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Everything posted by chefmcone76

  1. I'm a private chef who will be spending the winter down on Star Island in Miami. I was hoping some locals could key me in to the best fish markets, farmer's markets, specialty gourmet shops, as well as all aroung grocers near where I'll be staying. Thanks in advance.
  2. Pretty interesting article http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/ingred...earoldshipwreck Moderator's note: quote added with permission of member.
  3. Wow, I'm jealous of your Chicago culinary adventure! You should get a program to lighten those pics though. Nice reports otherwise
  4. I'm doubtful this will ever happen. My guess is they don't have the capital or they would have done this already. The place has been open for at least six months already.
  5. So I am a private chef with a great deal of hotel/restaurant experience who has recently been approached by an old server from one of my restaurants to consult on the opening of a new restaurant. Fortunately I have yet to deal with consultants so I am unaware of a fair price to charge her. Basically she wants a menu written, recipes, food cost, etc to be passed on to her investors. Anyone have experience with this and thoughts on what to charge?
  6. I am thinking of taking a vegetable and pasta course at his school in Argenteuil at the end of the summer. Has anyone taken any courses there, and if so, have any insight into the program?
  7. Just got in to twn and it's quite beautiful out. Thanks for all the sugestions. We will probably have a post dinner drink at the modern bar. Do any of these spots mentioned have outdoor seating? Perhaps a rooftop spot for our pre-diner drink tonight?
  8. I'll be dining at the Modern at MOMA and Aureole this Monday and Tuesday respectively. What would be a good spot within walking distance to the two for a serious cocktail before or after our dinners? Any suggestions would be appreciated as I rarely get to Manhattan and am unfamiliar with the areas around the two restaurants.
  9. Went to Aigre Doux last night. I thought it was average. It definitely has potential, but the food needs a little refinement. The service was quite personable and smooth except for a bit of a wait on getting our bottle of wine. They dropped our second course and I really wanted the wine to complement it but I was almost done when he finally came back with it. In the server's defense the restaurant was quite busy. As for the food, we started with splitting the hamachi avacado salad. I thought the salad itself was composed of high quality fish and very buttery avacado with a nice acidic balance to it. The carmelized yuzu strips were too dry and almost inedible. There was also some other sauce on the plate that was just too sweet. Get rid of those two components and sauce it with a little more vinaigrette and the dish is a hit. Next I had the oxtail ravioli. The pasta was rolled and cooked well but the filling was a bit dry and bland. This kitchen really needs to understand the concept of properly seasoning food. The sauce was also poorly executed. It was a flavorless mess that almost tasted like it was the unseasoned oxtail braising liquid thickened with cornstarch. It had a film on it before it even got to my table. Pretty awful dish all around. My girl had the asparagus which I thought was much better than my course. For an entree I had the slow baked salmon which I ordered medium rare. It came out medium and completely unseasoned. They really need to put some fleur de sel or something on it before it leaves that kitchen or at least put some salt on the table. The braised endive with it was pretty good but again the citrus emulsion was bland and had no backbone to stand up to the richness of the salmon. My girl had the lamb which was cooked to medium rare but came out at room temp, (probably pre-seared and held too long before getting to us), and again not a lick of salt on the plate. Dessert was a mess. I had the malted chocolate dessert. It was CHOCOLATE PUDDING! There was not ANY malt flavor to it at all. All in all, we were quite dissapointed for a $300.00 meal and I doubt I'd ever go back.
  10. To chefs in a restauraunt situation where you need to pick up orders quickly, what is the best way to parcook a paella? Do you parcook the rice a bit, then finish in the oven with hot stock and prebrowned chicken/rabbit, and vegetables?
  11. Anyone have any tips to snagging a reservation at the Laundry last minute? I'm not going to Napa till the end of March but was informed by the reservationist they were booked two months out. I'm up for lunch or dinner, and am already on their waiting list for a cancellation.
  12. I have just aquired some alginate and calcium chloride yet am waiting on a new gram scale. I would like to start experimenting, but am not sure of measurements using volume measures like a teaspoon. I want to start with a pozu caviar for tuna tartare. Anyone have any guidelines for using volume measures of alginate in the ponzu and calcium chloride in the bath?
  13. chefmcone76

