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Paula Jonvik

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    North of Seattle Washington on the West Coast of United States
  1. ... Talk about coming into a forum topic late! Ah, better late then never... Just proves I need to get off that UK Forum more often! Wonderful thread! Great books, Great food, Great times! Another cookbook that was released back in May of 2005 was "Matching Food & Wine- Classic And Not So Classic Combinations" by Michel Roux Jr. of Le Gavroche Restaurant in London. This 192 page hardback, with beautiful color photos by Tara Fisher was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, part of the Orion Publishing Group (ISBN 0 297 843273). In it, Roux Jr claims it is not a 'wine' book. For that you would be better off to read one of the superbly penned tomes by the greats. However, it is a wonderful guide to those of us who question what wine/drink selections would best bring out the flavors of the dishes he has paired to them. The book is written in sections, reflecting the courses in a meal. From pre-dinner drinks (I gotta go with Champagne...) to starters, mains, cheese and finally dessert, he explains why he has matched this to that. His recipes are simple and complete. Not all of the wines listed are vintage outta this world bottles, but more generally listed by styles and grape varieties. That makes it easier to find a bottle in your local without having to mortgage your home. On the other hand, if you have a special bottle you want to build a meal around, there are suggestions for that too! In addition, if you are planning to dine at Le Gavroche in the future, you can enjoy first-hand his special seasonal menus that reflect his experienced pairing philosophy, not to mention the best service in London! A REAL TREAT! Roux states: "As with anything to do with taste, this whole subject is open to much debate. One thing is for sure, though- the pleasures derived from tasting and experimenting with food and wine is never ending." I trust this gentleman's expertise, talent and palate, and look forward to enjoying many of the recipes and pairing tips that he has suggested. See ya on the threads! Paula Jonvik
  2. Hey Mr. Marshall! Congratulations! I know your new gig is going to be a smashing success! It is really quite refreshing to know that a person can still live their dreams! Looking forward to you posting ongoing stories about your experiences, provided that you can find the time! Again- Congratulations! It's quite a step to take, and I can only imagine what you must be feeling... Sincerely, Paula
  3. ...Although it has more recently become popular to serve them with vodka on... The type of which I speak is a freshly shucked, what we in the Pacific NW deem as 'extra small' (about the size of the end of your thumb) Oyster, in a shot glass and highly seasoned with a dash of tabasco, Worcestershire & a pinch of horseradish or squeeze of fresh lime juice and a grind of fresh black pepper. Then you slurp it down... Although, I prefer my Oysters neat, or breaded and pan fried.
  4. As usual, your finger on the pulse, Andy! Which of the above did you enjoy? Always wanted to ask- do London restaurants/Pubs/Bars serve Oyster Shooters? Cheers, Paula
  5. ...jgarner53 has made a VERY excellent point regarding being an un-paid worker in an industrial setting. Yes, no matter how small, a kitchen is a dangerous place, especially if you end up working with angry chefs/bakers, imho. If you are injured during the course of your 'shadowing' you are on your own! Even when a paid employee is injured, it is hell trying to get any compensation, and if you think $10 to $15 an hour sucks, just try being injured and getting on financially! That said, I now agree that school, for the most part is a waste of money. I am still paying back tuition loans from 14 years ago and the things/methods I learned was topical to say the least. Working with a good chef or baker and learning from them is the best method (as evidenced by the French method of apprenticships). Remember there are 100+ ways of doing any one thing and each chef/baker has his/her own methods. Listen, learn and remember... TIME: TIMER: TEMPERATURE!!! melmck spoke of the moving and working and reading and experimenting method. I think that is a wonderful way of learning. Just look at Charlie Trotter! That is how he did it. Best of luck to you! Paula
  6. One hundred years ago in London, you would have had to look pretty hard to find the name of any chef in any print (with the exception of Escoffier that is). The Maitre d' was the public figure head and enjoyed a much greater degree of notability than today. Yeah, what happened? I think that the public has grown lazy and disrespectful. I think that, for the most part, people have decided not to enter into the 'dance' that is fine dining. Dining out, especially at the high end, requires a mutual respect and a certain degree roll playing that most people are not interested in participating in, in my humble opinion. People arrive, want to be fed, and leave. They want value for money. They are not interested in the 'experience' of dining. Silvano Giraldin is quoted as having said- "The problem is that the British do not make a distinction between "servants' and 'service', as there is a huge difference." Perhaps what is needed in London is a NEW magazine... dealing strictly with Front of House. So many people think that FOH is only about serving food. That is a shame. Others feel that the FOH is something that is unecessary to their dining experience. Again, a shame. Front of House requires knowledge about so many different topics, from full on public relations and dealing with the interviewing, hiring, training and honing of personnel; all aspects of business such as accounting, banking, and all money oriented sides, et ectera; the cost, proper selection, storage, pairing and service of wine, and knowledge of stemware, and its care and maintenance; linens and everything about their production, storage, use and proper care... Just for a start. Let's give these FOH folks the respect and coverage they truly deserve! Is there a website that is dedicated solely to FOH? I have never come across that one! Sincerely, Paula Jonvik Seattle
  7. This is a fab thread! I have bookmarked it for future reference! The combined knowledge, wisdom and experience on eGullet is worth more than all of the cooking/baking books out there... Real time experience and feedback. I love this site!!! Cheers! Paula Jonvik
  8. I read this post just before I hit the hay tonight. I made myself get back out of bed, fire up the infernal dial up- smoke 2 cigarettes waiting for the page to load, just so I could say... Silvano Giraldin.
  9. Ohhhhh... And whole Cardamom pods... and dried Kafir Lime Leaves... Sure do wish I was going! Have a great time! Paula
  10. Hello! I usually make the flourless cake/torte known as "Queen Mother Cake", and by several other names (laughing), but it calls for very finely chopped blanched almonds in the mix. Great for another texture, but bad for 'no nut' people. A quick layer of flavored ganache and/or fruit/berries (raspberries, mmmm) makes for a nice combo! GOOD LUCK! Paula
  11. Agreed! Curlywurlyfi, the description of your recent meal is superbly written, and I KNOW you had a great time! I could not have done a better job myself, and I just love to hear your well pleased tone ring out from the post! Thank you for sharing your experience! Sincerely, Paula Jonvik
  12. No GG. I am not blaming him for all of these things. I am simply pointing out that because of his prominance these points are brought to light more so than usual. My point is that his gimmick has been deemed acceptable in the first place. I find the whole Ramsay thing unpalatable. As for entertaining- no. Not in the least. At least we agree to disagree!:)
  13. "It's just a TV show! Pure entertainment. Ever notice how characters in a Shakespeare play are "treated"? I believe that all the participants on screen were "consenting adults!" and that no contestants were harmed during the making...." Yes. THIS example is a TV show. But in reality, there are people who worked for him and his that have... for example... Overdosed on drugs and went nuts and was found dead; a scholarship recipient who gave back his prize and wanted nothing more to do with him or it; workers who are bringing suit against his group in courts of law... real people. Not reality TV entertainment. I'm sure these things are daily happenings in every kithcen worldwide, but why glorify it? Before GR is a TV celebrity, he is a businessman. His style (?) is, shall we say, imho *^#%$&*)! Everybody has a gimmick. I just find his highly offensive. Nice man outside the kitchen? Perhaps? Not someone I would want to hang with though. Paula
  14. GORDON GO HOME... and take your foul ways with you! I can not believe that this show, or man, serves any positive purpose in the culinary arts. Entertaining some say? I find it horribly unprofessional, no mater what side of the pond you are from. I would NEVER dine at a Ramsay property even if it were free. I myself have no drive or ambition to dine upon the anger, fear, and foulness of such a person or his wannabe clones. The real problem with a show like this is that it gives sick and wrong thoughts and ideas in the heads of people- that it is stylish and o.k. to act like this- to treat people like this. Is there no one else who finds this type of treatment highly offensive? Is it not boardering on illegal? ...and don't give me that "It's only a show for the cameras" line. This guy is out of control. What has happened to society, when a guy like this is given the green light? Disgusting. Paula Jonvik
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