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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. Best wishes on a speedy recovery, Chef.
  2. We have a place that like that in my hometown. It's actually pretty cool. The food is just OK--standard pizza, burgers, salads, chicken fingers, etc...but the real draw is the liquor and alcohol...pitchers of beer and a comedy? Great fun. They did some tasty stuff like caramel popcorn, etc. Like I said, didn't really go for the food, moreso the alcohol. But it was fun.
  3. I've met many female cooks and chefs who could cook most male cooks and chefs I've met under the table. I think that if males won't act respectful and professional around women (and other men, and children, etc) then it reflects poorly on them and no one else. That's one thing I can't stand is unprofessionalism (is that a word, LOL), male, female, whatever...
  4. Qwerty

    Bone marrow risotto?

    I agree with what was said above....I've also seen marrow "mounted" into risotto much like cold butter is to finish. I should say, marrow fat mounted in. Marrow is delicious, but I think it would benefit from being more of a flavoring agent in the risotto rather than an ingredient. I can't imagine enjoying a mouthful of marrow in with my risotto. I find that marrow is best when spread on a crusty piece of toast and topped with whatever. I think that the marrow flavor is great, so I agree with all of the above, sweat the aromatics with marrow fat, and/or mount the risotto with a combination of butter and marrow fat. Good luck...let us know how it turns out.
  5. I would think that the appropriate term would be "frenched," but the description of lollipop seems to have worked it's way into vernacular.
  6. I understand the faux pas about touching rims and plates, etc, but if it's really that big a deal how can you deal with the obvious issues of cooks and chefs touching your food (probably repeatedly) with their bare hands? Is it OK because it is out of sight/out of mind, or OK because it's their job and they are seemingly going to be more concerned with sanitation? I mean, yeah, it's kind of gross, but really, what do you think you will "catch" if you drink from a fingered glass? I mean, you ever seen the "clean" water that comes out of the dishwasher sometimes? It's scary at some restaurants. Not trying to pick on you, and I'm not trying to justify behavior of bad servers, just seems weird to me... As a former (reformed) server, I can tell you that it can be very tricky sometimes. It's a hard thing to literally try and guess what patrons may/may not want you to do. Sometimes it's quite clear (more water, more drinks, clearing plates, etc), but sometimes it's not. For every person who wants a server to "shut up" and stop explaining dishes or specials, there is one who wants the server to hold their hand and explain every damn thing. Often times at the same table. Some people think that if a server asks a guest if they want a refill on a glass of wine, cocktail, etc, they are being pushy and trying to drive up the bill. Others get offended if you DON'T offer. A lot of times you can tell or "read" the guest, other times you can't. It's just not possible. And frankly, a lot of times it has to do with the type of establishment you are at. A waiter squats down or sits down at the table with you? At Chili's, yeah, I can see that, but at Per Se? Never. And remember, they only do it at because there are probably a LOT of people out there who respond to it (not on eGullet, but we hardly represent the masses, eh?) It's funny to me to see the actual disparity in this post itself--checking back too much...not checking often enough. No enthusiasm ("Yeah, what can I get you?"), too much enthusiasm ("Isn't that just the yummiest (insert menu item here) that you've ever had?), incorrectly pronouncing things (awesome "nooky"), correcting guests who mispronounce things (" I'll have the kee-no-ah salad" "so you'll have the keen-wah salad"). I mean, seriously, what do you want them to do? Mispronounce it back to you? Keep the circle of mispronouncing going? I think the first 12 words or so of your post explain everything that follows...I mean, I would be happy if I could be reasonably assured that the short order guy didn't snot or ash into my fries...my truckstop waitress steals one of my fries? I got off light.... Now, I know that a lot of servers are laughably bad, and that a lot of behavior is inexcusable, rude, or downright awful. I'm not trying to justify that type of server. I just want to give a little perspective that it's not always as easy as some people think it is, and the full spectrum of expectations are probably all accounted for on any given night.
  7. The pink coloring is added artificially so that people won't accidentally reach for it and use it like regular table salt. That stuff is a good thing to have around for curing (it prevents botulism) but too much of it and it can have some very serious side effects (including death).
  8. There are lots of things a person could use to emulsify a dressing. As mentioned, mustard works well, as does egg yolks. There is also something to be said for technique, as in adding the oil slowly and whisking to create the emulsion. This type of emulsion is temporary (akin to shaking the squeeze bottle) but will work. As stated above, sounds like the cooks need to shake the bottle or stir the dressing.
  9. I vote for a langoustine AKA Norway lobster.
  10. Qwerty

    Lentils + Chili

    Ugh, don't put beans in chili.
  11. Glad to hear everything worked out. I'm sure you are disappointed, but it sounds like the farmers did a good job of making it right. And homemade sausage is, of course, worth all the effort.
  12. Thanks for the replies. Yes, I am out of school. I speak a little Spanish...not much else. My English is quite good though I have never been to Europe, though I am planning a trip to Spain in September. I won't be able to work on this trip--it is not purely a vacation--but I'm sure I will get to absorb some culture and food. Keep in mind, again, that my plan is not to do this for another few years. I know I need to grow as a cook before I can accomplish this...and it may yet work itself out. I know a lot of chefs have connections overseas, so maybe the opportunity will come through hard work. Again, thanks for the replies. Keep them coming.
  13. I'm no baker but is it possible to par bake the crust and then add the filling? Seems logical to me...it's what I would do with a savory custard or a pie.
  14. So...one of my mid to long term goals is to work at least 6 months to a year in a Michelin starred restaurant in Europe...preferably Spain or the UK...but I don't know how to go about getting started. I know I need more experience under my belt, which of course I am working on now, but how/should one apply for a VISA? How does one do that? How to get a paying job through e-mail and phone, housing, etc? Anyone done it before? Tips, suggestions, etc? Like I said, this is probably a good 3-5 years away, (maybe a little less, we'll see how I progress) but never to early to get started. Thanks.
  15. Qwerty

    Bok Choy

    Well, stuff like that is really meant to have some bitterness, I think. It's kind of what makes it what it is--bitter greens, etc, are along the same lines. It might help if you tell us how you cook it now so we can have a starting point. You could do all sorts of things...make a sweet vinaigrette with honey and drizzle that over it, add some lemon juice or vinegar to the pan and deglaze and toss the bok choy (sour decreases bitter). Try carmelizing shallots then adding the bok choy to that. I don't know, just throwing out ideas.
  16. Um, I think you may misunderstand the idea. The idea isn't really that a standard 20% gratuity is added to the bill, it's more like the "service charge" is included in the price for the meal. Like, the menus at these places are fixed price, so the service is just included in the bill. You pay 250 flat...service included. Not like, you order whatever and then they tack on the tip at the end. Hope I made sense, I'm not really the best at explaining things. I actually think it is a good trend, like I said, I obviously think that the cooks getting better wages is great.
  17. My understanding is these restaurants do this to attract top level staff, and of course, to be able to pay the cooks more. Which I'm obviously for.
  18. I agree. Roasted marrow is a delight. Fergus Henderson's recipe for Roasted Bone Marrow with a parslet salad is divine. I won't type the recipe (I'm sure there are copywrights), but basically you very rough chop some nice fresh parsley, a few capers, and mix it with some lemon juice and olive oil. Serve this with the marrow, and some nice toasty baguette slices and fleur on the side.
  19. keep you from being burned? wow, are they also making bullet proof ones these days?? ← He said being BADLY burned, which the initial layer of heavy cloth can absorb a lot of the heat and impact from some spilled liquid or fat. And they can definately help with oven tops, sides, etc.
  20. Qwerty

    green plums

    Well, what do they taste like?
  21. What are the thoughts on different ways to store salad greens? Seems like everyone I talk to has a different way. I'm mainly talking in a professional setting, but anyone with ideas is of course welcome. My way--cut, wash 2 or 3 times, spin dry, then store in a covered container (lexan or a hotel with lids) with dry paper towels lined on the bottom and every few layers. This way, the paper towels absorb any residual wetness and keep the greens dry (which I always thought was the point). I've been other places where they wash/dry, but then put it into a pan with a wet towel over it. Some people cover, some don't. What is the consensous for best way to do it? Personally, I like the way I was taught and described above, because it seemed to work very well.
  22. According to Collichio's blog, the first time anyone on the show heard about his dad was during filming. Ansd apparantly he is the chef of a fairly well regarded restaurant in his hometown, so maybe it really was just nerves that got him in the first episode. I gotta give props to my hometown man Tre. The restaurant he works at is fantastic, and I've been waiting for him to break out on his own for a while now. Hopefully he can do that after the show.
  23. Yeah, we are bad people. We have this strange idea in our head that a restaurant is a business, not a soup kitchen. Oh wait, it's a hospitality business. I guess we should just give all the food and drink away. Nothing is more inhospitable than presenting a bill to our valued guests.... ← Yeah, cause that's what I said. Thank you for putting the words in my mouth
  24. I can't believe some of the responses I'm reading here. Seems a lot of people have no idea what it is to be in the service industry. If the restaurant is in such bad shape and so poorly run that every customer must order an entree, then I forsee bad times for that place. I cannot fathom any scenario in which I would try (in any way) to make a GUEST in my restaurant somehow feel cheap or lowly for odering what they want. If I feel like going to a favorite joint of mine someday just in the mood for a salad, or an app, I want to be treated fairly and the same as if I just ordered everything on the menu. That's just good service. Basic service. God damn rule number one of service. Nobody knows other's situation. Every good restaurantuer knows it will even out in the end. You'll have a table that will triple the PPA for every one that cuts it in half. Some of you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
  25. Slice the potatoes on a mandoline, then cook in a pot of 2 parts cream 1 part whole milk. Add a garlic clove or 2, some thyme sprigs, and a generous amount of salt. Simmer (do not boil) the potatoes until they are tender but still a little al dente. You want to make sure to stir the potatoes often, turning them over in the pot as much as possible, so that the ones on the bottom do not stick to the pot and burn. Strain the potatoes and reserve the liquid. Pour a layer of the cream onto a baking dish, then proceed to layer the potatoes inside the dish. Add a little bit of cream every few layers. Pour a little bit more of the cream on top, and then bake until bubbly and golden. This is the method I use and it works without fail--the real danger is actually adding too much liquid and making them too saucy (but still good). Good luck. Oh yeah, if you want you can of course add cheese every few layers and on top if you wish.
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