For smaller cuts of meat like pork chops and rack of lamb, try pan-roasting. The purpose is to complete a quick-sear for texture and then finish for a few minutes in a hot oven. The best pork chops are double-cut - talk directly to your butcher for these. Don't use the thin, pre-packaged chops you see in the cooler. The results are dry, flavorless and less than ideal. For rack of lamb, use the ribs as a natural rack during roasting. Once you're ready to carve, cut along every second rib for thick, juicy portions. Use a good sturdy pan you can take from the stovetop directly into the oven. That means no plastic or flammable handles. Test for doneness by pressing on the chop with your finger - the chop should give a little and the juices should run clear. A pool of juice means it's over-done, and pink juices mean it's under-done. It's important to rest chops before enjoying.
Spike works as the chef de cuisine at Tribeca's new hotspot restaurant, Mai House, owned by the renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Mai House was named as one of the New York Times' top ten best new restaurants of 2007. Born in Montreal, Canada and trained in classic French cuisine in restaurants around the world. Spike has worked with Gerard Boyer at Les Crayeres, Thomas Keller at Bouchon and The Maccioni Family at Le Cirque. Spike believes in learning the basics to become the best. His latest venture is opening a new chain, Good Stuff Eatery, with his family (first location opening in Washington D.C. later this year) The new restaurant features his weaknesses -- hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes.