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Teri Everitt

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Everything posted by Teri Everitt

  1. Neil, those pictures just wiped out EVERY negative association I have about hotel food. I'm kind of glad I can't get there in person.....it would take me so long to choose which pastries to buy and try first....I'd probably get kicked out for loitering....or drooling.
  2. I have a friend who works there. It is indeed all of those things, but it is very small so for a group of 18 you need to book ahead. Ahora has really good food but it is teeny tiny and might be a little more casual than you were thinking.
  3. As for the first statement, fine dining is not in demand on Canada Day. People want to get in and out quickly, and mediocre restaurants will put on an easier menu with limited choices and charge more money than usual for it. Anyone from Ottawa knows not to eat in a restaurant that day. I work at Boulanger Francais on Murray Street . As well as the bakery we have a small restaurant in the back and Canada Day is one of the 4 days a year that we are closed. Why? We have limited storage and a small staff so we would be working extra hard just to sell out of product at 10:30 or 11:00 am. The owner doesn't want the staff to have to deal with drunk rowdy people etc. Also we only get four days a year when the entire staff have the day off. Canada Day is more hassle than profit unless you make your money from beer sales or you sell fast food. As for the second statement, I think you need to make some friends in Ottawa
  4. I use a small layer of cookie crumbs or graham crumbs for my galettes. The other thing I do is roast my fruit with the sugar to draw out some of the liquid (especially strawberries and rhubarb). The roasted fruit gets a small amount of butter, flour and lemon juice tossed through and I let it cool before I use it. I like Michelle's brie idea though........I think I have to go make a fruit and brie tart now!
  5. Teri Everitt

    Artichokes

    I'll definitely be consulting this thread again. I ended up steaming the artichokes, melting some butter and pouring it over the artichokes so that it pooled in the hollow, then added lots of fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper. I'm pretty sure I ate a couple of the leaves that weren't meant to be eaten, and I know I missed one of the thorns while trimming it and ate THAT as well (ouch!) but if I die it's been for a good cause. I think any vegetable that encourages you to eat 1/4 cup or so of melted butter will absolutely be appearing on my dinner table more often. Do you think it would be over the top to have both artichokes and corn on the cob for supper? I may have to try the caper mayonnaise as well.
  6. Teri Everitt

