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How to Select the Best Onions and Where to Store Them

Question of the Day: Where do you store your onions? Let me know in the comments!

– Jason Sandeman

Off the success of the How to Buy Garlic post was pretty successful, so I figured I would go onto a buying guide for other produce.

Today I will talk about how to pick the best onions, and where to store them.

How to select the best onions:

Oh, onions. They are the trinity of the modern, classical kitchen. Without them, our food would taste like… it’s missing something. Julia Child once said:

It’s hard to imagine a civilization without onions

Here’s how I select my onions:


A picture of looking at the onions

  • The outer skins should be dry, and the flesh underneath should be firm.
  • No dark spots. That bruising signals rot.
  • The stem (neck) end should be dry, but the skin should be firmly attached. If the skin is papery and lose on it, the onions are old.
  • It’s okay if there is a little bit of green on the top (this is known as “sunburn”) but it’s not okay if there are dark green patches on the onion.
  • Look at the root end of the onion. If there are any holes, put it back. You don’t want it because the worms have gotten to it.


picture of touching onions

  • Pick up an onion. It should feel heavy in your hand.
  • If it feels feels soft, or squishy, put it back.
  • Rub the skin. It should feel like paper on your fingers, but still tightly attached to the flesh of the onions.
  • Squeeze the neck. It can be moist and pliable, but no juice should come out of it.


picture of me smelling onions

  • There should be a slight odor, reminding you that these are onions, but it should NOT be a pungent, strong odor.


Storing onions:

A professional kitchen goes through so many onions in a weekly period, it will make your head spin. I’ve always kept the onions in the fridge (due to health code concerns) and I’ve never had the same problems that I’ve had at home.

I thought it was because in a professional kitchen, we went through so many onions we didn’t have a chance to let them go bad. (Unless the porter didn’t rotate them correctly.)

An onion’s shelf life depends on the conditions that they are stored in, their quality, and what they are stored next to. You are supposed to store your onions in a dry, cool place – I always took that to mean that the pantry cupboard was the place. What they really meant was a basement, or a root cellar. (Who has those anymore?)

According to several sources onions do best when stored at between 4-5°C, in a dry place with around 50% humidity.

Onions give off a small amount of ethylene gas. It will cause other vegetables to sprout if they are sensitive. I’m more worried about the transfer of odors.

For this reason, I choose the crisper for home, and a rolling basket for a professional kitchen (away from all other fruits and vegetables if possible.)

Your turn:

Question of the day: Where do you store your onions? Let me know in the comments!


Ask the Chef Episode 2 – Live Periscope 12 Noon EST


The broadcast has already passed, but here are the main points:

      1. Should i move to the UK and become a KP and work up the ladder traditionally? I finished a culinary course at the local community college here a few years ago and i’ve been working in small restaurants for the past 3 years, i have a few offers, mainly hotels in canada but i want high dining stuff

        Anthony Davidson
      2. I usually will cook a steak to well done if a customer asks for it. However, we serve a 16 oz Chateaubriand and we had someone come in and ask for it to be creamated. I said “no way” because you should never order it less than medium.

        Unknown, because the Thread was deleted from Facebook
      3. Can I make yogurt with coconut milk? I can have milk powder but not the liquid.

        Jennifer Robison
      4. I leave a pizza stone in my oven until it gets to temperature (last time I did 375 convection bake). I waited 5 minutes after that to make sure the stone was at 375, then I took it out, made my pizza on it, and put it back in.
        As usual, the whole pizza was good except the bottom was still doughey. Furthermore, it stuck to the stone (maybe I didn’t have enough flour on the surface?).


        Old Stone Oven 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone (US Amazon link here), and Norpro 5681 Pizza Peel and Paddle (US Amazon link here)

      5. Can I reuse the rendered fat from confit? Can I chill it and have it congeal and continue using it? If so, how long would it keep in the fridge?

