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MichaelB

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  1. You are not the first to make that association. I only wish I had been the first to think of it that way. The primary meaning of "just" in the name is "only" as I intend to limit the product offerings to cured and smoked products. Michael
  2. After 26 years of practicing corporate transactional law at large regional firms, I walked away from it this week. Effective January 2, I started a specialty foods company focused on traditionally produced smoked and cured fish and meats. My first product will be a European style cold smoked salmon. I expect that first product to be available within 60 to 90 days at the company website or a Midwestern location near you. The tentative name for this venture is “Just Cured.” I will keep the community posted on the progress of this venture and invite comment and discussion along the way. More details and discussion from non-community members may be found at the Just Cured Website Happy New Year to all, Michael Note: This is a replacement topic to one I posted on Jan 3.
  3. You can read about the charity event here: Description by one of my volunteers I didn't get pics of much of the food, but I did take some pics of both of my breads. Half the epi cooling. A close up. The brioche.
  4. I used this technique to clarify a gazpacho for a charity dinner I prepared last week. Description of charity events in Heartland forum by one of my volunteers. I was very please with the clarified gazpacho. Note in the following photogragh taken by one of my guests that the soup has already picked up some "stuff" from the other components of the dish. I don't have a photo pf the soup in the crystal pitchers from which it was poured at table.
  5. That's how I did it. In the deep fryer. Fish first, then the sweetbread ravioli, then the brioche.
  6. And just how else would one cook the brioche croutons for the foie gras, the fish, and the ravioli? I said sophisticated, not froo-froo. There has to be some fried stuff in there to make it taste good.
  7. Hey! This was a "sophisticated" meal with guests from all over the world -- yes, the world, I tell you. This was NOT some pot luck in the basement of a west side church. Only the finest for my guests. As this was a play on gazpacho, the jello was half strawberry and half cherry, resulting in a beautiful faux tomato color.
  8. Oh, and Andrew is correct about the foie gras plate being crowded. One of the limitations in a meal like this is the coordination after the menu is set with the hotel chef and maitre d' for china and glassware. For the china, I have to take what is available. I am requesting 90 each of 7 different pieces of china (including the liner for the soup plate) from what is normally a 60 seat restaurant.
  9. Thank you for the report Andrew. I'll jump in with the logistical details, as this is my meal. Breads (epi [30 pounds] and brioche [6.5 pounds]) are prepared Labor Day weekend, frozen and thawed for service. Stocks are cooked early in the week and held for sauce making later in the week. This year 8 gallons (50 pounds bones) veal and 3 gallons (30 pounds bones) chicken. Salmon was cured from Monday evening until Thursday afternoon. Diced Thursday afternoon. Cucumber, red onion and fennel cut into brunoise Thursday. Salmon, cucumber, red onion and fennel rings fabricated Friday morning. Gazpacho pureed, tami'ed, gelatined and frozen Wednesday evening. Drip thawed Thursday morning through Friday afternoon. Foie gras cured Wednesday evening, fabricated and cooked Thursday. Gelee prepared Thursday. Fig compote prepared Thursday. Artichokes trimmed, vacuum packed and sous vide cooked on Thursday. Globe artichokes pureed Friday morning. Sauce prepared Friday morning. Fish scaled, fileted, and pin boned Thursday night. Fish portioned and trimmed Friday morning. Mushrooms cleaned, cut, and sauteed Thursday. Veal loins trimmed Thursday. Sweetbreads blanched, cleaned and sauteed Thursday. Corn roasted Thursday and removed from cob Friday. Apples diced and parisian balled on Friday. Ravioli fabricated on Friday (one of Andrew's jobs). Beets roasted and diced on Thursday. Pistachios blanched, skinned and toasted on Thursday. Pistachio vinaigrette made Friday. Rings of beet and pistachio are fabricated on Friday morning. Tarts prepared and baked Thursday afternoon and evening. All the above is done in our home kitchen with volunteer help. In fairness, several of our volunteers are professional cook friends. Then all this transported on a refrigerated truck a friend lends me for the purpose to the hotel. Transportation is around 3:00 pm for service at 6:30. At the hotel, we pre-sear the meat and fish just before service. We portioned the foie gras and refrigerated it about 30 minutes before service. All else done at pick-up with the assistance of the restaurant's line staff. The chef and both sous were guests in the dining room. The hotel GM expedites. Reservation count this year was 85. 76 meals served.
  10. You may be right on or you may be way off. What I can tell you is that you are going about it backwards. Start with a check average per time slot. Then determine how many covers, checks, rings (pick your lingo). I am guessing you need to do better than the numbers you have above. For example, if box lunches will be your big lunch time seller, I will guess a check average of $8. $207 of daily lunch sales is only 26 lunch orders. Whoever is working your lunch surge (your word) is going to be bored silly if he/she waits on 26 people (each picking up one lunch) in 2-plus hours. Same with your breakfast pastries. At $1.50 per average, you are counting on selling fewer than 4 dozen a day? Add 2 dozen snacks at just over a buck a piece average and 3 dozen pastries at a $4 average for a total budgeted output of the pastry department of 9 dozen pieces a day! Your ovens and your mixers will hardly feel used. If this is your total expected volume, I hope you didn't buy something expensive like a sheeter. I am being sarcastic just to demonstrate my point that you certainly expect to do more volume than your dollar sales indicate.
  11. OK, I managed to purchase a case (1,000 count) of 9 inch by 12 inch shrink bags. I am not quite sure yet what they cost me, but they were not that much more expensive than regular vacuum pouches. It seems there are perhaps only two domestic manufacturers of these things. And a friend buys his regular bags direct from this manufacturer. All the shrink bags are manufactured to order and the minimums are quite high. I was able to tack a case onto an already scheduled order. The quantity is more than I may ever use. But at least I have plenty to play around with.
  12. I really, really like Mostly Martha. In fact, I watched it again a few weeks ago when I first saw the TV ads for No Res. I won't go see the English remake. No interest whatsoever.
  13. Thanks Edsel. I will take a place that works in commercial quantities. I have friends etc. that I can become the supplier to.
  14. I do not see what I am looking for at this site -- or the other one mentioned. I am looking for the specialty type vacuum bag that once it is vacuum sealed can be placed in 95C water for a few seconds. The sealed bag shrinks to closely conform to the shape of the material in the bag. The thusly shrunk bag and contents can then be processed as normal in a water bath. This bag is useful for foods that have been shaped and so that they will retain that shape during cooking. Eg, a block shaped terrine or a cylinder shaped "sausage." In his book, Roca refers to them simply as "shrink bags." Anyone?
  15. Does anyone have an online or catalog source for shrink bags? Nathan?
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