Friday, May 4, 2012

What Would You Ask A Top Chef?

This coming Monday I will have the pleasure of traveling down to New Jersey (Go Devils!) for an event at CulinAriane, a restaurant owned by Top Chef season 5 participant Ariane Duarte. I try my best to prepare wholesome meals for my family, but I am an amateur at best. Having the chance to sit and talk with a chef is going to be a great experience and one I know I will learn a lot from. Though I wonder if she can tell me how to deal with my four picky eaters?

During this event, we will be learning about DinerTool, which is a useful meal planning and recipe site, and then Chef Ariane will lead us through a cooking demonstration and even answer any questions we might have. The focus is going to be on various cooking techniques, which I sure do need some help in. These are some of the topics we will be covering:

- What to look for when picking in season produce 
- Different cooking techniques: searing, cutting, etc.
- How to pick the best cut of meat
- How to clean/prepare your cut of meat
- How to know when your seafood/meat is done
- When to swap ingredients to meet dietary restrictions (i.e. switching chicken for Portobello mushrooms in a pasta dish)

Honestly, I'd like to ask her all of these! However, my number one question from this list would probably be "how to know when your meat is done." I am so paranoid about under cooking meat and making people sick that I tend to overcook meat. Especially chicken. I probably should invest in a meat thermometer.

If you had the chance to sit down with Chef Ariane, which of these would you want to ask her about?

I am attending this event courtesy of DinnerTool.


  1. oh how fun! I would probably ask her about what ingredients are best to swap for value and calorie content. I'm always looking for alternatives.

  2. This sounds like such a fun event!

    What to look for in produce. So often I'll buy asparagus and the tops are mushy, the bottoms hard. How do you tell when a squash is ripe? Tomatoes - can you tell before buying if they will have that grainy taste? Is that over or under ripe? What should ripe broccoli feel like? Gosh - I could go on forever about produce questions!

    Also - my pork shops are always dry - Like you, Marianna, I am afraid that I'll seve them undercooked so I cook them too long. Any tips on that would be interesting to me!

  3. what would someone be surprised to find in your fridge.

  4. I'd love a recipe for stuffing a chicken.


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