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Everything posted by Timh

  1. I guess I should be more specific. The city has a few aggressive wine programs, and not neccesarily with the food to match. There are ,according to my friend a wine purveyor, some very good places in the surrounding burbs that offer interesting options with food to match.
  2. I think this bodes well for small independents that are able to differentiate themselves from the rest. I rather enjoy watching the chains beat up on each other.
  3. If your into Italian its better than average, French is average, Cali is hit and miss, as well as overpriced.
  4. Culinary school is the fun part, everyone should try it. But its what you do after that really directs your career. As in Europe(all of my french and Italian chef friends agree, the culinary schooling wasn't that big of a deal) its all about the years of training with established(re:successful) chefs, learning and perfecting technique. Not all experience is the same, there is high quality and low quality, the high quality generally take a longer amount of time and is usually less paying, but its the experience of perfecting technique under quality leadership that the better houses look for. Nowdays everyone wants instant gratification, graduate to sous, or chef, instead of embarking on learning and perfecting the craft.
  5. It makes me sick to my stomach to think I am $70,000+ in debt to a school that educates restaurant professionals and I can't even get a food runner job because I have never worked front of the house. And I have not had one person hire me on the bases that I went to school, I have not a single person say, well the school degree is what sealed the deal for me. Nope. In fact most people say, oh you went to school, great I have another know-it-all. Let me just say my know-it-all tendencies were there long before I started school! ← And thats what those of us who graduated long ago have been saying, especially to the ones asking the" which school is better?" Sorry for the harsh awakening. Hopefully your experiences will shine a clearer light for others thinking of entering the game.
  6. Great chefs are driven, often singleminded in their pursuit of quality and running a successful restaurant at a consistent level. They are keen to detail. Geniuses just think up shit and make it work, not always in a successful business. Great chefs remain employed. I also think there is a certain genius in most successful chefs in their ability to recognize what works. I also think guys like Harlan Sanders, Ray Croc(sp?), Wolfgang, and all those that created and defined "fast food" are geniuses.
  7. Timh

    Kitchen Myths

    The initial #8 post is BS, in all of the kitchens, in all of the different countries I've worked in, its all about the drink at the end of the night, with your fellow workers and those at all the other restaurants. I could also make issue with any of the other points, but #8 was the most glaring BS. edited to add; this thread was initiated by a non industry person, go figure.
  8. Timh

    trotters..what to make

    I shop at Dewars. Great place, and only buy my fish from next door. I cook privately in Dover.
  9. Timh

    trotters..what to make

    The shank is same as the shin, the trotter is the foot. If the shank is whole you can slow braise it and then crisp it in a hot oven. If its slices like an ossobuco, you can either soup it, or do ossobucco. As far as the trotter, while living in Japan, at my local yakitori they would first boil the trotter, then grill it. It was really good, and crazy to eat all at the same time. Really technical challenge is to bone it and stuff it. Otherwise i've always just braised it, pulled the bones and nails, dices everything, and fried it crspy, though you can leave it as one piece , bread it and treat it like a cutlet.
  10. I would guess that you would take a big cut in pay also. Engineers surely make more than line cooks, even sous chefs. If you just want to cook, pick up shifts in any kitchen you can find that will let you in. As a line cook, pantry, whatever, its only about cooking. If you stick with it long enough to make it to sous chef, its still about production, but also everyone elses production, and then non cooking , usually involving inventory and cleaning. As chef, its about managing, and numbers, less cooking, more overseeing. Oh ,and did I mention the crappy pay? But if your wife can cover your drop in income so that you can test the waters, go for it.
  11. That would be alotta smear, but then It wouldn't surprise me to see it done. Fries work, and now that I think of it, there is also the Gotham B&G vertical plate (overhead air space) coverage. If you can't go large to the left or right, go big, up.
  12. To me, plate coverage practitioners operate in terms of value perception for people who think in terms of quantity, not quality. Higher up the scale you've got those that prefer to "paint" around the smaller portions or just smear. I find those "painting" and/or "smearing" rather tiresome and lacking in originality.
  13. The Steven Colbert of the NY food scene?
  14. Imagine his response if you all just stopped talking about him.
  15. Timh