      6. I picked up one of those big 10 lb bags of chicken breasts a few days ago, and set it to thaw in my fridge. My fridge was way too cold (just moved in), so I reduced the temperature. and now the chicken breasts are semi-thawed, with a pool of water at the bottom of the ziplock bag. This seems unsafe to me


Your Turn:

Don’t forget to hit the Subscribe button over there if you are interested in seeing my cray cray antics. As always, if you have a question for me, hit me up on the sidebar and shoot me over a question. That’s what I love to do!


One Reason Behind the Chef Shortage Crisis

Vote for me in the Cono Sur Wineries Blogging Contest. Find my name, and click on the “Vote for this Recipe!” button.

Sometime long ago… in a far off place…

Angry chief in uniform threaten by pan isolated on grey

Have you ever wanted to break your boss’s face for something he or she did to you? Let me know (and the gory details) in the comments!

It was a Saturday and we had closed up shop in the downstairs kitchen. It wasn’t terribly busy, and I had already gone 40ish weeks without any holidays, stat holidays, and only 1 day off a week. My sous chef had, understandably, told me to go home. It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and I figured okay. I trusted in my staff enough (and my sous chef could run the show alone) to make it through a moderately busy service.

I sent a text to the owner to let him know I was booking. Next thing I knew, he was in my office. He was visibly angry, moreso than I had ever seen.

“What’s this I hear you are leaving early tonight?”

I sat back in my chair, looked at him up and down and saw right away that he wasn’t having any of it. Great. “Don’t worry, it’s all good. I’ll stay.”

The owner didn’t even acknowledge he understood, but he sure heard me. “No, it’s not ‘all good.'”

I could feel my anger start to come as he started pacing in my office. I barely remember what was said in that impromptu meeting, but the words that stuck out in my head were the words, “MY CHEF”, “Save me money”, “Cut staff”, and “Busy Saturday night.”

picture of office spaces meme

Have you ever wanted to rage quit? Like, grab your shit, flip the asshole the bird, and storm out? Perhaps the guy would grab you as you brush past him, and you’d be somewhat justified in breaking his fucking face?

I felt all of those things. It’s like the Emporer taunting Luke. “Give into your Anger!”

Instead, I remembered that I am a professional, and I had allowed myself to get into a position where this owner could abuse me. (Ironically, in a later meeting, the shit hit the fan between us, one of the owners commented that it was my fault that I worked straight through (without taking holidays) and put myself into burnout mode.)

The problem is, the owner wasn’t wrong. The system of the restaurant was broken. The owner was protecting his investment, and wanted to make sure his profits were in line.

Of course, as soon as he left, I turned to my computer and went straight to the hospitality job search boards. I’d be damned if I let someone treat me like a slave. There had to be something out there that was better than this!

What does this have to do with the industry and the shortage of chefs?

The restaurant business is one where you are there making money. Period.

I recently had a row on Facebook with a couple of chefs that took exception to being called “cooks.” It’s as if they forgot what they were in the business for. I think that while it’s great to aspire to the mega levels that Bobby Flay or Morimoto have reached, at the end of the day – It’s a business… one where you are supposed to make money.

The guy at table 12 ordered his Chateaubriand well done? Get on it son! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard bickering and bitching about this. I usually direct all inquiries to this sticker on my toolbox:

Quitcherbitchen sticker at Amazon store

You too can buy this sticker for your kitchen. Link goes to my Amazon store in the US

It isn’t about your “art,” or whether you are a “chef!” or just Joe the Average Cook. It’s all about making money. Unfortunately, the reality of my next point clashes with why cooks come to the trade in the first place:

The margin for profit is razor thin.

The more money a cook makes, the less the owner makes. The expectation is that you will deliver more value for the wage you make, or you face being cut to the times where you can have less impact on the profit of operations.

In plain English it means that the better you get, the better your wage, but you only work during busy times because the operation can’t afford to pay your wage during the “down times.”

