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Everything posted by Reefpimp

  1. One thing about being a maritime professional as well as a culinary professinal, is that living internationally is not that big of a deal. I have long thought about living in Cape town or Durban or Walvis Bay; I might have to think a little more seriously about it now. (BTW, there are excellent cheeses available in American supermarkets if you just know where to look. You should start looking in the American Midwest.....)
  2. If they're looking to hire you, they can damn well deal with a two-page resume. If they don't have that kind of attention span, you don't want to work there. Just my two courses.
  3. You should make your building contractor and your hood salesmen earn their keep and actually do the maths and provide you with hard numbers. If they balk, tell them that it's in their contracts (it might not be spelled out but a decent barrister could probably argue differently).
  4. In Wisconsin we have the Tavern Burger. Farce du beouf sur brioche, if you prefer. Done wrong, it's a disgusting mess; done right, it's pretty darned good; done well, it's a farcing revelation. In the same vein: One of my acid tests for Greek and Italian and Portuguese restaurants is how the calamari comes out. It's easy to do but pretty damn hard to do *well* and really tricky to be superlative with it, repeatably, no matter who's at the fryer that night.
  5. Honest ta Crom, that has got to be half the battle; I don't have children myself, but I live vicariously through my sister and her sprogs; and I consider my role in this world fulfilled because my 11-year old neice joins me in mocking the girls with the spangly "princess" tops, and my 6-year-old nephew wants to be either a blacksmith, a cook, or a sailor when he grows up.... And neither would be cruel to a waitron or a cook. They realize that when they ordered their meal, they made their choices, the die was cast, and what happens--happens. They're better diners now than many adults are. Both eating Contintental with the fork in the left hand, napkin on the lap, and not stunned by more than two forks on the table. I like to think I had something to do with that....Busboy, your kid'll be fine. Restaurant folk are good folk, even if they do tend to overseasoning themselves. Me, I just want to be the person my dog thinks I am. Even if I do shoot wide of a pheasant now and again.
  6. The argument against wooden spoons is that they shorten and crack and wear down with age. The counterargument is, We do too. It's nice to have something so intimately connected with our love of what fuels us and what fuels our passions that will eventually wear out and fade away. Kind of gives one a tie to the past and future at the same time.
  7. Give him a Wusty 10", a box of condoms, a pack of Zig-Zag orange papers, and cut the apron strings. He's got to leave the nest sometime. **Edit** I just now read your above post that he's becoming a waiter. Dude, you're a terrible parent and obviously screwed up BIG somewhere along the way. I'm sorry you didn't raise him to be tougher. He probably won't need the knife then.
  8. When I had long hair and was cooking professionally, I either used scrunchies every 3" down the length of a ponytail or asked one of the waitstaff to put it in a French braid for me, and wore a bandanna over that. Later, when I had it in dreadlocks, I stuffed it all into the floppy part of the puffy beret. I finally took it all down to scalp (lately, it's *just* long enough to comb on top, in military specs) and I've been happier about it ever since.
  9. A lot of cooks secretly enjoy washing dishes. I'm one of them. It's a welcome break from the insanity of the line, and it's such a mindless task: Get the stainless out of the way, stack the dishes, and then burn through them all in a glorious assembly-line run; change the water in the machine, run the glassware, and then pop out back for a leisurely smoke while you compadres are still getting hated on.
  10. Travel: Amundsen, Perry, Cahill, Shacochis, Mayle. Food Essay: Wolfert, Steingarten, Ruhlman, Bourdain, CIA, Hariss, Pollan Food Cooking: Peterson, CIA, Bouloud, Trotter, Ruhlman, Bourdain, let your conscience be your guide, include RR or Paula Deen or Sandra and i will hunt you down and berate you ad nauseam. Architecture/Furniture: Pei, Wright, Gaudi; Krenov, McIntosh, Stickley. Greenly The Sporting Life: Ruark, Hemingway, Van Deimm, Capstick, Pretorius, Bell, O'Connor, Whelen, et al Aero-and Hydrodynamics: Airplanes and yachts: Skinner, Skeane, Boeing, McIntosh, Post, Eagan, et al. Contact Peter Eagan c/o Cycle World magazine; he won't steer you too far wrong with lists of authors. General Fiction: The Great American Novel. The Great American Poem. The Great British Novel. The British Interwar Poets. {The novel is the great encyclopaedia of the human condition; the poem is the great encyclopaedia of the human heart. No bookstore can lay claim to that name without its inclusion of the named above. No bookstore should therewith be without either cat or dog or preferably both; preferably older, fat, and mild; of the ginger Tom in the one case and Labrador or Basset persuasion in the other.} I like your idea. Let me know when it opens and I will be as steady a customer as I can manage to be.
  11. "Tonight's special will be veal shanks with a Joy of Cooking reduction glase." I'm more of a copy/print kind of guy, but I do have a couple fhat might make a decent fond. I have a lot of respect for books as books; I would almost rather see a church bombed than a book underlined. However comma space, my favorite poetry and essay collections are heavily annotated by me (I drink) and so are my favorite recipes.
  12. Hmmmmm. Kind of. Here's what you need to bring to the table: "I will do what you tell me, with no backtalk, and I'll do it to the best of my ability." Well, okay--but what what if the place to which you apply has a series of practices with their food that you know to be wrong? Not (say) de-fatting their stocks, for example? No. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe your best bet would be to place a Craigslist ad, or a local-alternative-weekly ad, saying that you are an older-than-average student looking for a paid European-style apprenticeship; one thing I've noticed about culinary grads is how unbelievably eager they are to share their knowledge, specifically their knowledge on process. Mind you, this is free advice and worth what you paid for it. But a person can learn a lot this way. And much, of course, depends on whether or not you are a "learner."
  13. I just hated it. I've stepped in puddles deeper than some of the people I met in the Palm Beach area. I digress. Have you tried hitting up the Carnicerias and Halaal stores? Those little Haitian and West African places? I was getting flank steaks, for example, just off Lake Worth Road for $1.10/lb just last September. Dig around.
  14. Reefpimp

