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Everything posted by TheUnknownCook

  1. I own Best French whisks, because they are more durable than the piano-wire whisks. If I need piano-wire whisks for delicate work, e.g., meringues, I will use the "house" whisks at work.
  2. Try Kingston McKnight Shoes. They are made in USA, specifically for the food service industry, and yes, they also make clogs. Although they cost a little bit more, KM shoes are much better quality than Shoes For Crews, which are made in China.
  3. enurmi: I had worked for a pastry chef who ordered his spices from The Spice House. He seemed to be pleased with their products and service. I have never dealt with Penseys Spices.
  4. Swicks: I would recommend a Chef's Choice Trizor 10X knife(F.A.Q.), probably a 10" Chef's knife, if you feel comfortable with that size. I normally use a 10" Chefs knife for most tasks. The best prices I have seen on the internet are at ComfortHouse, but I do not see them selling a 10" Chef's knife, but I suppose that you could inquire if they sell it. Also check out The Knife Merchant for other brands. Chef John Borg is quite knowledgeable. LamsonSharp makes some nice Santoku knives.
  5. annecros: I had worked for Publix a few years ago. I wish that they were nationwide! But the logistics of their distribution network does not make that possible. Therefore, they will be located only in the SE U.S. Their generic brand products were as good, if not better than many of the national brands! chrisamirault: These might be useful to you: Organic Consumers Association Slow Food Slow Food USA Slow Food Canada Chefs Collaborative Whole Foods Market
  6. DancingOnMyGrave: If you do not want to buy Chinese-made cutlery, I would suggest that you consider possibly buying Brazilian-made Mundial or Tramontina. Nonetheless, I suppose that you could just buy some Chinese-made Chicago Cutlery, etc. The Chinese-made cutlery is pretty much the same anyway regardless of whose brand name appears on the label. Many manufacturers simply have the Chinese label engineer their products. After perusing Target's website, I see that the best value for the money, IMHO, would be the following: LamsonSharp 6-pc. Block Set-Stamped/ Rosewood Handle, or the LamsonSharp 10-pc. Block Set-Stamped/ Rosewood Handle. (I put a few coats of boiled Linseed oil on my wood-handle knives for extra protection of the wood.) I would not recommend the forged LamsonSharp 6-pc. Block Set, nor the 10-pc. Block Set, because: 1.), they are out of your budget, 2.), if you wanted to use an electric sharpener such as the Chef's Choice, you would not be able to sharpen the entire length of the blade. (Available at Target.com, KMart.com, Wal-Mart.com.) I recommend the LamsonSharp cutlery because: 1.), they are Made in the U.S.A., 2.), they come with a lifetime warranty, 3.), LamsonSharp has a Sharp for Life T program for avocational cooks such as your mother. A vocational cook such as me could not take advantage of their program. Besides, I sharpen my own cutlery. I would also suggest that you buy for your mother the book, The Professional Chef's Knife Kit by the Culinary Institute of America(also available at Half.com).
  7. menon1971: Chicago Cutlery was acquired by World Kitchen. I own some American-made Chicago Cutlery knives. The quality of Chinese-made Chicago Cutlery knives is of lesser quality.
  8. Megan Blocker: Shaw Guides-Italy might be useful to you.
  9. Nina C.: I would have to concur with HKDave, and russ parsons. Chiantiglace's point about debt is quite poignant. Can you afford those expensive aforementioned schools? Can you relocate to attend those schools? If you were considering attending FCI, why not attend the school that it tries to emulate--ESCF? If not, then how about attending the local community college such as NYCTC? Their Hospitality Management A.A.S. Program seems to have international exchange programs. If you want to read the textbooks that most culinary programs in the U.S.A. use, then buy: On Cooking by Sara Labensky, The New Professional Chef by Mary D. Donovan, Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen. Spending a small fortune to attend any school is a rather sizable commitment. Take your time to evaluate all of your options. Good luck in your decision.
  10. Terrasanct: I agree with cupcakequeen. Community colleges are less expensive and a better value for the money vis-a-vis private culinary schools which cost much more. Here are some links which I think that you might find informative: Shaw Guides-Washington, SSCC, WSCA's apprenticeship program.
  11. Piperdown, I think that you're doing the best course of action by working in the trade to see if you would be willing to spend the time and money on attending a culinary program. If you were a young man, then I would suggest that you possibly consider doing an apprenticeship program. I do not know where in Canada you live, but here is Shaw Guides-Canada, Canadian Culinary Federation, CCF's Culinary Educational Institutions. If you would like to go to school in the U.S., come across the border to Michigan. I would recommend that you compare those aforementioned schools on your list vis-a-vis: Schoolcraft College Culinary Arts Program. Schoolcraft College has 3 CMCs and 1 CMPC on faculty, and Grand Rapids Community College Culinary Arts Programs, GRCC HED. GRCC has 1 CMC(Scottish), and 1 CMPC(French), who is also the coach of the U.S.A. Pastry Cup Team.
