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.

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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.

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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.

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The Chef Special – Mike Backouris, C.E.C.


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.

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A Day in the Life of a CulinaryLab Student

culinary student

CulinaryLab Student

As a mother of 3 children, this passionate home cook thought it was too late to go back to school and pursue her culinary dreams… until she discovered CulinaryLab Cooking School. Meet Joana, a student from our inaugural class. Joana attends school two days a week, and works at Haven Gastropub two days a week as part of her apprenticeship.

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A few of our Affiliate Chefs share their New Years Resolutions!


Affiliate Chefs

As we enter into the New Year, we asked a few of our Affiliate Chefs what their New Years Resolution is for 2016. Here’s what they said:

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Meet Chef David Slay – Park Avenue & Il Garage


Meet Chef David Slay

David Slay is the Chef and Managing Partner of Park Avenue and Il Garage in Stanton, CA., as well as one of our apprenticeship partners. He has been called “brilliantly innovative” and enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the most creative chefs in the world of food and entertaining. Where the acclaimed Park Ave is all steaks and chops and American cuisine, Il Garage has a simple Italian menu that changes daily. Like Park Ave, though, many of the ingredients come from the garden Slay planted on the property when he first opened Park Ave. Learn more about Chef David here:

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The Chef Special: Mark McDonald


Read more about Chef Mark and Old Vine Cafe

Mark McDonald is an internationally recognized chef, restaurant owner, and restaurant consultant.

In 2007 Chef Mark opened the award-winning restaurant, Old Vine Cafe, in Costa Mesa, CA. His menu offerings reflect a commitment to regionalism and the use of local seasonal ingredients, a hallmark of Chef Mark’s culinary training in southern Italy. Chef Mark studied at Laguna Culinary Arts before moving to Calabria, Italy to study under Master Chef John Nocita at the Italian Culinary Institute.

In this interview, Chef Mark talks about his background, his experience with his restaurant Old Vine Cafe, and provides some tips to young aspiring chefs.

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