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    Frimley, England

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  1. Currently reading 'Bitter Taste' by David Evans. Cracking read about restaurant life more about it on http://esensesplayingwithourfood.blogspot.com/2010/03/bitter-taste-sideways-step-not-quite.html
  2. alexw

    Green tea solubility

    thanks for the info, will obtain different brands and see where it goes. I can see from both your points different techniques to flavour different products (we are doing a confit of rabbit leg in duck fat), and from this we are hoping to infuse the confit oil with the green tea, I confit over 60 hours at 67C so the boiling not an issue. what I cannot seem to achieve is imparting any tea flavour into the fat prior to cooking from the basice 'green tea' bags or the sencha that we are using currently, as fat is usually the chefs flavour transporter of choice was wondering if the teas flavour itse
  3. Hi, throwing a quick question out there in hope of some help, I am trying to infuse duck fat with green tea with not much success is there a technique known or is it simply that the tea compouns are not soluble in oil. I am trying to confit some rabbit legs for an assiette dish and currently using a green tea jus, buit would love to be able to work the flavour through the legs from the start. thanks for any light anyone can shed. Alex.
  4. All I can do is wish you every success, you seem to have thought the college/ no college thing through, and whilst qualifications do help, I know plenty of chefs who have got by just fine without, my only comment towards the former is that as you reach a more knowlegable position (sous chef for example) college would have given you a classical grounding to deal with head chefs demands and the ability to answer junior chefs questions with much more ease, I only point this out because my sous chef has no college training and from my point of view his lack of basic classical knowledge can be at t
  5. alexw

    Chef abuse

    Hmmm....methinks in the UK at least the industry needs to wean itself off cheap labour as this is just used as a cover for inefficiency... 20 years working in CH in luxury hotels/restaurants and though unpaid overtime was often expected and worked it was never of the 100 hour week variety so commonplace in London..salarys where also better and restaurant prices were lower, standards far higher too...What chefs in the UK need to realise is that you may be superman but others arent and after, say 15 hours hard graft you are not as effective as somone halfway into a 9 hour shift...mistakes occur
  6. the home chocolate factory has a wide range of sosa brand chemicals including different pectin grades, just google the name, or even sosa as they are about the main distributor. otherwise if you are in the trade Ritter Courivaud have a rannge of pectins including NH and yellow
  7. alexw

    Chef abuse

    not so sure about slotting it into myths and legends, until the day full employment is gleamed to a correct ratio of staff to work (not guests) then the 16 hour day is here to stay, and before you go on about the work, if most of the key restaurants who still advocate this simplified their menus/mis en place, then the chefs doing those hours would simply go elsewhere. not to mention the clientelle. as for juicy bonuses I have been in this business long enough to know that payroll is always a small percentage of any bonus and will always have more to do with guest satisfaction and food cost. th
  8. Knife skill, knife skill, knife skill. as for the quote above, you could just juice it.
  9. alexw

    Chef abuse

    Firstly can I comment on the opening post, the Tom Aiken thing, the story is much less abusive when you know the whole thing, I do not condone the way Tom used to run his kitchens, but that incident in particular is not as one sided as the press made out at the time, but so much water has passed under the bridge since then I'll leave it there. anyway having spent 20 years at the rockface, I have seen and been with some shocking attitude in my time, and in a nutshell if you feel anxious about going to work or its costing you sleep, MOVE ON. I would like to point out that there is a chasm of dif
  10. If every chef had been able to take his or her recipes with them and have them struck off menus, then we would all know very little. take pride in the fact you created them, take them with you and re-visit each one when you start your new job and make them shine more, that way everybody wins, including you as you will have an opportunity to develop yourself along the way. to quote a previous post, let it go
  11. One other thing, re-reading your post, you say they view you as 'their apprentice' last time I checked apprentice is not defined as 'skivvy needed when we are busy', apprentices are with you to learn, and really not much else, and should you have the conversation and it take a turn for the worse then perhaps you should remind them of this. Alex.
  12. Personally I would talk to the chef and if the truth is that the work could be done in an hour, he (or she) could get you in (maybe for a short unpaid period) to assist with the prep taking 2 hours to explain what is being done. I have been in kitchens 20 years and have seen numerous styles of businesses and had chefs come (and go) for a multitude of reasons, but one key factor is that chefs move on when they have nothing left to learn from me, which is why I push myself as hard as I push my staff so I (hopefully) always have something new to teach, let alone the amount I learn from my own fin
  13. Most I have ever paid was £430.25 (for 2)at sketch just after it opened, saddest thing was we walked out sober as judges. a year later, tasting menu with wines at the fat duck came to £398 (2 again), but at least this time when I went to see Ashley to thank him for the meal, I could barely walk. best value I have had at a fine dining level was WD-50, which came to $145 a head (£70-80 then) which was with the matching wines and again could barely make it to the door at the end. I tend to find that most high end food is worth the money (as a chef, knowing the cost of the food and production help
  14. Hey alex how you been? sorry to hear about the bike accident hope you are all recovered. Yeah wasn't really that bothered with it as I was just having a laugh anyway ← Good, all things considered. still can't walk any better than an extra on Shaun of the dead and still not in the kitchen yet (8 months off!!!!!!) anyway btw, fun is the only reason, too many cooks are far too serious about these things and forget why they started them in the first place. Good to hear from you. take it easy
  15. hi, try making a dry caramel, dry some strong cured bacon very dry so it will crumble in your hand(serrano better than parma otherwise just too salty, set the caramel, then blend to a powder with the dried bacon. melt into shaped strips on a silicone mat in a gentle to moderate oven. hope this helps
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