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Everything posted by Sethro

  1. I made the fun little engagement cake because I was shook up from the previous challenge and I wanted to do my thing and get some confidence back. It was only a quickfire; I was more worried about going into elimination challenge in a negative mind state. I had no intention of shirking the elimination challenge or defying it in spirit; we were never told who our demographic was and I simply guessed wrong. The coffee flavor was a mistake that I made the best of, which is usually in the spirit of the competition. It wasn't snobbery or anything close.
  2. When you cater your art at someone else's expectations, you deprive them the thrill of discovery, and yourself the joy of exploration. It has nothing to do with trying out cool new techniques, or jumping on a fad ingredient. I try to cook honestly and create something that I believe in. It doesn't always work, and it definitely didn't work within the TV format. Right now I'm not cooking anywhere. I'm only interested in cooking my way, and I'd rather make sacrifices than compromises where that's concerned. When I can't find a place to cook, I do other things for money. Its a personal choice.
  3. It's the beginning of Seckell pear season...they are similar to an L'Anjou in texture and flavor. Also they are tiny, which might give you some more options for how you want to assemble (or like, free form) the dish.
  4. You mean you want the fluff to be homogeneously Toasted, not hit with a torch on the plate? Interesting. I think I would make agar agar marshmallow, toast it, and puree it in a blender (like a fluid gel). If that didn't work, I would toast demerara or another "raw" sugar in the oven until its nearly burnt and then proceed with the regular fluff recipe. Maybe a little powdered smoke.
  5. This is a question never far from my mind. I had a great quenelle spoon, 8 of them in fact, and they all got stolen. Since then its been a struggle to find ones I like. Either the bowl has weird angles or the stem is flimsy. Right now I'm using Guy DeGrenne tablespoons (not measuring spoons, tableware). They work well enough, and they're not hard to find. They are pretty popular in NYC restaurants.
  6. White or yellow miso paste have a very peanut-buttery flavor. Thats might help guide you to some possible flavor profiles.
  7. That's not correct. Shearing it into butter works just fine. You need to decarboxylate the THC acids, otherwise it's not nearly as potent and you're wasting quite a bit. http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2794.html (this thread makes me feel like a stoner) Sheared into cold ice cream base, it works. Very well. I can't repute your science, except to say that feeling is believing. But for any baked good, would the 300+ degree oven not accomplish the decarboxylation regardless? The internal temp of a finished brownie has to be at least 250 degrees, I'd imagine.
  8. That's not correct. Shearing it into butter works just fine.
  9. Thats a neat trick indeed, and one that I've never heard of. I think cooking the nug into a compound butter is a reliable way to go, if you don't want to taste it in the product. If, however, you are using some quality nug and do want to taste it, I would avoid cooking it, like any other herb. Melt your butter, cool it until its just still liquid, and then puree with the nug in a blender, until smooth. Pass through a chinoise and proceed as normal.
  10. Saliva is only slightly acid between meals. Immediately before and during eating the pH of saliva becomes slightly basic, not acid. Ray I didn't know that.
  11. Well there is one thing present in saliva but not in water that has a lot to do with carbonation: acid. Unfortunately baking soda also reacts to moisture, which is why faux alkaseltzers are encapsulated in chocolate or cocoa butter; to keep moisture away until you pop in in your mouth. So basically, I think with the food science available today, you cannot have an un-carbonated liquid the carbonates on contact with your mouth. Sorry. What the heck are you trying to make there, anyhow? Would a flavored faux alkaseltzer that you drop into a liquid to create carbonation be helpful? Because thats very cheap and easy to achieve.
  12. Sethro

    Cold Fusion

    I may be having a brain fart, but I really cant think of any preparation that never requires heat at any stage. Ok, whipped cream. But does heating cream denature the fats in some way that makes it whip worse? Its still far quicker to heat and chill something than it is to cold infuse it overnight... Maybe this is a NYC restaurant thing, but in my experience the pastry department is encouraged to NOT cram tons of extra stuff into the walk in. Space issue more than time, I guess. I guess my brain doesn't work that way. I want anything "basil" to be green, and anything "coffee" to be black or brown. Its just me. It is a valid technique but just not useful to me. One thing I will say is that it is definitely not the best way to render clean, pure, strong flavor out of herbs. I encourage anyone who is looking for the best way to do that to try cold processing and compare the results to cold infusion (unless of course you want white, and not green). Cook and chill your base (ice cream, fluid gel, whatever) and blanch your herbs separately. Process the two together in vitaprep and strain (though a superbag, if you need it 100% homogenous, although just through a chinoise my naked eye cannot detect any "specks").
  13. Sethro

