Beginners Guide: What Equipment Do I Buy? Part 1: Knives

One of the things I love about cooking is that everyone has their own style. Cooking is an art which means people tend to bring in their own vision, culture, and experiences into every dish they make. I truly love this. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, you can learn a lot about someone based on what they do in the kitchen. Even though this essentially means that everyone brings something different to the kitchen, there is one thing everyone cooking has in common – you need quality tools to get the job done. All chefs need knives, pots/pans, and accessories to bring their food to life.

Which brings me to Zatorrius. Zatorrius (I just call him Z) is one of my best friends that I met at the nationally ranked amazing Florida State University. Z, a fellow foodie, was often my best taste tester. He’s hard to please and has a very specific 3-point scale. “Eh” means its needs work or scrap the recipe. “Meh, its ok” means it’s pretty good, I’m onto something, keep tweaking. “It’s pretty good” means wow, you knocked it out of the park, make me more right now. He’s also one of my go to people for southern food. To this day, his mom made me one of the best southern meals I have ever had. I will often travel with Z and one of my other best friends (Michael) and we try to eat everything on the menu at the restaurants we pass through. Foodie trips are the best trips, especially with these guys.

zName: Zatorrius
Rating: Pretty Good

Z is a decent cook eater and a below average cook (his words, not mine). He has been looking to take his cooking to the next level. When I first started this blog (way back when), he told me he wasn’t sure he owned the cooking equipment he needed for all of your basic cooking needs, likewise, he wasn’t sure what he had was of the right quality or brand. He asked me to do a series on the blog of what every basic or beginner cook should own to produce quality meals. It was a great idea and I should have done it sooner, but I digress. It may be three years too late, but the time has finally come – Z, this one goes out to you.

This series will be broken into three parts. This is part one, Knives. The second part will be for Pots and Pans. Finally, part three will be for Kitchen Accessories and Extras.

In general, this can be a difficult topic to tackle for two reasons. Continue reading

Cook the Blog Returns

March 16, 2014. That was my last blog post. It has been awhile. After almost a year and a half, Cook the Blog emerges from the shadows reinvigorated and ready to discuss food, restaurants, recipes, travel, and life. But why now? And what took so long? Did I get lazy?

In short, yes, yes I did. But there’s much more to it than that. As with most things in life, my time off from the blog was not due to a black or white reason. It was due to many grey, green, blue, black, white, and purple reasons. Not to mention all of the red reasons – way too many red reasons.

When I look back at my original blog entries, they seem kind of sterile. With this second go around at the blog, I hope to fix the tone. I want to inject this blog with personality. Make it feel like my food blog, rather than a generic food blog. With that in mind, please allow me to explain my absence.

The last time I was constantly, actively writing on this blog was mid-2013, right before I got married. In July of 2013 I married my high school sweetheart (and the love of my life). At that point, we had already been together for 8 years. I really didn’t expect anything to be different, partially because we had lived together for years before getting married. What I have learned from the experience thus far is that no matter how well you know a person, no matter how long you have been with them, you never truly begin to build a life with someone until you get married. It takes effort, energy, and hard work to build that life and honor that commitment. It took me longer than it should have to figure this out. Now that I have, I work every day to ensure I am the best husband I can be.

Wedding Photo

After a quick honeymoon, we were off for adventure.  Continue reading

Possible Beer and Dinner Event

A buddy mine (member if the North Florida Brewers League ) is a very active brewery in Tallahassee named Grasslands Brewery. I have sampled a few different beers he has made, and they are all great. He does a lot for the community as well, such as partcipating in pints for paws. Anyway, we were recently discussing the different kinds of foods I make that could pair with his beers and what foods I could make using his beer as an ingredient.

We got the idea that we should hold an event for an away FSU football game in Tallahassee. I’d call it an away game tailgate. At then event, we would watch the game, drink his beer, and eat my food. We were considering making it open to the public. The details are scare at the moment, but would anyone be interested in this? Leave me a comment or send me an email if you are.

Editorial: Food Truck Thursday Tallahassee, FL

If you live in Tallahassee it’s possible you have noticed the food truck epidemic. What started as 1 or 2 trucks driving around Tallahassee has become quite popular. Currently there are over 12 trucks (that I know of) driving around town. The number seems grow all the time. Some of these trucks are original restaurants and others are portable versions of existing establishment in Tallahassee.

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Editorial: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Alive

Recently I put myself through and experiment of sorts. A hard experiment. A co-worker of mine recommended a documentary to me called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. Since I happen to love documentaries I decided to give it a shot. So I got home one night, loaded up Netflix, and gave it a watch. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you it changed some perspective for me.

The movie is about an entrepreneur who is tired of the way he looks and feels. He also has a terrible skin disease. So, he decides to make some life changes. For 60 days he eats nothing but juice he makes from fresh fruits and vegetables. He eats about 4 meals a day. By the end of the movie he has lost 97 lbs, his skin disease is gone, and he has gotten a few other people along the way to join him. The people who join him have similar results.

The science behind this is pretty clear to me. Most americans eat terrible. As a chef, my more delicious recipes help perpetuate this. Honestly, I am fine with that. I love food, cooking, and knowing I served a delicious meal to people. None the less, I want to feel good and like the way I look. I decided to take on the challenge myself to see the results I would receive.

fat

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Editorial: Customer Service and Restaurants

The importance of great customer service in a restaurant is obvious. One bad experience can cause the customer to not return and create bad word of mouth. I remember in high school going to a Denny’s with my girlfriend. We waited for 3 hours for our food. A table of 8 sat down after us and they got their food before us. We were offered little more than an apology. Needless to say, we never went back.
tflats

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