    Artichokes

    I just bought my very first REAL (as in not bottled or canned) artichoke. I'd like to have it for dinner, but I don't have a clue what to do with it. Anyone?
  7. My sisters and I took a pregnant friend out for brunch. My sisters had picked the place and we had a nice if boring meal. I come from a family of smartasses.....sarcasm is our first language and English our second. Anyway, we had jokingly given our server a hard time, and spotting one of those stupid feedback forms on our table had filled it out with fairly stupid answers and suggestions. When the time came to pay the bill, my sisters both had cash and I didn't, so I told them to cover the tip, and the meal was on me. I paid the bill on my debit card and we left the restaurant. As my sister was dropping us off I asked how much they had tipped, and Tammi looked at Tracey and said "I thought you left the tip!" Remember, we left that feedback form full of smartass comments on the table AND apparently stiffed our server. This was just too much for me, so I searched through my purse to see if I still had a copy of the bill.........I did and the server's name was written on the bottom. So the next day I went to the restaurant with a $10 bill in an envelope with the server's name on it. She must have thought we were such asses!
  8. This has been a really interesting topic. When I worked as a line cook I worked with more men than women, since switching to pastry its been mostly female coworkers. I think the barrier women face with self promotion is the fact that we aren't really socialized to brag, and some of the things involved in self promotion might be perceived by women as "showing off". Here's a little Ottawa insider story for you. There's a very well known pastry chef in Ottawa who runs her own shop (sorry, no names....if you're from Ottawa you probably know who she is). She considers her shop the best in town, possibly it is. Anyway, one of the other pastry chefs at my current job used to work at the NAC and assisted the NAC's chef, Kurt Wadele at a competition in Toronto. The pastry chef mentioned above (the one with the healthy ego) had won this competition before and was not eligible to compete that year. So she went to the competion anyway, complete with a prepared cake and desserts, dressed in her whites and wearing her medal she'd won in the previous competition. QUESTION............was this self promotion, or showboating? If it was you, would you A) Do the exact same thing? B) Show up at the competition, just to check out what others are doing, but in your street clothes. C)Show up at the competion, in your whites, and network. Just curious. I think I would have done option C, because to me showing up with a cake is kind of like wearing a wedding gown to someone elses wedding. Just seemed kind of tacky to try and tug the spotlight away from that year's winner.
  9. Lord of 7, that's what rice cookers are for!
  10. After a typical day at work, I usually look like I had a fight with a cake....and lost. Cheap bar laundry soap from the asian market tackles the chocolate smears, fruit puree etc, but I haven't yet solved the sheet pan stain.........and since the pastry kitchen is small and in the centre of the bakery, I do a lot of walking around with stuff on my shoulder. If they find a cure for this one I'll be the first in line to buy some.
  11. So my job has jaded my palate a little where pastry is concerned, but it hasn't put me off of restaurant meals. However after reading the comments about fish in this thread, I think I just moved one step closer to vegetarianism! Yes, I'm a wimp, I know....
  12. CAKE! When I was a kid, Mom didn't know how to make homemade cake, so we only got cake on birthdays........and it was usually Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines. At some point my Mom learned to make pie crust fairly well, so at every non-birthday occasion there was pie, pie and always pie. I do like pie, but I'll pick a well made cake anytime. Also, my most hated dessert is pumpkin pie (baby food in a crust), and as someone earlier in the thread pointed out, any fruit worth eating I'd rather have raw, with the exception of lemon. A well made lemon tart is almost good enough for me to pass up cake. Almost.
  13. Sometimes eating in a restaurant involves suspending your relationship with reality temporarily........I'll bet there are several restaurants I've eaten in that I would never return to if I had seen the kitchen. Sometimes it's better not to know. On the other hand, I work as one of the pastry chefs at a small bakery that makes everything from scratch. My coworker and I sometimes go to try pastry made by competing bakeries/restaurants and we rarely find anything we enjoy. It's not because other bakers and pastry chefs lack talent, it's because most bakeries and restaurants use inferior ingredients to cut costs. There's nothing worse than buying a cake or pastry that looks amazing but tastes like nothing but sugar and air. One of our staff who teaches baking and knows a lot about the industry was talking to a supplier about this issue....the number of bakeries/pastry kitchens in Ottawa that use only good chocolate, real butter, real cream, no frozen or bake off products etc can be counted on with one hand and you'll still have a couple of fingers left over. Sometimes people come in and buy puff dough from us because it's made in house from only butter. Even the high end hotels in this town buy frozen puff dough and tart shells etc and in the name of economizing will contract out to cheap bakeries for things that they deem too labour intensive to produce in house. The worst part of this is that we can't charge much more than our competitors who take shortcuts, even though they cost us more in ingredients and labour.
