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Qwerty

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  1. I have mixed feelings about this. Of course Freidman is a pig and shouldn't be in business. But the reality is he is still in business, and unlikely to go anywhere--who better to right the ship and re-think and instill a more progressive culture than Gabrielle Hamilton? They might have a chance to be at the forefront of a kitchen culture revolution and to spread it from the inside out. Where is the outrage thread against April Bloomfield? As far as I'm concerned, she's (almost) just as guilty. She worked along side him for 15+ years, never once reported or called the authorities (as far as I can tell). At best she's complicit in all the wrongdoings that went on...why does she get to continue to own/operate restaurants on the West Coast and in the city? Why all the hate for GH (who, at least, seems to be trying to actively change things)?
  2. This is giving me PTSD.
  3. No, I disagree. The statement clearly said "hope there's no truth to it" not "I wish it wasn't true." The difference is: "Wow, I wish this wasn't the case because up until now I had respect for John Besh." vs "I hope these 25 women aren't telling the truth so I can continue to respect John Besh" ' The sympathy lies with JB, not the women. IMO that is a huge difference. And also, I might add, indicative of the overall problem we are talking about here.
  4. Yeah, it sure is sad when men get caught repeatedly sexually harassing women. Sure do feel bad for those guys. /s Do you really think and/or hope there is no truth to it? You think those 25+ women are lying about a culture of harassment? Did you read the article? How about some sympathy for the women who had to put up with that sh*t?
  5. Qwerty

    Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    I'm not sure of you all are aware but you're still doing it...
  6. Qwerty

    Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    All right everyone, I'm calling it. eGullet has officially run out of ideas. Everyone go home, nothing to see here. The site had a good run, really. There has to be a self destruct button under a "Break in case of intense PB&J discussion." You've exhausted everything else there is to talk about.
  7. I agree with all the follow up advice. Retherm in the bag slightly below cooking temp, then take out, sear, etc. I will also add: It looks like to me, from the amount of juice that is left on your cutting board , that you neglected to properly rest your steak. Resting after the sear if you've sous vided something is less important than, say, when you roast or pan roast something (gentler cooking, not as hot, etc), but since you admitted you overcooked your meat when you went to sear it, it probably got too hot and needed to rest. What color is all that juice on your board...? Red...lol, that is where your color went. Also, if you are using previously frozen meat, that can lead to a lot of water/juice leeching during cooking and/or reheating. Also also, if you have a huge piece of meat like a tri tip or something, don't be afraid to warm and sear in smaller pieces. You could easily have cut that sucker in half and cut down on the time it takes to heat it back up, thereby possibly preventing you from overcooking it. Just a thought.
  8. This thread pisses me off. You sound like a toxic chef, burned out and grouchy. I mean, are you such an "artiste" that subbing out spinach for carrots (or whatever) is somehow going to ruin the intricate nature of the flavors you have composed for your guests enjoyment? Is it too difficult to execute or something? Is pouring sauce into a small pot really harder than pouring it over the meat? Lol, the steamed spinach "isn't suitable" for the beef? You're making mashed potatoes and steaming spinach, not chiseling David out of marble. Customer SERVICE. Get over yourself. There are so many variables that dictate when people arrive in a place for a meal...you seem to lack perspective. You never know who will be coming through your door to custom your place. A couple that has been traveling all day and finally needs a break at 9pm to grab a nice meal. Maybe the movie got out late, or the concert went long. Maybe there was traffic. If the restaurant doesn't want to accept orders past 9pm, the restaurant should close at 9pm. Why stay open until 9:30? Why work in a place where this happens? Go work in a place that closes at 8 if that is what you want. There is a favorite story of mine where, in the early days of the French Laundry, the maitre'd informed the kitchen that a 4 top had been seated late (they had been waiting sometime at that point.) A cook let out an audible groan, and TK fired him on the spot. Clean out your locker and GTFO. Because it is a bullshit attitude. And attitudes like that are infectious, and need to be weeded out. Sooo, you were upset because you had to cook lunch for 8 people? I dunno about you, but I can do that in my sleep. Yeah, working on Christmas Eve sucks...go find another career. Having a slightly oblivious owner? I call that Monday. Sounds like you were unprepared for lunch and got caught with your pants down. Mise en place, chef. Plan for it. I mean, good on you? That's a pretty low bar to set for yourself. "I'm mad I have to cook lunch for 8 people, but at least I didn't spit in their food."
  9. Qwerty

    Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    I also don't understand the "sharing" thing. Seems simple enough to cook 2 steaks...but whatever. My solutions is that you should stop wasting money on steaks. You'd most likely find much more pleasure in braising a short rib or pot roast or something than spending money on Filet that you are going to cook to well done. A properly cooked braise will be tender, juicy and well cooked. I'm not trying to be snarky but I think that you'll find much more pleasure in eating a braise than a well done steak. I mean...well done steak...what's the point? The things that make a steak delicious are long gone at the well done stage.
  10. Qwerty

    Sous vide halibut

    I got some advice for you, as someone who does sous vide in my pro kitchen, and yes, I sous vide fish all the time. It can be wonderful. Number one thing: Make sure you are sourcing quality seafood. You may have gotten previously frozen halibut, which can lead to a mushy texture and a greater chance of flaking apart. That is probably your #1 thing to do, source better fish. We "cure" out fish for about 30-45 minutes before we bag it. I say "cure" because we don't do a traditional, heavy-ish cure on it, like if we were going to smoke it or dry it, for example. We make a pretty basic salt/sugar mix (I use 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar) and whatever herbs and spices you'd like. Dill is great, thyme is great, sometimes I use a black pepper/coriander/fennel seed mixture. I usually blend this with the salt/sugar mix and then sprinkle it on the fish. We generally eyeball it, but we season the fish as if we were seasoning it for immediate cooking, if that makes sense. So it is not as heavy as a salt cure (again, for smoking/making lox/etc) but it is probably more cure mix than a "normal" home cook might put on it. I wish I had a better description, but basically we sprinkle it on pretty heavy like we were going to go straight into the pan. I hope I make sense. There are a few reasons why we do this. First, it seasons the fish and makes it taste better, obvi. It also pulls out some protein rich liquid, which helps prevent a lot of the albumin protein from coagulating on the fish as it cooks. Basically, when ever you cook fish sous vide (or any other way, really) you get a egg white looking protein leech out of the fish. This is totally normal--most people notice it the most on salmon but it happens a lot on halibut too--but leeching out some of that protein rich liquid by salting ahead of time prevents this. You will still most likely get SOME albumin, but it really cuts down on it and makes the final appearance easier to clean up and look nicer. It also firms up the flesh of the fish, making it less prone to flaking apart after it is cooked--which is a big deal when cooking fish sous vide. We then bag it with whatever fat and aromatics we are using for the dish. Duck fat, pork fat, butter, EVOO, are all options. Dill and thyme are my favorite herbs. I generally don't sear my sous vide halibut (I do for salmon on the skin side only), but curing the fish should help quite a bit. Just make sure your oil is hot and try not to move the fish in the pan until it releases. I usually like to add texture to the plate in other ways other than searing, but again, this should help. A hot cast iron pan (well seasoned) should work just fine. You might try gently patting the fish dry before you sear, as moisture on the outside of the fish could cause it to stick. Good luck.
  11. One thing that might be noted is that, at least here in the states, our food contains so much animal protein (in general) that we don't need umami to enrich a lot of stuff. A bowl of rice and vegetables would benefit more from fish sauce or soy than a bowl of Texas red, for example. The fish sauce or soy would fill that "gap" in the dish, making the flavor more rounded and hit more areas of the palate. "We" also use a lot more dairy in our cooking, where there isn't that tradition in Eastern food (and yes, obviously I'm generalizing) But since so much of our "traditional" cooking is meat-centric, and indeed the way we eat is meat centric--things that bring umami aren't really the necessity that they might be in other, specifically Eastern, cuisines. It might go a small way to explain why there isn't a tradition of "umami" as a flavoring ingredient.
  12. Qwerty

    Pete Wells slams Per Se

    Ah yes, the inevitable tear down after the build up. Took longer than expected. Que the "I knew it was going downhill last 3 times I ate there" and the "Thomas Keller must be slipping" comments from the Can't Do and Never Was brigades. I'm sure I already missed some. The world LOVES this kind of stuff. There's nothing snobby eaters like more than a good take down piece--except maybe claiming that they knew it all along.
  13. Qwerty

    Sancho

    Lol, Sancho. To the unitiated, a "sancho" is mexican/spanish slang for the guy who your wife/GF is cheating on you with. The reason people call out "sancho" when you sneeze is because when you come home from work (say a couple hours early) the Sancho runs and hides in your closet or whatever, but when he sneezes he gives himself away. So when you sneeze and all the Hisapnics call out "sancho" its because that is how you know a sancho is in your house. Pretty funny stuff. A sancho can also be a kind of slang (what is that called? Slangier?) for someone who is nice to your face but talks or acts differently behind your back. Like, a sancho might shake your hand at church or at a party, but as soon as you go to work he sneaks in the back way, eats your food and bangs your wife.
  14. Qwerty

    Consulting Chef Opportunity

    Maybe you could try thinking about what would be a fair yearly wage you would earn as their Exec. Chef, figure out how long you will consult, and then extrapolate a price. Maybe add a bit more. Like, if you would make 50k for a year, and you would work for them for 4 months, then it would be something like 16k. Maybe charge them an even 20k for example. I dunno, but it seems a place to start. You would expect, at the minimum, to get paid what they would pay a non-consulting exec. chef I would assume. You obviously don't want to take advantage of their situation (they wouldn't ask if they didn't desperately need help) but you should get value for your time.
  15. I'm confused as to why you would want this restaurant to stick around? Seems like there is good reason the crowds thinned so quickly. No one ever went back. There is a difference between getting one or two small things wrong and being a complete train wreck from start to finish. While I agree with Chris Amirault that 6-9 months isn't always sufficient time to work out ALL the kinks of a place, I don't think 2 years is required to hone on systems to cook burgers, eggs, and hash browns. 6 months should be plenty of time to start humming along in most restaurants. One year tops. Hell, most places don't even make it to two years. Being in the business, I have some measure of sympathy and empathy for restaurant owners, especially "mom and pop" type places. But someplace that can't get the basics right, or even close, probably wouldn't benefit much from criticism from you, no matter how polite or well intention it was. You could try leaving this at their entrance: http://www.amazon.com/Running-Restaurant-Dummies-Michael-Garvey/dp/0764537172/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334485783&sr=8-2
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