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Everything posted by MikeHartnett

  1. The idea really reminds me a lot of Schwa in Chicago, with the cooks serving high-quality food in a limited, low-key setting.
  2. I have it. Right now I'm a little disappointed but that has more to do with my expectations than anything else. I bought it sight unseen thinking it was going to be mostly old-fashioned, rustic recipes. There are a few recipes like that but most are fancier than I expected. For example, he calls for poblano and jalapeno peppers in his etouffee and gumbo recipes. His seafood gumbo recipes calls for 3 cups of oil and 4 cups of flour, which sounds weird to me. There's no recipe for crawfish bisque. Duck gumbo and rabbit gumbo are mentioned but no recipes are provided. Come to think of it, I don't think the book contains a recipe for duck or rabbit. I was also hoping for more seafood recipes. Every recipe might be excellent, but the book is certainly not what I expected based on the title and the press. ← I definitely expected something a little different, but it seems like a good book. I haven't had a chance to make anything from it yet, but I expect to get a lot of use out of it this summer.
  3. Thought I should get the thread going upon reading this: http://chefcdb.livejournal.com/21834.html If you haven't heard much about this, continue reading his older posts. Vegetarian-leaning, tasting menus, creative drinks (alcoholic and non-, I believe), and cooks serving as waiters. I, for one, am excited.
  4. I don't know if it's because I'm too idealistic, but the idea of jarred roux just bothers me. I don't make gumbo often, but when I do, it's important to stand and stare at the Le Creuset for a while, as I draw the wooden spoon around and think about nothing.
  5. I don't have a whole lot to add to what's been said, but there are a few points I'd like to bring up or back up: First, I find it irritating when Californians (including Waters) insist on everyone eating locally-raised, organic smiley-happy-rainbow food all the time. California is not like the rest of the country, or most of the world. If we in the unfortunate non-California parts of the world want to eat relatively diverse foods, and have a healthy and interesting diet, sometimes we need to look elsewhere. It's easy to preach this sort of thing when you have a world of food at your fingertips. Notice that these high priests of locavorism, almost without exception, are from California. No coincidence. Second, and although it is hard to comprehend, not everyone cares that much about what they eat. Just like there are people who don't care about fashion, or music, or what kind of car they drive, some people treat food as fuel. It's difficult enough for me to try and eat locally, or organically, and food is close to all I think about. If you just don't care that much, you're not going to pass up the closest Mickey D's for an hour's perusal of what's looking good at the farmer's market. Just not gonna happen. Third, and most Waters-specific, most of these people are perceived as unbearably condescending by the average person. Say you live in Podunk, Illinois, and all that's local is soybeans and corn, and you feel like a cheeseburger. When Alice Waters and Michael Pollan tell you the cheeseburger didn't come from a locally-raised cow, and the bun was baked in Indiana, and you should really be eating a homemade soy burger and some corn on the cob you bought from the neighboring farmer, you don't smile and see the error of your ways. You say that your Wal-Mart salary and six kids mean you get a damn cheeseburger and you don't have time to make some hippie soy burger. You say it's nice and all to think that way, but in Podunk, Illinois the Garden of Eden is not growing in your backyard, and even if it were, I like McDonald's, thank you very much. Anyway. That's my piece.
  6. There is a lot of food in the tour served over a number of hours. You may be better off not ordering the tour. ← I'm a college-aged male, and I was stuffed to bursting with the Tour and the wine pairings. Without, the pairings, I might have been comfortable, but it was a lot of food.
  7. Since it's a hotel restaurant, they likely have a big purse that can handle this sort of thing. I agree with Fat Guy. Why not?
  8. I don't think anyone's arguing that it was the customer's fault, and I think you could remove the coat-check issue entirely and it wouldn't change much. The issue is how much the customer was damaged by this. It would be difficult to argue that the customer deserved more than the dry cleaning bill and maybe the loss in value of the coat, though as mentioned above, since the stain was inside it, it would be hard to prove there was much loss in value. These days, though, the guy probably could argue that it was his very favorite coat, it's irreplaceable, and he's emotionally scarred. No one thinks about how fair it is to the person paying; they just sympathize and give the poor guy his money.
