April 7, 2015
Trips halfway around the world to ensure smooth development and production of our beloved Chef’n items can be cumbersome to say the least. Long flights, crowded trains, bumpy roads and treacherous seas link together a carefully selected network of Chef’n suppliers around the globe. Many of those treks take us to China, where the food is as diverse as the products we create.
Luckily, many of our suppliers share the same passion for food as we do. After a lengthy day of evaluating top secret items under development, it’s always a refreshing way to end it with friends, a few beers and a great meal. This involves skipping the ubiquitous spinning table of gluttony at every towns fancy hotel to get off the grid and eat where the locals do. Those giant hotel tables of culinary doom just don’t suit us, whereas sitting on a faded plastic stool on a bumpy sidewalk tucked in an alley fits us to a T. These tiny spots allow for a window into local fare many never get to experience. The ability to take a spin through the kitchen with the chef/owner and see how the magic happens is truly a treat. From the well-worn chopping blocks, to homemade knives and giant woks, it’s a something not to be missed. Fresh and local ingredients deep in China is not just a trend, it’s simply how it’s done. Each little town has its own specialty ranging from veggies, to fish to pork – any of which can be wrapped up, stuffed into a bun or served in a boiling pot loaded with spices. We always say “try every dish once, maybe not twice!” to see how each concoction comes together. Top that off with copious amounts of Tsing Tao and the day is complete.
One last hint – take time to get up early each morning, skipping the bland hotel buffet. Wander the local area to see what it offers for the taste buds. Drop in on a local market and graze. Stop off at a food cart and try something new. As Toucan Sam said – “follow your nose, it always knows”! Hopefully your nose leads you on a taste buds enchanting journey like us.
Enjoy the pictures form my last trip through China. With stops in Shanghai, Yongkang, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
October 27, 2014
Name: David Lobdell
Title: Project Manager
All-time favorite Chef’n product: SleekStore® Measuring Beakers
Favorite dish to cook at home: It’s Fall – time for braises, ragus… comfort food
Favorite Seattle restaurant: How to choose? Favorites include Joule, Lloyd Martin & Brimmer & Heeltap
October 6, 2014
Have you ever wondered who is behind Chef’n? Over the next few months we will introduce you to some of the cast of characters who make our products come to life. The first person we start with is (the original) Jason. Here are some questions that we asked him:
Name: Jason (The Original)*
Title: Sr. Product Developer – Product Integrity
All-time favorite Chef’n product: Sleek Slice Mandolin
Favorite dish to cook at home: Anything on the grill
Favorite Seattle restaurant: Does Red Mill qualify as a restaurant?
* We have have 3 Jason’s!
July 7, 2014
Everyone always wants to know what’s new. Well, we have great news and want to introduce you to our “sweet” new product line up.
CakeWalk™ Cake Decorating Kit:
To decorate party cakes like a pro, the CakeWalk™ Cake Decorating Kit has everything you need. The kit includes 16 standard decorating tips, flower nail, small coupler and two disposable pastry bags. Use your own cake platter on top of the smooth, rolling platform. A non-slip base ensures steadiness when decorating. The best part, everything snaps in place and stores together so you’ll never lose decorating tips again
SweetWrite™ Decorating Pen:
Customize cakes, cookies and other homemade baked goods with the Sweet Write™ Dripless Decorating Pen. Pick the fine or large decorating tip, fill with colorful icing and have fun. The tips and cap snap together when not in use.
Sugar Coat™ 3-in-1 Offset Spatula Set:
Smoothly spread icing on cakes, cupcakes and cookies with the Sugar Coat™ 3-in-1 Offset Spatula Set. Sturdy nylon handles and flexible stainless steel blades make these tools useful for moving warm cookies and lifting cake layers. The large and small spatula nest together with a reusable cake tester, making this set a must-have for any baker.
MixQuick™ Hand Mixer Set
Whisk, mix, froth and more with this robust hand-powered mixer set. Snap work heads in and out to make a single or double whisk for mixing light batters, a frother for adding air or a universal mixer for whatever else you can imagine. The ergonomic handle gives you a good grip and adds stability no matter what you’re mixing.
Pastrio™ 3-in-1 Bench Scraper Set
A new twist on a classic baking tool, the Pastrio™ is great for working with bread and pastry dough. The set includes stainless steel, plastic and bowl scrapers. Cut cleanly with the metal scraper, but rely on the plastic one for silpats and other sensitive surfaces. The bowl scraper works to quickly collect ingredients in bowls.
Cookie Stamp™ Cookie Cutter and Stamp
Create custom cookies for your family and friends with the Cookie Stamp™ Cookie Cutter and Stamp. Every colorful collection comes with five stamps, a different dinosaur or dog shape on each one. Choose a stamp and twist onto the lid, which doubles as a cutter. Cut out a circle, the press the button to stamp your shape. Use the Cookie Stamp™ with the included sugar cookie recipe for best results.
Cookease™ Cookie Cutter and Stencil
Cut several cookies at once with the Cookease™ Cookie Cutter and Stencil. These rocking cutters were designed to cut out rows of cookies quickly and neatly with a rock of your wrist. Use the included stencils to decorate with frosting, sprinkles and sugars. The rockers are sturdy and easy to use, making them great for baking with kids.
Switchits: The new Switchit™ Spatulas are updated and improved so they are more useful and attractive than ever before. Ideal for stovetop cooking and serving, these dual-ended tools feature classic work ends that are heat and stain resistant. Available in 8 styles; All Purpose, All Purpose Slim, Mixer Scraper, Narrow, Spoon, Slotted Spoon, Mini All Purpose and Mini Spoon.
