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Dear Chef

Dear Chef-
In light of the recent news in the press about a of lack of food service personnel, I have a solution to offer you. Many people want to cook now more than ever– let’s be honest, cooking is cool right now!
But: Are you sick of your new cooks not knowing the difference between cilantro and parsley?
Are they confused about how the kitchen can opener works and do they cut vegetables on a cutting board that just had raw chicken on it?
Do they try to saute in a cold pan, while using potatoes that just came in instead of the perfectly good ones from the previous order?
Do they cut carrots using a dull knife and invent their own (albeit creative) knife cuts?
We all know that not everyone knows how to rock it out. Degrees are great ,but they don’t always determine the speed,timing, and common sense you need in your cooks!
“Do it right or not at all,” you mutter while doing far too many other things. Well…
I have the answer for you! A free ten-week program (250 hours) that teaches the basics so you don’t have to!
Spend your time giving your cooks the knowledge they really need, like the secret to your bordenglaze sauce, and let us teach them how to small dice your carrots.
new classes start this fall.

Chef Timothy Tucker
Kroc Center Boston
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THE REAL 10 things food banks need but won’t ask for

THE REAL 10 things food banks need but won’t ask for

  • Instead of canned meats, clean meats (no antibiotics, raised well from a clean source)! We all know canned meats are gross; homeless or not, they are no one’s first choice! Yes, meat is necessary for a well-balanced diet, but a burger in a can shouldn’t count.
  • Spices and vinegar (apple cider, white wine, red wine, etc.). Sure, crackers and tortillas don’t spoil, but they also add very little nutritional value. However, vinegar can be added to all sorts of dishes (including fresh vegetables if it’s sweet), and if stored in a glass jar, preserves well.

  • Organic bullion instead of processed soup packets! Processed foods do not a healthy meal make.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables: If storage is an issue, cut out the middle man and go straight to the source (many local programs should be in effect; also check out local farms and farmer’s market vendors). Canned fruits often have high fructose added to them.
  • Chocolate, really? Yes, we all love chocolate… but with cheap chocolate comes lots of sugar. Sugar is the ultimate a gateway drug, and once the high wears off, you are even more hungry!
  • Canned tomatoes, broths, stocks, and beans are healthy beginnings to any meal! Fresh herbs are always appreciated (see fresh fruits and vegetables).

P.S. Don’t buy bread or sweets; food pantries are usually chock-full of these items!

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Chef Timothy shows how to break down a chicken in 46 sec.

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Milk

 

Milk has been used for human consumption for thousands and thousands of years. We know this because of cave drawings showing cows being milked. For over ten years I can personally think of a dozen times I have heard people say that women have a progressed path to physical maturity due to drinking milk. Well, I know I clearly know nothing about being a woman, but I do know that in 1993 the FDA passed the use of a supplement called bovine somatic-tropin. When bioengineered BST is injected into dairy cows, their milk production increases by up to 25 percent. Like many things, don’t look for this on the label because the rules say that they don’t have to tell you. Milk does have a Mike Tyson type of nutritional punch including calcium,protein,vitamin A and D, and more. But in the U.S.A we pasteurize most of our milk, hints why we have trouble making really good cheese because the effects of heating the milk also includes killing the good bacteria as well flavor and that vitamin packed goodness. Luckily we do have Twenty-eight U.S. states that allow sales of raw milk.

 

Even so the FDA has a whole page on the danger of raw milk. Now, They are just doing their job covering the bases for the rest of our health and we can all be thankful for that. But we often over look the real reason they have to, issues of how the animal was treated/drugs it was given/what the cow ate (GMO corn)/was it cloned? One thing that these things do, that raw milk doesn’t is depart from nature. I still think thats my basic stand on health is, does it depart from nature?

