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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. I was an early adopter and finally sold it for that very reason. I found it much more useful for velvet effect-ing my entremets than my chocolates. Very simple - brushed color, 1/6 turn, brushed color, 1/6 turn...on and on using just the right colors to create the iridescence. I use both. I know its bad, but depends on my control for the day.
  2. That was a great video - thanks for posting. A few notes that I took. First, rapping the tray with a wooden rolling pin. Brilliant since I have so many marrings from rapping my drywall spat. Second, Piping the backing on. Not sure if I have the patience, but very smart and I'm sure this is more common than I know. The technique at 11:45 is so simple yet so stunning. I will totally rip that off! Lastly, the snipped ballpoint pen - I'm going to give that a try on my crescendo on my next round. I do hate seeing all the cocoa butter waste, but I'm sure these were all larger operations.
  3. Pretty much all of my professional life has been documented in these forums so it just makes sense that the next phase be documented as well. I started cooking professionally about 8 years ago when my small (but mighty) gourmet grocery morphed into a successful restaurant in Silver City, NM. This past summer I closed the Curious Kumquat and moved to St. Louis, which is where I'm born and raised. I've been working to open a new restaurant here in town ever since landed, and in the next few weeks we hope to have wrangled investors to sign a lease on a building, with an expected opening date of July of 2017. Over the course of these upcoming months I'd like to share... •Investor recruitment and terms •Staff recruitment, pay and training •Facility identification, renovation and equipping •Operational budget preparation •Marketing •Adjustment of my philosophy and practices from a one-man show in a remote community to a multi-person operation in a major city I would love to have questions and requests guide my posts. I expect to post once per week but knowing how my mind likes to dart around I wouldn't be surprised if I post more frequently. In the meantime, I'm off to Orlando for a dinner I'm cooking this weekend in support of my cookbook. I hope y'all enjoy!
  4. Plenty of local hydro growers, and none has dispelled my dislike of tomatoes in January, but maybe I just haven't had the right one yet.
  5. HERE's a podcast that was just released with me talking about Bulrush, Squatters Cafe, my chef crushes and more. Summary: I hate winter tomatoes; meth clinics drove me to become a chef; Jordan Kahn in the most creative chef in the country; gumball "nocino" is probably toxic but I'm drinking it anyway.
  6. Sure there is. You should see how lousy I am at ironing.
  7. Not to be an EZ Temper commercial, but it has upped my game a bit. This is my Valentine's collection. Since EZ I haven't had a single chocolate stick to the mold and every one is super shiny. More importantly for me since I do smaller production (300-1000 per batch/month) is that I haven't been turning on my large tempering machine. I use my melter and EZ, and the melter has been good at holding my chocolate overnight for use in multiple batches. Generally I deplete the bulk of my tempered chocolate and then refill and start again in the same pan, never letting it fully cool. On my refills I just do the 1% silk add and continue as normal. Anyway...from top to bottom (left row): 12-year balsamic, cinnamon, mango habanero, fennel pollen/honey, lemon
  8. One of the very interesting things I've learned over the years running a foraged foods restaurant is the relationship between diners and their allergies. Not getting into the fake allergies used for likes and dislikes, nor the chefs who don't care enough to control allergens, but I'm thinking more about how my local, organic, milled to order wheat doesn't seem to give any issues to gluten sensitive diners (not talking about celiacs), and I can serve acorns all day long to folks with nut allergies (a doctor once explained the scientific reason but I forget). I seem to be able to serve 50 or so foraged ingredients that people don't know if they have allergies to, and never have problems...not once in a decade. So, is this our industrial food system? That's where I'd put my money. Or, is this something in the diner's mind? I've had many hours of interesting conversations with educated folks about this.
  9. We won't be equipped for that level of allergies. Because we are 100% locally sourced (minus a handful of spices) and 100% made in house from scratch, allergies are relatively easy to accommodate, but anyone who can't be in the same air as other diners is not something I'm prepared for. I know of many other great restaurants that I'll happily recommend to them.
  10. Another kind article. And we signed our LOI on the Bulrush space last Friday. Hopefully this one will come through.
  11. Last week my daytime concept (Squatters) was named one of the best new restaurants of 2017 in St Louis. Not too shabby since we've only been open two months. HERE And I've been doing a lot more thinking about my Bulrush STL design because of the spot that we're hoping to get. It has a rooftop space which we'll use to garden, and the view is so stunning, and the structure so interesting I want to up the ante on wow factor. Curious what restaurants you know of that the facility really wowed you (links appreciated). And, what was it about the space that connected with you. Mine has to be Vespertine which was in a recent Atlantic video HERE.
  12. This is a very hurried set of chocolates to sell for the holidays. I was trying to get anything out before it was too late and did pretty well (Thanks EZ Temper!) From left to right: Lavender honey Beet, fennel pollen Orange, kumquat vanilla Double shot espresso (espresso caramel, Ethiopian bean ganache) Passion fruit caramel
  13. I'm very jealous and hope you'll report back...better yet, tell Chef Andrew that he has a fan boy over in the States.
  14. Maybe twisting fermented as baked? Maybe in a jar in his kitchen window? But I have no idea.
  15. I feel like it wants to mash or break up something.
  16. 1) What is your favourite restaurant (apart from your own): Absolutely fell in love with Nur in Tallin Estonia. Don't know if they're still there but the passion was as strong as any restaurant I've been. 2) What is your most important ingredient in the kitchen, and why? Yes, salt and acid. Those can make or break any dish. Beyond the basics I would say my flours. I now have over a dozen locally grown, freshly milled flours and each is crucial to the recipe I source it for. 3) What tool is most important in your kitchen, and why? Depending on the hour either my offset or my chef knife 4) Which restaurant, anywhere, is your dream destination to dine? Andrew Pern's Star Inn the City in York. His cookbook is still my favorite of the hundreds in my collection and I'd love to enjoy his food and hospitality. 5) What trend do you see becoming popular in restaurants in the next year? I think the balancing against the locavore movement is going to gain traction. I'm seeing more and more of the top chefs respond to that just as they've responded to molecular gastronomy - "We've done that. We've learned from that. It's a tool in our toolkit. But now I want to cook the best food I can regardless of where its from." 6) What trend would you most like to see go away? (Not a new trend by any means) I want to see an end to superfluous quotes on menus. I want an end to instructions on how to eat food. And I want all of the chef-orgasm descriptors to go away - let the food speak for itself. Examples (in order): Broccoli "steak" - It's not steak damnit! It's a broccoli floret cook on a grill! (Make me want to scream every time) "Please enjoy your kale leaves by using our shears to snip the leaves from the stalk and swipe them in the various sauces." ...this is real...don't get me started. "This is our 6-month baked tomato sauce." Um...no it isn't. If you wasted 6 months of utilities baking your tomatoes then you're a complete idiot. (And no, it was not a solar oven. I asked.)
  17. Electric Flour Mills

    I ended up with the NutriMill. I'm using it less than expected because it turns out we're buying 100% local grains, and that means the farmers are grinding for us to our specs - in other words, we're doing way too much for the NutriMill.
  18. Sprouted Grains in Bread

    yes to all of that (whole and ground, and with a wet grinder). For drying we leave out overnight lightly covered.
  19. Sprouted Grains in Bread

    There are two changes that I've noticed (the third change is digestibility, but I haven't noticed any changes there). First, is depending on the grain, my current wheat comes off almost like parmesan cheese by the time I'm done with it. I use that same grain for my wheatberry salad for that very reason. Second, is texture. I like the crisp chew of sprouted grains in my bread. Hard to explain but crisp chew is the best I've got for you. We grind to two different levels - one very course and one more refined.
  20. 24, plus a dozen at the bar, plus cocktail tables and outdoor seating in season. The concept has always been that I want direct contact with each dinner customer - no servers, no need to do any more than reach across the counter to give them their plate. 24 is about all I and my sous can handle at maintain the quality we expect. Bar customers will get small plates and possibly prefix menus.
  21. Sounds like you would like my grits special today - Fitz's (a local company) root beer braised lamb neck grits with smashed fried potatoes. In other news...fingers crossed everyone...
  22. Camel Milk

    Anyone who knows my cooking knows that I'm all about supporting local foods...well...apparently I will have a few gallons of local camel milk here in St. Louis next week. I'm thinking yogurt and fresh cheese to start, and maybe make a caramel, but what else? Anyone use it before? Suggestions? Warnings?
  23. Camel Milk

    Camel milk drama! I'm still trying to find a store that actually has it in stock.
  24. Camel Milk

    OMG! I could open a whole business around that idea! Maybe I'll do a pop-up weekend.