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Everything posted by MichaelB

  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?
  16. I think it is the mesh size. I have the 20, 30 and 50. the 50 IS an incrediblytight weave.
  17. Here is what you want. A Japanese drum sieve with snap in screens. You can buy screens from 20 to 65 mesh. Link to Korin page
  18. One table for 2 at lunch?? Wonder what the person who wrote that was looking at? I am trying to picture the dining room the last time I was there a bit over a year ago. Downstairs, the alcove to the right had three 2s along the right wall. The main dining room had 2s all the way around three sides of the perimeter of the room. So, say at least ten or twelve tables for 2 downstairs. I didn't go upstairs. I have only dined there as a party of two. My reservations have been between 7 and 8 pm. I recently had to change a party of 6 to a 2 due to failed travel plans for us and another couple. If I recall, the adjusted reservation was for 6 pm. I have said it before on this thread and will say it again. If you absolutely must dine at TFL and are not willing to engage in guerilla warfare (speed dialing, midnight Open Tabling, 5:30 dinner reservations) to do so, try this. Book a two night stay at one of the three Relais & Chateaux hotels in the area (Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood or Les Mars), after making your reservation transfer to the Concierge, ask him or her for assistance with dining reservations at the hotel one night and at TFL the other, give your Concierge a Grant when you arrive for your stay. Expensive? Sure. Painless? You bet. (Note: I have never had to use this method at TFL, but have without fail many other places.) (Second note: Staying in hotels at that level can be nearly as addicting as dining in restaurants at that level.)
  19. OK In Fort Mitchell itself, the Greyhound Tavern. Traditional gathering spot for locals. Have the fried chicken. Other than that, chain central I am afraid. Head into downtown Covington, and try Pho Paris or Greenup Cafe, both on Greenup between 3rd and 4th. These are the two Kentucky outposts of Jean-Robert de Cavel (Jean-Robert at Pigall's). Pho Paris is Vietnamese and Asian style prepared in a French manner. Greenup Cafe uses the "bohemian cafe" tag line. Greenup has a great weekend brunch and a beautiful outdoor dining area. Pho Paris also has courtyard dining. Covington is a five minute drive. Beyond that, head into downtown Cincinnati. Several threads on that topic. Add two more minutes to get downtown.
  20. Just off campus is Floyd's a hole-in-the-wall eastern Med place. Terrific roast chicken, hummus, baba ganouche, lima bean salad. You get the picture.
  21. I have done that too. In fact, I think the story is upthread someplace. In my case the cutter just raked entirely across the fleshy part of may palm. Nothing left to stitch.
  22. For once, at least, my home state law shows some enlightenment. In Ohio (as I understand the law), an establishment can serve anyone in the presence of his or her parent. Put a champagne glass in front of a toddler -- OK if Mommy is there. (Apologies if this came up earlier in the thread; I wore out about halfway through.)
  23. I also was a loyal Egg Farm Dairy customer. I recall an order for either 24 or 36 pounds of butter that had the customer service rep freaked out because I couldn't give her a restaurant name for the order. I finally told her I was a caterer
  24. I have never vacuum bagged vegetables for storage and cannot think of any that I would consider doing so. Now, I would cut, blanch and shock vegetables; mix with sauce; portion; vacuum bag before service; hold at near freezing; heat in the bag for service.
  25. My experience indicates that you get several days of added refrigerator life. But, as in all things, that general experience is not a universal truth. Remember your product may not have been subject to pristine handling prior to your having received it. Also, you need to be very careful with the low oxygen environment and temperatures in the average home refrigerator. Clostridium botulinum can reproduce at temperatures exceeding 37F. Most home refrigerators sit near 40F and if you have, say, kids, more like 45F. Here's how I use vacuum packing for home refrigeration. The purpose is to duplicate as closely as possible the environment of a commercial fish file. In a 32 - 35F refrigerator, I place a 25# plastic fish tub (get these from your fish vendor, his wholesaler delivers stuff to him in them). On top of that tub, I nest a 10# fish tub with most of the bottom cut out. On top of that, I nest a plastic basket into the cut out opening. I place vacuum packed fish filets in the plastic basket and cover them with crushed ice. So, now the fish is being held at 32F. Most fish that was prisitine when I purchased it will hold 5 or more days in this environment. Tonight, I will use for dinner a piece of tuna that I purchased Saturday. I know the whole fish hit my vendor on Friday night. I watched him take the fish off ice and fillet it. I immediately vacuum bagged my piece and put it under ice for the drive home (only necessary because I knew this was Tuesday's fish). Then I placed in in my fake fish file. I am confident that it will be nearly as good as it would have been Saturday.
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