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christian watson's Blog

Chefs Last Confession


"It has been a while since my last confession."I wonder if this is how it will start in the confessional? Then it is followed by some, "You did what?" or "Son that is insane!" with a prescribed maximum issues for "Hail-mary" and "Our Fathers" to satisfy my debt.You know I had to stop going to church, because I kept closing the place on Sunday nights and that was cutting into my "me time". I had...


So you wanna be a chef?


Well have you decided that you love those culinary reality shows and that "this is the life for you!"I did not think it would happen, but it did. I can remember my mentors telling me, "you have no idea what it was like before!" Speaking of life in the kitchen of course. Imagine if you will three Tony Bourdain-types and two Marco Pierre White-types. They would tell horror stories of battles in the kitchen during...


How do you... get what you want, today?


I want... what I want... Now!

It may seem strange, but I spent most of my life living under this one thought. I was born innocent and filled with needs. Needs that would have to be satisfied without question because I could not sustain life without. Oddly I was too young to questions who or how they were filled!I became a young man and developed my own desires, but my inclusion to Generation X meant...


Happy Holidays From Your Community Manager


Another landmark year for Cookwork is coming to a close, and we hope that all of our members have a memorable and safe holiday season. The life of a chef is very demanding and my team wants to help all of our members and fans stay connected. We are so happy to be your source for culinary inspirations. Our new years line up of news, recipes and jobs looks to be the best ever as...


Have you ever dreamed of owning your own restaurant?


Have you ever dreamed of owning your own restaurant? It seems

that there is an invisible wall that prevents chefs from realizing their

dream of owning their own restaurant. First of all, most chefs salaries

allow you to maintain life or pay your student loan, but hardly enough

to finance your dreams. Next, the failure rate of restaurants makes

financiers leery of investing in such risky endeavor. Finally, bank

loan interest rates and market speculation...


Chowhounds: Risotto Preferences


"Most Common" does not translate "the best."

One of my most memorable experiences as a chef was working with Ricardo Ullio of Sotto Sotto/Fritti in Atlanta. He shared some traditional knowledge about techniques & products that still affect my purchasing decisions to this date. As his 'Chef de Cuisine' at Sotto Sotto, we produced the most amazing hand-made pastas, a la minute risottos and delicate flavors from his region in Italy (Liguori). One lesson that...


Octoberfest 2010


This years festivities are well underway, but I have to say if ever there was an event for chefs….this is it. The mixing of adrenal-pumping rides, beer guzzling ladies and traditional food as big as your head. I like these kinds of parties because they promote a little manageable insanity.

I have not been to Germany for an Octoberfest, but after looking at some of these pictures, I think it just made my agenda. See...


M-organic (more-ganic)


As national agriculture studies come in with varying

results, we find that the nutritional values to organic and mass produced

agriculture are technically the same. I understand that the principles and care

that go into organic are more emotional than the process of the later.

Relationships can be formed, personality can have attributes, and tastes can be

enhanced. I believe in the care and taste of a product. Fruits and vegetables

are supposed to be...


Let's Build a "Best Practices" Handbook Together


Here is a good philosophy:

"Yes the question is what?" Remember to go into a guest

complaint with the idea that they already need your understanding and attention. Most guests

just want attention themselves and an apology. Free stuff is another story. You want them

to come back.

When is the last time that you returned something to a brand name

store and they would not allow you to return it or get your...


What Advice Would you Give Todays Culinary Student?


"It is... What it is!" No truer wisdom has ever been shared!

We have been investigating the idea of sharing and mentoring our candidates for tomorrows culinary professionals. We all have stories to tell and expectations that we either met or failed in our past lives. We are looking for an easy way for you to share your experineces here for ALL to see. Chefs of Cookwork, "What is your advice to today's culinary student?"


Screaming of the Lamb: Champion of Sustainability Movement


For those that are looking to feature the ever-popular

(spring) lamb as a feature on your menus let me share some insights that I have

learned over the years. As a lamb enthusiast, my first experience with lamb was

at the Culinary Institute of America in a butchering class. First, let me

describe the details of the class and then the event.

Butchery is art still taught to the young students of the



Trend Alert: how do you weigh in?


Shaken, Not Grilled: The Meat Liquor Craze

So a guy walks into a bar, asks the bartender for a drink. The bartender

responds: chicken, pork, or fish? Seems like an implausible scenario or

beginning of a joke, right? It's neither. Distillers are now using meats and fish as a way to flavor their

spirits. It seems every conceivable cut and creature is now available to

sip. Two new brands, Alaska Distillery's Salmon Vodka and Black...


Cookwork User Content


Are you a decorated or celebrated chef and a subject matter expert? Do you have a strong opinion about something specific, or perhaps you are following spomething closely? We

are looking for user content and the Cookwork User Content Group is to discuss the ideas for

providing content for Cookwork. It is open to all members; and that is correct, we will have some paid opportunities! Calling all chefs!

Do you have something that you...


My Kitchen Confidential


I have always been a big fan of Kitchen

Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. In many ways, there has

never been a more graphic, organic or altruistic view of what my life

was like

in the kitchen. For a layman, they may see this book as a fictional


of the kitchen underworld, but for me it was a guidebook of things that I


done and things that I have not done, yet.

Finding one’s...


Food Truck Roadblock


Red Tape in the Street Truck Movement for Chicago and ATL

"Pretty much every chef in Chicago has an idea

for a food truck—but two of them have just served potential legislation

to the City Council."

On February 4, the day they were scheduled to talk

about the possibility of reforming the city's mobile food vendor

regulations, 43rd Ward alderman Vi Daley kept Phillip Foss waiting at

the entrance of her office for about an...


The Four C’s of Food Safety

In the fight against bacteria in the food preparation area, there are 4 Steps to...

The All-Important Restaurant Pass? Is it all that Important?

The Pass   When we say “the pass”, many might misconstrue it for some sort...

Pork siomai w/ chili garlic sauce

My version of pork siomai paired with chili garlic sauce. cooking is really my passion,...

Yong Tau Foo : The Fish Fabulous

My house is next to the Doi Suthep, so I have a great view of...

Wagyu: In Search of the Best Steak

Since returning to Mckendricks Steak House in October of 2007 I knew I had a...
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