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My First Slowfoods Conference

In 2008, I took my first trip to Italy for a slowfoods conference. Days before I left I went to the dentist to cash in on my expiring insurance. I was stunned to hear the dentist say my bottom wisdom teeth needed to come out. Even more surprised to here him say that because it wasn’t a big deal he would do it himself. Intimidated by the thought of the process, I grabbed my satellite radio and turned to what I thought was the proper (all ac/dc) radio station and loaded in my earplugs. Although I was numbed the vibrations of  cracking back and forth still made the process slightly unsettling. At one point I looked down at my radio  for the name of the song and to my surprise was ”kicked in the tooth again”. After a few days of healing, my tooth started to swell. Fearing that antibiotic would be the dentist’s answer, I sought out Myron at Weeds of Eden for help. He selflessly told me to eat raw garlic. At a cost of less than a dollar, I picked some up and visited the dentist on my way out of town. After he sang the same old antibiotic song and dance. He said here take these as well just to make sure your not up a creek in Venice. I did and headed to the airport. After I got to the airport I grabbed some water and started to video my experience. I later put this on you tube (garlic healed my infected tooth). Amazingly in the process of my 16 hour flights I could feel the swelling go down and by the time I made it to Rome it was completely healed. I sat down at the Rome airport bar picked up glass of wine and a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad and was and weeped in joy.

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Healthy eating on a college budget

As many college students get settled back into things this week, they all have to answer a few questions.What are we going to eat and how do afford it, and can we keep the quality of food good enough to prevent sickness.? For those lucky enough to live off a campus they face questions like what are the main items I need to buy with my small amount of money and how do I cook them? So let start there. Here is your new shopping list.

 

  • Eggs
  • sweet potatoes
  • brown rice
  • canned tomatoes
  • bananas
  • organic frozen veg.
  • chicken
  • peanut butter

 On my website I put up 8 recipes using these ingredients.

For students living in dorms buying a butane burner at a cost of 25 buck/you can have a gas burner in your room. Allowing you to cook all these things.you would also need a cutting board chef knive and mini frig. And one great cooking pan think cast iron/easy to clean and likes heat. My lawyers have informed me tell you to be aware of whats going on with the pan at all times. Listen.. its not ideal but its often better than eating on the college campus. Right?

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Is Sugar a Gateway Drug?

In 2002 research at Princeton showing the neurochemical effects of sugar,noting the sugar might serve as a gateway drug for other drugs.  During my time time as chef at the Salvation Army  homeless shelter in Louisville, Ky. I learned this the hard way. When I striped the donuts off the breakfast table and replaced them with day old fresh fruit from Wholefoods. Within days I was getting threats on my life including an evening that I walked out to my van with 3 flat tires. I still remember walking in my supervisors offices to tell them what happened and  they were taking bets  for how long I was going to last. Over 2 months was the long shot. I work there for 5 and a half years and currently am employed by the Salvation Army in Boston.  A study in 2008 noted that sugar affects opioids and dopamine in the brain, and thus might be expected to have addictive potential.(withdrawal,craving,binging)

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Stickers

I’m in the kitchen its 10 o’clock, I’m making good time rocking out lunch for 115 people with my 21 year old asstance Packard. I go to make a simple tartare sauce and BANG. All the lemons have stickers on them. This is something we keep seeing more and more. Except of course all the produce from our local farmer doesn’t have it. Don’t get me wrong I like most people my age had an amazing sticker collection when I was a kid. Even some that when scatched smelled like lemons. I remember my mothers right inside of her orange pento car was full of stickers I would put up after eatting happy meals. Theses days I’m not as big of fan as they give me more work to do and they don’t compost.

I remember about 5 years ago I bought 2 oranges and a bunch of stuff to make cookies.

I got really busy and forgot about them in my cabnet for 3 months. Both oranges had the same code 3107 code on them. One of them rotten real good, changing to the color green with nice layer of dust mold on it and the other was perfect. How could this be? I not sure either a mistake or one was a GMO and mislabled. The following is info on labeling fruits and vegetables.

 

The number labeling system of fruits an vegetables works like this.

If there are only 4 numbers in the code it is grown conventionally with the uses of pesticides.

This number will start with a 3 or 4 and the rest of the numbers will tell you the type of veg/fruit.

If it starts with an 8 (it will have 5 numbers) its genetically enigineered (GMO)

If it starts with a 9 (it will have 5 numbers) its orgainic

Its currently a volunteer system and not required to label at all.

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