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Everything posted by Timh

  1. I'm spending the holidays at our family(tree) farm in southern Ark./northern La(pop. 400) There is one small grocery, with shelves of generic stuff , and the restaurant is really the fried chicken at the local gas station, what we do is load up at home with Bentons hams and bacon and his prosciutto, and cousins have loaded the freezer with berries, black eyed peas, okra, etc. and bass, crappie and brim, and now there should be some recent venison,as well a one of my uncles hogs broken down. Who the hell needs a Whole Foods?
  2. Pain d'Auvignon, the amazing bread bakery located in Hyannis, Cape Cod, was gutted by a fire. From capecodonline.com:
  3. Who can recommend leaving a life of relative comfort finacialy, to pursue a life of hardship(long hours, low pay) to feel satisfied? Give me a brake! If you can afford not making real money(unless you hit some crazy jackpot niche) then hey go for it. Fullfill your cooking need, its easy, Bravo,Food network, et al have let the secret out, we have the life! I think that sometimes people tend to get intoxicated by the hype of the shiny side of the industry and neglect what it takes to get there(other than dumb luck, I hate those people). Welcome to the biz....
  4. This brings up an interesting point on the whole food cost/ profit issue. As a small independant, I strive for 25% average, some of my plates are below 15%, but anyway, looking at the most expensive cuts you need to ask, can you charge the crazy price to maintain the standard or do you need to adjust to your market. My example is my veal loin, my food cost is @ 36%, but I make 17$ on each dish, so at a lower price, I sell more. Its a longhaul type deal.
  5. I always prefered NOLA to alot of other spots, the food bar was my choice and the food itself was always great, as well as the social view. The place is cool, and the bar at the end of the street is where the staff goes for afterhours.
  6. Timh

    Le Bernardin

    We have a farm of free range swordfish here off of the cape(cod). And the free range bluefin(lil' bastards) always causin trouble. Ax johnnyd.....
  7. Cooking is a craft, like a carpenter or a plumber, and therefore knives (as well as other gadgets) are your tools of the trade. Some get by with a couple, others rely on a few, I'm in the later camp. I have different slicers depending on whether its fish or meat, different paring knives, small to large "chef" knives, etc. To me each tool has its purpose according to the job. To the same people who say you only need a couple of knives, i ask, can you cook with only a couple of pans?
  8. Great blog! And Rungis.... I rushed to my old photos of my apprenticeship in Paris in the early 90's, and the weekly highlight was the early morning(3am) trip to the market. It is overwhelming. We would always break @ 6am for breakfast there(yes including beer) and then head back in to shop some more. The abbatoir was shocking to the senses, tables and troughs full of innards, we usually picked up livers, brains, and kidneys. Just amazing. Thanks
  9. Check out the RooBar. eclectic menu. and the Coonamesit Inn for local goodness.
  10. Not once, but twice I ran out to the dining room amd took a ketchup bottle and then a bottle of steak sauce off of the customer's table and threw it in the parking lot out back. One of the waitstaff smuggled it in. A few atomic f- bombs and they got the message, I hope.
  11. As a independant, I do consider myself a bastion of ultimate cuisine as compared to the standard line up you present, and thats why people come to my restaurant. People do want to eat other than the standard chain offerings, in my world people like more than buffalo chicken fingers and Gen tsao chicken. Yes they pander to the lowest common denominater, but that doesn't mean the rest of us do.
  12. I believe its the high cost of the product that keeps it from entering the mainstream. I would love to serve it, but it's so much more expensive than beef.
  13. I'm sure someone said that cooking is like music, there's not a note that hasn't been struck before, just new compositions and interpretations. TA, can you describe Melange and their menu?
  14. There is a restaurant in Boston,The Parish Cafe, whose main shtick is that their sandwiches are the creations of many of the local big name chefs. Todd English, Ming Tsai, Ken Oringer, rtc., all designed personal sandwhiches. As they say here, "wicked cool".
  15. While living in Japan, I ate at a couple of french and italian restuarants that were revelatory for me. The chefs did their time in the countries and mixed with japanese discipline the experience is still vivid 20 yrs later. And later , living in Paris, I often had vietnamese, chinese, and some sort of north african all of which were of a much higher quality than what I had previously had.
  16. Timh

    Hiring a chef

    I believe your going to have to pay at any of the decent sites(monster, etc.). The cheapest may be craigslist(25.00).
  17. You can't manage that which you haven't done. Go wait tables, bus, whatever, and let your skill take you upwards. I can't count the number of mgt. grads, or even just trainees, that make miserable attempts to manage positions(people) without having real time experience in the position. After having been in the industry for a few years and having a little bit of success, I chose to go work for LEY in Chicago for the management training. It was a step back financially but put me yards ahead in the management/business side.
  18. My take on it is that New Orleans isn't into fads, including and especially the cocktail fads going on at the moment in other towns with drinking ADD. The classic cocktails are still solid at most of the regular spots, a few offer the ones folks read about but still, I can't imagine going to any of the grand bars and expecting a bubble gum cocktail, or a shochu one or whatever. As with everything else this is cyclic, and the classics will always stand the test of time
  19. Generally speaking, a salad is a good reference to start. The quality of the greens, the idea behind the particular version, and the dressing,and the execution.
  20. Thats him(and his lil' brother).
  21. www.saltsrestaurant.com I've not had the opportunity to go there yet.Another on the I've heard good things about is Sibiling Rivalry(Kinkead brothers). But I find Craigie and Salts most intriguing. edited to add: Oleana, Ms. Sortun's take on North African/Turkish/eastern Med is well regarded.
  22. I forgot to mention Salts (forget the chefs name, go figure), He is a more recent F&W winner, but seems to have a lower profile than you'd expect. Also, B&G oyster or Neptune Oyster Bar are great for local goodness on a more casual(but not neccesarily cheaper) scale.
  23. Craigie St. Bistro in Cambridge. Tony Maws is a recent F&W top chef, the place is "cozy". I had a great meal at Hamersley's. Oiishi is constantly rated as the top sushi in Beantown, I've heard good things about Fugyaku also. For fun, you might think about a stop in Chinatown.
  24. We tend do get mostly walk ins, so on occasion we get hit with 20+ orders, (4 nites w/one line cook, one cold, 3nites 2 on hot) . My rule is make the plate perfect, as people will be ok if you send it out right , its worse if they wait and the food comes out off. I have the cooks focus on only 2-3 tickets at a time, put the head down and just work thru it.
  25. Southern food and southern chefs, and southern cities, especially Atlanta, which seems to be raging at the moment.
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