    Cold Fusion

    I find this technique to be very time wasting and not at all measurably better than standard infusion. Obviously don't boil ginger or lemon, or anything that becomes bitter...just watch your temperature. Herbs, I never infuse, hot or cold. I just finish my preparation and then shear the herbs in. For me it yields the best color and flavor, waaaaay over cold infusion, which provides no color at all. As far as coffee beans...since when does heating coffee beans ruin their flavor??? Every day they are roasted to begin with, and then have boiling water dumped right over them and they always taste delicious to me!
  14. Family Guy got cancelled, but it turned out there was so much demand for it that it was re-signed to a five season deal. Firefly got cancelled, and the demand for it became so high that it was green-lit for a major motion picture. Sometimes really, really good and popular things get 86'd for no good reason. And not only on FOX.
  15. I'd have to say that was either the result an off-night on the restaurant's part, or a strange palate on the eater's part. I had the miso-butterscotch 3 times and it was hugely flavorful on every occasion. That and the passion fruit char were dishes that anyone should have found new, exciting and delicious. So in summation, I don't get it. Kudos to Eater for picking up on "TAILOR MADE BAD FOOD" out of all the insightful and interesting stuff in this thread.
  16. I have low blood pressure and when my sodium level depletes I get faint and see spots. Bummer for me!
  17. Don't want to start a firestorm here, but coconut in general is much healthier than dairy. Unless you are sourcing your dairy from an independent farm, any vitamins occurring in it are 100% resultant of fortification. Coconut is richer in potassium and magnesium than any other food product on earth and it is also one of nature's only naturally-sterile liquids. Coconut water was actually used during WWII in South Pacific theatre-hospitals as a means of sterilizing hands and instruments before surgery. Coconut oil, while higher in fat concentration that most dairy cream, is a Omega-3 fatty acid, excellent for cardiovascular and brain function (and less apt for storage as body fat, it actually encourages fat-burning). Coconut milk is another story of course, usually a blend of sugar, desiccated coconut and water or milk, but natural coconut water is just about the healthiest thing on Earth for your consumption. That being said, desserts aren't supposed to be healthy, they are supposed to be a delicious and enjoyed in moderation. Cream is definitely the best base for a truffle in my opinion. Water is fine too, but using anything other than cream replicate the creamy mouth-feel of cream is kind of a pointless exercise--especially if you are working with Matcha, which is specifically engineered to be cold-soluble in WATER.
  18. OK, now I understand the point a little bit better. I still think that if that did play a role in the demise, it had to be a small one compared to what I perceive to be the obvious factors. 1) Most* NYers who can afford to be repeat customers at that price range are an older, stuffier set with very boring expectations. 2) A restaurant with two dining rooms needs to be able to sell PDR, and thats all but impossible when the food is not extremely simple and safe. *Relax, if you're reading this I probably don't mean you.
  19. Whoever is pushing this bill deserves to be drowned in salt. The end.
  20. Of course that's not all there is to it, but it is true that a bad review is better than no review. I don't have any facts and figures on hand to back that up, its just the understanding that I've gleamed from working in the industry. I'd just like to have it presented to me in brass tacs, how the pre-opening PR translated into poorer revenues. Not trying to be argumentative, I just don't understand how increased awareness translates into less customers.
  21. So if it's conceded that repeat business was unlikely due to the genre and location of the restaurant, then how could the increased initial influx of cash due to advanced publicity have been a negative? If nobody was going to go twice anyhow, then wasn't it a blessing that people who may never have gone at all did pay a visit, and did so during the crucial first six months? I just can't visualize the financial model in which increased initial interest is a negative, especially in a business where cash-in-hand is everything. What other industry would this ever apply to? If a movie is not well received, it will make the majority of its take during the first two weekends before negative word of mouth spreads, based almost solely on effective advertising. If everyone was so very aware of Tailor's PR campaign, then obviously it was a success. More diners equals more cash-in-hand, period. Is the implication that without any advanced PR, more people would have made their way to Tailor on their own time, and somehow spent more, returned more often, etc? I really just don't get it. EDIT: Anything Frank Bruni says is also positive publicity. There is a proven increase in business following a Times review, negative or positive. We live in a city with 25,000 restaurants; awareness is everything. It is the lack of a Times review that is a death sentence for a fine dining restaurant.
  22. I disagree with that whole-heartedly. PR is the most invaluable thing in the NY dining scene, and short of a yellow DOH sticker there is no such thing as bad publicity. Take it from a guy who has been a part of several excellent restaurants that failed do to lack of PR, and one restaurant that turns people away to this day because of a TV show that aired 4 years ago. Tailor went under because modern cooking (or whatever you may call it) is inexplicably unpopular in NYC. We have WD-50, and to a much less touted extent (intentionally), Aldea and Jean Georges. Compared to us, D.C. is like Spain.
  23. Yeah, although Matcha and bittersweet chocolate are popular pairing, combining the two in one component has a null effect. In white chocolate, a little goes a long way (more than a little can result in metallic, fishy flavors). Also there's no need to steep anything with matcha overnight. The reason its so expensive is that its a meticulously fine ground. It's actually cold-soluble.
  24. Well first off caramel and butterscotch are of a totally different composition. Replacing sugar with butterscotch is obviously going to change the fat %. More importantly is the difference between sugar and confectioners sugar. The cornstarch in confectioners sugar is going to help develop structure in the crumb. Even if you just replace the confectioners sugar with plain granulated sugar, you are essentially lessening the starch % and increasing the sugar percentage. Its gonna take a few rounds of testing regardless to get the cookies to set up exactly the way you want, but my initial instinct is stick with the caramel powder (and not the butterscotch) to substitute 10% of it with cornstarch.
  25. That's sad news man, I loved Tailor. Good luck and I hope bigger, better things are ahead.
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