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Everything posted by theisenm85

  1. ← In a bit of a cop out answer, I don't think any chef, much less any person can define "soul" in food. Certainly there's probably a generally accepted idea among chefs/whoever as to what soul constitutes in food. But is that the same for everyone? I think it'd be crazy to say that it is. If Hung's soul is tied up in his technique, so be it. It may not be as delicious as other people's food, which certainly wouldn't win him any competitions, but it's soul nonetheless. I guess I'm just bristling at the semantics of the situation... To imply that Hung loves food less than the others seems crazy to me. I kind of think he's MORE passionate than the others at most ventures, despite his somewhat arrogant demeanor.
  2. I gotta say that I don't really subscribe to the "Hung has no soul" way of thought. Hung thinks about food/life differently than the other contestants, that's pretty obvious. But is his technical acumen, and passion for that branch of cookery any less soulful than the lesser technically gifted chefs? I'd argue that it isn't, and that all of the people left obviously have poured nearly all, if not 100% of their beings into this show. The entire situation with people getting eliminated every few days, little sleep, and absurd challenges is stressful for everyone. Anyone who is left standing at this point, even if they weren't as "talented" as some of their competitors, (whatever talented means here), are pouring their every effort, every bit of love of cooking into this. The two situations where I could see someone not doing so would be: Someone wants to go home, and.... someone who is so beyond ridiculously talented/intelligent that they always knew what they had to do to get to this point and it never really mattered in the challenges. I'm a Hung fan, I admit that. For full disclosure on my faults: I was also a Marcel fan. Ilan just annoyed me.... He seemed like the guy who didn't like different people, or was just "too cool for school".... Put some saffron on that
  3. My apologies if there are threads with this sort of info discussed in detail... I haven't been able to find any with my best efforts on the search engine yet. What sort of career path could someone wanting to become a restaurant manager be able to expect? I realize that it's different for everyone given work/education experience. I have a BFA in a relatively useless field, Jazz Studies. (useless to the food world) However, my main hobby since about 16 has been food, (I'm 22) as in cooking food, reading about food/chefs/technique, thinking about food, dining wherever I can (I love my parents), dreaming about food..... you get the picture. I had long struggled with the idea of taking the plunge into the world of the cook, and have finally decided that I don't quite have the temperament for it, though I continue to cook often at home. However, I believe myself to interested in the business side, and I'm looking to get some information on how that sort of career could start. I assume I'd need to spend at least some time waiting tables to get acquainted with the business. My work experience, sadly, though I loved the job, was not restaurant related. I spent 6 summers coaching a local swim team, 2 years of which I was the head coach. I believe the job gave me valuable work experience for pretty much any situation, but it doesn't really give me any food "street cred," or any real knowledge of the business. Now that I've rambled enough... I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts or suggestions on how the business works, how career paths develop, anything.
  4. Seriously... Yeah, frozen really tastes AS delicious as fresh! Chefs HATE Bertolli because their food tastes SO good. The whole marketing campaign topped off with Rocco being the celebrity is just.... *cringe*
  5. If you go to www.bravotv.com , you can read some of the judge/other blogs. Collichio's blog in particular is probably the best for why judges made the decisions they did. In the quickfire, Casey had a small presentation problem because the potato didn't wrap all of the way around the fish. The fix for this was to cut the fish to accommodate the size of the potato. That was something Hung did, and Casey didn't. While it wasn't mentioned in the final cut, Tom was pretty confident that Sirio would have noticed that. For the real challenge, Tom really took issue with the "Coq au vin" Casey served, as that wasn't really what she served. (He went beyond the small explanation that made it to the TV version.... he really didn't like that move) Also, apparently, Hung's dish was really freaking delicious save the pommes dauphin being a bit underwhelming. He only half explained that away, saying that the rest of hung's food on that plate, (skin, chicken), were so good that the potato didn't matter, but I guess that does nothing for casey. It's always good to remember that there is more to reality tv than meets the eye. While the blogs aren't the answer to all of the things that might puzzle us on the show, they start to show more of the real thought process at least.
  6. Pretty much took the words out of my mouth. One of my huge pet peeves was the music. The Fox version had nearly constant music. On top of that, it was overly dramatic "orchestral" crap. Kitchen Nightmares is a show that already deals with relatively "real" situations compared to most reality shows. It doesn't need the music. The emotions and drama are all there already. The music doesn't need to be there, incorrectly coloring those emotions. In the British version, the music is present, but it's almost always low key jazzy/funky stuff, and nearly never the main focus, and doesn't contribute to the emotional gravity of the scenes. As Holly Said though... Fox is Fox. I 100% expect they'll put out a crap show for the rest of the season. They're much too far up their own ******* with their reality "formula". (I'm still gonna watch... hoping for the best)
  7. I wrote that sentence, just to take the blame. I think for me, in terms of food as art, that's the definition for me. It may branch out to other mediums, but whatever. As much as "giving people what they want" might be perfectly recreating their mom's Mac'n'cheese, or some other such thing, I think it can be broadened into the unknown. Maybe it stretches the concept of of human "want" to say that if a person has a meal they thoroughly enjoy but didn't expect that they originally "wanted" that particular meal. It could be a challenging meal, it may not, but as long as they appreciate some value from it, I think it can be considered art.
  8. As far as fruit, I'm not sure if Chez Panisse is connected, but I'm relatively certain that their "mixed greens" salad with baked goat cheese is a bit of a tradition, if only in the cafe. I know I read something about "that salad", but I can't remember where. I was there a couple of weeks ago for my birthday, and my girlfriend ordered it. Very good of course, though I may have preferred a slightly stronger goat cheese.
  9. I watched it. When I see this stuff, I try to look for stuff that might be actually useful. The only people that I enjoy watching at this point are duff and Irvine. While Flay may have the "new yorker" attitude, I just don't see him talking about the food that much, and especially not in an academic way. As much as the tips that Duff and Irvine gave might be self evident, and even pedestrian to the people on these boards, I did learn something, and at least they weren't bull shitting. I'm gonna watch again, but only because I enjoy reality tv about subjects I like. =D I know I'll like Hell's Kitchen and Top Chef more though. Hell's Kitchen is just hilarious, on any number of levels. (I love Gordon Ramsay though), and Top Chef seems to have the most integrity of the three, but the drama queens of last season totally put me off.
  10. I think this is one of the most perplexing and interesting questions one can ask. Nearly every definition of art excludes something that someone in the world considers art. That may lead to the conclusion that art is impossible to define. If that's true, then how can anything be identified as art? In my opinion, art has a unique definition for everyone. I think all things possess some sort of innate art, but the degree differs, person by person. A "great painting" would usually be a greater piece of "art" than say..... a piece of paper to most people. However, get an artisan paper maker into that conversation (they exist right?), and you may find a different answer. Maybe not, but that's the beauty of subjectivity. For me, art is something where I take notice of details I "normally" wouldn't. Once something has interested me, and I examine beyond what something looks like (sounds like, tastes like, feels like, smells like) on the surface, it's elevated to art. Let's keep this thread going, I love these sorts of discussions.
  11. As a recent music graduate, I may have to take small issue. Art is only as abstract as its familiarity to any one person. I may be able to appreciate some of the finer points of music, but very very simple visual art can be dead/confusing to me. In my estimation, any action in human life is governed by three areas. Craft, Art, and Science. How these three entities combine in degree of prominence is ultimately variable. For me, cooking falls into mostly craft, then art, and lastly science. The craft is being able to correctly cook based upon the history you know. Art is the ability to give people what they want. (Which as we know, can vary greatly. As much as some of us may begrudge well-done guy, it's what he/she wants.) Science is knowing why what you're doing is doing what it's doing to the food. This is my opinion on how these 3 elements combine to create food. Their definitions and degree of prominence can change for anyone.
  12. theisenm85

