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    Lisboa - Portugal
  1. Yeah, that's the question. For a start, "fine dinning" doesn't include grilled sardines... It can include some grilled stuff but it shouldn't be nor look like a "barbecue menu" Some well balanced and well presented salads might manage. Other cold entrées, as they can be prepared in advance, can work fine as well. My main doubts are about the hot dishes. I guess it's completely nonsense not to serve fish at a beach place. So fish HAS to be in the menu. But grilled fish is the average offer in the surroundings. There's no oven. There might be a wok, a saucepan, boiling water... Any ideas on how to deal with fish with these cooking conditions? Some grilled shrimps can work ok, if well balanced with some fresh or grilled vegetables... Anyway, the main problem about grilled stuff is the smell, as we're outdoors, and there migh be wind bringing the flavours to where they aren't desired... Forget about risottos, It won't be easy to make them perfect at a "kitchen" like this. Pasta can work ok too, but i would like to avoid it. But then there comes meat... I have some ideas "bubbling" on my mind but I'm really needing some help on here.
  2. it's a "in-between" thing...
  3. Imagine it's a warm Summer evening and you have to serve some fine dinning at a place like this : You have no kitchen in the place. You have no water. You might have some electricity (and so, maybe a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, a blender... not much more than that). You might have some gas too. You can do some food preparation and wash the dishes by the end of the feast, at a kitchen which is about 300m far from the place. What would you serve ? How and where would you cook it? And don't forget it's fine dinning... ( I know this might sound like a Iron Chef challenge, but it's not ) Thanks in advance P.S. - Don't worry about regulations and similar stuff, this is not in the U.S.
  4. filipe

    chiffon cake

    Chiffon's are probably my favourite type of "sponge-like" cakes Just a small contribution to this thread :
  5. One thing is to give credit about other people's idea/recipe. Another very different thing is saying that we did it like if it has been done for someone else. And when that "someone else" is a top chef like Paul Bocuse, giving "credit" with the "a la Bocuse" added by the end of the name, has more to do with comercial issues than ethical ones. If I was a top chef I would prefer not to be credited at all than to be credited by a not that nicely done meal, credited as it has been done my way. A la Bocuse means done like Bocuse does it...and following a recipe from Bocuse is not a warranty that the final product reaches the same standards as if he had done it himself. I guess it would be more accurate to credit it like "according to Paul Bocuse's recipe"
  6. I won't have any particular feelings on that as I don't fiscalize other people's work, I keep focused on my own work and that's pretty enough worries. The people who will be going to live there might have some, but as long as the building contractor makes it public how the building was projected/built I won't see much of a problem, it's their choice to live there/ buy there an appartment. And the fact that was you who "knocked up the quick design" that doesn't necessarly mean it's not a good design neither that it won't observe the rules. One thing is that the rules are observed, other very different thing is having a certificate from the respective authorities stating they are being respected.
  7. That's exactly from where I've started my initial post... "I guess many of you who are in the industry won't agree (and even get some anger) about the path I'm following..."
  8. Maybe not by those words, but that's part of the concept, nobody would feel cheated about that. When you go to a private dinner at a friend's place do you ask him if his kitchen is according to all the restaurant regulations? This is what it's all about : private dinning.
  9. You can check this blog and get in touch with its author, a young british chef . He's working in Barcelona right now. http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com/
  10. Sandly this branch has closed. It was away of the dining routes and the dark setting didn't help bringing new patrons. ← Really?? I've been there last December and I had the feeling that such a dark setting won't last for too long, but as it was attached to Arola's work I didn't thought it would be that quick...
  11. Is it europeans that doesn't "understand" the system or is it your "system" that S**KS? (sorry, had to..)
  12. This couldn't be done in the United States because then we'd have the European System of "Service Compris" and we all know we can't do the same thing here that's done in Europe! ← This is the true point about this issue! For me (but well, I'm european, one of those ackward human beings) a tip is, by definition, a BONUS. So, if it's a bonus, it should not be, by definition, mandatory. If it's 18%, if it's your choice between 15 to 20 to whatever, for me that's not the big issue...
  13. Try to go to Reina Sofia Museum and then head to Sergi Arola's restaurant in the new museum's wing. Great food from a great spanish chef but not that high-end as his La Broche.
