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  • The Chopping Blog

Crossroads Diner at Inspiration Kitchens

The first Crossroads Diner: At the Intersection of Hospitality & Community of 2020 takes a turn down memory lane, back to my high school days. A relatively unsupervised 3-month summer stay in Paris ...

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The Art of the Vinaigrette

  I remember the first time a house-made salad dressing rocked my world.  It was the summer of 1988, and I was bussing tables at a swanky new bistro in town. I was 17, and just beginning what would ...

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The Chopping Block's Herbs de Provence Salt

I have been growing a tremendous number of herbs in Michigan and experimenting with different preservation methods for them. It's been revelatory for me! Before I started drying my own herbs, I had ...

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Whole vs Ground: A Spice Guide

  Open up your spice cabinet right now and take a good long look. How old are your dried herbs and spices? Have some followed you from one apartment to the next? Unless your jar of oregano has ...

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The Spice of Life

  As an advisory board member of the World Food Travel Association, I’m fortunate to travel to many countries around the world to work with local chefs and explore different culinary cultures. ...

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Drying Herbs and Using Dried Herbs

  Growing up in Iowa we didn’t grow or use fresh herbs. I think many people especially in the Midwest never experienced them, at least of my generation. Once chefs and home cooks everywhere started ...

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Making Extracts: The Essentials

  Extract (noun): a preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in a concentrated form.

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Acid and Fat: The Yin and Yang of Cooking

Understanding how acids and fats affect the flavor and texture of our food can be an ace card in your cooking game.

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Know Your Herbs

A lot of us don’t want to admit this, but summer here in Chicago is winding down, and it's already starting to feel like fall. But the farmers markets are still going strong, and there is an ...

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