    Forgotten Foods

    I like marrow on toast. It's like driving at night with the headlights off, or something. I haven't seen turtle soup in a coon's age. And it's not like there's a lack of mudturkles these days.
  15. Forest, the "french fries, French Dressing, French toast, French bread" is of course from Better off Dead.
  16. Makes me want to go rummaging through my old punk-rock memorabilia bin for the button that read eat the rich. I'm probably going to spend maybe a quarter of that when I go to the French Laundry--but I'm also going to feed 7 other people with me. Proportionate to earnings, I'm spending more than that group is; but in absolute terms, I'd say four hundred bucks a head is about the upper limit for me. And I guarantee that that won't happen but a few times.
  17. Sometimes woodworking; sometimes I'll wander over to my sister's house and ask her hubby if I can use his forge and anvil (it's really theraputic to whale away on hot steel, plus old chainsaw blades make cool Damascus billets.) Scouring antique stores for antique tools in good condition. Spent my days off a few summers ago dismantling an old barn and documenting how it all went together and putting the beams in a 40' CONEX. Lost a bunch of weight and now I have the timbers for a house. Fishing and hunting, in season. Pheasant stock doesn't spring fully reduced from the forehead of Escoffier. Venison tenderloin doesn't wander into the freezer all on its own. Sometimes I'll just twist up a fun-log and pile up on the couch with the dog and watch cartoons.
  18. I have often thought the same thing when I've cooked from Fish and Shellfish. I'll turn around to see flames leaping out of the pot, or my nymphes come to life and mobile. On the other hand, I don't know another cookbook author who yields so readily to improvisation and whimsy. I look at his books for a source for inspiration, not as a true reference. Julia, on the other hand... dear Julia, but that she would have waited for me!-- I look at as one of the true referents. She, Mr Beard, and Mr Pepin have got me through some very difficult times in the kitchen (and in life).
  19. I hope this won't be considered a derailment--but why is it even germane if a person di or did not attend a culinary academy? And why is this given more weight than if a person came up through a European apprenticeship program (MUCH more demanding than any culinary school) or is self-taught with input from other chefs?
  20. What would happen if you put together your own externship, updating the Db?
  21. Much obliged, Chad and Suzi. When my plans for world domination come to fruition, you will rank high in my order.
  22. BACKSTORY: I'm taking a job cooking for Norwegian Cruise Lines America for their Hawai'ian operations. And like any good line pig, I'm kind of whackadoo about my knives. I've been eying some of the nicer Damascus Japanese knives in the Knife Porn threads as they pop up. But I don't want to commit that much money before I can handle the knife for a bit; see if I can find one that speaks to me. SO: Does anyone here know where, in Honolulu or its environs--or anywhere else in the archipelago, for that matter--I could find a shop that carries a reasonable inventory of Japanese cooking knives? Eventually, of course, I'm going to want a couple of sashimi knives, two or three santoku, a gyotu or two, maybe a petty.... You all see where this is headed, of course. All I can say is, as an addiction, it's cheaper than crack. Thanks in advance RP
  23. Reefpimp

    Seared Butter

    I think you could do this with any compound butter, right? And as I understand it, in my experience, the act of searing is kind of based on a temperature differential, right? SO form your compound butter into whatever shape you want to end up with, and freeze it to as cold a temp as you can possibly achieve. Then go after it with a (minimum) propane or (preferably) a MAPP or oxyacetylene torch. Or a plasma cutter. Or a laser, if you happen to have a Class IV Yttrium-Argon laser cluttering up the premises. Wear sunglasses, though.
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