Hungary’s Signature Beef Stew

By JOHN DeMERS If you stay in the beautiful capital on the Danube, Budapest, or wander from one remote corner of Hungary to the other, you won’t get a straight answer asking if goulash is really a soup or a stew. We’ve begun to suspect it is neither, or perhaps it is both. All we…

THREE CHEERS FOR CHALLAH 

A reoccurring theme in all that I do is the importance of community – of recognizing the beauty in others and celebrating that beauty over the joy and comfort of a meal prepared as much for the soul as for the stomach. As a child and then a young man, I put little thought into…

IMPROMPTU HOLIDAY GUESTS

It’s that time of year when cooking, be it plain or fancy, is at its most meaningful thanks to those you know are coming for a visit. Unless, of course, you don’t know they are coming. With all our communication technology, it seems implausible that friends or family would turn up at your doorstep without…

BUILDING THE BEST BISCOTTI

Showing every sign of good sense and more than a little good taste, the world has finally embraced the ancient Italian confection known simply as Twice Cooked. You might be wishing for a more romanticized, less workaday sort of name. Still, ever since the Roman legions discovered that these cookies retained their quality for days…

FREDERICKSBURG’S FUN FALL FESTIVALS

This is the month a lot of German families around Fredericksburg and the rest of the Texas Hill Country prefer to spell Oktober. That’s because Fredericksburg, along with a handful of other places in this immigrant nation, has for decades joined the original celebration in Munich in welcoming the fall festival season. Locally, that means…

AMERICAN CUISINE CELEBRATES A BIRTHDAY 

By John DeMers History was on the plate everywhere in New Orleans recently when the American Cuisine and Hospitality Symposium attracted luminaries from all across the country to discuss how far we’ve traveled. After all, the first (and only other) such symposium in 1983 is still considered one of the foundational moments in American cuisine.  And…

A LATE SUMMER VEGAN FEAST

As a chef, I am asked to do many things related to food, and from time to time those things come with challenge and intrigue. This last month has been no different and, in fact, brought the particularly fun challenge of preparing a vegan feast for some guests we were entertaining here at the Culinary…

BACON, LETTUCE AND GUACAMOLE!

The BLT has reigned as America’s second-most beloved sandwich – after only ham, say experts on such things – since at least 1950, with its formation as an iconic food both here and in England going back to the beginnings of the 20th century. Isn’t it high time we let the BLG have a turn?…

The World’s Ultimate Fast Food

In recent years, one of the most popular ways for busy families to enjoy a home-cooked dinner together has come via slow-cooking – a trend that took off with the Crock Pot in the 1970s. Yet with the broader embrace of Asian flavors, it seems high time we also embrace one of the world’s oldest…

The Tradition of Kentucky Stack Cake

When I close my eyes, I can still hear my grandmother describe the taste of the spiced layers of her legendary stack cake. Virginia Price had a story to go along with everything in her life, and her stack cake was no exception. She called it a Kentucky stack cake and, as the story went,…

Bean Soups Make the World Go ‘Round

Call it a reverse treasure hunt: go out and search all the cuisines on earth and bring back one that doesn’t love bean soup. It’s hard to picture you having much luck. Bean soup combines what has to be the world’s least expensive protein for nourishment with what has to be the world’s least challenging cooking…

Kids in the Kitchen: Teaching Life Skills to Young Chefs

It has always been a focus at Fischer & Wieser to give back to the community, and as the world gets smaller and our community of customers grows, we have more opportunities to plug in to worthwhile projects where we feel that we can really “move the needle” to help a program and its beneficiaries….