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Posts posted by kpzachary

  1. This is the best place in my opinion to buy these types of ingredients. You have to call them to place an order but at least you get to talk to a live person, and they have everything for modern cuisine. I'm not sure of their policy for orders to the west coast. I used them a bit on the east coast and I know that they send mail orders through out the midwest. They are located in northern Indiana, near Chicago.


  2. Fresh ground peanut butter on my favorite whole wheat bread  http://www.vitalvittles.com is a favorite sandwich. I'll sometimes add banana, or possibly shredded carrot, maybe even some thin fruit slices or orange zest, some nuts like sunflower seed. I may try some chile peppers later today. What other combinations can you think of? I'm looking for some new ideas to kick up a peanut butter on whole wheat sandwich.


    How about sour green apples, or fresh berries?

    When I was a kid, my best friend use to eat fried balogna and peanut butter sandwiches, though I wouldn't recommend it.

  3. Just enjoyed an excellent meal in Berlin. The food at REmake is creative, modern but hard to pin down, shuffling in cards from Asian and Mediterranean cuisine creating interesting mixes of flavours and some unusual ingredients, like the slightly vanilla-ish (and illegal in food in the USA) Tonka bean.

    We were warned straight away that service would be slow "as everything is prepared fresh." They weren't kidding. 4 courses in almost as many hours. The longest gap was over 40 minutes.

    I went for a four course tasting menu. It began with carpaccio of scallops with chanterelle jam and cinnamon basil - the scallops almost crunchy and releasing an intense flavour. Risotto of kingly mushrooms with quailbreast and truffle jus was the high point of the meal for me. I could easily have finished seconds or even thirds. Grilled Tournedo of filet of beef on black been puree with two types of tomato "kuli" was cooked a little more than I prefer but the puree was excellent and I'll be trying to imitate it at home. I also tried bites of the foie gras (good) and a vegetable side of broccoli in a creamy sauce.

    Desserts of Creme Brulee of the tonka bean and raspberry sorbet with fresh fruits, served as a trio, were very nearly as good as the stunning risotto. I was amused to notice that, where as most restaurants serving food at this level are rather precious about tableware, the brulee was served in dishes from Ikea.

    A small something followed - single blackberries with with salt caramel chocolate cremes - as we waited for coffee. Unfortunately the talents seems to be concentrated in the kitchen as I had one of the worst espressos I've ever been served in a restaurant. Ouch.

    Wine was a 2005 Couvent D'eglise which proved a good fit to the main course and an ok 2001 Les Hauts de Lynch Moussas, Pauillac.

    Michelin standard food (without as yet official recognition) at a very acceptable 49e for 4 taster courses (rises to 65e for 6).

    It was certainly the most interesting food I've had in over 20 visits to Germany, and I'd send friends, so long as they're in no hurry.

    I am happy to hear that your meal was better than mine. Although, my service was just as slow. I also had scallops during my meal as well, unfortunately they were over cooked but without any caramelization. I had suckling pig confit which was dry. It is so hard to mess up a confit but they achieved it. It was served with a bit of dried fruit, not like dried fruit reconstituted into a nice condiment, just some dried fruit. I can't even remember what my dessert was. Normaly when I have a bad meal I will let it go. I just was so looking forward to trying REmake because i realy enjoy this type of cuisine. It was a very big let down. The worst part was that my date and I were only the second table in the place at 8:30 on a Friday night. I may be able to understand an off night if they were packed but come on!

    If you like this type of food but with much better service and much better quality, next time you are in Berlin I reccomend Restaurant 44 in the swissotel. It is really good modern food with true german influence. Not just a new Spanish cusine copycat. And the price point is about the same. I also really liked Facil which is along the same lines. If you go to Franfurt try out Amador.

  4. There is a place here in Berlin named "Due Forni" that serves the best pizza I have ever had. The handmade (you can see them stretching the dough) pies are suprisingly thin and remarkably crisp, topped with true, fresh, Italian toppings. Oh by the way, they are always round!

    I say never trust a chef who's restaurant is shut down by the health department, and who puts figs on a pizza!

  5. Strain the sauce and reserve the chilis. Cool the sauce a bit (it doesn't have to be cold), and blend it in a blender with a medium boiled egg or two depending on how much sauce you have. I would begin with a little of the sauce first and then add the rest slowly. Be carefull to no over blend the sauce or it will break again. You can then add the chilis back to the sauce and gently warm it (not boil).

