Michelin Star

Merry Cooking! How To Prepare That Perfect Holiday Meal

Now that the holiday season is officially here, I am guessing all of us are busy shopping for presents and attending all those fabulous parties. And for us who are in-charge of whipping up savory holiday meals, I’m guessing, you are stressing out, too, thinking about all the preparation. I tell you, even though I live and breathe stress every day in my work as an executive chef, the anxiety I feel as cook for my family and friends is way off the charts. I don’t know, it is probably because I am cooking for the people I love, and I just want to serve them the best. These people also happen to be my harshest critics. Ha.

So, before we all start suffering from holiday anxiety, I am sharing to you two tips that will help you survive the cooking rush and have a truly merry meal:

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Pretty basic, right? But you will be surprised that most of us forego this very important part of holiday cooking and just throw caution to the wind. While doing so may have worked the last time, believe me, without any sort of plan, something will go awry, and that is the last thing you want to happen. So a month before the grand feast, sit down and write the meals you plan to prepare. Then list everything you need to buy (or grow) and keep that inventory with you always. (You’ll never know when you will have time to shop amid the holiday madness.) Another thing that can help us? Mobile apps.
  2. Have fun. Yes, I know this may sound mad, especially when you are at your wits’ end trying to figure out if you have perfected your granny’s Christmas casserole. But what’s the use really of getting frustrated if that ham doesn’t look “perfect”? Cheer up! Your family doesn’t require perfect-looking meals. What everybody looks forward is spending time together over dishes you lovingly prepared for them.


Hello! I hope we all survive the holiday rush. Let me know how it goes in your kitchen. Find me, Allie Fremin, on Facebook, and tell me all about it.

Michelin Star

Celestial Dining: Dreaming Of a Michelin Star

Family, friends, and colleagues are aware of my dream of running a Michelin-star restaurant. I believe the coveted top honor is a sign that one has succeeded at the highest level as a chef.

But before I proceed any further, here’s a brief background on the origin of the Michelin star:

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In 1900, Michelin (yes, the tire company) brothers Ándre and Édouard started the Michelin Guide, a sort of travel guide for motorists who might be in search of places to stay and to dine during their travels. As the tire company rose to prominence, so did the guide. The brothers then added restaurant recommendations, independent of hotels.

Then in 1926, the Michelin star system was introduced, which examined not only the services of a hotel but the caliber of its kitchen, too. Eleven years after, the Michelin Guide was devoted purely to gastronomy. Today, there are 24 guides for 24 different countries. In the U.S., the Michelin Guide was first released a decade ago, zeroing in on New York restaurants. Chicago and San Francisco guides soon followed.

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Although some of the world’s most famous chefs don’t want a Michelin star (there is after all the immense pressure of keeping the top honor), I continue to long for it. Dreaming of a Michelin star is one way for me to keep honing my skills as a chef. With that goal in mind, I work extra hard in delivering not only delicious food but one-of-a-kind dishes that will make my customers talk about their meals days, even weeks after they had them. So I guess I will continue to wish upon that Michelin star and hope that one day, all the hard work, sacrifice, and long hours I put in the kitchen will all pay off.

Hey there, Allie Fremin here. Follow me on Twitter for some of the most delectable tidbits about the culinary world.