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Everything posted by Franky2Times

  1. If you have a gas stove, you can just burn the wax over the flame. Takes a few seconds and it will release all the aroma.
  2. This is a very good question that begs for an expert answer. My humble experience is that small establishments, lets say under 5 million in F&B sales, require the Chef to budget the kitchen labor around 30% or less of food sales exclusively. Where food is the main attraction to a place, this doesn't make any sense to me. The last place I used to work, sales were consistent at around 50,000 a week, 20 to 28,000 being food. This is a place that didn't take any reservations and where people would wait at the bar up to 2 hours waiting for a table. Most of the liquor and beverage sales were directly related to food sales. In other words, without the appeal of the food, the place would have been another bar with burgers and wings. Now my budget for kitchen staff, including myself as exec, was about $7000 weekly. Try to manage a high-end kitchen doing 300 to 500 covers a night on that budget. I found it impossible and eventually quit (after finding myself washing floors at 1:30 a.m. because I could not afford a late dishwasher or porter). In bigger corporations or when the owner is not drawing a salary but is most likely a shareholder, my experience is that the kitchen labor is awarded between 20 up to 25% of TOTAL sales. Feedback from experts, please??
  3. There's a million examples of bad wording but "tomato confit" is not one of them. The verb "confire" in French means to preserve food from decay. It is a verb and the noun "confiture" is the equivalent of "jam". A vegetable confit is simply a vegetable preserve such as a shallot confit, a caper confit or a tomato confit. It means it has been cooked usually with a mix of vinegar or lemon juice and sugar or salt. When you see the work confit associated with meat, it means it's been cooked in its own fat and preserved this way. Un confit de tomates is essentially a tomato preserve. Une confiture de tomates would be a tomato jam. In France, either vegetable or meat, you would normally find these products jarred.
  4. Mike, I almost agree with everything you imply. However, having learned how to cook in several countries, including this one, I can say that Americans lack the will and desire to learn a very hard trade that can be rewarding when mastered. I always compare it to law school where you have to invest a lot of money, spend countless hours for at least 5 years just studying and end up earning very little money for years unless you slave it off for a big firm, assuming the said firm will hire you. In both cases, it is a tremendous investment of time and money from the student. You're not gonna be a partner in a law firm unless you've worked for them for 10 years or so AFTER your 5 year school program. You're not gonna become a chef unless you've learned your basics either in school, paying money for it, or working basically for free for years. Then, you start working for real!!! I've seen broiler guys perfectly cook 500 steaks to order for $12.50 an hour for 10 hours. These guys have more than 10 years of experience. But you know what, these same guys I know are now big time chefs either here in NY or back in their own countries...and making big $$$. What most people refuse to understand is that cooking is much less of an art than it is a trade.
  5. Franky2Times

    Beef Tenderloin

    In order to dry age a cut of beef, you need a thick layer of fat which, of course, the tenderloin doesn't have. Unless you can age a whole animal, whoever claims to sell an aged tenderloin is lying. If you try to age a tenderloin as you would a ribeye or a strip let's say for 21 days, it will just rot and be inedible. Also, the USDA categories as applied to tenderloins, as far as I'm concerned, don't matter much since it mainly refers to the layering of fat. The difference in taste between a prime or a choice, for a Filet, is minimal. Your Costco loin will be just fine as is. Just roast it whole, spiked between the chain and the eye, with fresh herbs (thyme comes to mind), garlic and peppercorns and deglaze with a good wine and beef stock reduction. It will be really good if you sear it on all sides in the roasting pan and then put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. Good luck!
  6. Most wholesalers either stock it (Dairy Land or D'Artagnan) or can get it for you from the market. Ask your favourite restaurant chef. The american is pretty inexpensive. Is it worth it? I'll leave it up to you...
  7. It's all about culture. Hot Dogs, Salami, most sausages are pretty horrible to me. Horse Steaks are tasty and the ground meat, usually from the neck area, makes a wonderful burger. Then again, I grew up in Montreal, a barbarian city. Horses, like cows, are from many different species. No one would eat a pet or race horse since it would be all muscles. Horse meat usually comes from special breeds (very fat) that are raised exclusively for fat and meat. The original French Fries, from Belgium, the best in the world, used to be cooked in horse fat. Some of the best French restaurants still do it this way.
  8. Go for it. If you love people, food, wine, the whole hospitality business, you'll love it and make good money. The best servers and bartenders I've ever worked with in the last 20 years were all over 40 years of age. If you have a good sense of humor and not too much ego, GMs will hire you. I know I would. Good luck.
  9. Sorry gal, the place wasn't even opened 9 months ago. INEDIBLE!!! One of the best pork chops I've ever had.
  10. I'm fairly certain that Egan & Sons is NOT open for lunch. Neither is Table 8. ← As far as Egan's goes, it's just as well, really. Nice room and a good bar, but the food is pretty horrible. ← Horrible???? 3 1/2 star for food (Star-Ledger). Local and not so local chef hang-out (yes, for food). Really hard to get a table on week-ends.
  11. If you like real mexican food and can truly appreciate it, Los Tapatios at 10, Main Street in West Orange is THE place to go. The menu is kind of misleading, most things sounding like american versions but don't let it fool you. Very authentic, very cheap fare, very nice people. BYO.
  12. Franky2Times


    Think he was at Yello. Good luck to him, sounds great.
  13. Sooo... Food sucks, beer sucks, service sucks????? Why is there about 2 to 3 hundred people a night there if not more?
  14. What a great piece of litterature. As a catholic raised kid, I never quite understood the need to eat only fish on Fridays and no candy during lent. Then I married a Jewish girl... My two cents is that religion once served a purpose! You couldn't eat meat during lent in Western Europe just because it had gone bad (without refrigeration) from the previous hunting period. Pork has long been fed garbage and bottom feeders from warm waters are actually very dangerous thus the need for Kosher laws. I am an agnostic but I still think religion might have saved the human race from food poisoning. Gotta admit I don't know much about the Jehovah's but that my way of putting them off knocking at my door was to tell them I was a communist and actually ate human flesh.
  15. Also Whole Foods in Montclair sells Mesquite Chips and some other wood chips...
  16. This is a relatively new CAFE at the corner of Walnut and Grove in Montclair. The CAFE is a CAFE and it is what it is. It doesn't pretend to be anything else and is very good at what it's doing, Spanish cuisine with american lunch items. The fact that they don't serve Spanish specialties on a given night, especially after the customer called and was informed about it, should not be held against them. This is a tiny business. They don't need the bad publicity. Are our "consultant" friends looking for new customers? Nothing on that menu is expensive and nothing is pretentious. Go for lunch and enjoy.
  17. Only my two cents... Buy a good knife (a Wusthoff 10' slicer or Chef's knife); buy a good Select cheap steak (there's a very good Australian Ribeye available in most supermarkets) and do it yourself.... You'll keep the knife and pay about the same would you have used a prominent butcher... and it's a sandwich for god's sake.
  18. Jalisco is one of my favorite states in Mexico if only because it harbours great beaches like Barra de Navidad and the whole area around Puerto Vallarta. One of my greatest moments in the state, though, was the train ride from Guadalajara to Tepic, Nayarit. You go through blue Tequila country, including Tequila (the puebla, itself, not far from Guadalajara) then through rain forests at high elevation where the Indian population is very friendly, then back down towards the coast to Tepic, near San Blas in the state of Nayarit. If you have a little more time than your regular 2 week vacation, you will not only find the best Tequilas (...and discover the original ones that don't travel out of the country) but you will eat the best food in the country and meet very friendly people. The plane ride from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara shouldn't be very expensive and only takes about an hour, if I remember correctly.
  19. I can't believe I'm gonna miss this. I'll be busy cooking at Egan's in Montclair. But everybody else in their right mind should be there. Crawfish??? Buckwheat Zydeco??? Why didn't we learn about this earlier??? Think I'll run a special Ribeye with crawfish Bourbon sauce in honor of this.... By the way, guys, where have your French gone? It's "Cochon", not "couchon" (suckling pig).
  20. Sad, sad, sad. Just give the kids sandwiches, cookies, cake, whatever kids love (pizza too). Lotsa booze for adults. The only funerals I ever attended were for my immediate family (mom, grandparents and cherished aunts and uncles) and I really didn't care about food (if it matters, I'm an executive chef). Just wanted to get really drunk.
  21. Peter Luger's rocks. Name a better steakhouse (piece of meat)... ← The Post House... Best Rib Steak and Porterhouse.
  22. As much as I hate to admit it, this place has always disapointed me. I've had, by far, the worst burger in my life last summer (dry and well done small patty even though I ordered it medium rare) and on later visits, some very ordinary "diner-like" salads. I think Montclair really needs a place like this but they have to do MUCH better on the food. Service was between nonchalent and rude. I just walked by tonight (Friday) around 6:45 and the place was EMPTY but for one table. I truly hope they recover.
  23. Mayo is the food of gods. I agree with Hellmans being a perferctly fine product but I prefer the Whole Foods brand strictly for taste. I used to be able to find DeJardine's Jalapeno Mayo (which was the best to me before I discovered Whole Foods) but it seems to have been off the shelves for awhile now, at least here in the Northeast. Can you still find it anywhere else???
  24. What's the difference between a chicken and a horse??? What are we talking about here, pleeeeaaaase? Nothing personal here Rosie but this post unfortunately shows american ignorance towards foreign cultures. Mexico is a huge country with vast regional differences. The French influence, e.g. in the southeast is so prevalent that you'll find better pastries and bread than anywhere in the US. Truffles? You got them. Herb and spice varieties? More than anywhere in the world except maybe India or China. Remember this is the country where chocolate, chilies, tomatoes and chilies were "discovered". Nothing against Cuban food but I can't even think of anything resembling Mexican gastronomy.
  25. Let's see... Got plenty of leftovers sooo.... Onion soup, since there's some gruyere and sherry; pork stew with lots of dried chilies; got potatoes for chips tomorrow along with avocadoes and cilantro and Tequila and Bud and Football. Just gonna wait until it melts and then, maybe I'll go out.
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