  6. Tuition is an obvious factor when it comes to the Hotel Managment Degree from Cornell. If you can afford it, I would say go for it. Keeping in mind that if you are planning to enter the culinary feild, you will not be making that much money when starting out. If you are paying for school yourself, than this is something to be aware of.

    As far as comparing the CIA to the Ivy League schools, it is not even close. Sure the CIA is very good at what they do, but the addmission standards at say, Harvard, Yale, Cornell and so on, are much, much higher than that of the CIA.

  7. Ras al Hanout ( it means head of the house in Arabic) is similar to curry. There is no absoulute recipe for this spice blend. It is basically a mixture of the best spices each spice store has to sell. I start with a base of tumeric and paprika( both sweet and smoked). I add spices like cinnamon, clove, star anise, corriander, fennel seed, cardomon, allspice, black pepper, piment d espelette, and ground ginger.

  8. I have cooked both baby and large artichokes this way. I agree 100% with ChefJohnny, you must turn large artichokes all the way to the heart before cooking. I believe that you are at the right temp. The problem may be that you left the tough outer skin or layer on the chokes. This will naturally take a lot longer to cook and will always be tough and fibrous.

    I have also cooked artichoke barigoule sous vide. Basically bringing together everything and cooking it in the bag. There is more concentration of flavor and I have had great success cooking it in a low temp, controlled water bath.

  9. I heard Bill Webber was having troubles. A friend of mine told me that the restaurant was offered to him for sale in November of last year. I haven't been in touch with him since but it wouldn't be a surprise to me if the restaurant did close. Too many comps and misallocation of funds will quickly ruin a restaurant. It is hard enough to survive through the Berkshire winters. It is a shame. Bill can really cook. But everyone knows that a good cook doesn't make a restaurant successful.

  10. Bumping this up as I'm headed to Nantucket for the last two weeks of August. We will be quite a large family group - with a clutch of kids of assorted ages (1-10) - and will likely be cooking for ourselves for the most part.

    In that regard, I'd be interested in any specialist grocery/bakers/ butchers/ delis/ wine stores (especially wine stores!)  where we can pick up good quality meats and provisions.

    My husband and I would also like to take advantage of some free babysitting to celebrate our birthdays (both in the previous week) with a good dinner. While I'm anxious that this will be top notch in the food department, I think it's highly unlikely my husband will be persuaded to pack a jacket unless not bringing one will reduce us to burger and fries. Any suggestions gratefully received.

    Also any ideas for casual family lunches/early dinners where we can all relax - preferably where we can sit outside? Breakfast and good ice cream spots, too.

    Thanks in advance for any pointers.

    Best bakery: Something Natural

    Best butcher/deli: Cowboy's

    Best Gourmet Store: Fahey & Fromagerie (Thai food in the middle of the season!)

    Best Fish Shop: Nantucket Seafood

    Best Pizza: Sophie T's ( although, you should try the new Pi Pizzeria)

    Best Sandwhich Shop: Tied between Something Natural and Provisions

    Best Breakfast: Black Eyed Susan's ( though with a large group, you won't get in, try Arno's on Main Street)

    Best Casual Lunch Outside: Topper's (in town try The Even Keel)

    Best Casual Dinner outside: Black Eyed Susan's ( there is a small back patio with a large table for about ten or twelve. You must make an advanced reservation.)

    Best Ice Cream: The Juice Guy's Ice Cream Shop

    Best Burger: The Brotherhood of Theives

    Best Bar: The Brotherhood of Theives

    Best Liqour/Lower Priced Wine Store: The Islander (you are better off bringing your wine over. It is much, much cheaper that way.)

    Best High End Wine Shop: The Cellar

    Best Beer: Cisco Brewery

    Best Date Dinner: Topper's ( He will need a jacket and the kids are not welcome in the evening. If he refuses the jacket, go to American Seasons.)

    ***Don't forget that everything is expensive on Nantucket, so if you think about it, maybe you could stop at Stop and Shop in Hyannis before you go over on the fairy.***

  11. When I lived on Nantucket my favorite place to go for breakfast and for a really good casual dinner was Black Eyed Susan's(lucky for everyone it is a BYOB!). A reservation is a must!

    Best high end resaurant in town is American Seasons. Though, in the middle of summer it can be a little off. Since you stated you will be on island in mid September, it should be fine.

    I may be a bit byass, because I worked there until the end of last season but, the best high end on the island is Topper's at the Wauwinet. It is the most expensive spot on the island, but the service is the most professional and the food is great. One of the best parts about this restaurant is the view. There is not a better place on the island to have dinner at sunset on your anniversary. Request a table on the deck if the weather is good.

