Chefmax’s Blog

Exploring the Culinary Lifestyle

Friday Food News-Judith Jones, Avant-garde, market watch, culinary schools, advertise junk-food in schools, Sustainable Innovation.

Posted by chefmax on September 25, 2009

CUESAThere are still a few tickets for the up coming SUNDAY SUPPER on October 4, 2009 . It is 30 of the top bay area Chefs cooking family style with local farmers. Great event. Go to CUESA for information and tickets.

Todays Food news;

From the NYTIMES, By Christine Muhlke. Great article on editor Judith Jones.

Avant-garde or contemporary art? From the Washington Post, By Black Gopnik.

This weeks market watch from the LATIMES, By David Karp. Habanero peppers, Lychees, Peaches, and apples.

The uptick in culinary schools. The economy is helping with job training programs within the bay area culinary non credential classes. From SFGATE, By Carey Sweet. When I worked for the CIA at Greystone, I saw allot of job changers in the backing and pastry classes. The common thought with several of these students was that they wanted to do something easy like cooking. 10 hours on their feet later and…

Food industry is fighting to advertise junk-food in schools. From CSPI. Go figure.

Proctor and Gamble on the other hand has tabbed a billion dollars to Sustainable Innovation Products. From Progressive Grocer. By Meg Major.

I hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

Chef Max 9-25-09


Posted in Chef Max Blog, Food News | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tuesday Food News-Coconut Rice, food and health, ouch review, Fast food at home, USDA local food programs.

Posted by chefmax on September 22, 2009


This is a heirloom strawberry pop corn from my garden. Very small bright red kernels and the cob is about 4 inches long. Cute. I have not popped them yet so I will let you know how it taste.

A great article on food and health insurance by Michael Pollan in the New York Times.

From the NYTIMES, By Melissa Clark, a good article on Coconut Rice. I love coconut rice and this is a example of it.

I enjoy a good review as much as the next Chef but the ones that cover a restaurants flop are timeless. I do not take pleasure in other chefs problems and I am the first to want all Chefs to succeed but when you read a bad review there is just something in it that triggers a deep response. First it is probably ” Thank God that is not my review”! Then I usually re-read to see if the critic is being too harsh. This one has some ouch moments-From NYTIMES, By Pete Wells.

From the WashingtonPost, By Sally Sampson. An article on making fast food at home and the cost being cheaper. Sally does a good job here breaking down the cost and portions of the fast food equivalent of home cooked meals. I like her idea and she is correct in the assumption that it just taste better made at home. The biggest problem is people have forgot how to cook.

The USDA program to promote local foods. From SFGATE, By Miriam Morgan.

Have a great day.

Chef Max 9-22-09

Posted in Chef Max Blog, Food News | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Posted by chefmax on September 8, 2009

DSC_9821Shaved Vegetable Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

This is a great recipe to use up your vegetables from the garden. I got this recipe from my friend Catherine Brandel while I was at the CIA. This is an easy to prepare dish and captures the flavors of the raw vegetables really nicely. I use a mandolin or a food processor with a cutting tool if I am in a hurry or don’t feel like slicing. It is wort the time and a great salad to practice your mad knife skills. Have fun.

Shaved Summer Garden Vegetable Salad

Yield: 4 Portions


Ingredients                                            Amounts

Lemon juice, fresh                                1  Tbsp.

Garlic clove, minced                             1  ea.

Champagne vinegar                              1 tsp.

Salt                                                          1/4 tsp.

Italian Parsley, chopped                   1  Tbsp.

Extra virgin olive oil                           3  Tbsp.


Fennel bulbs, medium, stalks removed        1 ea.

split in half from top to bottom

Lemon juice, fresh                             1 tsp.

Cucumber, English, seeded             1 ea.

Celery stalks, trimmed                      3   ea.

Carrots, peeled                                   1   ea

Radishes, trimmed                           3  ea.

Summer squash, trimmed              1 ea.

(any variety)


1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl combine the lemon juice, garlic vinegar and salt.  Let sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature.  Whisk in oil and check the seasoning.

2. No more than 1 hour before serving, slice the vegetables 1/16-inch thick with a sharp knife, a mandolin or the 1mm slicing disc on a food processor.  Toss the shaved fennel with lemon juice and seal in a plastic bag.  Wrap the other shaved vegetables in a damp dishtowel or napkin.  Refrigerate all the vegetables until needed.

3. To serve, toss all the shaved vegetables with the dressing, arrange on serving plates, sprinkle with a little salt.

Have a great day and come visit us at A Flash in the Pan for great recipes and menus.

Chef Max


Posted in Kitchen sync | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Friday Food News-Improving School Lunches, Monsanto (again), LA’s farmers markets, and acylamide.

