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    Austin, TX
  1. I just relocated to Nachtiches, LA, and was wondering what the ethnic and gourmet market situation was in Shreveport. We'll probably be going "into town" every couple of weeks to see friends, and it would be nice to be able to stock up on some specialty items. Thanks.
  2. mikelbarnz

    My first spit-roast

    Just had to bump this back to the top, and say that's a thing of beauty. I've always been a "pig in the ground with banana leaves" guy, but that device has me completely envious.
  3. mikelbarnz

    Texas BBQ Road Trip Report

    Dug up this post to show a friend, and thought it deserved a bump. Best damn post ever. And best of all, central Texas BBQ is "beagle approved".
  4. mikelbarnz

    Remember when . . .

    when garnishing a plate meant a leaf of kale and an orange slice? when fresh herbs meant curly parsley?
  5. Apparently, there is a reprint out for $40 and the discount code from page one is still good. $52 dollars with shipping to Texas. Ican't wait. http://www.archambault.ca/store/Product.as...02081738&type=5
  6. mikelbarnz

    Cooking Duck Breasts: Tips and Techniques

    Cure a couple. Duck proscuitto, duck bacon, duck pancetta... And there are always terrines to be made
  7. mikelbarnz

    Quail Eggs in Austin, TX?

    I noticed quail eggs the last time I was in the market at the Hong Kong shopping center, south of burnet on 183. They were fresh, I have no idea if they carry them year round. ← There used to be a quail farmer at the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market who had eggs, but he wasn't there this past weekend. He may have moved to the downtown market, or he may have just skipped a week.
  8. mikelbarnz

    Top Chef: Season 3

    Everyone seems shocked that they would use Eric Ripert in an "outdoor" setting. I got the impression from both of his cookbooks that camping and outdoor cooking are near and dear to his heart. There is even an essay in "The Le Bernardin Cookbook" about camping trips he took with his family and all the food they would drag along. As well, in "A Return To Cooking", his excitement at having a huge fireplace in which to cook was palpable. As soon as I saw the preview, I though it was a great fit.
  9. The gentleman pontificating to Tony on the subject of BBQ sauce at the party (pale yellow/tan suit) is my good friend Buff, a proud son of South Carolina. Through complete happenstance and unknown to me, he happened to have my copy of Kitchen Confidential in his pocket, and it is now sitting proudly,on my shelf, autographed by the man himself. "Cook Free or Die" indeed. Buff's description of Tony, in typical understated fashion, "...couldn't have been nicer"
  10. mikelbarnz

    Need Help with Back and Knee Pain

    It won't help the knee pain, but consider investing in a new matress/bed. I went through a period in my mid 20's of excruciating back pain, but switching over to an extremely firm futon pad instead of the cheap soft mattress I owned pretty much cleared it up. A couple of other recommendations from a line cook lifer: Shoes/insoles-very important. I've never found a pair of kitchen clogs I like, so I now work exclusively in Montrail hiking boots. They are a bit on the heavy side, but after breaking them in, I can be on my feet for 10+ hours a day in comfort. Which, at 40, ain't bad. Work smarter-if possible, rearrange your station/mise so that you aren't having to do as much repetitive bending/squatting during service. Could help. Massage therapy-Assuming you are in a decently sized metropolitan area, there may be a massage school offering discount massages by students. Having a strong skilled set of hands give your back muscles a workout can do wonders. Good luck.
  11. mikelbarnz

    Hill Country

    Something to remember about "bbq production", is that the open pits that places like Kreuz's and the Salt Lick use is that they are for holding/finishing/serving only. Full disclosure: I was the opening chef at a Salt Lick satellite location. All the meat we used was the exact same product that was used at the original location, the only difference was that the meat was "finished" in an enclosed smoker on site, rather than in the open pit at Driftwood. We even often used the same wood. It all comes down to the wood, the quality of the meat, and the skill of the pitmaster I wish these guys all the luck. BBQ can be a cruel mistress sometimes
  12. mikelbarnz

    Favorite Piece of Meat?

    Sweetbreads, soaked in buttermilk and fresh sage, then poached, pressed, dredged in flour and pan fried in clarified butter. Tastes like KFC WISHES it could taste. Roast duck oysters. My prep cooks would save them all for me on duck roasting day, I'd come in to work and there would be a little pile of them on my station, just waiting for me. Wrap in a tortilla with a little fresh cilantro and a squeeze of siracha. Now that's how you start a shift! And raw ribeye, thinly sliced, with sea salt and tabasco. I'd always have a little snack when I was cutting steaks, the latinos all thought I was crazy. The would all sit and watch me, shaking their heads.
  13. I'm putting together a Butcher Packer order, and I'm a little confused by the Bactoferm varieties. Which of the products has everyone been using, and for what specific applications? Thanks in advance.
  14. Just got back from Central Market Westgate in Austin. I was picking up some Molinari and Sons Copa and Salami in the deli, and asked if they were planning on stocking Jamon Iberico when it became available. The counterman replied that they didn't have it in stock "yet", but they had the lomo and the chorizo. The lomo is $90/lb. Jokingly, I said "Guess there's no chance of getting a sample", to which he responded, "Sir, I can give away as much as I want"!!!!! It was divine, mood altering, bordering on life changing. Thinly sliced, when held to the light the meat was red and almost transparent, with a spiderweb of fat running through. I almost cried. If charcuterie and salumi interests you at all, get thee to CM. I'm already saving money to buy some.