  14. I guess many of you who are in the industry won't agree (and even get some anger) about the path I'm following, but I was in the same boat as this thread is about and tried to find a way out. A bit different one I may say... I'm 31. I work as an architect for more than 6 years. My income is not great, but it's a bit better than the standards here in Portugal. Let's say that I can't complain. I've allways loved cooking , but never had any experience on the cooking industry. After living one year in Italy, the love for cooking and food grew up a few steps and I've started to face it in a different way - as something that could turn out to be a professional activity, not just as a pleasure. But I was in my final year of graduation and the immediate path was to go ahead, starting to work as an architect, as I've been studying for that in the previous 6 years. And I do love architecture. So, at that time there was no U-turn. The feeling for a career change was not about not enjoying what I actually do -which I do enjoy a lot - was about liking other thing best. My love for cooking, and in particular for pastry, increased throughout the years. All my friends felt delighted with my "cooking skills", and dinners at my place are allways a "must-go" for them. But they're friends... so they're gentle and nice to me... I've done some cooking classes, nothing really serious. What attracted me most at those kind of classes was all the sharing between the chefs and the "pupils" and in-between everyone. Everyone used to do things a different way than the other, everyone knew this or that awesome product... About two years ago I´ve re-started to feel the appealing (not the Food Network appealing, as we don't have it here - although I do watch Iron Chef online LOL) of working in a kitchen. Maybe one day having my own restaurant. The last two years I've visited and eated at a lot of restaurants, throughout the world, and looked at them with a different perspective. I really wanted to be part of it. But I couldn't live withouth my actual income, and I guess I was not prepared to move a few steps down on what concerns to my actual way of living. Romantics yes, but income doesn't fall like the rain... and I don't get feed and my bills payed by the wind. One have to be realistic : I had never cooked for strangers. So, I could be wrong about my real skills. I could be abandonning my job for nothing, to join a cooking school or even an internship somewhere, not getting paid... That's what I had in my mind by that time. So then I've decided to put my skills to a test. I've applyed for an Internacional Chocolate Recipes Competition which was taking place at a Chocolate Festival here in Portugal. My recipe was one of the 10 choosen recipes, among more than 150 recipes applying. Now I had to face a chef and pastry chef's jury, and cook it before them...and an audience. "Holly Cow!" : having people watching me cooking, people that I had never seen before, and being under the pressure of having a jury asking you about all the steps you were taking while the two-hour time was running out very quickly.... For my own judgement it didn't went well. For their judgment, I won. That was a great thrill and I felt very proud about it. For the first time in my life I had people who weren't my friends, and who work in the industry, saying that my cooking work was great and that they for an instance thought that I was cheating them because I wasn't an amateur (as it was an amateur's competition) and I worked in the industry. But they've checked with my boss that I really worked as an architect and things got clear for them. One year has passed since then. The willing of a career change increased. But once again I had to be realistic. And this is where my option could hurt some of those in the industry's feelings.... I'm oppening an "underground" restaurant at my place. Every saturday night, 12 people for dinner. A five course tasting menu with wine pairing. You book via e-mail and you'll get the address on your cell phone the day before the party was schedulled. It's nothing new, although it will be new here in Portugal. (you can check for example Hidden Kitchen - http://www.hkmenus.com - in Paris, by two american girls who are having a huge success) I can detail it better if you're interested. Yes...I won't be feeling the preassure of 100-200-300 dinners per night. Yes... I won't be feeling the preassure of loosing my actual income Yes... I won't be feeling the preassure of having to decrease quality in order to still be allowed to pay my staff's salary Yes... I won't be paying taxes and won't be working under any Health Department's warranty to my clients. But I won't force anyone to come. And everyone is aware of the guidelines... I'll have a LOT of pleasure about sharing my cooking points of view and skills with my friends and friends-to-be. That's what I expect from my future costumers, that they'll become my friends too. All together through food. Yet romantics, but with my feet on the ground. And hoping anyone in the authorities to be working on saturday nights...
  15. Thanks for the tips The meatloaf/chocolate cake idea seems pretty nice. At Fauchon they did the opposite : they made club-sandwiches but instead of bread and savory stuffing they've used layers of cake with sweet fillings in between them, cutted triangular shape, like club sandwiches, and sold inside those triangular shaped boxes used at these pick'n'eat shops.
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