  12. jacquelinepassey, Check out Shaw Guides-Nevada. UNLV has an excellent program if you are pursuing a B.S. in Culinary Arts Management. However, since you are only interested in culinary schools, I would recommend that you attend a community college instead of a private culinary school such as CCSN's Culinary Arts-Program. An alternative to school would be a 3-year apprenticeship program affiliated with the ACF. They are usually done in conjunction with a community college so that you would also earn an A.S. degree in Culinary Arts as well. Also contact the American Culinary Alliance.
  13. RDaneel, I have worked as a sushi roller. I had used a 12" roast slicer made in Japan, but it is not one of the fancy ones which you were considering. The Knife Merchant has a good selection of Japanese cutlery. If you are searching for inexpensive Japanese-style cutlery, consider Mundial Sushimen's line. Japanese cutlery is usually single beveled on the right hand side at about a 15 degree angle and is much thinner than a traditional German double-beveled knife, e.g. Henckels knife. Henckels has been using sintering technology for quite some time now. Japanese knives need to be honed with a ceramic honing rod instead of a conventional butcher's steel. Review the thread about Knife Maintenance and Sharpening. Octaveman, I believe the term that you were searching for was sintering.
  14. yonatanbram: The most "current reliable (source of) info" that I know of is Shaw Guides. ShawGuides' Spain page
  15. FoodZealot: I own and recommend that you consider buying: LamsonSharp 10" Curved Bread Knife, or the 9" Offset Bread Knife. Lamson & Goodnow also make the 7 1/2" Offset Bread Knife for sandwiches. If you would like some larger serrated slicers, consider: 10" Roast Slicer-Wave-Edge, 12" Slicer-Wave-Edge, 14" Slicer-Wave-Edge. They are made in the USA, come with a lifetime warranty, and are less expensive than Forschner, Dexter-Russell, Henckels, etc., cutlery. Forschner(Victorinox)'s steel tends to be very soft and does not retain an edge very well. I have used their butcher-, bread-, and slicing-knives, and found them to become dull quite rapidly. The same is true of my Dexter-Russell knives(I own the Sani-Safe, and SofGrip product lines). The LamsonSharp serrated bread knives (at least mine anywary) were cut with a 1/8 inch serration vis-a-vis most other serrated knives which were/are cut with a 1/4 inch serration. Russell Harrington aka Dexter-Russell calls their serrated knives scalloped knives. Knives with 1/4" scallops or serrations can be honed slightly with a ceramic rod. Some of the later LamsonSharp serrated, Wave-Edge knives seem to have a 1/4" serration. I once tried my LamsonSharp 10" curved bread knife on a frozen San Francisco sour dough bread loaf against my other serrated knives and it sliced through the entire frozen loaf in 5 or 6 strokes whereas my Dexter-Russell 8 in. scalloped bread knife took about 30 strokes to slice through the loaf! I then called Lamson & Goodnow and told their technical representative about my experience, and he strongly advised me not to ever try that again with any knives because they were not designed to be frozen food knives! I have found my LamsonSharp knives to be sharper than my Dexter-Russell, Tramontina, Mundial, Chicago Cutlery, Forschner, or Henckels knives. Most of my professional kitchen cutlery are LamsonSharp. LamsonSharp's forged line of cutlery use high-carbon stainless steel from Solingen, Germany, whereas their stamped steel cutlery is made of American-made steel. Another excellent American manufacturer of professional kitchen cutlery with a lifetime warranty is EdgeCraft which manufactures the ChefsChoice Trizor 10X cutlery line, but their Master Series 2000 product line is manufactured in Germany, and seems to strongly resemble the F. Dick Pro-Dynamic product line(although I cannot verify this).
  16. I have tried the 11 lb.(5 kg.) block in the plastic bag technique--throw it onto the table or floor. Remember not to cross-contaminate the cutting board by transfering the chocolate to another clean low-density polyethylene(plastic) bag. Take a rubber(or metal meat) mallet and pound the rest of the chocolate block(in the bag) into the desired-size pieces on top of the cutting board. Never cut nor pound anything directly atop a baker's bench--treat it with respect. Another technique is to score the chocolate block and insert a dull large straight-edge French knife(at least 10 in., or 12 in. is even better) or double-handled cheese knife(14 in.) and pound on the back('spine') of the knife blade with a rubber mallet and break the chocolate block into the desired-size pieces. Yes, a serrated knife is better for "chopping" chocolate blocks, but I have never used any of my serrated knives for chopping chocolate blocks. I have separate knives specifically for pastry work which are intentionally left unsharpened as they came from the factory. I have used both techniques at work and have never lacerated, avulsed, nor contused any of my fingers. I have never tried the cradling the chocolate block under the axillary area and carving it with a knife technique. I would be interested in witnessing a demonstration. An alternative is to buy chocolate pistoles instead. Work safely.
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