Welcome to Chef Frank's Blog, How I got started and interested in food and food service. More blogs to come soon!

Chef's Comments

Welcome to the part of our site where we discuss foods, tell true food stories, and give tips on efficiency, technique, and style. Included in this page you will enjoy reading the chef's blog and discovering what makes him tick. In fact we're still trying to figure that out! You can also find the blog part of this page on Google Blogs.

Here's a tip from Chef Frank:

 Having a hard time getting the onion smell off your hands? Try running your hands in cool water for a few seconds, then grasp the neck of the faucet and slide you hands quickly back and forth on the chrome causing some friction. Rinse and Voila! No smell.

Why I became a cook.

I remember as a small child of 4or5 years old sitting in front of our black and white TV. On the screen was a lady pouring in a powdery substance, then adding a liquid. She started stirring the mixture up and all of a sudden it was something totally different, a doughy mound. " Wow", I thought, " I wish I could do that". I can't explain why I was so mesmerized by something so simple, but I knew I wanted to what that lady did on TV. After that I started watching my grandmother in her kitchen while she cooked. This in itself was a privilege, because my grandmother always kicked us kids out as not to be underway. When I told her I wanted to watch her, I promised to be good and not get in her way. I think she knew I had a genuine interest. She would tell me ingredients she was adding and why, and explain steps for various recipes. When I got a little older I could peel potatoes and turn the stove on for her. Years went by and as I grew into a teenager, I wanted to work in a restaurant. My first job was washing dishes at a fancy fish and chips place. I remember the large grinder for making their famous Cole slaw and I had the privilege of cleaning it. After a few months of doing dishes and cleaning up after other people, I had to quite to move north with my family.
Once we were settled in our new town in northern Michigan, I was in school on my way to
class. I passed the occupation office and noticed a help wanted sign for a restaurant down town. I applied and got the job. Back to washing dishes again. The people were very nice and I made many friends fast. After 2 months of washing dishes, my boss approached me and asked if I was interested in helping him on the line. I jumped at the offer. This is when I discovered what the Cherry Festival was and it seemed everyone was coming to our restaurant to eat. I learned how to move fast, listen well and be extremely observant. Sometimes it felt like a war zone on the front cooking line. I've seen cooks run out the back door crying like a baby due to the stress. I came close several times, but I knew I had to endure or I would fail. I don't like failing, especially if it's something my heart desires. Our master chef was extremely difficult to work with, but I recognized the knowledge he possessed, and I wanted to know as much as him and more.
Of course working at the restaurant was fun too. I remember a very busy Friday night where we would run out of various items and it was the dishwashers job to run up and down the stairs to get our supplies. After about 30 trips up and down, I darted back to the kitchen and said " Perry, we need a case of monkey lips." Down the stairs he shoots like a rocket. I stood in the same spot waiting for him to come back up. "clomp, clomp, clomp. Up the stairs he comes. "What did you want again"? I just started laughing, so did he. I told him I would restock my line for the rest of the night.
I worked there for 10 years, then ran a government facility feeding inmates, meal programs and a cafeteria. We did a little catering as well. I learned institutional cooking at this job. I found it quite easy but rewarding. I served over 500 meal a day out of a very small kitchen. I had to develop techniques that were efficient. I spent 8 years there, then on to a job in Jackson Prison, Yikes! I worked in the corrections food service for 5 years. I learned a great deal, but the atmosphere was taxing. After that I held several positions in food service coordinating, and management. I am now in a position I love and enjoy every minute of it. Now after 37 years of food knowledge, I am writing down some of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy. I love to teach people in the kitchen, and will be available for any questions by contacting  cheffrank@quick-e-recipes.com

Dont crowd me!

I was thinking about crowding the other day as I sat on bleachers in the gym waiting to hear our grandson sing for his class Christmas concert. It was uncomfortable and hot, with little room to relax your arms or stretch your legs. It was all worth it when our grandson was on stage singing and shyly smiling as he noticed us in the audience. After the concert I started thinking about food crowding and how it challenges the quality of a recipe. For example have you ever wanted to brown meat in a pan to discover there is too much in the pan and water appears, causing your food to boil instead of brown? Or putting biscuits in the oven and discovering they all merged into a giant mega-biscuit? How about the giant cookie that was intended to be 12 cookies. These are all examples of crowding. The best way to avoid this is gage your foods to assure they have the room they need to grow when baking. If browning in pans,or stir frying, be sure not to put too much in there. It's better to do a couple small amounts than to be in a hurry then be dissapointed.

Clean As You Go

 I keep a sink full of soapy hot water hand so I can wash dishes between tasks. This helps keep your area free of clutter, and if guests are coming they don't see a big mess.