    *BTW We had Alain Ducasse in for dinner last year celebrating his 50th birthday with his wife. If it is good enough for AD it is good enough for anyone.*

    Lola 41 is a great restaurant in town that has a conemporary global influnce. The sushi I had there last year was great.

    Provisions and Something Natural are the best sandwich shops.

    The Brotherhood of Theives is a best place to go for drinks. ( as long as you are upstairs or outside.)

    When dining in town always skip dessert and go to the Juice Guy's Ice Cream Shop. There is a reason why people line up around the corner to get a taste.

    Over all expect to pay a lot. Everything on the island is expensive. If you go into any ACK restaurant expecting to get a good deal, you will always be disappointed. If you go to have fun, you may be pleasently surprised.

  12. Käsespätzle! It is the German version of Mac & Cheese. Boil the Spätzle and drain. Saute the Spätzle in butter in a non stick pan until you get some nice crispy brown pieces. Mix in some good shredded Ementaler cheese. Transfer this to a casserole. Top with more cheese and brown under the broiler.

    I like to add sauteed mushrooms, blanched broccoli, smoked ham, and carmalized onion to mine before transfering it to the casserole.

  13. Tell your butcher to save it all, from snout to tail. If there is a specific cut you desire, ask for it. I am sure that the butcher would be willing to do everything from primal cuts, to head cheese, as long as you are willing to pay for it. Ask him to keep all the bones and trim for stock. Remember, the entire animal is useful in oneway or another. As far as what to do with it all, that is for another thread.

    If it were me, I would butcher it myself or roast it whole for a party.

  14. Here in Germany the real Spätzle is formed with a knife. They (the grandmothers that actually have time to do it right) make the dough, place it on a board, and scrape the noodles right into the water with a knife. As for myself, I buy my dried Spätzle in a bag. Just like Italy makes great dried pasta, Germans do the same with Spätzle.

  15. Just as a side note, I don't care if most of the world considers the Hamburger(i perfer them with cheese) junk food, or doesn't consider it a real contribution to cuisine.  They sure do eat a lot of them over here in Europe.  A let me tell you, they sure know how to f*#k them up!

    There's no doubt that the hamburger as we now know it is an American original, but its name comes from a German city and its culinary DNA can probably be traced to that city as well.

    True the Hamburger was supposedly first served by a German imigrant. They have something here called a ficadelle which is more like a meatball, and they do not but it on a roll. Here, in Germany, they definitely consider the hamburger an American invention, although it probably was named after Hamburg.

  16. I will start from the west and move to the east.

    Charlottenburg: High end shopping district called Ku'damm.

    1. 44: In the Swissotel. Modern food done right. Healthy choices. Chef is a Berliner and the flavor combinations that he uses reflect this.

    2. Schlemmermeyer: This is a chain of delis from München. They have the best brautwurst and leberkäser sandwiches.

    3. Ka De We: The largest department store in Europe. On the top two floors there is a great high end food court. Paul Bocuse has a seafood restaurant there. Don't pass up a currywurst in the imbiss outside next to the store. It is true Berlin street food!

    Tiergarten: The large city park area in Berlin.

    1. Hugos: In the InterContenental Hotel. One star mediterranean influnced cusine.

    Potsdamer Platz: Right in the middle of Berlin, though not considered downtown.

    1. Brassarie Desbrosses: In the Ritz Carlton. Best brunch in Berlin, also a great lunch spot.

    2. Facil: In the Mandala Hotel. Modern, one star food. Young talented chef.

    3. Vox: In the Grand Hyatt. Asian influences, and sushi bar. Great lunch spot.

    4. Lindenbräu: In the Sony Center. Simple bräuhaus food. Great beer and wurst.

    5. Vox Bar: In the Grand Hyatt. Good cocktails, modern young scene.

    6. Cotton Club: In the Ritz Carlton. Nice classy bar with a lot of German spirits.

    *Unfortunatly, Vitrum closed Monday for their month long summer break.*

    Brandenburg Gate: A very historical must see. Only three blocks from Pots. Platz.

    1. Margaux: Nice classic french restaurant. A bit over priced but healthy options.

    2. Lorenz Adlon: In the Hotel Adlon. Classic french two star restaurant.

    Mitte: The area with the television tower. This is the downtown area.

    1. Borchardt: German Brassarie. The biggest Weiner Schnitzel I ever attempted to eat. This is where all the movie stars eat when they are in town, so a reservation is a must. I love this place for both lunch and dinner. Simple but stylish, and always done well.

    2. Grill Royal: Modern Steakhouse on the river Spree. This is another stylish "in" restaurant but the chef worked in great American steakhouses and the food is really good.

    3. Monsieur Vuong: Authentic, healthy Chinese. Always packed to the max! No, always over packed! But, it is very good, if you can get in.

    Prenzlauer Berg: Young hip part of town. East Berlin at its best.

    1. Due Forni: The best pizza I've ever had! Served by Italian punks, and cooked in wood burning stone ovens by Italian pizza masters.

    2. Moa Thai: Best Thai restaurant in Berlin. There are a lot of others but this is the only good one that I have found.

    3. delizie d'Italia: My favorite Italian restaurant here in Berlin. Simple, small, classic, and good. Reservation is a must. (If you go two blocks north, on the left there is a beer store that sells an amazing variety of German beer.)

    These are just a few (I could list a hundred more), but they are my favorites.

  17. I have recently moved to Germany where smoking is pretty much encouraged by the world wide hotel group for which I work. There is a cigarette machine right next to the smoking break area. I, and one other chef are the only two non-smokers out of a staff of fourty.

    When I worked in the States it was definatley different. There was no way that any restaurant or hotel which I worked in would ever provide a cigarette machine at work. The amount of non-smoker chefs was always greater than the amount of smokers. Smoking was absolutly discouraged by the chefs I worked with. I smoked for about ten years, but quit after learning what it does to my palette and of course, knowing what it does to my health.

    There is obviously a difference in cultures. Smoking in public spaces is still accepted here, and unfortunatly, I don't think that is changing any time soon.

  18. It is not actually a cookbook that I am most often opening, but it is about food...

    The New Food Lover's Companion and the late, great Alan Davidson's The Penguin Companion to Food.

    I guess the cookbook that I open most is Pierre Gagnaire's Reflections on Culinary Artistry(again, no recipes, but a beautiful book of food).

  19. I actually prefer a cookbook without any recipes, great pictures, and inspirational writting, especially when it envolves the topics of the evolution of dishes or techniques, and life as a professonal chef.

    I don't like to use another chef's recipes, but I am always inspired by another's use of ingredients and flavor combinations.

    A perfect example of a cookbook for me is Pierre Gagnaire's Reflections on Culinary Artistry.

  20. To me, it is odd that the "white cheddar" flavored products are usually sharper or more sour tasting. If you look at the differences in say a Double Gloucester (yellow in color due to the addition of annatto;they use to add saffron or carrot juice in the past), and a Single Gloucester (white in color), the taste difference is the opposite. The Double Gloucester has its curds cut twice, hince the name, which makes it more sour or sharp. The Single has a more mellow, creamier profile. I'm sorry but this just adds to the confusion.

    I believe that in America there were very few white cheddars in the past, so they were something special to be had. Marketers took advantage of this fact and using the name "white cheddar", made their products in turn, special as well.

  21. I've been cooking for almost ten years now at some pretty swanky places. I recently started a new job and everyone here (sans the ex.chef) is holding my hand. I know what I'm doing...I act like I know what I'm doing..why the babying.

    I hate to pull this card but is it because I'm a woman?

    My question is, how do other cooks (male ) feel about woman in the kitchen?

    And Ladies, how do you get them to understand that a joke about fisting someones sister is not shocking..we're cooks for Christ sake. We've heard/seen it all!

    First let me say that I don't work in a restaurant but I don't understand why working in a kitchen is different from working anywhere else. What other working environment would tolerate a joke such as the one you describe? Why is it permitted in a restaurant? I'm not trying to be difficult; I just want to understand why restaurant kitchens are as you describe and why this is (apparently) acceptable. :shock:

    This is acceptable in many other fields that I can think of (artist studios, construction sites, auto garage, bars, ect.). That being said, it doesn't make it o.k. The people who make those jokes, and I have heard the same kind of jokes from women in the kitchen, are lacking any since of professionalism, and are obviously not serious enough about their chosen feild. It is a simple lack of respect for their fellow employees, and for what great chefs before them have done to change the reputation of the industry.

    Some may say that this point of view is to serious and I need to lighten up, but I am very serious about my job. It is something I love, and I hate to see others degrading what it means to be a chef.

  22. Besides all the obvious stuff like location, and parking that has already been mentioned, how about a community that is in need of this particular type of restaurant. If you were the only Chinese place in town, I am sure that you would make a killing. If a town has five Bistros for a population of about 30 to 40 thousand, I'm not to sure that they would be extremly excited about another one.

    Personally as a chef, I would want great local proveyors, like I experienced in the Hudson Valley/Berkshires, or Napa Valley/Sanoma County regions.

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