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 …

Chef John Foster: Monthly in warm weather, students make magic from farmers’ market


  And now, a word from our sponsor: Sullivan University chef and students will be cooking local foods at the market this Saturday, April 12, from 9-11 a.m. or until the food runs out.   As part of Sullivan’s commitment …

Chef John Foster: Time for adaptive ‘bridge cuisine’ between cold and warm weather


  Finally, the stars have aligned. The Cats are playing well, up to their potential, temperatures are in the high 70’s, where they should be (and stay), and I can put away the Crock-Pot. With any luck, I won’t have …

Chef John Foster: To juice or not to juice is
a question best answered by the individual


  To juice or not to juice? I juice, she juices, we have juiced. Pretty much any way that you express it, this 21st century, new/old phenomenon of juicing still sounds strange to the 20th century ear (and palate).   …

Chef John Foster: When stumped for dinner, go simple and satisfying with breakfast fare


  When in doubt, go simple, direct and without shame.   I favor scrambled eggs, bacon, buttered toast and some fruit. My sons will sometimes opt for an egg sandwich with the works – big, sloppy and satisfying.   If …

Chef John Foster: Is a chef’s work obsolete since even meal planning done by computer?


  The subject of taste and flavors came up in conversation today, spurred on by a blog post on NPR’s The Salt sent to me by a colleague. To summarize: The IBM supercomputer Watson, which was a recent Jeopardy winner, …

Chef John Foster: In the kitchen, it’s trial and error and not Google that ensures success


  One of the greatest joys in teaching is to see the “light bulb” moment when a student finally gets it. At this moment, all the frustration of teaching and learning seems to melt away into satisfaction, or happiness or …

Chef John Foster: Creative magic can happen with one pot, a good pantry and a little time


  Take one pot of boiling water and imagine the things you can create with it. This is the ultimate challenge to undertake if you are a chef, or the one person responsible for feeding the family every night.   …

Chef John Foster: Key ingredient in this menu idea is one of the oldest in the world – grains


  Another day and more snow. Ice forming on ice, covered in … you guessed it, ice.   With no end in sight and the prospect of a late spring, I am running out of menu ideas to keep you …

Chef John Foster: Food is powerful; chef’s role is to optimistically harness that power


  Full speed ahead I say, as the waves crashing over the bow freeze into really neat ice sculptures! Call me crazy or chalk it up to cabin fever, but I’m staring at the oregano in my garden and willing …