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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. Yes, good stuff. And its worth keeping up with their social media because they do interesting special projects with limited batches.
  2. I've not had the issue that you're talking about but I do open the canister at least once (normally first thing when I come in in the morning), give it a stir and its good to go when I need it a few hours later (I give it the second good stir at that point). I need to do the same to my melting chocolates anyway, so no pain. My cocoa butter is in all sorts of shapes and sizes when it comes out of the bag.
  3. Overnight Oats

    here comes my two cents because I'm perplexed by the wall paper glue comments. I've been serving these at my breakfast restaurant ever since we opened. When I was r&d'ing these I had two issues that I need to deal with. First, was the texture - not paste, but too course. Second, is a slightly metallic taste that was coming from the raw oats. I get my oats from a local farmer - organic, small farm, minimally processed. And I think that's the difference (possibly) between mine and the haters' comments above. I soak in water or whey (with brown sugar and maple...just enough to not make it sweet), overnight, then blitz with a stick blender to about 60% blended - I like the diversity of texture. These less processed oats than something like Quaker, are nothing even close to paste. My recommendation if anyone cares to try again is to buy some bulk ones from a natural food store. Then to deal with the metallic taste I toasted my oats before I soaked them. That helped but didn't completely solve the problem. I now try to deal with the remaining metallic taste with the other ingredients. To finish the oats, I then add a bit of yogurt (we make our own and drain it, and its thick and tart) - sometimes I'll add some powdered milk the night before but not as often since it shortens my shelf life. To serve I smear the bottom of the bowl with pecan praline, add the oats, dust half of the top with black cocoa crumb, the other half gets a heaping mound of crunchy granola, garnish with two encapsulated spheres of horchata and a spoonful of espresso jelly. I think its pretty good
  4. I always love your work and if I lived nearby would be enjoying far too many of your creations.
  5. Guitar base size?

    On a related note, a while back I had an engineer friend build me a guitar - really great machine that to this day allows me to cut soft caramel and overcooked pate de fruit. We were hoping to sell, but both of our lives took different turns. In our prototype we talked about size - both of the cuts but also the frame itself. For cuts I told him that I only needed 1" squares (finished) and then had him pull back 2 mm to allow for my dip thickness. For the frame, I already had a one-piece plexiglass pastry frame that was custom made to fit into my half sheet pans. So I had him build it to accommodate a half sheet less 2" (the size of the two ends of the frame). The problem was that the frame was built like a half sheet - rectangle, not square. And I didn't catch the error until it was too late. That means when I rotate the slab to do the second cut I have to trim some off to be able to make the second cut. That's a pain. All of that is to say that the advice to think through all stages of your production is crucial so you don't waste any money or time.
  6. 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!
  7. I think its funny that the reviewers never ask me what I think is best. If they did I would almost always tell them the less flashy, less instagrammable, less quirky items. I've been devouring the yogurt lately. There's just something about the flavors and textures that we're making that really is satisfying to me.
  8. Thanks and welcome to the forum @TechieTechie. HERE's the second critical review. St. Louis has a lot of food media, but only two critical reviewers. So we passed the test with both of them!
  9. I agree. I think they're more for competitions and classes than actual production, although as was said previously, there are a few chefs doing high volume production using lots of minions.
  10. That took some brain power and an extra cup of coffee. Strip of thin tape down the center. Spray all black, although more heavily on the side that you want to remain. Wipe the side you want to be yellow. Remove the thin strip which will no reveal an untouched strip plus some seepage. Spray yellow. That makes sense. Has anyone done this? Is that line pretty consistent? Do you have to do the wipe a certain way - maybe swiping toward the tape, along the tape or away from the tape?
  11. Y'all are liking the pic, but ideas on technique? I've seen Melissa do ultra thin lines as well. Sure, you could scrape, but keeping it perfectly parallel to the masked line would be hard. Seems like a tool or a stencil.
  12. His reviews include facility and service, and we're a counter service cafe in a shared facility of which we have no control. It bodes well for Bulrush when we have full control.
  13. Pretty much anything coming out of this kitchen blows me away. That line is so incredibly thin! And the tips in that mold are more than I'd want to deal with.
  14. A review of Squatters Cafe from a local reviewer who also sits on the JBF Awards Committee.
  15. I'm standing by my last answer. It is an optical illusion - simple dome mold with a wet choco ring pressed on after everything is said and done. If you do the zoom in at 10x and look at the back bonbon you'll see the major flaws. He put his best foot forward on this one and was liberal with photoshop.
  16. I lost sleep over this last night. While I could perfect the size of the pastry tip and the amount of chocolate on the tip when its pressed into the mold, the matte finish that @pastrygirl mentioned above is still bothering me. So let's say that you dropped a chocolate ring into the mold. And, let's assume that you could form a ring, release it from whatever surface you formed it on, and you could move it into the mold without breaking it. Yes, that would get you the matte finish. But, that would cause problems when you go to spray because there would be a slight ridge that the spray would have to work around. I then zoomed in on my screen doing a 5x enlargement and you can then clearly see flaws in his ring. My new conclusion - Make chocolate as normal, remove it from the mold, then take a large pastry tip or other ring, dip it in chocolate and press it onto the finished bonbon. That solves all of the problems and would give you a matte ring with no void or shadow from the spray, and would be doable (v. overly fragile). I consider this mystery solved.
  17. Tried out a couple of these recent techniques. Just quick goes while my cb was warmed up. I dipped a pastry tip in tempered chocolate for the rings. I'm more confident than before that with the right tip I could replicate exactly. Then here's the multiple finger swirls. Less success. Also tried out the thin painters tape. Good but not good enough for me to use. I saw a video where the chef had a clear acetate looking tape. Not sure what that was.
  18. I'm constantly on the lookout for Asian strainer v.2.0 That one was my fennel pollen honey ganache
  19. Here's my theory. Large hole pastry tip dipped in tempered chocolate, pressed into bottom of dome mold leaving ring. Then splatter and spray.
  20. That would be at least 8 swipes from what I see. times 30 cavities x number of trays for an operation as large as them....hmmm...maybe. The distinct lines also make me question whether that's how its done. I can totally see that working, but that would make more sense in a competition where you have a smaller volume that Valentines production.
  21. Saw this one today. While I can see a slow way to do this I'm hoping someone can describe the faster time efficient method.
  22. Finding a Mixer

    I thought I knew what I wanted to do but now I'm not sure. I currently have a KitchenAid Pro 6qt, a Hobart 20qt and an Electrolux(Anskarum) 7.5qt My KA has slipped its gears so many times I can't even count anymore, and I've dropped $100+ on repairs each time (after the warranty period). And while I could take Paul's advice of fixing it myself, I've found that is not my gift in life. Also, its a bit small for my current needs. My Electrolux - love the power; no such thing as gear slip; the mechanism in the center of the mixing bowl is often problematic although it whips the crap out of things. Also, a bit small for me. My Hobart is just too big for the majority of my projects. I use it on some larger volume stiff doughs but I'd say it gets used 1 out of 20 recipes. So, my need is around the 12 qt level; won't slip gears. Don't care about attachments because I have them for my other machines (grinder, pasta, juice, etc). I'll use it mostly for stiff doughs - cookies and breads. I don't want to re-wire so a standard outlet is important.
  23. This answered my question of whether they sprayed a white or black coating after the colored brush strokes - no, they just pour the shell and still kept those colors.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.