Category Archives: sashimi

Justin-Thyme Food Photography 2011

A collection of some of our favorite and/or signature dishes from the past year. Justin-Thyme Personal Chef Service Provides Elegant Full-Service Dinner Parties to the to the Tampa Bay Area.

Justin-Thyme Personal Chef Service Provides Elegant Full-Service Dinner Parties to the to the Tampa Bay Area!

Do you love fine food and wine but dread a long night out at a fine dining restaurant? In today’s dining scene, people are taking advantage of another option! If you were to compare a personal chef service to restaurant, you could think of it this way: For a restaurant, you must drive to get there, possibly wait for a table, take a chance that your server is having a good day, and if you have allergies or special requests you don’t always have the guarantee that they will be honored, since most entrees are “assembly line” ready in the kitchen.

After eating your meal you must pay for it, tip the server, and get back in your vehicle to drive home. If you have a Personal Chef Service, you can eat a wonderful entrée that has been prepared specifically for you palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home.

How it works:
Chef Justin will help create a delicious gourmet menu suited to your particular tastes for any special dining event in your home. He consults with you about what kind of party you’d like to give, how many guests you plan to invite and any other special detail to make your party perfect. He will then design your special custom menu of four or five courses suited to your particular tastes as well as help you pair up the best wines with the cuisine. We are also happy to make changes to the menu to accommodate a guest’s special requests or restrictions. Once menus are finalized, we print up custom copies detailing your event for your guests to keep.

You’ll enjoy a fantastic meal and our high-end four-star service, and then, while you’re savoring dessert, we’ll scrub your kitchen spotless as you bask in your guests’ praise at what a clever host you are for bringing in a private chef to create such a delicious and memorable experience.

We service the following areas:  Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Mango, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, South Tampa, St. Petersberg, St. Pete Beach, Tarpon Springs, Tierra Verde, Orlando Fl

Justin-Thyme Personal Chef Service Tampa‘s Premier Personal Chef!


Sushi Cooking Classes in the Tampa Bay Area!

Chef Justin Murphy of Justin-Thyme Personal Chef Service is excited to announce their newest service for all the sushi lovers in the Tampa Bay area! We are now offering sushi cooking classes in the comfort of  your own kitchen!

Be sure to ask about our gift certificates for this awesome service!

Be sure to ask about our gift certificates for this awesome service!

The announcement came after Justin noticed a growing interest in Sushi from his local clients over the past few months. “Almost everybody I talk to feels the same way we do about sushi, they Love it… so we are confident that this service will be a popular choice for people looking to have their fun and eat it too.

We offer personal cooking classes which involve a custom planned menu specially designed for the participants. The classes are conveniently held in the client’s home either individually or in groups of up to 12 people. During the cooking class, you will learn new tricks and exciting cooking techniques applicable to both the novice and the gourmet chef- which you can use for a lifetime!  After the lesson is complete, you get to enjoy the exquisite meal you have made together while I tidy up your kitchen.

“With the current economy, we’re finding that people are spending their money in smarter ways.  And although many people still invest money in entertainment, they are now being smarter about their entertainment choices. Why go out and pay for Sushi when you can have a better time learning to make it yourself?

Chef Justin has spent countless hours over the past ten years perfecting his own sushi skills  by apprenticing with master sushi chefs and has developed techniques which help novice foodies become home sushi chefs in just a few sessions.  In your first class you can expect to learn how to prepare sushi rice, make maki rolls, sushi and hand rolls and all of the appropriate garnish. Once you have these basics under your belt, the combinations are endless!  Classes can be booked 7 days a week and our schedule is very flexible. We offer classes from beginner to advanced so treat yourself and your friends to some delicious fun today!

tampa sushi classes

learn restaraunt style presentation using tradtional sushi inspired flavors!

Styles of sushi covered:
slices of fish or other items on pads of rice
rolled sushi (including handrolls, temaki)
fish and other items served on top of a bowl of sushi rice
squares or rectangles of pressed rice topped with vinegared or cooked fish, made in a wooden mold
Stuffed sushi
including chakin-zushi or fukusa-sushi, ingredients wrapped in a thin egg crêpe; and inari-sushi, with ingredients stuffed into a small pouch of fried tofu
sliced fish that is served with a bowl of sushi rice on the side
(call for current pricing)

Learn how to make tempura too!
Tempura is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Our menu includes shrimp, kabocha, lotus root, string beans, sweet potato, broccoli, mushroom and chicken tempura. Our sauces include green tea glaze and yuzu lemon as well as home made dipping sauce with daikon radish and ginger.
(call for current pricing)

Be sure to ask about our gift certificates for this awesome new service!