    Chef Ethics

    Working for someone I would answer this way: Telling customers that the pollock is halibut. Telling customers that the rice is vegetarian when we put chicken stock in it. Telling customers that it's safron rice when it's 98% tumeric. Telling customers that all the scallops and prawns are fresh when they aren't. Telling customers that it's vegetarian soup with their is chicken stock in it. Telling customers that the pork is veal Telling customers that the frozen pre-made products are fresh, homemade Whatever you wish me to do BOSS Hope this helps - ←
  16. Craigie is a former F&W best chef, O Ya is a newly recognized F&W new chef as well as being listed by Frank Bruni (NY Times) as the top new restaurant in the country.
  17. Great report, and my ass got bigger just looking at the photos. Donald link is the man fo sho. When I was cooking in Houma, we would leave the scales on the grilled redfish, grilling only on the scale side,tented with foil, sliding a spatula between the skin and flesh to remove. It made for a moister fish.
  18. Timh

    Stage in France

    haha is the kitchen Japanese? Well, we do have quite a few people from Japan who work in the Kitchen, and yes they do stpeak French (very little ). The food is aboslutely amazing!!! There isn't one plate that is athentically JUST JAPANNESE OR FRENCH, they both are intertwinded to create fusions (of course). They speak a lot of Japanese in the Kitchen as well... the Exect. Chef/Owner studied in Japan for many years, and he is fully capable in speaking Japanese... so he does. haha It's kind of odd actually. How long were You in Japan for? ← I was in Kurume and Fukuoka, Japan for 2 years, working at a hotel and 2 satelite restaurants. I also found everyone to be more receptive to me as long as I made the effort. Losing the self consciousness and not worrying about grammar and all that made it easier to communicate. In Paris, I had the same experience, the more I stumbled thru my french, the more they stumbled thru their english. It was funny at times as would occasionally command in english, I would respond in french, or I would ask in french and they would respond in english. Good times, and good luck.
  19. Timh

    Chef Ethics

    He wants the reference. ← Of a place he has no respect for? From a shoe factory? Of what value is this reference?
  20. Timh

    Chef Ethics

    Other than being friends with the chef you should feel no obligation to leave on good terms with these people, what is the point? The reality is that after you, another body will fill your position and unless you did something really amazing, or crazy, you will be forgotten. So if its a shoe factory as you say it is, who cares if they like you after you leave. I'm sure there are more than a few good opportunities available in Vancouver, focused searches on cuisine styles that suit you will lead to the position that you want. As far as a 2 week notice, if the new employer wants you sooner, I wouldn't fret over the obligatory timeframe, just no more than a week would be justifiable.
  21. What I did in Japan, France, and then the kitchens I led stateside that had hispanic or Brazilian staff was to make a list of kitchen phrases, commands, basically everything one would say in the course of prep, service, after service, and had the equivalent translated for me. I laminated it and carried it with me everywhere. After a couple of months, I was able to leave it on a shelf.
  22. For a burger I would hit Port o' Call on Esplanade(if its still open). Between Bayona, Lillet, and Upperline,why not hop to all three, all are different styles, and 2 dishes at each should be perfect.
  23. Timh

    Stage in France

    I'm curious, is the kitchen japanese(in Burgundy?). I did apprenticeships in both Paris and Fukuoka and Kurume Japan, I learned much of my french while in Japan,go figure. I'd say go with your french except when refering to a japanese dish, method, or moment. Even if they are japanese in France, they speak french.
  24. When the front would sit and order the entire dining room, all I could do, as a chef of a 50 seat or a 250 seat, was to fire and send tickets in groups, 4-6 at a time. Some will wait, but at least their food will be right. I got little satisfaction from giving back to the mismanagement of the front of house, but when they would look at me as I called pick up and they weren't ready, I would then call 2 more. Payback sucks, ya know? I refused to let the kitchen be the fall guy for inept foh management,( and I'm the bad guy?)
  25. Timh

    Michelin stars

    When I was doing my apprenticeship in Paris in the early 90's, I remember the sous chef remarking that, generally speaking, the food at 1 and 2 star restaurants was usually more exciting as they were pushing the envelope for their 2nd and 3rd star, the ones with 3 were just trying to maintain them.
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