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Everything posted by Honkman

  1. If you want to try it at C&C better hurry up - C&C will close next Tuesday and will be remodeled to be opened next year
  2. Will the publisher support you (financially) to set up some kind of book tour (perhaps with one dish showcasing your approach)
  3. I agree that you can become very interesting for publishers for a second cookbook if you can show that you can sell a significant number of books through self publishing in a certain amount of time. The question is how confident are you for example that you are able to sell 3000 books in 1-2 years which means you have to sell about 30-60 books a week. And don't forget that there might be a lot of additional work for you if people order it online and you have to ship it etc. I think it is a doable path forward but you have to have some reasonable indication about realistic numbers of books you might be able to sell and be willing to commit significant amount of work in addition to run a restaurant
  4. I don't think it is a good idea for an established chef to rely on any kind of blog especially to potentially to publish a cookbook. You would dilute your message and be more recognized as a blogger than as a chef (and I don't think that is a path gfron wants to go). It is obvious that getting a publisher deal is complicated but at the same time I also think that self publishing can be damaging depending what your plans are for the future. If you just want to publish just this one book and you are confident that there will never be a second or third one self publishing is fine but if you consider ever publishing more than just this one self publishing might eliminate/complicate the chances to get a publisher in the future. I think you have to see yourself as a "brand" and consider your future goals (and not just cookbook goals) and how today's decisions might have an impact on your overall goals (one might argue some people could see self publishing as desparate. In addition, self publishing is often associated with low quality products)
  5. That's a pretty common starting point for publishers today. They expect a lot from you upfront and it is the job of a good agent to negotiate a better deal. My mother has experienced the same when she published an own (political/historical) book. The publisher can offer you a lot of contacts and good distribution you won't get with self publishing.
  6. I looked in SciFinder and other databases and couldn't find a well designed study (a lot of underpowered, badly designed ones are obviously available). So I am waiting for your suggestions. There is a lot of research (actually the large majority) done which has no conflict of interest (are you working in the science field ?). The only interest many researchers have is getting their next grant which often have much higher hurdles of acceptance/referees than most peer-reviewed journals. In addition, this conflict of interest is that one of the key authors founded a company selling these meals/additives. So it is a valid question if they would have come to the same conclusion/or even published these results at all even that wouldn't have been the case. And I am not looking at the title of any newspaper but at their actual manuscript (and the papers they have published like their mouse study about fasting and cancer drugs) and "taking a step back" is absolutely the wrong way as you are trying to extrapolate meaningful "conclusion" out of a badly design study which should didn't produce anything that would indicate if fasting has any negative or positive effect. (I don't know if you have Modenist Cuisine but in the first book is a short chapter which addresses some similar concerns)
  7. But is there any data on correctly organized clinical studies which clearly show the effect of fastening on human health. Just because there are many papers published over a long time doesn't mran there are any studies available which have meaningful results. Food and diets are particukar known have very little relevant data but a lot of "research" Also just looking for a minute about the journal I found this criticism on handling complains about an other paper in the same journal and its questionable clinical data (and its interpretation) http://www.biolayne.com/news/protein-metabolism-experts-respond-to-recent-anti-protein-claims/ I review manuscripts for other (not food related) scientific journals and I am very surprised that this paper was allowed to be published with this significant conflict of interest by one of the authors
  8. Another "scientist" who is trying to get grants with useless small studies which have no power to produce any meaningful results. There is a reason why small clinical P1/2 studies often produce "interesting" result which ultimately have no value once repeated in a meaningful P3 study with enough participants to actually have statistical significance. The authors published these result based on pseudoscience to get most likely more grants but not so really develop quality science. In addition one of the authors is cofounder of a company making such kind of "diet foods" which should be readon enough not to publish such paper
  9. At least here in San Diego all WF shops are really good in supporting small local farmers with opportunities to sell their produce in store (organic and non-organic (some of the farmers can't pay the money for the organic certification but wirk within the rules). Farmer's Markets are great (and it is important to build telationships to your farmers) but it is also good for them to have other ways to sell their stuff.