Visit our website today for more exciting details!

assorted sushi from a recent cooking class in tampa

assorted sushi from a recent cooking class in tampa

sushi/nigiri platter from a recent cooking class in tampa

assorted sushi/nigiri platter from a recent cooking class in tampa

Sushi rolls

Sushi rolls

more sushi


Kitchen Mythbusters!

We’ve all heard of urban legends, those plausible sounding but false stories that circulate so widely on email and news groups, such as the old lady who microwaved her cat or the Nieman-Marcus $250 cookie recipe. There are several web sites devoted to researching and exposing these fake stories. The same sort of thing happens in the world of food and cooking, although on a much smaller scale. This blog is my answer.

How do I know these are myths? Why should you believe me over someone who says that something I call a myth is in fact true? I can’t answer that question for you but I can say that all of the information in this blog has been carefully researched. I do not claim that something is true or false just because I heard it somewhere or because it seems to “makes sense.” I require that something be backed by a credible source (the key word here is “credible”) and/or that it be in accord with accepted scientific knowledge. In most cases this is also backed up by my personal experience. I certainly do not claim to be infallible but I do try hard to present accurate, verifiable information.

kitchen myth cooking urban legend 1:

Searing meat seals in the juices- FALSE!

This old saw has been around for ages, probably because searing meat that will be stewed, roasted, etc. does indeed give much better results. It has nothing to do with sealing in the juices, however. Careful experiments were performed in which identical pieces of meat were cooked with and without searing. If searing did seal in juices, then the seared meat would lose a smaller percentage of its weight during cooking than the unseared piece. In actuality, both the seared and unseared meat lost about the same amount of weight.

Searing, or more specifically browning, is important because of the Maillard reaction. When the proteins and sugars in meat are exposed to high heat (searing) a large number of chemical reactions take place, resulting in the creation of lots of new flavor elements. It is these flavors, both in the browned surface of the meat and in any pan juices that result, that make searing such an important step in some recipes.

Source: On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, Simon & Schuster, 1984.

kitchen myth cooking urban legend 2:

Use water instead of milk when making scrambled eggs and omelets-FALSE!

Some people will tell you that using milk when making scrambled eggs and omelets results in tough eggs – that you should use water instead. It’s puzzling how this myth continues to propagate because it is so easy to disprove for yourself. But if you require the pronouncement of some authority, tests by Cook’s Illustrated (the “America’s Test Kitchen” people) revealed that scrambled eggs made with water are less flavorful, do not fluff as well, and are not as soft as those made with milk. Cream is better still, but that’s another story!

By the way, this advice is for eggs cooked to be moist and creamy, the way they should be. I know some people prefer the dry, fluffy style but that’s another matter.

Source: The Best Recipe, Boston Common Press, 1999.

kitchen myth cooking urban legend 3:

Sushi means raw fish-FALSE!

Many people think that “sushi” is synonymous with raw fish. Not so – the term actually refers to the vinegar seasoned rice. This is made by dissolving sugar in vinegar (usually rice vinegar) and tossing with the hot, just-cooked rice. Sushi therefore refers to vinegared rice served with other ingredients which may or may not include fish. The rice itself is referred to as shari. Raw fish served by itself without the rice is called sashimi.

kitchen myth cooking urban legend 4:

Lobsters scream with pain when boiled-FALSE!

It’s commendable that people do not want to inflict pain on animals, but this one is false on two accounts. First of all, pain doesn’t just happen automatically – it is the result of specific receptors, nerve pathways, and brain regions all cooperating to convert certain physical stimuli into the perception of pain. This has all been thoroughly worked out in humans and other vertebrates. But guess what – lobsters and other crustaceans are not vertebrates and simply do not have these nerve pathways and brain regions (they don’t have a real brain at all, for that matter). In other words, no brain, no pain (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one!).

What about the “scream” that lobsters sometime emit when dropped in the boiling water? There’s the problem that lobsters have no throat, no vocal cords, no lungs, so how could they scream at all? The fact is that the noise is caused by air trapped in the shell. When heated it expands and forces itself out through small gaps, causing the sound.

To be continued…