Posted by chefmax on September 4, 2009

DSC_0395The picture above is a look at my tomatoes. I have 15 plants with 4 varietals. They are producing some very yummy fruit tis year and I think I am going to make a sauce tonight for dinner out of some of them. Yum…

A look at the opening of Chef Rick Bayless new restaurant. From the Chicago Trib. If you want to see pictures of the trip to Mexico I took as an assistant for Chef Bayless just check out my Flicker account under Mexico. It was a very cool trip.

Monsanto and their image. From  the Gaurdian, By Fred Pearce, an article on the green washing and water usage of the company Monsanto.

Improving School Lunches By Alice Waters. From Huffington Post. A very good read. What are we waiting for????

LA’s farmers markets map. Cool.

Do you want to know the timeline for acylamide? From Food Nav. By Caroline Scott-Thomas.

Have a great weekend.

Chef Max 9-4-09

Posted in Kitchen sync | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Food News-State of the Culinary Worlds Future, White House Farmers Market, turnover in restaurants, hidden toxins, and brownies.

Posted by chefmax on September 3, 2009

Thai Basil in my garden

Above is a picture of Thai Basil from my garden. I love it in curries, pastas, salad rolls, and with garden tomatoes.

From Grubstreet NY, By Ben Leventhal, A great question and answer article on the State of the Culinary Worlds Future. This is a cool article asking questions of some great minds in the culinary world.

9 hidden toxins lurking in food. From Mercola.

Obama and his White House Farmers Market. I am sure there will be a death panel involved some how. Maybe they will sell Soylent Green. Alert Glenn Beck!!! From OCA, A serious article on the FDA and President Obama’s promotion for local foods.

The turnover in restaurants in New York. From the NYTIMES, By Florence Fabricant. The restaurant business is one of the hardest adventures that one can undertake. It is soooo volatile and back breaking and has a very small profit margin. You can do everything perfect and have a great following but if a new spot opens up down the street, you could lose a big percentage of your cliental over a period of weeks maybe months. The margin is so thin that if something like that happens, you could lose staff, not be able to pay purveyors on time and start cutting corners. The quality then goes down, you get a bad review and welcome to the death spiral. Been there. Not pretty.

Boudin Bakery’s brownies. From LATIMES, By Noelle Carter. I liked the picture and it made me hungry for a brownie. Here is their recipe for their brownies. Time to go preheat the oven.

Have a great day,

Chef Max


Posted in Food News, Kitchen sync | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tuesday Food News-Australians Truffles, rice, Mediterranean Diet, climate change and the impact on US crop yields, and Twitter food.

Posted by chefmax on September 1, 2009

startupnationPlease vote for me for Startup Nations home based business of the year award. Vote here–STARTUP NATION COTEST. Thank you!

Australians Truffles, from LATIMES By Krista Simmons. A nicely written article on hunting the Périgord truffle in the southern forest of Manjimp Australia. I wish I was there.

From the Chicagotrib, By Judy Hevrdej a brief overview of rice and rice related terms. Kind of introductory but if you have any questions about rice this is not a bad place to start.

The Mediterranean Diet may be the best option to help out type 2 Diabetes. From Healthday, By Serena Gordon. Eating healthier under this type of structure has been shown to reduce the need for some of the medications and also is associated with lower heart diseases and cancer rates. Very hopeful.

Will climate change hurt the US crop yields? From foodnav, A study by two economist on the effect of the rising temperatures in the US and a reduction of 30-46 percent of current yield because of this weather. Instead of fighting about whether it is real, man made, or just natural accruing cycles in the earths history, could we just plan for this to happen and take steps to prevent or reduce the impact now? If you have ever been to LA in the summer time and your lungs hurt so bad it is hard to breath, then you understand that humans do have an impact on the earth.

Twitter food. Do you have a favorite twitter Chef you are following? What would you like to see more of from a food blog? I am @chefmax on twitter and would love to be more informative and helpful to my friends and followers. I have a recipe website A Flash in the Pan and you are reading my blog so you know about that. Is there anything that you really want ot know about  food, wine, Napa Valley, cooking schools, ect…Thank you for you feed back.

Have a great day,

Chef Max 9-1-09

Posted in Food News, Kitchen sync | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Friday Food News-Farming family, Eat Real Event, Wheat may affect Diabetes, Monsanto’s legacy, the real Swine Flu info.

Posted by chefmax on August 28, 2009

startupnationPlease vote for A Flash in the Pan for top home based company of 2009. You can sign up to vote every day and the contest ends in October. We are almost to the top and just need a good push to get us there. Thank you!

From the NYTIMES, By Christine Muhlke, a really good story of a farming family that is fighting the good fight. They are also tied in with Chef Rick Bayless and he has helped them grow some really cool items. Great story.

If you are in the East Bay area this weekend there is a a Eat Real Event. From SFGATE, By Tara Duggan. Jack London Market, Jack London Square (at Embarcadero and Webster), Oakland. 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the beer shed can be purchased in advance, at $20 for eight tastes ($25 at the door). Cash only (credit cards accepted at beer shed). See for times, tickets and locations of special events.

A new study shows that consumption of wheat may contribute to type 1 Diabetes. From Healthday, an overview of this study.

Monsanto’s legacy. From the Organic Consumer Association, a report on a scientist in Argentina that has received threats over his findings that the herbicide has some serious health hazards. Not really a surprise is it? See FOOD INC.

Also form the  Organic Consumer Association, a break down the real issues with the Swine Flu. You do not need to just blindly wait for a vaccine that may not work and contains very questionable ingredients. It is a good idea to know the facts and not just the propaganda.

Sorry to end on a couple of downers. I know we can change things for the better but we have to beat down the false information that is gobbled up by people that hate for no real reason. I hope you have a great weekend and I will talk with you on Monday.

Chef Max


Posted in Chef Max Blog | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wednesday Food News-Farmer Joel Salatin, Schrute Farms for real, Local Food Hub, preserving this year, and Chocolate and the concept of Zero.

Posted by chefmax on August 26, 2009

Just sitting at my desk waiting for a call back from My Web Grocer a possible strategic partner for our company A Flash in the Pan. They set up all the functionality for grocery stores e-commerce sites and we fit in perfectly with our menu planning service. We could send our customers to their member sites for fulfillment. We can contact all these grocery stores ourselves, and we have started with Raley’s who is interested in us, but it would be much more economical to work with My Web Grocer and share some of the wealth. We will see. Any way onto todays food news.

From Chelsea Green, A really good article on the farmer Joel Salatin and what his philosophy of farming is. If you have seen FOOD INC., Joel was the farmer talking about sustainable farms while he was cutting up chickens. He seems like a great guy and has a very strong understanding of biomimicry.

Schrute farm anyone? From NYTIMES, By Kim Severson a story about how to go a be a farmer for your vacation. I hope Mose will do his carving demo for us. $300 a night to wake up early and milk a cow? Would you do this?

I was just thinking about this the other day. A broker between home/ organic farmers and companies that produce products for schools or senior living facilities. Cool article by Jane Black for the Washpost. This company looks like they are doing a great job and it is a non profit. The company is called the Local Food Hub. There are a couple more in the article.

I am really interested in preserving this year,well not the year exactly, but the harvest. This is a story from the LATIMES, By David Mas Masumoto. No recipes but a great story. I can almost taste the raisins myself.

Here is a nice article on the 10 Maya foods that changed the worlds eating habits. It is by Christine Delisol and is at SFGATE. You got to listen to the guys that brought us Chocolate and the concept of Zero.

Time to move along. I need to revise the revision of my business plan. The life of an Entrepreneur  is so glamourous.

Write to you later,

Chef Max 8-26-09

Posted in Chef Max Blog, Food News | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do you crave comfort food during times of crisis?

Posted by chefmax on August 20, 2009

A study on the common connection between comfort food and crisis. This study at Food Nav. says that this belief is completely unfounded.  I do not think they are right with their hypothesis. What do you think?

Posted in Kitchen sync | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Food News-World Culinary Contest, Blue fish, nutrient spked foods, Piri-Piri sauce, comfort food

Posted by chefmax on August 20, 2009

Cream Brulee Class

Hi EVERYONE. I have been in several meetings and seminars this weeks and have been inspired and motivated to bring more content to you. I will be writing a few articles and I am almost done with a series that I am going to include in this blog. Also, we will be launching or flash in the pan blog connected to our website. My post from here will appear there along with unique postings regarding the weekly menu sets and my partner Nancy will be posting her series of blogs also.

I am about to turn up the heat and get you tons of information. Lets look at todays food news story.

Sales are strong for nutrient spked foods and drinks. From AP, By Marilynn Marchione. This is a good article but I do not like the term “overnutrition” which Lichtenstein says is the biggest problem in the US and refers to too many calories. I agree that this is a big problem but by labeling it “overnutrition” I can see a backlash similar to the global warming label. Markleters could start using this term to demonise the very idea of nutrition especally if there is a danger of “overnutrition”. Keep nutrition as a positive word. I know it is semantics but look at all the current fights in the political environment and it is all semantics and scare tactics. There will be a continuing push for healthier products and possible taxes against junk foods so there will be a fight.

From the NYTIMES, By Sam Sifton, a great article on the Blue fish. Fun and full of facts. Thank you Sam.

This weeks Inside Scoop from SFGATE. The US has a great team for the World Culinary Contest. This article list out the Chefs, who are all from northern California Restaurants  who are in Taipei starting today. GO USA!

Piri-Piri sauce recipe from Portugal via the Chicago Trib. By David Leite, a very good article with recipe for this spicy garlicky condiment. Great with grills and to satisfy the need for something hot and tasty.

A study on the common connection between comfort food and crisis. This study at Food Nav. says that this belief is completely unfounded.  I do not think they are right with their hypothesis. What do you think? I think I will post a survey on this today.

Off to work out.

have a great day.

Chef Max 8-20-09

Posted in Kitchen sync | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »