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Steve Ramsey

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  1. It's simple. If Todd English is a judge, all you have to do is prepare tiny amounts uber pretentious consumables, put them on very large plates with acres of empty space between them, and play connect the dots with the sauce of your choice. You have completed an T.E. masterpiece.
  2. Iv'e been making and selling BB at my restaurant for a few months now. It's really my own I suppose, but I think it falls somewhere Between Tony's and Julia's in technique, but I must claim it because of the less expensive...um......no ...CHEAP ingredients that I have to use to make food cost. For one, I use chuck roll. I use the cheapest possible Carlo Rossi Jug Burgundy. And a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. (batch serves 25) It's absolutely better if chilled for 24 hrs and re-heated, and starts to peak after two or three days. Some kind of magic happens in that time. But the result is somewhat credible, and It's my second best selling menu item.
  3. Ditto on southern Kitchen. And down the street, 6th and pine, Primo Grill, and across the street, Riccardo's.
  4. Pound out a chicken breast fillet. Sear it and set it aside. Make a nice cream sauce with white wine, shalots and cream. Or a straigt up Burre Blanc if you wish. Add toasted almonds and sauted leeks. Cover the chx with the sauce and toss it in the oven for 10 min or so. A little parsely on top and your set.
  5. Nope, I think small portions suck, unless it's a very pricy ingerdient, or proper plate presentation absolutly calls for it. Every restaurant worth it's salt has take out boxes on request for those that can't handlethe portion.
  6. My experience is that culinary school just isn't much of an icebreaker. It wasn't for me. What got me my first job was establishing immediate rapport with the chef. I had many interviews, mostly with HR types, and was screened out as unqualified in every case. To soon to graduate culinary school types: Your goal should be to get to see the chef or the sous or whoever in white needs the labor. HR types suck. Take anything offerd to you. It's MUCH easier getting the second job than the first. Work hard, take your lumps, and be ready when opportunity knocks, say when MR totally unreliable line cook pisses the chef off for the last time. Be ready to step in. Don't be arrogant, but be SUPER CONFIDENT in yourself. Believe that you can overcome any obstacle, any challange. Dive in. Attack the problem with every bit of energy and know how you have, and odds are, you will come out on top. A little luck doesn't hurt. It's working for me, and I got into cooking at age 44, after a blown out career in aerospace. I am on the line now, doing grill, roast, and saute, 60 to 100 covers a night. Independant fine/casual dining establishment I have a good shot at becoming the chef shortly. It's hard work, but It's everything I wanted it to be. Time from first day of culinary training to the present? 16 months. Mind you, I never set foot in a commercial kitchen before that. I just worked my ass off. I treated school like it was work. My school chef let me graduate early due to demonstrated competance. Mind you, I never was a good student before then, but I applied myself this time.
  7. Steve Ramsey

    pesto additives

    But you basic basil pesto in the food processor, and add some soaked, sun dried tomatos. It's a pretty good combo.
  8. Food cost is a big problem right now. Beef? UP. Poultry? UP Dairy? WAY UP. Atkins is driving the beef demand, with ripples into the pork market. Bird flu has poultry and egg prices up. (large numbers of chickens being exported to asia) Atkins again as dairy farmers get out of milk and into beef, the purveyors tell us this should slacken in the fall as dairy farmers get back into the suddenly profitable dairy market. This leaves us with a choice to raise prices in a sagging economy, or cut portions. It's a mix of both, but business for us if off 30+% from last year, and we surmise it's a combination of lower traffic and our highr prices to compensate for higher food costs. We're struggling to find the sweet spot right now. But generally, our experience it that casual diners feel cheated by too small portions. High end diners don't seem bugged at all.
  9. I can feel the overly pretentious vibe already. The question is, what will T.E. do to home plate? Probably a dot of coffee infused lobster custard on one corner, and a steamed fava bean on the opposite corner, with a smear of chanterelle demi glace in between.
  10. If I can't get handmade locally, make mine hebrew nationals.
  11. Probably Prosper Montagne. Started at the bottom like me, had a bit of a contrarian bent like me. Eventually wrote the book on the matter. You know...the book.
  12. I'm a cook, and the word chef is getting somewhat overused, and has different meanings in every kitchen you walk into; a chef in one kitchen migh be a suitable prep cook in another. There are chefs, and the there are chefs. Same for cooks I suppose, but I'm doing fairly well and by that I mean I don't get complaints, or comped meals, and the chef lets me do my own specials. I'm not sure why I got into this at age 44. Certainly not the money. I just feel in my element in a kitchen, like nothing is beyond me. I'm comfortable there. Something about it appeals to me as intrinsically important, down in my bones. In the kitchen, I have powers. I can make you smile with pleasure, I can make you barf (I could but never will). There is something primal and basic about it. I am much more unnerved and intimidated by the world outside the kitchen I.E. paying my bills is much more a bitch than knocking out a twelve top. Sure it's hot. Very Hot. Noisy. Chaotic. Some say stressful, but not for me, though I can believe that is the case for many. But I go home feeling like iv'e done something good. Iv'e done a lot of hard jobs, worked in ditches, on assembly lines, and without a doubt, professional cooking is the hardest work Iv'e ever done save for my stint in the army, where I was an infantryman. It takes it's toll but right now I can handle it pretty well. I intend to keep doing it until I can't anymore. Maybe someday I will be a chef, maybe not. I know I'm behind on the normal timeline, but I don't care. Being a cook is one job where over-identifying yourself with your job is not a problem.
  13. I'll be the first to say I like Ranch dressing....in it's place. But it's become the new white trash all purpose sauce. Many a careful preparation has been spoiled by the addition of the white goo.
  14. I really don't unserstand your requirement for "scientific" proof. Every analysis of the industry, every study of the state of the cattle futures market, every farm report, and every tretise on the subject from cattalmen's and dairymen's organizations all implicate aTkins. If what you want is a white paper after a year long study from a group of white coated ivy leage professors and chemists to convince you, well, then you have no mastery of the obvious whatsoever.
  15. Ok, ATKINS. My spelling may not be so good, at least when it comes to names, but my FACTS are pretty good. Extra! Consumers chew on soaring beef prices "With supply low and demand high, the cost of a steak or a burger has never been higher. And high prices will be around for a while. One big reason: the Atkins diet." Atkins diet fuels surging demand for U.S. beef "With diet gurus urging Americans to eat their meat but drop the potatoes, beef prices are surging. According to a report on Friday, wholesale beef and veal prices rose 18.3 percent last month, the biggest one-month increase since 1974, when the United States was struggling to "Whip Inflation Now." "If this keeps up, I'll be able to get my wife a new car," said Chuck Kiker, a rancher in Beaumont, Texas." Average per capita consumption of beef has risen to 64.4 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a nearly 10 percent increase over the past four years. In part, that's because of the popularity of high-protein weight-loss plans like the Atkins diet, which have encouraged people to trade carbohydrates for beef and other meat. At the same time, according to the beef association, the supply of beef per capita has plummeted to its lowest level in 30 years. With the Atkins diet fueling the demand for high-protein beef and retail cases filled with heat-and-serve beef products, cattle producers are selling just about anything on the hoof to take advantage of record-high prices. "The whole market trend right now or the psychology is let?s rush them to market," said Dr. Ernie Davis, Texas Cooperative Extension livestock marketing economist. ......................................
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