  10. But aren't daily meals eaten together some of the best times with family/friends. I can't imagine eaten my meals separate from my family
  11. Might be a NYC thing but at least here in California WF employees are a by far more friendly, interested and knowledgable about food, cooking etc. than nearly any other supermarket employee (the exception are sometimes very small, specialized mom'n'pop shops)
  12. T2C - normally I would agree about not being to pedantic to always provide the highest quality ingredients and we tell our daughter not to spit out food when she doesn't like it (which happens very rarely and mostly when Indian food is way too hot for her) but Hershey was one of the rare occasion where i broke my own rule when i tried it for the first time. I think Hershey is absolutely disgusting and has nothing to do with chocolate and it is one of the rare occasion where not having chocolate is better than having this crap. And just because he never tried high-end chocolate doesn't mean we have to give him the absolute lowest quality (and I might be wrong but it is hard to imagine that no other chocolate would be "save" enough for him)
  13. Why should you expose kids to the lowest quality ? Kids are not stuck behind filters but often exposed to bad quality. If you expose them early on to good quality ingredients they will choose and appreciate higher quality ingredients and good food in general
  14. Sherry Yard has a nice Forbidden Rice Pudding in one of her cookobooks - here is a varation but it is easy to play around with different falvors and fruits to the basic recipe http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013017-forbidden-rice-pudding-with-blueberries
  15. Seems to be an old article - the book will be now about ~1000 pages and the second book is already planned for next year.
  16. This issue is often discussed regarding foodblogs and their use of recipes (from books or other sources) - writing down the ingredients is no problem, everything else you shouldn't just repeat what is already published.
  17. This new tool would be much more interesting if cheap sous vide application wouldn't already exists. Everything else with this new tool is just of little use.
  18. For me they are actually the opposite of thinking outside of the box. In todays world mainstream is having an app controling something, outside of the box is learning (in this case cooking) from scratch and to really understand it. So this tool might allow you to program different temperature profiles but if you don't really understand why you are doing it you will never understand cooking. At the same time if you understand why you are doing it you have enough intuition to not rely on an app but your hands to adjust the temperature. This is a tool for people who don't really care about cooking
  19. Is it really this hard to adjust the temperature of a pot like for example ragu bolognese by hand so that it simmers ? I wonder how Italians have survived over the centuries. There is limited use for this tool but mainly for people who have little idea/intuition about cooking. It seems to me that it is more product trying to solve a "problem" which doesn't really exist.
  20. Full post and pictures: http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot.com/2015/03/9-course-tasting-menu-at-solare-san.html The origin of tasting menus is quite obscure and there are many different theories going as far back as to the Ancient Greeks and Romans who have been reported to serve multi-course menu consisting of 16-20 dishes. Individual courses might not have been as sophisticated as those of today’s cuisine, but these “tasting menus” already showed a similar progression that we are used to seeing today. Another important historic influence were traditional Japanese Kaiseki menus with their specific order, focus on seasonality, and elaborate presentations, highly reminiscent of today’s Western tasting menus - Thomas Keller cites them as a significant influence as “the Kaiseki dinner is very similar to the way we serve food in the French Laundry”. Over the last century, tasting menus were heavily influenced by French cuisine, and Escoffier is often credited as having “invented” tasting menus in modern times while working at the Ritz hotels. The French influence is also apparent with chefs like Paul Bocuse in France, and Thomas Keller in the US, who were both at the forefront to establish tasting menus at their restaurants and who thereby had a tremendous influence on later generations of chefs. Tasting menus present a unique opportunity for chefs to represent their individual cuisine and philosophy. However, except for French restaurants and those influenced by Modernist Cuisine, tasting menus are not that common to find on other types of cuisine. Chef Accursio Lota was born in Menfi, a small town in Sicily, and was exposed to fresh ingredients and cooking early on in life as both his mother and grandmother used fruits and vegetables from their own garden, fish from the local sea, and olive oil harvested and produced from their own olive trees. So it seems like a natural progression that he ended up graduating from culinary school. One of his most influential, early mentors was Chef Sergio Mei at the Four Seasons Hotel Milan where Chef Lota was able to dive deep into the Italian culinary tradition. But Chef Mei was also instrumental in motivating him to move to California to work at the Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara which gave him a different perspective to cooking. Not unlike in Sicily, the Biltmore kitchen also focused on local produce with Mediterranean flavors, but it also incorporated numerous other influences from the melting pot of California. In 2009, he returned to Sicily to work as Sous Chef at Hotel Imperiale in Taormina where, for the first time, he had the culinary freedom to develop his own style. In 2011, Chef Lota moved back to California to join Chefs Guillas and Oliver as Sous Chef at the Marine Room which gave him a wide exposure to fusion cooking. In 2012, he decided to fine tune his personal cooking style even more by starting Limone, an underground restaurant, focusing on multicourse dinners. In the same year he accepted the offer from owner Randy Smerik to join Solare as Executive Chef. Solare was started in 2008 by Chef Stefano Ceresoli and his wife Roberta Ruffini, but in2012 the couple decided to sell Solare to only focus on their other restaurant at that time, Caffe Bella Italia in Pacific Beach. They recently closed the latter one as well to start Piazza 1909 in La Jolla. Solare was bought by Randy Smerik, and his two sons Brian and Tommy Smerik. Randy Smerik has an unusual background for a restaurant owner as he had originally worked in the IT field for 25 years, including being a vice president at Intel, a founder and CEO of Tarari and Osunatech, but he is also on the Board of Directors for Fortaleza Tequila. Since offering Chef Lota the Executive Chef’s position at Solare, he has given him free hand to realize his cooking style which also included implementing an Italian inspired 9-course tasting menu. Solare has a rather unique set up for their tasting menu which is served at the Chef’s Table. The Chef’s Table is a kitchen counter with two bar stools and a perfect view of the action in the kitchen. These types of kitchen counter/Chef’s tables are one of our favorite ways to dine as it gives you a very close look to the processes of the kitchen, and interaction of the chefs and cooks. 1st Course: Shrimp, squid, clam, zucchini carpaccio, onion confit, tomato, caperberry, dehydrated lobster broth Three impeccable pieces of seafood were the stars of this plate and showcasing the variety of flavors and textures of seafood, ranging from tender and subtly flavored squid to soft and briny clams. Instead of the obligatory lemon, caper berries, tomatoes and onion confit added some desired acidity to the dish. The dehydrated lobster broth sprinkled over the seafood added some salinity and enhanced the natural flavors. 2nd Course: Squash blossom, ricotta, mint pesto, pomodoro sauce One of the classical Italian appetizers which is often served with greasy, soggy blossoms, tasteless ricotta and drowned in sauce. Here we had a prime example how to make it right – flavorful homemade ricotta was wrapped in a delicate squash blossom which allowed us to taste the floral flavor. Small dots of slightly acidic tomato sauce and herbal, but not overpowering, mint pesto helped to accentuate the dish yet provided a playful way to mix and match different flavor combinations so that every bite was different – a beautiful dish. 3rd Course: Carpaccio di Wagyu, wagyu beef sirloin, borrage flowers, arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary salt, balsamico pearls The wagyu beef carpaccio had a surprisingly strong, pleasant beefy flavor, whereas the arugula provided some textural contrast, and the Parmigiano added the necessary saltiness. We liked the idea of adding the acidity by balsamico pearls instead to just some liquid amount of acetic balsamico as it was much easier to include the desired amount of balsamico in each bite which gave way to a perfect balance of salty, bitter, acidic and Umami. 4th Course: Risotto, vino bianco, scorza di limone, squid ink reduction, scallop The risotto had the perfect consistency of creaminess with some bite from the al dente rice corns. The mixture of white wine, lemon marmalade and squid ink gave a very interesting combination of bitterness and acidity from the wine and marmalade with the savori- and saltiness of the squid ink. All these flavors worked really well with the beautifully seared scallop. 5th Course: Ravioli with ricotta & spinach, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, sea beans, pecorino Pasta can be such a simple and yet difficult dish – just semolina, eggs and water - but rarely do you find such delicate finished pasta like in this dish - substantial yet thin enough that it didn’t overpower the filling of the homemade ricotta and spinach. The lightness of the dish continued with the accompanying vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes and sea beans. By far not the only dish where we wished we could get a second helping. 6th Course: Tuna, broccolini, fingerling potatoes, nostralina olives, limoncello, special olive oil, sea asparagus A rather classic dish with the combination of tuna, broccolini, potatoes and olives – well executed dish with moist fish, not overcooked broccolini - but what really elevated it was the olive oil Chef Lota added at the table – DOP Val di Mazara from his home town. A very complex olive oil with notes of pistacchio, citrus and artichoke, and a low acidity which brought the dish together. 7th Course: Rabbit loin, carrots, kale, potato, brussel sprout, demi glace Rabbit is often decried as being as tasteless as badly prepared chicken, but in this dish the rabbit loin had a nice distinct meaty, slightly sweet flavor which stood up surprisingly well against the other ingredients. This dish was another example of the ability of Chef Lota to create very complex but yet balanced flavor profiles in his dishes spanning from sweetness by the carrots, to bitterness by the brussel sprouts and kale, to Umami by the demi glace. 8th Course: Pistacchio crusted rack of lamb, lamb loin, potato-saffron timbale, pickled cipollini, pesto Placing the pesto in the middle of the plate clearly indicated the overarching theme of the dish. The pesto worked equally well with all other components – lamb loin, rack of lamb and potato-saffron timbale and connected these parts to a coherent finish of the savory part of the tasting menu. 9th Course: Chocolate mousse, crispy almonds, candies pistacchios, berries, orange peel, amaretto cherry The combination of fruits and chocolate ensured that the night didn’t end in an overly heavy dessert. The different nut preparations reminded us of some type of granola, and the dish was a continuation of the savory courses – excellent execution with very balanced flavors. Every cuisine is associated with certain attributes which are obviously often strong generalizations since there is no suchthing as a singular type of cuisine: every country has many regional or even local variations. French cooking is often described as complex and relying on technique and elaborated sauces, whereas Italian food is more focused on simpler dishes which let seasonal ingredients shine. Chef Lota impressed us with how he was able to capture this general “Italian” philosophy throughout the tasting menu, but at the same time was able to instill his own style. He presented us each course explaining the seasonality and the local farms where the ingredients came from, and with his thoughts on how the different components of the dish should work together. Focusing on few key ingredients in each dish required flawless execution of each of them. What really made all these dishes stand out, and seems to be a reflection of his style, was the complexity and yet effortlessness of the seasoning of the dishes. Many dishes had seemingly secondary components, like for example the dehydrated lobster broth or Val di Mazara oil which was essential in bringing the dishes together. Or dishes like the risotto were the combination of scorza di limone and squid ink reduction created something greater than the sum of its parts. This tasting menu was a prime example how the menu format of a tasting menu allows a talented chef to showcase the cuisine from his/her native country, yet instilled with his/her own interpretations. We wish more chefs, especially from ethnic restaurants, would use this concept to present the many facets of their cuisines. We are looking forward to follow Chef Lota in his interpretations of Italian cuisine throughout the seasons.
  21. You mentioned in another discussion that you do guest chef gigs - couldn't you use those to show that you can do books tours (perhaps not in classical sense) by using recipes out of the book for the events and perhaps also (briefly) talking about it.
  22. Honkman

    Why unsalted butter?

    But it makes more sense for any recipe to start with unsalted butter as it is easier to add the desired amount of salt to unsalted butter than using salted butter where you have no control over the amount of salt already used in butter (and you knowing the amount of salt in your butter is very unusual and definitely not the standard in most kitchens).
  23. Eleven Madison Park, Ink, Ludobites are three interesting "modern" cookbooks which all have different angles how the chefs approach their style of cooking. The Alinea might go beyond what yiu interested if you cook complete dishes but it might give a lit of inspirations even if you are using only part of the dishes. The Ideas in Food cookbooks are not chef cookbooks but they are interesting to think about how to cook in term of techniques and combinations
  24. I think that actually a good, thoughtful Twitter account is even more valuable to get your work across. Most of the time we communicate with chefs about their work, setting up tasting menus (even with those who normally are not doing any tasting menus), learn about new webpages, books etc. it mainly happens through Twitter.
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