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  1. Not a "clipper"....but I have a funny (strange) story to share about clippings. When I was the Head Chef of an Italian restaurant back in the 90's....I had a sales person from one of the gourmet vendors I used.....he was a strange, awkward little man....walk into the kitchen, with out being announced and hand me a fistfull of clippings (mostly from Women's Day, etc). He turned on his heals and left without a word. When I began to peruse the clippings I noticed that he had highlighted the cheese's used in the recipes and had wriiten in the margin "we sell this". Creative sales technique, perahps...I'll let you be the judge, but as a cocky young chef at the time, I was deeply offended and never bought from his company again. 15 years later, it just makes me laugh.
  2. Fisheries & Oceans says that 90% of the Canadian lobster catch is exported. Lobster quality depends on water quality -- cold, clean, nutrient-rich water can be found from Maine to Labrador and beyond. But then you and your ancestors probably knew that. ← Yes, I'm sure even the concept of "terrior" apllies to the oceans bounties. I know that Lobster Fisherman from the Maritimes would argue that their Lobster has a better taste then Lobster from another region. My Family would argue that the colder the water the better, although the problem then faced is that if the water gets too cold, lobsters stop crawling and therfore catches go down. On Ramsey , saying Maine Lobster are better then Canadain Lobster, I think he needs to look at a map. Lobsters from the Yarmouth area of NS are fished in the same waters as Maine.
  3. I come from a long line of Southwestern Nova Scotia Lobstermen and it is true that lobster was once considered "poor mans food". Ironically if you came to school with a bologna sandwich you were considered wealthy! My how times have changed! On another note....did anyone see the Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares "Black Pearl" episode where Gordon infers that Canadian Lobster is inferior to Maine Lobster. I have it on very good authority that 50-75% of SouthWest NS Lobster exported to Boston is "marketed" as Maine Lobster.
  4. Cooking-even at the highest levels is not Genius...it's hard work and commitment. Understand the pricipals of cooking and apply them in a relentless pursuit of excellence and perfection. This pursuit of perfection often results in the Chef being considered a genius but the reality is that the Chefs obsession often manifests itself in behaviours that many would consider insane...i.e. 100 hour work weeks, temper, socially awkward etc. There have never been any geniuses in cooking, but there have been a few who have had the drive that their efforts have created something never before seen....but that is not genius. Wes-If you want to work in the best kitchens, just as other have suggested, work hard, study, have passion and dedication and be willing to sacrafice some "normalcy" in your life...and you will go very far. But make no mistake about it...cooking amazing food is not genius.
  5. Fran's is still there....if I get there I'll have to try the ginger beef.
  6. I don't know....but If I hear I'll let you know.
  7. I guess I'll join in the fun....I was at 212 and then received two more for Christmas...the Omnivore's Dilemma and the The foods of New Brunswick. The latter was a gift from my 10 yr old son....he bought it for a dollar at a Christmas Fair. So total is 215.
  8. Brasco66

    Why I Cook

    I look forward to this next installment. There are not too many books/articles that portray the lifestyle of "the linecook/working chef") When I meet people and tell them that I am a chef...I think in some ways the have no clue what it means to be a Chef/Cook, or what it took to get to this point in my career. This is probably a result of the food network and the rise of the "celebrity chef". Everyone thinks that professional cooking is so glamourous. Your tales will/are shedding light on this misconception. I won't taint your writing with anymore comments about KC, although I would say that another book that really looks at the inner world of cooking, is The Perfectionist by Rudolph Chelminski. A very important book and a great read...insightful, inspiring, funny, sad, tragic....
  9. Brasco66

    Why I Cook

    My days as a Line Cook have been over for some time...I'm in the corporate world of restaurants now...which is a bit easier on the head, back, knees.....etc, you get the point. I do miss the "rush" of being on the line as the printer spits out the chits and the line fills with orders. Chefs and cooks are quite a sub-culture aren't we! As much as I dismissed AB's KC as so much over the top BS, it did touch on the unique character needed to work in the fast paced environment of a busy restaurant kitchen. I really look forward to more of your story. Thanks Again.
  10. Brasco66

    Why I Cook

    Hi Chef: I really have enjoyed this article and your "tidbits" from your past. I can relate to the "terrible towel" story. When I first started in the business one of the first lessons I learned was how to stockpile side towels in unique hiding places so that I was never caught by the Chef with out a clean one. Punishment for not having a side towel or God forbid being caught "abusing" a side towel usually warranted some dirty kitchen job....you know, grease trap duty or cleaning the hood filters. As an aside....I worked in a place that provided our chef jackets/pants. The laundry would come in in the morning so the lunch shift would have first crack at the unifroms that came in. The savvy among us knew that if you worked a night shift you needed to stash an extra set of uniforms whenever you could so that the lunch guys didn't get all the best uniforms...everyone wanted to avoid the ones with missing buttons and busted zippers. Since those early days I have had to "referee" many a line cook spat over side towels and uniforms. Great stuff chef...keep it coming.
  11. Thanks Maggie....great article. As a newbie to egullet I really like your prose. Every Canadian kid can relate to the one inch between the boot and snow pant and that nasty shark bite! I have had this dish before but have never made it myself. That will change this year as I will definetley be making the tourtiere. Merry Christmas!
  12. Brasco66

    Beard, On cooking

    I think that the rules have changed enough that there really are only a handful of hard and fast rules left in cooking. The rest is just opinion and preference. If you are an accomplished home cook or a professionally trained chef you typically know what's right and what's wrong and can therefore form your own thoughts on the use of garlic powder and canned chicken broth. Having said that...I do refer regularly to some of the classics, such as Larousse, Escoffier and Child to ensure authenticity when my cooking calls for it. Everyone needs a base of knowledge and skill to start from but individuality is what makes cooking fun!
  13. Fantastic....welcome to the maritimes. I look forward to my next visit to Fredericton! I have not been to John's in a number of years...but I'll try to get by in the next few weeks and report back. I have eaten at Fran's and it is pretty good, however I don't eat Chinese out very often because I would rather make it at home. Perhaps others have comments?
  14. Sorry haven't been to the CP in freddy....but it's nice to know that they have a Pastry Chef...so many Hotels no longer have on edue to the preponderance of ready to serve IQF desserts and sauces. Where were you before? Where did you train/go to school? Good luck.
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