Enter the “Sous Chef.” He/she “cuts” all non-essential staff to cover the cost of running the operations. The advantage to this is that it’s with a fixed (salaried) labor cost. It’s either that, or suffer a loss to the profit of the restaurant (and face closing the doors down the line.)

Some brutal, quick math for you

When you think of it, if you have 2 dishwashers making $10/HR, 3 cooks (1 prep cook, 2 line cooks) making $12/HR, PLUS your Sous Chef who is averaging $15/HR, AND the chef who is averaging $20/HR, you are looking at $91 per labor hour. (I am keeping wages low here to demonstrate a point. Wages in most upscale establishments will be way higher.)

Cut all of that staff in a downtime, keep a dishwasher, and now you are looking at $45/HR, which is half the cost. You have at least 4.5 to 6 hours of downtime during both service shifts (not including preparation time), so 5 hours will save you $225 in labor per day.

That’s an average of $1575 per week, or on a budget of $25K in food – 6%. See, that’s a big deal, especially when you have to answer for labor.

Beginner cooks want to be chefs like they see on the TV

What these cooks don’t see is the level of sacrifice required to get there. Ask Emeril Legasse or Bobby Flay how many times they have been married, or how many hours that they have worked in order to get their empire to the level of today.

Guys, this isn’t a Monday to Friday, 9-5 job. You sometimes are forced to stay until the end of service due to circumstances out of your control. That means that you will have no more weekends, birthdays, girlfriend/boyfriend’s birthdays, or a social life to speak of. In fact, ALL of your friends will be partying and sleeping it off while you get up and slog it out at Sunday brunch.

Worse, you won’t be working during the slow times, and face getting cut during off peak hours. It’s hard to pay rent when you are only working 15 hours a week in January. Better still, you may get your 40 hours a week, but it will be in a split shift – during the peak times of service.

The hours stabilize as you get higher, but then there is “Salaried” work.

There are times where you will be making less per hour than most of your cooks, if only because the chef or kitchen manager of the restaurant spends (on average) at least 50-60 hours per week.

That is considered fair. In a lot of establishments it gets to the point where the chef (or kitchen manager) is one of the first to get there, and the last to leave.

So what’s happening with all the cooks? Why can’t we hire them?

It’s getting harder to find any cooks at any level. It’s because while the cost of living is rising, the wage is not. Kids are coming out of culinary school with mountains of debt, only to find that they are working split shifts, or not at all what they thought they were going to make.

Chefs and Sous chefs are realizing that while they love their craft, they just can’t afford to spend all their time in the kitchens anymore. This is because as you get older, the demands of family and responsibility increase. The catch-22 is that the more money you make in the kitchen, the expectation is you will spend more time impacting the labor.

The simple truth is that restaurant chefs are leaving to go work in hotels and institutional cooking establishments where the wage is higher, and the hours are less. In many cases, it’s the only way a student can pay off their loans!

Next Time

Stay tuned for the next rant post where I describe what I think needs to happen to fix this. (The answer will surprise you.)

Your Turn:

Have you ever wanted to break your boss’s face for something he or she did to you? Let me know (and the gory details) in the comments!

Oh, don’t forget to vote for me in the Cono Sur Wineries Blogging Contest. Find my name, and click on the “Vote for this Recipe!” button.


I’ve entered into a contest with a winery from Chile called Cono Sur. Create a dish that either uses the wine, or that could be paired with the wine. If you only do one thing from this post, do me a favor – go vote for my recipe! Scroll down to my name, and click “Vote for this Recipe!” button beside my name.

Last month, we took a trip to Ottawa. While we were there, we decided check out a few bottles of Cono Sur’s wine to see what they tasted like. (All in the name of research, right?) The wine is exceptional, especially for the low price. It cost us less than $12 per bottle, so we picked up three bottles. After tasting them (OKAY, we drank them!) we decided a nice risotto was just what this contest needed.

