We’re excited to spotlight our Pro Pastry student, Soo Kim who began our Pastry Programs last Fall. Learn more about the journey to Culinary Master!
Student Spotlight: Soo Kim
Let’s Start with a Rough Chop
Becoming a Professional Chef
It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my job to pursue one of my passions as an aspiring Chef. I spent a little over a decade in high-stress corporate sales environments, but I was always searching for something more fulfilling than a commission check.
Render Me This…A How To Guide
How to Render Animal Fat
So, I wanted to give animal fats some extra love and attention because I so often hear people say “LARD?!?! EEEEW!!” But lard, tallow, schmaltz, bacon fat, and duck fat are all awesome ways to really maximize your meat and also add flavor to your dish. There is disagreement among the different professionals regarding where these fats fall on the health scale. For me, I once again go back to the idea of moderation, and high quality product.
The Restaurant Special – Urbana
Anaheim Packing District
Meet our new neighbor at the Anaheim Packing District – Urbana Anaheim! Urbana is best known for their Mexican street food concept with a focus on seafood. Their culture and flavor is from the belly of Mexico, Michoacan and Jalisco. They are a boutique restaurant, serving made to order dishes with fresh produce and ingredients. Urbana’s tortillas are prepared in house, fresh to order from non-GMO, gluten-free masa. Their salsas and sauces are house made.
We recently caught up with the owners, Javier and Andrea Cuadra, and Executive Chef, Ernie Alvarado, to learn more about this amazing restaurant!
Choosing Maintaining and Sharpening Kitchen Knives
Choosing Kitchen Knives
We received a question recently about sharpening knives and thought this would be a good time to address some points on knife construction, materials, maintenance…and the one that most people are not sure of so they just skip it…sharpening! No matter what knife you have bought on TV that will cut through a brick and then a tomato, there is no way possible that you can own a quality knife without having to maintain and sharpen it. I will address how the brick/tomato knife thing works later on, but for now you have got to trust that there is not a quality knife in existence that will perform well in the kitchen and require no maintenance or sharpening.
Spice It Up! How to Use Spices
Using spices is one of my favorite ways to add a little flair to my cooking. With the right combination of spices, you can turn your standby recipe into an exotic taste adventure. We’ve touched on spices a few times: in a reader question and an introductory blog post. We’ve also seen meals come to life with a mix of the right spices. Since there seems to be some interest, I wanted to expand on the topic and show you how to use spices to take any meal from a 5 to a solid 10.
The Chef Special: Aron Habiger & Ashley Guzman
Friendship Between Chefs
One of the best things to come out of North Left’s kitchen, besides the food, is the chemistry and friendship Chef Aron Habiger and Sous and Pastry Chef Ashley Guzman share. They undoubtedly have a special connection that resonates within their food.
The Chef Special – Mike Backouris, C.E.C.
Meet Chef Mike Backouris
Chef Mike Backouris has over 15 years of culinary experience including working at local restaurants like The Hobbit and Le Quia. Chef Mike will share his professional cooking philosophies and teach future CulinaryLab students how to develop a deeper understanding of various techniques while constantly challenging the status quo.
5 Steps to Grilling Like a Pro
Grilling Like a Pro
Around this time each year I start getting questions about how to grill “like a pro”, without foods getting stuck or burnt. Like anything in cooking, grilling is more fun when you know how to get great results. The steps below will get you off to a great start with grilling foods the way the pros do.