Digital Chef


Review by Debbie Mazo

If you want to rub wooden spoons with America's culinary greats, check out the Digital Chef. Created in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America, this site is bursting with information that will send you down the seasoned path to chefdom. However, if you're not a galloping gourmand, never fear. This site has enough food sense to go around for everybody.

Before heading to the market, drop into the Recipes section where you'll find recipes selected to match the season. The selection, which is updated frequently, is organized into traditional recipe categories from soups to salads to breads and baked goods. You can search through the vast collection (which also includes low-fat and meatless entrees) and mark your favorite recipes for future reference. You'll be able to find your favorites later, listed alphabetically under My Favorites.

The Channels link stirs up a number of offerings, including the Chefs Gallery where you can brush up on your cooking skills, and Everyday Kitchen which features a new quick and easy recipe daily. In the kitchen today, we found a tangy Cauliflower and Olive Pasta. There's also a Cook's Journal written by Bryan Miller, former restaurant critic for The New York Times, and a Wine & Beer channel offering tips and insights on food pairing with wine and beer.

If you want to learn from the pros, Techniques shows you the way with hundreds of step-by-step culinary techniques. You can learn at your own pace, or print out the steps for future reference. For example, if you want to learn how to roast peppers, click on Vegetables, or if you want to purée your winter squash, first check out the procedure in Soups, Stocks and Sauces.

The Community section is a great place for people with a passion for food to connect and talk about anything related to food. Join the free membership, and you can participate in message boards, online chats, and scheduled live events. In the Marketplace, browse through the hot sauces, salsas, and other featured items in Cool Stuff or, if you're a serious shopper, go right to the Shop Directory.

From arborio to raddichio, Digital Chef is an exhaustive site to visit for all types of food fans.

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She currently specializes in technical and marketing materials, but is also pursuing opportunities in food journalism.



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