It’s funny, when I was in my teens (and in my real early 20’s) risotto would have been “gourmet” food. That’s right, back then I had no idea how to cook, and rice came out of a box labeled “Minute Mush.” Honestly, I had never even heard of risotto – it wouldn’t have even been on the radar because of the “complexity” of it. There are so many steps to making a good risotto it seems like you’d be better off with the 2 minute microwave stuff, right?

There is a lot of fuss about this humble dish. Hell, Gordon Ramsey used to toss plates into his contestants on the hit show “Hell’s Kitchen.” (No wonder our profession suffers a loss in the talent pool!) The truth is, there doesn’t need to be. All you need to know is that you need to follow a certain technique, a set of instructions, and you will be fine.

I continue to impress my friends from back home with this dish. Honestly, if you have all the items on hand, it can be put together in less than 30 minutes. Don’t worry if you don’t have the Cono Sur wine, you can substitue a nice dry white for it. Let’s get our stuff together, and make some risotto.

picture of a plate of Risotto with Mild Italian Sausages, Fresh Peas, Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio

Risotto with Mild Italian Sausages, Fresh Peas, Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio


  • 4 links Italian sausages, casings removed, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, peeled, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 package (450 grams) arborio rice
  • 1/2 wine glass Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (10 oz) shelled fresh peas
  • to taste kosher salt (Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is what I use, get it on Amazon US)
  • to taste freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp (25 grams) butter
  • 2 tbsp (45 grams) Grana Pedano (and more for garnish)

Equipment I used:


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Place the stock into a separate pot over high heat and put a ladle inside, preferably an 8 fl oz ladle. (Once the stock has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.)
  2. Add Italian sausage innards, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is completely cooked. (Break the sausage up with your spoon so that it is well crumbled. Do not overcook the sausage, remove it when it is no longer pink.)
  3. Remove sausage and place into a separate container lined with paper towels.
  4. Replace pan over the heat; add onions and sweat, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent.
  5. Add garlic and rice to the pan. Stir together and cook until the rice begins to toast and you can just see a sliver inside the rice kernel.
  6. Add wine; reduce the heat to medium. Stir until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid. Take care to scrape up all the bits on the bottom of the pan with your spoon, because these golden nuggets add flavor for your final dish!
  7. Make sure that you have nothing to do for the next 15 minutes… as this will require your patience and care. Many a risotto goes by the wayside because of carelessness.
  8. Add a ladle of hot stock to your pan, and stir it into the rice.
  9. Stir gently until the liquid is almost incorporated, taking care that you don’t break the grains of rice up.
  10. Ladle more broth as the liquid absorbs into the rice. You are looking to slowly incorporate the liquid while gently stirring. Do not add too much or the temperature of the rice will drop and you will have mushy rice with an under-cooked center.
  11. As you are nearing the end of the liquid, add it into the rice in half ladles so you don’t end up overcooking your rice.
  12. Add peas and reserved sausages (and juices from resting) to the pan when you are down to the last couple of ladles.
  13. You should be tasting your rice at the 14-15 minute mark to see if it is cooked. You want to have a little resistance to it when you bite into it. It shouldn’t be mushy or hard (or both) when you bite into it.
  14. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring the mixture gently.
  15. Stir in butter and Grana Padano, cover the pan, and remove from the heat. Let sit for 2 minutes to let everything rest.
  16. For service, ladle into a serving bowl and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and a few Grana Padano shavings.

Now it’s Your Turn

This dish is one of my favorites. Do me a favor – go vote for my recipe! Scroll down to my name, and click “Vote for this Recipe!” button beside my name, and then perhaps I’ll win a trip to Paris and Chile. Thank you guys!


Ask the Chef – Periscope Live 12 Noon EST

There is a new app out there for Live Streaming. Welcome everyone, to Periscope.

This is one of those apps that is promising to change the way that we all do business. I love the idea, so I figured we would reboot the “Ask the Chef!” series with Periscope in mind.

ask the chef ep1 @Jason_Sandeman

Episode 1

Today at 12 Noon, EST – Ask the chef.