  14. Family's food culture? Um....We were your basic Anglo-Saxon/Celtic mongrel working class family I guess. Mom worked pretty long hours so some things were homemade(spaghetti sauce) but mostly my mother did her shopping based on what kids could cook or heat up without supervision, Kraft dinner and Campbell's Soup etc. Dinners were usually chicken or meat with potatoes and vegetables (usually frozen) except for salad and corn on the cob. Was meal time important? Not really. Mostly my 2 sisters and I ate dinner together but the adults in the household sometimes ate later. Was cooking important? Yes and no. Holiday meals were fairly important to my mom....she was an adequate cook who thought she was an excellent cook. We were on a tight budget and she didn't want us eating junk, so there weren't many processed snacks in the house, cookies and muffins were usually made by me. Everyday cooking was a chore that got passed off to me when I was 10. No penalties for elbows on the table, we were just expected to behave ourselves in general. Mom did the cooking for weekend and holiday meals.....weeknights she would leave instructions on the counter for what to make for dinner and how to make it. Restaurant meals were not in the budget, just the occasional breakfast or takeout. My grandmother or grandpa would take us out for restaurant meals when we visited them in Peterborough. There was no "kiddy table" in our family, during my childhood there was only my mother's 3 children and 1 first cousin at family gatherings. If there were a lot of people we might be fed first. First sip of wine? I think I began being offered a small glass of wine (not watered down) at the age of 10 for special meals etc. Was there a pre-meal prayer? No Rotating menu? Yes and no....we did tend to eat the same things again and again....spaghetti, roast chicken, burgers, chili but there was no formal pattern to it. Mom was raised Catholic so occasionally she made fish on Friday. How much of my family culture is being replicated? Not much. I'm a single parent now but I work around my youngest child's school hours so I am home for dinner every night and rarely used prepared foods. I don't remember my mother ever making allowances for her children's food preferences....I don't even know if she would even know what foods we individually disliked. I have a vegetarian child, a semi picky eater and an autistic child to cook for and I try to accomodate their needs (within reason). The biggest difference stems from Emma becoming a vegetarian......holiday meals in my home do not revolve around roasted animals served with gravy. My two girls are also enthusiastic about anything asian influenced so I use this angle to convince them to try new foods. I'm a pastry chef (who according to my children NEVER makes desserts at home) but I do bake a lot of bread and all of their pizzas are homemade.
  15. Ellen C Any pastry chef will tell you that the worst part of a caramel burn is waiting calmly for the caramel to harden so you can pick it off your skin, rather than risk smearing the caramel and increasing the size of the burn. If it's any consolation.........that's the kind of thing you really will never do again.
  16. I find the gloves a turnoff for 2 reasons......because of the issues mentioned upthread of whether gloves give food handlers a false sense of security and they are less careful about keeping them clean then they would be working without them.........and also because if you enjoy cooking then you know how important it is to use your senses while you cook. I will use gloves at work if I have a cut or if I am juicing a million lemons for lemon curd, but I have to leave one hand bare. I can't stand not having any feedback from what I am touching. It makes me feel "blind", if that makes any sense at all.
  17. Frozen passion fruit puree can be found in Latin markets but the quality is not the same as the ones I order for the bakery. They are often labelled as Maracuya (I think that's how it's spelled) and sometimes the frozen passion fruit puree from the Latin markets have seeds which you would probably want to strain out. Another option they have is a passion fruit concentrate (liquid) that is meant to be diluted for drinks. The frozen puree can also be found at some Portuguese grocery stores as well.
  18. You can ask the restaurant who their source is and ask if you can buy direct from the supplier. If the company won't sell to individual customers C.O.D. then you could always throw yourself at the mercy of the chef and ask them to bring in a specified amount of the ingredient you want and have them ring it in as "open food". I buy microgreens from the restaurant where I work (almost $7 for a small amount at the health food store vs. $7.50 for a half-flat). I also buy fingerling potatoes from work occasionally but since we pay $22.50 for a 10 lb bag they aren't that much cheaper than buying them from a store. I would eat them at home every day if I could afford them. Option #2......make friends with someone who works in a restaurant.
  19. Ok....my turn. Why can't I make good home fries? I can make nice roasted potatoes....as in starting with chopped RAW potatoes and sauteing in oil and seasonings and then finishing in the oven, but for some reason when I try to make homefries starting with chopped onions and chopped COOKED potatoes I end up with......... .......a half inch of crusty brown stuff on the pan bottom ........NO colour whatsover on the potatoes .........NO flavour whatsover on the potatoes. What am I doing wrong? Ironically, I judge all diner breakfasts by the potatoes, so if I eat somewhere and the potatoes sucked, then I didn't enjoy my meal.
  20. We keep our molten chocolate cakes unbaked in individual small brioche molds in the line fridge. If it is slow half the batch will be frozen (unbaked) in an airtight container in the freezer. You can keep the batter in the freezer and pull out a few to keep in the fridge (you can keep the batter in the fridge for about a week). If you want the flavour of real butter and good chocolate it might be worth it to wait the extra few minutes to just bake them off a la minute. We bake ours to order so we've never used the microwave for them. Can't help you with that, sorry. Also if you don't have brioche molds you can get individual aluminum cups.
  21. It's a little hard pulled candy, that is brown with lighter stripes. Everyones granny had them around when I was a kid. English I think. Tastes a little bit like caramel and a bit minty. ←
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