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    Seattle, WA USA

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  1. This news article is worth another repost: "Burnt Chefs: Former admissions representatives at CCA say they preyed on students’ dreams of becoming celebrity chefs and glossed over the painful economic realities of the industry": http://www.sfweekly.com/2007-06-06/news/burnt-chefs/ The article specifically deals with California Culinary Academy, but note also the mention of Career Education Corporation, the for-profit diploma mill which bought the school in 1999. This is the same company which owns the Le Cordon Bleus in the US. Hence the high pressure sales pitches you got. Here's another, wh
  2. Interesting. "[C]ulinary school with great chefs[..]" perfectly describes the vo-tech I graduated from. So here's my anecdotal twopence: - Of all the thoroughly stressed, burned out and plain cynical cooks I've ever met, by far the highest percentage came from expensive private schools, including yours. Reason is easy to see: debt load which lasted years, and misguided expectations. - Most recent CIA grad I worked with did all of the following: a) Insisted on saucing my dishes with a fish spatula. On his third day on the job. b) Put plastic lids on hotel pans before popping them into the conv
  3. Yes! Like right now! The snow and hail fell, and the streets cleared! I just got all my shopping done in 10 minutes! Pat!
  4. You already got lots of good advice, and yes, it's definitely doable. I also live near the market, about the same distance as you. I can't remember the last time I went to a chain grocer like Safeway or QFC, but I do go down to the International District a few times a month for Asian grocery shopping. There are bare basics available at Pike Place Market, namely a few fruits and veggies at Lina's Produce, and the shop connected to the Filipino food stall for dry goods and bottled and canned items, but the selection is still quite limited, as well as a lot more expensive compared to the ID. Ex.
  5. I'm a community college grad, and I got a great education for very little money. As with anything, school quality varies no matter what the cost, so it's best you check out the votechs and private schools yourself before making any decisions. Talk to the students, and have meals there. It's a definite plus if they will also do transfers towards an affiliated F&B management degree. In addition to my restaurant jobs, I also do temporary contract catering work via an agency. This means whenever I have a spare day, I get sent out all over the place to help out a day here and a day there at dif
  6. Everyone gets hit hard during a heat wave. Pantry doubly so. "STOP! ORDERING! OYSTERS!" And concerning attempts at getting broken A/C or fridge units fixed, I keep telling my superiors how I could just show up, look around, then disappear and not come back for only half what they get charged by the repair crews. I'm expecting them to take me up on my offer any day now. Pat
  7. Well, there's a couple different angles to the whole "respect" thing. There's respect accorded from outside, ie. the adoring dining public and food critics, and respect within the organization itself. The former, I personally don't care about, though our brunch did get routine raves from the foodies. The latter though, let's put it this way: Brunch pays all of the bills. Dinner would be a heck of a lot less interesting and financially solvent without brunch to help subsidize the whole shindig. Plus you get exercise for the speed and volume muscles, which is easy to translate into slower/more r
  8. Hehehe, you probably came very close but you did not break 500 because you did not work Mother's Day Brunch in 2006, where we set the cafe kitchen record of breaking 500 for the first time at 515! Nonetheless, agree about the Hell Shift aspect as well as the sheer volume. People have no idea how tiny the kitchen is, as well as just how few cooks are there to crank out all that food. Made me strong though. And probably a little bit messed up too! Pat
  9. When not at the restaurant, I pick up additional catering gigs to supplement my vast riches, hehehe. And when I have a Real Day Off, I cook for my friends! What's wrong with me!!! Pat
  10. Short explanation: your station gets killed (killed!!!) during happy hour. Long explanation: regular major projects in the form of making large quantities of dough, proofing them and punching them, balling them, cooking and reducing your sauces, and prepping all of your toppings. And you'll be tending your oven regularly, keeping it stoked without generating so much top heat that you burn all your toppings, and you have to find lots of speed in rolling out the pizza crusts. Woodfired ovens cook very, very fast, and chances are, you'll burn lots of pizzas in the beginning because it seems like
  11. To answer the OP, the best thing to do is to visit the schools themselves, take tours, speak to the faculty, and eat meals at the restaurants. And of course, talk to the students too. Beware the places that tell you your progeny will become the next TV star, or that they can expect to become sous chefs upon graduation, or if they basically avoid any mention of the realities of the hard slog, pay, and working conditions. We just let an extern go because they worked with our crew while wearing those assumptions. I'm a SCCC grad, class of 2005. If your daughter is still trying to decide, I'll be
  12. Yes. My school told me the same thing, and the health department dinged my last kitchen over a couple of us wearing wristwatches. If it's part of the regs, they have to teach it in school. Nowadays I carry a digital clock/kitchen timer with a magnet in the back. Stick to metal surface, toggle between clock and three concurrent timers as needed. Sometimes one learns the most useful things from the pastry crew. As for other suggestions for the OP, for home, get an aloe plant and an econo-size bottle of ibuprofen or whatever painkiller you prefer. And sleeping with a pillow under the knees will
  13. Roast Beef Kimmelwick sandwich at Buffalo Deli, downtown on 1st Ave. between Lenora and Blanchard. Pat
  14. Interesting. When I examined their work via the knives ScorchedPalette and seacrotty showed me several months ago, compared to my Kramer sharpened knives the work seemed nearly identical, so much so we all thought it was the same sharpener. Do you know who specifically sharpened your knives at EE? Pat
  15. That just makes me sad ← They are moving downstairs into the old No Boundaries Cafe space. Pat
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