You can connect with me on Periscope with the handle @Jason_Sandeman


How to Not Suck When Making a Recipe for The First Time

My blogger friend Nick over at Macheesmo wrote a fabulous piece about 5 things to not follow when reading a recipe. All points are good, and it’s worth the read. I’ll wait for you.

Good, that was pretty cool. In the discussion of the recipe, one of the commentators writes:

I agree completely with the exception of mise en place. The only time I follow this practice is when I do Chinese which comes together extremely quickly and preparation of all ingredients prior to starting to cook is a necessity. While doing other types of cooking, mise en place is mostly a waste of time and just dirties extra vessels.

She goes on to say that she will do the chopping and preparation of a dish while she waits (in between tasks) so she doesn’t make a mess of her kitchen. She gets what a recipe is all about.

Recipes and the professional cook

meme for thinking about recipes

Chef Bishop (my Hot Foods I instructor) always reminded us of this when faced with a new task

Another way of looking at it – in the Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Cooking has one of the best quotes regarding recipe and preparedness:

No written recipe can be 100 percent accurate. No matter how carefully a recipe is written, the judgment of the cook is still the most important factor in a preparation turning out well. A cook’s judgment is based on experience, on an understanding of the raw materials available, and on knowledge of basic cooking principles and food science.

This is at the heart of mise en place. (Us cooks shorten the name to just “Mise.”)

Mise isn’t just gathering your ingredients or chopping your vegetables. It’s a mindset. Let’s get down to what Mise means before you do any prep:

Steps to really understand a recipe

  1. Read your recipe through.

    • Then read it once again.
    • Finally, go back a third time and really scrutinize it. Ask yourself the following questions:
  2. What are you trying to do here?

    • Do you have the right recipe?
      • Don’t laugh, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this happen.
    • How many portions does this recipe yield?
    • What is the cooking method?
      • Better yet, do you know how to cook it this way?
    • Do I have the right equipment to make this recipe?
      • How do I  adapt it if I don’t?
  3. What are the functions of the ingredients?

    • How am I going to build flavor into this dish?
      • Why are you adding orange juice to the carrot soup there? What will adding the onions to the browned part of the pan do before I add the wine?
    • Do I understand what I am supposed to do?
      • What order do the ingredients go in? Why? I can’t tell you how many times I have seen something go awry because the cook didn’t pay attention to the procedure. Take this coleslaw for instance. You must soak the garlic in the pickle juice or you won’t get the garlic flavor.
  4. What are the characterstics of the ingredients?

      • Do I understand what each ingredient does to the recipe?
      • How are the ingredients prepared?

    I had this cook once, and I asked her to make me six liters of duxelle mushrooms (minced mushrooms sauteed with butter, shallots and wine, reduced to a paste.) I needed 150 portions, and she spent over 6 hours finely dicing mushrooms for the recipe.

    When questioned the cook expressed surprise. The recipe was for 4 portions and stated that the mushrooms were “finely diced.” She didn’t understand why I would be upset at the length of time it took her to prep the recipe for the scaled recipe.

    If she had read the recipe, she could have correctly guessed that since you sweat the mushrooms, it would be acceptable to use a Robo-Coupe (a large commercial food processor) to finely chop them. She would have saved 7 hours of labour from that task. (Time is money in the kitchen!)

  5. Are there any points I need to look out for?

    • What is the cooking time like?
    • Are there any potential spots where something could go wrong, and that I need to pay particular attention to?

All of these points are what you need to look at before you even lift your knife and start prepping. As Chef Bishop said,

Think three times before you commit to your task. You’ll save a lot of money that way.

-Chef Bishop

Whale Watching and Periscope – Down?

Join me this Wednesday as I try out Periscope for Ask the Chef! At 12 noon EST. Periscope name is @Jason_Sandeman

I am coming off an awesome weekend with my wife. We took the longish trek up to Saguenay to stay at the gorgeous Delta Saguenay. Our plan was to drive further up to Les Escoumins to watch for whales.

