Spoiled Rotten Cook

When I was at the test kitchen, I had the best of everything at my fingertips — winning All-Clad pots and pans, winning ingredients, winning salad spinners, garlic presses, spatulas, pepper grinders, Dutch ovens, baking pans. By winning, I mean, ATK buys several models of something or several brands of the same ingredient, tests them all relentlessly, records the data, picks a winner, and then purchases that item in bulk for the test cooks to use on a daily basis.

At home, I’m not so lucky. After working on the 5-gazillion BTU burners at the test kitchen, my little Amana range seems, well, little. I needed fresh dill earlier tonight while making fish chowder. I had to go to the store to buy it, instead of being able to step a few feet to the right and find fresh dill always waiting for me in the walk-in at ATK.

I was spoiled rotten.

Testing my first recipe since being home was a challenge. I set out to make homemade oyster crackers (they don’t sell organic ones here in Central Florida…apparently there aren’t enough northern transplants looking for a chowder companion at Whole Foods). At the test kitchen, I would have baked separate batches to test docking vs. not docking the dough, resting times for the dough, milk vs. egg wash, salt vs. no salt on top, chilled vs. straight to the oven, etc.

At home, I only had enough time and ingredients for one batch of crackers, testing without yeast. To get in all of the variables I needed to test, I divided the pan into sections: docked, not docked, docked with egg wash and salt, docked with milk and salt, and the same for not docked. I also tested baking times. At the test kitchen, each baking time would have been a separate test. At home, I set the timer for 6 minutes and increased by 2 minutes until the crackers were done. Then I tested the 2nd pan (the recipe makes 80 crackers, which fit on two baking sheets) with the final time, just to be sure it was spot on. The condensed testing worked perfectly and I found the magic formula within that first recipe (photo above). Next week, I’ll test the same recipe, but with yeast instead of baking powder. Fingers crossed it goes as well as the first test did this evening.

Deep down, I know the most important thing to have is a sharp knife, and a few other essentials, but it was so nice being spoiled for a while.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits