Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

Dawn Wells (yes, of Gilligan’s Island) taught me something I didn’t learn in culinary school

I will never ever peel a potato again!   Seriously watch this video, it will rock your culinary skills. Tweet

Desire, Determination, & Education

This was me: Nine months before attending the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute. This was when I decided to start losing weight, I made good progress by the time I started at NGI (Disclosure the above photo was before I even knew I’d be going to culinary school, much less NGI!) This […]

The most perfect pizza ever.

Today I was astounded, in awe, and absolutely in love. For today, I ate the most perfect pizza of my life. After having lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, I learned the hard way that really good pizza is near impossible to get outside of NYC & New Jersey (and the NY Style pizza […]

1 month in…

So, I’ve been the Chef at the school for a month now. It’s kinda crazy.  I fully grasp how lucky I am to be a cook pretty much straight out of culinary school who not only has his own kitchen, but I get to create my own menus every week.  I spend a good part […]

Every day I hear you in my head…

Chef Rich, Every day that I cook, I hear you in my head.  You ask how many things I’m working on, and then I hear your voice in class that day: “If you’re not working on at least three things at the same time, you’re not cooking!” And then I ask myself: “How many things […]


As I mentioned this new job allows me a lot of creative control within a few parameters, one of those is that on Friday I cook from whatever culture the kids are studying that week; last week it was Poland and after talking to a friend and doing some research I decided for time’s sake […]

Things I heard at work today…

It smells fantastic in here. Every time I come into your kitchen it smells like Iranian food!* Do we have any more pasta?** Thank you for all the delicious food. Do we have any more pasta?** I love your bread! Everything you make is so healthy.*** Beautiful bread! * That was a compliment **FYI while […]

The first week

Officially started and the first week is over. On the whole it was good, though there were a few rough spots. Nearly burning the main dish on my first day… The oven not properly igniting on my second, which could have blown up but instead just blew the door open. Teachers acting like they don’t […]

I should be reading a recipe right now… (Locavore part 2)

Instead I’m searching for better quality, lower-priced olive oil. It turns out that the stuff the school uses is local, but not organic. I can get organic from Spain, via Amazon for a significant savings, a bit over 5 cents an ounce less, I did the math based on a ‘bottle a week habit’ and […]

Out of the comfort zone, into the new…

Although I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 days at the school shadowing the current chef and planned the menu for last week it hasn’t all been me, I’ve had help from the departing chef.  Her last day is Monday, which is traditionally Persian cuisine at the school but as it’s her last […]