Pictures of us on the boat

Searching for beluga whales

The Trip

I’ve never been on a Zodiac boat before. At first I was apprehensive because it seemed (after a quick google image search) that we would be very intimate with the whales. From what I saw, one wrong wave and I would be swimming with the whales!

The drive up was very enjoyable. The scenery Quebec is almost the best in the world (and only misses the Rocky Mountains to make it the best on earth in my completely biased opinion.)

The boat was very interesting. It was the perfect size – small enough to interact with the captain (A French guy by the name of Cyril) and watch the ocean for any signs of life.

We were privileged to see a humpback whale, (from a distance of less than 100 meters!) a colony of around 100 seals, and several other smaller whales, (only the size of an elephant!)

The Food

The Saguenay région is best known for its blueberries, tourtière, and some of the best produce Québec has to offer. I was looking forward to tasting some of what the region had to offer.

First up a lovely pub beside the Delta Saguenay called La Brasserie Le Pichet (Which translates to “The Pitcher bar”) the place was unassuming, as one would expect for a restaurant attached to a mall.

Let me tell you though, the food was off the hook.

La Brasserie la Pichet

I ordered French onion soup, and rotisserie chicken breast. The latter because I peeked into the kitchen and saw the crew loading up chickens into a rotisserie. What a treat this would be!

The onion soup was good, just boring. The cheese was melted to that point, you know, just enough to melt but still stringy enough to have fun with while you eat it.

Then the chicken arrived. When I ordered it, I thought it odd that the only vegetable “side” was coleslaw, but when the plate arrived at my table with a mound of coleslaw, I must say I was impressed. The chicken didn’t disappoint.

The only snag was my baked potato. It was tiny, wrapped in foil, and looked like it had been reheated from the day before. But, if that’s the only gripe for this place? Sold!

So bad, I forgot the name.

After our whale watching adventure, we drove to Saint-Simeon. We decided to stop off at one of the few restaurants. My wife wanted (what we affectionately call a) “caisse croûte,” (a burger and hot-dog stand.)

WTF Fish and Chips

What? Frozen fish cakes? Really?

The best part about this plate of fish and chips was the diet Pepsi, (because no one sells Coca-Cola up here!)

It’s hard to wrap your head around why a place would choose a location right next to the Saint Lawrence seaway, in salt water, yet choose to serve frozen fish and chips. I guess I can only chalk it up to laziness. Too bad, at a location like that one, you would be hard pressed to beat the tourists off with a stick if you sold a proper fish and chips.

Okay, so I ate the whole plate. Stop judging me!

The lesson from this experience? The place was not as busy as it should have been, and that is because your customers always know when they are getting crap. It is not acceptable to sell frozen fish and chips when you literally live a two-minute walk to rustle up your own catch.

Nice Gelato to wash that frozen-fishy taste away

Afterwards we drove to Tadoussac and walked around. The area is beautiful, and the history comes alive while you walk around. I was blown away by this cabin that’s just nonchalantly states (in an unobtrusive sign) that it’s been there since 1600

Picture of 400 year old cabin

That little sign nonchalantly tells you it’s been here for over 400 years.

We walked through an awesome Park called the “Parc à l’ancêtre” (Ancestors Park) which wound through the forest and tantalized you with little boards that looked as if they were clues. (Completely in French) That worked us up to a small ice cream shack that served the best Gelato ever.

Mine was the Ferrero Rocher, and it was so good my wife stole it and gave me her (equally good) mocha caramel.

The Verdict

It was a great trip. If you ever get a chance to come up and watch the whales, it is an experience you won’t forget.

For me, it gives me a lot of great ideas. Posts on onion soup, real fish and chips, and Gelato. You all game?

Your Turn

Join me this Wednesday as I try out Periscope for Ask the Chef! At 12 noon EST. Periscope name is @Jason_Sandeman


How to Select the Best Garlic

Question of the day: Where do you keep your garlic? Let me know in the comments below!

Jason Sandeman

There’s nothing like finding a mound of fresh garlic, in from the local farms. I came across a bin at a local fruiterie yesterday. Ah, the season’s first garlic.


Beautiful, local

The garlic we get year round usually comes from China. I’m not here to judge; I’ve bought it too. It’s cheap, for around two dollars you can get five heads stuffed into a mesh sack.

How can you compare those insipid white papery balls with the tightly packed green bulbs that transition into that awesome lavender purple at the end?

When the garlic comes into season, why not choose local? Here’s how:

How I select my garlic

Garlic is planted in the fall a couple weeks before the first frost, so the local stuff is ready around July to the end of October.

  • Look:


    Look at your garlic

    • Pick up the garlic bulb. How tight is the papery skin wrapped around the cloves? If you can see obvious separation of the individual cloves, back it goes.
    • Are there any blemishes on the garlic? A nick or a cut will quickly turn.
    • Are there any black or grey spots inside the papery skin? This means the garlic is older, and is around time to go.
    • Can you see any green shoots coming out of the end of the garlic? If so, they have been there a while.
  • Touch:


    Gently squeeze your garlic

    • Gently squeeze the head. The cloves should be hard and have no give. Soft garlic will be mush in days.
  • Smell:


    Smell your garlic

    • Smell the head. If you can smell a pungent garlic smell, then for sure you have something old. You are looking for a faint garlic smell.

Storing Garlic

Opinions differ on whether to store it on the fridge or in the pantry. Honestly, I think it depends on where you are cooking at, and how fast you use the garlic.

I’ve read books that say you should never store garlic in the fridge. They are not wrong (for the home cook,) but restaurant municipal regulations disagree.

For me, it’s better to order or buy what you can use up in a week or two and store it in the fridge.

I keep my garlic in a drawer away from cucumbers and apples. (They give off ethylene gas that will cause the garlic to go to mush.)

I don’t have an issue with garlic going bad because I use it almost everything. If you see your garlic starting to sprout, you will need to use it up quickly.

Your turn

Where do you keep your garlic? Let me know in the comments!


Update on Progress for This Site

Ever felt like this?

All these posts! What to do?

All these posts! What to do?

I haven’t forgotten about this blog. In fact, I am doing a whole bunch of things behind the scenes. I looked through the archives here, and realized I have over 650 blog posts. That’s Cray! Cray!

Reorganization is a bitch

Things have changed a LOT since 2008 (when I started this crazy blog called “Well Done Chef!”) There is new technology, other technology is just not the same, and heck, I’m not the same.

So, you may have noticed there are a lot of subtle changes here and there. New header, new “About Page,” things shifting around. That’s because I’ve finally begun to clean everything up and refocus.

What can you expect from this humble space?

Well, I have a couple of goals for you here: Understanding cooking and how to cook, and helping you to perform the act of cooking at the star level. Through the mastery of the basic cooking elements you will be able to apply that skill you have to pull off any dish out there, regardless of recipe.

In the end, it’s all about the technique and skills, not a straight jacket recipe. When we are done, you’ll be able to glance at a recipe and know intuitively how to execute it on the spot. No matter how complicated something seems on a paper, you will be able to breeze through it. (Even if the recipe itself is bunk!)

Now, I have one question for you all:

In a lot of these posts (and recipes) there is quite a bit of swearing and cuss words. How do you all feel about that? Should the cuss words stay, or go? Let me know in the comments below!


Camping Fun

Will be away for the weekend camping. It looks like it will be a lot of fun.


Afterwards I’ll be kicking off something a bit different here. It’s time to get back to basics.

You may notice there is an acronym after my name. It’s part of a new designation to all Red Seal holders across Canada. It’s a way to showcase proudly what we have earned. I use those letters with pride. More information here.

See you then! All the best!

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