    Seared Butter

    One technique I've had success with is making crab-butter balls. I take equal parts Plugra or Echiree and picked crab meat. Make sure the butter is softened, fold in the crab, add a reduced shellfish glaze to enhance the flavor if you want. Season the mix with some chives and salt and pepper. At this point, put it back in the cooler for an hour to firm up a bit. Then use a melon baller or small ice cream scooper to make balls. Your body heat will melt the butter. I then bread them twice using standard breading procedure, (flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs) using panko bread crumbs. Let them set up a bit more in the cooler and fry till golden. Let sit a minute before serving or your guests will burn their mouths with the molten butter. They work best in a bite sized portion that can be cosumed in one bite so the butter doesn't ooze out. I serve them with a bit of fennel puree and saffron aioli on top.
  14. Thanks, I'll have to check that kind out. Would it be dangerous though to put hot liquid in the dessert whip or is it just "not recommended" because ISI wants me to buy another product? Anyone with experience?
  15. I've been playing around with lecithin which is available in a couple forms at Whole Foods, (liquid and granules). I know of the internet sources of powdered, but are the granules the same just a coarser grind? If so, I'm assuming I could just grind them in a spice grinder. I tried using the liqiuid soy lecithin and it imparts a god awful taste to whatever it graces. Does the powdered form impart any flavor?
  16. Is there any difference between the two other than the thermal whip being insulated? Can I use the regular dessert whip to make a hot foam if I put the liquid to be foamed in just prior to using it? Does anyone have use doing this technique, and if so, how long do things stay warm in the dessert whip?
  17. For the life of me I can not find my copy of Bouchon. I loved the recipe for gnocchi. Can anyone do me a favor and pass on his recipe. Just measurements are fine as I remember the technique.
  18. Went to Primehouse tonight and was quite dissapointed. The service was great despite the fact that the rest of the evening was a bust. Started off with a great bottle of wine...03' Honig Cabernet. It was one of the few decent wine values on an otherwise unipressive list. For starters we ordered the Caeser with crabcake croutons and the surf and turf dumplings. The tableside prepared Caeser was good, but not spectacular. The crabcake croutons were good as well. The surf and turf dumplings is where the night took a slide. The dumplings were served cold. Not even barely room temp. We were given replacements but of course they charged us even after saying they would be comped. I didn't want to even dispute the check at the end of the meal. I just wanted to leave. The replacements were definitely texturally challenged as Ronnie said, and were a snore with no discernable flavor enhancement aside from a watery mousse filling. Next came the steaks. The rib eye was halfway decent but quite fatty even for a rib eye. The dry aged flavor was present but the overall fatty cut was too distracting. thhs steak was temped perfectly and was one of the few things executed well technically over the course of the evening. My girlfriend's sirloin was inedible. It was not tender at all and was undercooked. At least the dog will be happy we spent $300.00 on this evening... I didn't feel like waiting for a refire so we soldiered on through the meal. For sides we had the tempura green beans which again we recieved room temperature. They were greasy and salty and a sad excuse for tempura. The chorizo mash was decent but had a huge pool of grease left in the bottom of the staub that made it not go down quite so smooth. For dessert we had the cheescake lollipops. It was definitely a cute presentation and the lollipops themselves were good. My suggestion is to save your money anfd go to a reliable steak house like Gibson's. Oh yeah...David Burke was actually there tonight and working the room. He looked a lot better in person then he did on TV in his landslide loss on Iron Chef...
  19. I'm going to make a reservation at Robuchon for Sunday lunch and Le Cinq for sunday dinner. Thanks guys. We were also thinking a bistro possibly for lunch on Saturday. A friend suggested Benoit. Anyone been?
  20. I would certainly agree with the NoMi decor being the best but that top three list is questionable.
  21. So I will be in Paris for the weekend. I have a reservation at Guy Savoy on Saturday but am looking to dine at some other top restaurants for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. This trip was spur of the moment so I am looking for suggestions on a place that is spectacular but open for business. A few of the three stars I tried were closed.
  22. If you want to try some great tacos go to Paco's Tacos on Archer and Sacramento or Tio Luis on Archer and Western. Tio Luis got voted the best tacos in Chicago by the Tribune and in my opinion are pretty darn good. Paco's Tacos definitely is far superior though. All they sell are tacos with either carnitas, asada, lengua, pollo, or sesos. They put onions and cilantro on em' and that's it. They are pretty close to perfection with a bit of salsa verde and a hunk of avacado added (50 cents extra for a whole avacado!). As far as Nuevo Leon, DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY! Taco Bell is better than the slop that kitchen turns out.
  23. Try Downtown Dogs on the NE corner of Chicago and Rush right next to the currency exchange for a good Chicago dog. If you want good deeep dish pizza simply walk across the street to Giordano's on the NE corner of Rush and Superior.
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