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Joseph Messina, a 16-year-old Sun Valley teenager with a troubled past, walked into a kitchen in Atlanta for a national cooking competition with little more under his belt than youthful determination. By the time the bread crumbs had settled, he emerged with a $30,000 scholarship to pursue his dream of becoming a professional chef after he completes a drug rehabilitation program.
February 3, 2000 | GREG HERNANDEZ, Greg Hernandez covers the restaurant industry for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5989 and at
George Poston, the executive chef at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant in Costa Mesa, is on a mission to teach youngsters how to cook, especially those who might have to fend for themselves if their parents are working late. Poston said he was a latchkey kid who learned to cook for himself at a young age. Now he provides cooking demonstrations at his restaurant and during visits to local classrooms.
June 29, 1989 | NANCY BYAL, Food Editor, Better Homes and Gardens
This dictionary of French food terms will help you decipher a French menu or cookbook. And because French cooking is the basis of many other recipes, it will help you on many other occasions too. -- Amandine (a men deen)--Made with almonds. -- Au Poivre (o pwav)--Seasoned liberally with peppercorns. -- Blanquette (blawn ket)--An egg-yolk-thickened cream sauce. -- Boeuf (boef)--Beef. -- Bourguignon (boor gee nyon)--A stew of beef braised in red wine with onions and mushrooms.
April 1, 1993 | PAT GERBER, Pat Gerber is a member of The Times Orange County Edition staff.
If fantasies of life as a professional chef raise your heart rate, but tuition costs for the Cordon Bleu or La Varenne bring it down again, you might consider a home-grown alternative. The Culinary Arts/Cook Apprentice program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa offers a range of classes that would please both the dilettante and the professional.
The way these people talk about chili, you'd think they were sampling fine wine or aged cheese. But these connoisseurs at a statewide chili cook-off wore blue jeans, T-shirts and bikinis as they sniffed and savored the meaty varieties of chili concocted in booths fashioned like medieval castles and jungle hide-outs. Kent Wilks' face wrinkled in concentration as he spooned in some chili from a paper cup. "It's too thick," the 22-year-old Newport Beach resident said. "It's good chili.
January 26, 1990 | STEVEN R. CHURM
The weapons were high-speed mixers, Cuisinarts and spatulas. The mission was to whip up the most exotic haute cuisine this side of Wolfgang Puck. The location:Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. A Marine mess hall? The address on the press release wasn't a mistake. On Thursday, 42 cooks from Marine bases at Tustin, El Toro and Camp Pendleton were applying the crowning touches to culinary creations that would tickle the palate of any five-star restaurant regular.
April 25, 1997 | MIMI KO CRUZ and JOHN CANALIS
Student chefs from Orange Coast College took top honors this month at the American Culinary Federation's Western Region Junior Member Hot Food Championships in Portland. Culinary arts students from Orange Coast finished first among 13 teams from California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. They will compete in the national finals in Atlanta in July. "We're absolutely thrilled with our performance in Portland," said Bill Barber, the college's head chef.
May 30, 1985 | MINNIE BERNARDINO, Times Staff Writer
Question: Do you agree that adding salt to meats or eggs before cooking is a big no-no? As a young, inexperienced cook, I hadn't heard of this until a neighbor friend told me so. She said salt toughens and dries out food. Can you please discuss this matter in your column? Answer: Technically, salt draws out moisture through the process of osmosis. This is the basis for all the theories about drying and toughening properties of salt when in contact with foods.
February 23, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
When food lovers head to Paris these days, the savvier bypass the Michelin-starred restaurants entirely and seek out the small, sometimes funky bistros where passionate young cooks are turning out wonderful food at affordable prices. Spaces - and kitchens - are often tiny, menus small and changeable. And the wine list may simply be a collection of bottles lined up on shelves. Many come from small or obscure producers who believe in natural (biodynamic, organic) winemaking. A copy of Alice Feiring's "Naked Wine" translated into French might be propped against a bottle of Chinon or Burgundy.
July 31, 1986 | MINNIE BERNARDINO, Times Staff Writer
Microwave ovens--they are cool. Summer cool, too, these warm sultry days when flash cooking is preferred. Microwave subcompacts, microwave cookware, gadgets, recipes, anything related to the magnetron tube . . . they are hot. What's new? It's a rush out there among manufacturers hustling to unload their micro-style goods, while consumer interest glows red hot. Sharp Electronics Corp.
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