    Tap Water

    I think it depends on the area strongly. In northern California (east bay to be specific), I absolutely love the tap water. I'm not sure of the additives, and I know it's slightly hard, but I've been hard pressed to find any water from the the tap that I've enjoyed more. Heck, I've been hard pressed to find bottled water I enjoy more in most cases. I do like the thrust of the movement of people not having to pay for water, but it is only regionally feasible in my opinion.
  13. I strongly agree that we don't need the interweb at the table..... but only at restaurants where the food is cooked with attention, care, love whatever. I think this sort of technology could be a boon to fast food or more importantly, "faster food" restaurants. Places where the level of quality hasn't reduced to corporate everything pre-packaged/cooked, but where waiters aren't a regularity. A "sit down" experience that's provided by these machines and a minimum addition of service seems like a possible business opportunity.
  14. I think it's tacky for a restaurant to dictate minimums per person. Unless the resaturant is at the scummiest college joint level it smacks of inhospitality. It barely okay at the scummy college level- but everyone knows that students are broke cheapskates that don't tip. ← "Restaurants" at that level (usually just glorified take out with some tables) are already charging so little it wouldn't matter. I just graduated college, and from high school through college I never EVER tipped less than 18%. I didn't always go to places that needed tipping (aka no sit down or just fast food style service), but when it was expected, I did it.
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