Pull’n Slice™ Mandoline
The design of the Pull’n Slice™ Mandoline is unlike any other — keeping food still while the deck moves to slice. With this easy-to-use mandoline hands and fingers stay away from sharp blades at all times. Equipped with four thickness settings and straight, French fry and julienne blades, the mandoline produces a variety of popular cuts with precision. Use the collapsible hand guard to get the most out of every tomato or cucumber. Hand wash recommended.
Nut Zoom™ Nut Chopper
Nuts make the perfect topping or garnish, but they’re tricky to chop with a knife. The Nut Zoom™ makes this prep job fast and fun. Pop the top open and fill with peanuts, pine nuts or almonds. Then just grip the sides and roll to chop and mince nuts fast.
Garlic Zoom™ Garlic Choppers
Long best-selling Chef’n items, the Garlic Zooms are back and better than ever. Improved features include more gearing for easier rolling, bigger finger holds for safer blade removal and sturdier construction. Available in two sizes – regular and XL.
Ajar™ Jar Opener
Introducing the Ajar™, Chef’n’s answer to other bulky, cumbersome jar openers. With its slim design, the Ajar™ adjusts to easily open jars of all sizes. Squeeze handles to lock and turn counter-clockwise. A handy arrow indicating turn direction keeps you pointed in the right direction
January 6, 2014
Name of restaurant – Gastropod + Epic Ales http://www.gastropodsodo.com/about/
Why is it awesome? – Tiny, obscure restaurant and brew house in the middle of nowhere (in the restaurant world at least). The chef cooks everything in a convection over and/or on a hot plate. The results will amaze you. And the beers, wow. Not much of a beer guy (beyond Rainer), but the variety was tasty and incredibly unique.
What was the best dish/bite – The Okonomiyaki blew us away. It featured carrot, cabbage, onion with wild steel head lox, pickled avocado, fennel and shishito pepper kewpie. Try to combine all that and make it work. And the duck breast prosciutto, espresso French toast and quail egg? Amazing. For beers, try the Solar Trans Amplifier. EXACTLY what a beer should be.
Anything else you want to say – If you can sneak in here, do it. The perfect balance of great hand crafted beers and a rotating menu that satisfies any taste buds that are even remotely discerning and you’re in for a treat.
December 11, 2013
Name of restaurant Kingfish Café http://thekingfishcafe.com/
Why is it awesome? Southern gluttony that always provides a full belly and a satisfied palette with every visit.
What was the best dish/bite? My personal favorite are the Hoppin’ John Griddlejacks that Erin enjoyed. I opted to go with the Fried Chicken Salad. It was ridiculously good. After spending the last 10 days in China, it was a welcome first meal after touching down in the good ol’ USA. The roasted red yam wasn’t half bad either and when paired with the rain outside.
Anything else you want to say? If you’re hungry love some southern comfort food, Kingfish never fails to deliver. It’d been a while since we’ve dined there, but won’t be long before we return. Though I’m going to need a few extra miles on the bike today to work it all off!
November 20, 2013
Name of restaurant – Artusi http://artusibar.com/
Why is it awesome? A quaint bar attached to its more famous big brother Spinasse, Artusi always offer a lively atmosphere paired with varied bites that are all expertly crafted. Each has the uniqueness and care of what you’d expect from Spinasse, in a more casual atmosphere
What was the best dish/bite? We started off with Chicories & marinated tuna with an anchovy vinaigrette. Not to leave the fishy flavors alone, a specially crafted salad featuring an Italian bean base topped with arugula and a couple of anchovy slices. Diverging from the fish, our main was fabulous. The Pork and Veal meatballs in a very “Fallish” Huckleberry sauce, resting on a bed of polenta did not disappoint.
Anything else you want to say? Though it’s a bar by name, the food is excellent and a great place to pop in for a bit, or for dinner. The staff is very knowledgeable and can guide you through whatever obscure tasty morsels appear on their rotating menu
November 6, 2013
If you have a new Chef’n ButterCup (http://www.chefn.com/Product.aspx?id=323). Try this yummy recipe!
1 cup cream
2 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2T fresh basil, finely chopped
3T parmesan, finely grated
¼ t salt
1. Pour cream into Buttercup and store at room temp for 6-8 hours
2. Add garlic, basil, and parmesan
3. Shake until butter separates from buttermilk, approx. 3 minutes
4. Strain out buttermilk through top of jar
5. Rinse and strain with cold water and repeat step
6. Collect butter in ramekin and add salt on top
Enjoy! You can refrigerate butter for up to 5-7 days
October 21, 2013
Name of restaurant: Sitka and Spruce http://www.sitkaandspruce.com/Home-menu.html
Why is it awesome? Can’t say enough about how great the food is here. It has NEVER let me down and is my top choice of any place in Seattle to eat (if forced to choose of course- which is like choosing what child is you favorite)
What was the best dish/bite? The Corson bread is always a winner. When paired with a dish at Sitka and Spruce, it’s to die for. Whipped butter, mushrooms, pate, you name it and it always turns out epic. Then there’s the fish, or pork, or bacon, or all of the above combined. Be prepared to be overwhelmed, wowed and full when you experience Sitka and Spruce.
Anything else you want to say? We were lucky enough to enjoy the private table. Course upon course of food that looked as good as it tasted. It was hard to limit ourselves to only a portion of each plate, but knowing there was more greatness to follow, it tempered the appetite until the last dish and desert that topped off a great evening.
October 15, 2013
We are happy to see our new PinPair in O Magazine this month!
Check it out here: As Seen In – Oprah