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Stella Culinary School

Oct 10, 2018

You can call the show and leave a voicemail: 775-204-8389

In this episode, more listener questions and voicemails answered. Some sample questions include:

Crispy Skin question from Philip

"OK, it’s time to squash this once and for all one way or the other. The question is: ‘Does salt draw out moisture from a protein product’? I always hear people saying to rub salt on the skin of a protein product to draw out moisture in order to crisp up the skin. The most recent example was yesterday when I watched a video of a chef cooking pork belly. The skin on pork was quite thick and I began to wonder how exactly the salt can draw out moisture from within the skin. I could see how it would absorb moisture that was already on the surface because the salt would be making contact with it but how could it be possible to draw moisture from within the skin? Is this just a myth (which is widely believed even by some of the best chefs in the world) or is there some truth to is. Unless the salt is acting like some kind of magnet on the water and pulling it out of the skin I really can’t see how it could work. Are there any science food geeks that can explain exactly how the salt works please? Also, I would love to hear your opinion on this Chef Jacob, Thanks"

Creative Flavors from Vicky

"i’d like to know how chefs come up with (especially unusual/modern) flavour combinations… like, i’d never have thought of combining chilies and chocolate, wouldn’t ever even imagine those would go together, if i hadn’t tried chocolate bar with chilies. or, like, the dishes in fancy restaurants (e.g. fat duck, noma) or on tv cooking competition shows (e.g. uk master chef) have like 19 thousand elements (like 5 dots of whatever reduction and half a teaspoon of whatever foam)… how the hell do they come up with the idea of putting all those seemingly unrelated things on the same plate?

My question to you:

in the video i watched, you mentioned that almost all dishes need a bit of acid. and when i think about all the recipes i’ve seen/read, it’s true that a lot of them call for just a tad of vinegar or lemon juice, in such a small amount that one wouldn’t actually taste it when eating the finished product. it’s something i’ve never thought of doing. what does a tiny amount of acid do to the overall taste of a dish? why is it important? what sort of dishes wouldn’t need acid and what sort of dishes benefit the most from it (besides obviously sour tasting dishes)?"

We also answer voicemail questions from Eric, Robert, Andrew, Juan, Shmilie, Leslie & Melva. Thanks to everyone for calling in.