Atomic Gourmet.com is an informative site for Professional and Amateur Chefs alike who seek to expand their knowledge of the Culinary Arts.
We strive to provide great recipes, useful tips, and techniques about food, the art of cooking, wines, and spirits used in fine restaurants and institutions around the world without the use of annoying pop-ups to deter you from enjoying our free information.
With over two decades in the food service industry, I hope to pass on some of the knowledge and skill I have attained at private clubs and restaurants across America. From appetizers to desserts, catered events to candlelit dinners for two, I hope you learn from, enjoy, and pass on what you see.
Michael Thorne Executive Chef, AtomicGourmet.com
"De gustibus non est disputandum" (there is no disputing about tastes)
The culinary operation of subjecting food to the action of heat, which either renders it fit for consumption or improves its flavor.
By definition, making a soup would be considered cooking. Making a salad would not be considered cooking as much as it would be food preparation or cookery.
Many fruits and vegetables may be eaten raw, but, most other foods are cooked.
There are seven basic cooking techniques: Frying, Grilling (broiling), Roasting, Sauteing, Steaming, Braising, & Pot roasting.
Changes brought about by cooking
- Chemical changes: through softening, coagulation, swelling, or dissolving, foods become either edible (rice, flour) or easier to digest (the collagen in meat is destroyed, which makes it more tender; the cellulose fibers of vegetables are softened; the pectin of fruit is released; starch increases in volume).
- Changes to the external appearance: these render cooked preparations more appetizing and include the browning of grills and roasts, the glazing of vegetables, the carmelization of sugar, etc.
- Development of aroma and flavor: the taste of the basic ingredients are improved by incorporating extra flavors, condiments, herbs, wine, etc., Reducing liquids by cooking gives a more pronounced flavor, and marinating foods adds flavor before cooking.
- Elimination of the harmful elements which are destroyed by heat, particularily by boiling.
All professional Chefs owe a debt of gratitude to the masters and mentors who have given him/her the gift of their knowledge and teachings to aid their advancement in the culinary world. I would like to thank a few of the true professionals who have given me their time, effort, and understanding through the years.
Chef Suzie Massetti, Chef Tim Groody, Restaurateur/ Oenophile Pierre Bader, Chef/ Restaurateur John Nichols, Chef Frederick Rieser, Chef Stuart Tracy and Chef Gary Mennie.
Also, the Chefs whos literary works and achievements have awed, inspired and challenged me to become a better Chef with the passing of each day.
Chef Auguste Escoffier, Chef Paul Prudomme, Chef Anthony Bourdain, Chef Eric Ripert and Chef Thomas Keller.
(**Excerpts of the definition of cooking from Larousse Gastronomique, copyright 1988)
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