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Chef John Foster: Anyone can cook, but production process keeps most on sidelines

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  Generally, part of teaching is crisis control. That’s especially true when you are teaching culinary students.   What may present a problem with an algebraic equation is magnified a hundred-fold when we add sharp objects, fire and intense criticism. …

Chef John Foster: Real secret to cooking in spring is let ingredients speak for themselves

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  With the local greens already being stocked by Lexington restaurants and local asparagus very close behind, it’s time to segue into the quick fire challenge portion of our year. Light soups, fresh pasta with spring vegetables and the outdoor …

Chef John Foster: The human element of food, I’ve learned, is all that really matters

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  See Colcannon recipe below   I’mm an avid “reader” of food information. Food in articles, on blogs. Food on a plate, in a restaurant or on the kitchen table. Food to be critiqued in class and food in history. …

Chef John Foster: Breaking down an appreciation for food – one piece at a time

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  See tips and recipes below   I’ve had the pleasure over the past few years of being the host at Sullivan University for a cooking class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, or OLLI, program for older adults at …

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

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  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’

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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!

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  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

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  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

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  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 …