  9. What is the texture like with these? Specifically, the puffed hamster... Seriously though, is it similar to rice krispies, or something entirely different?
  10. On this point I must respectfully disagree: a gin and tonic has two ingredients and a garnish, all of which are critical elements. If all I was interested in was the gin, I would drink gin (or perhaps a very dry martini). Using a high-quality tonic (Fever Tree is my favorite) makes a world of difference in this humble drink, taking it from standard crappy college bar fare to something that is actually worth drinking, and it is precisely because the tonic actually brings something to the party. ← Exactly. Go to a college bar and ask for a G&T, even with good gin. Then tell me the tonic doesn't matter.
  11. I don't understand jackal10's argument regarding tipping. So, in general, he would prefer to be forced to tip, as long as he didn't have to calculate a tip or think about service? If tipping is variable, and he gets to choose how much he gives, that's a big problem for him? Maybe I'm biased, but I can't see the benefit to the customer provided by being forced to tip, except for maybe that those who suck at math don't have to do "x2". And if he's arguing that foreigners just can't be expected to know that tips are closer to required than not, then I suppose it would be similarly acceptable for me to subtract a bit off the cheque next time I'm in London. I mean, I can't really be expected to look into their crazy, barbaric customs before I visit, can I?
  12. very excited for Chef Chris to have a restaurant again. ETA the blog post about this... http://chefcdb.livejournal.com/20889.html
  13. Maybe he tinkered until there was no tinkering left! He has tinkered all the way to the exact ratios for everything!
  14. Asian food tends to be much cheaper and healthier if you already have the basics. I know that my asian market has fresh veggies and rice for a lot cheaper than the grocery or even walmart. I can get two weeks worth of groceries at the asian market that would only last me a week from the regular market. Then again it depends on how you eat... I rarely buy processed foods so that helps. ← I agree. Actually, I find Vietnamese to be (generally anyway) fairly cheap. That certainly doesn't take away any of the taste factor though I have most of the basics. I just wanted to get a nice hot bowl of pho. It's ok now though. I did it anyway, against better judgment.
  15. Why is it that people get the benefit of the doubt until it's something that offends you? Why is it that actions speak louder than words until they don't? Why is this an issue at all? Plenty of people have said far worse things than this, fully intending to perpetuate those things. Chef Ripert seems to be a perfectly respectful and decent human being in every other situation. If he said it, he probably didn't intend it seriously, and if he did, maybe it was a long time ago and he's changed. I'm sure every single one of the posters offended by this have said far worse things once or twice in their lives. Maybe Ripert should make it his mission to correct your mistakes? If you like him, watch the show. If you don't, for whatever silly reason, don't start a crusade. Just change the channel.
  16. Too fatty? What's that? Sounds delicious to me.
  17. Those look fantastic, Ce'nedra. They make me want to go get some Vietnamese, but I'm running low on funds, so that's a bad idea. So thanks for that...
  18. The comment I made was obviously referencing Paula Deen, and not housewives. If you'd like to defend Paula's recipes, feel free.
  19. Bringing back the larb thread from near-death to say that I made my first larb tonight, from Thompson's Thai Food. It was quite good, but I've never had anything to compare it to. Also, my knives have gotten very dull, so my mincing was a little sub-par. I enjoyed repeating the name though. Larb larb larb.
  20. I agree. While there isn't anything wrong with marketing a cookbook to housewives, this book certainly isn't ideal for the Paula Deen crowd. This is much more intricate than "dump a pound of butter in."
  21. MikeHartnett


    Second this post in its entirety.
  22. MikeHartnett

    Making Bacon

    Never tried it, but for what it's worth, I caught a minute or two of that stupid Food Detectives show on Food Network, and they showed that taste-testers couldn't distinguish between actual smoke and liquid. How valid that is among people who know what they're talking about, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure how it would affect the meat longer-term.
  23. If the patron has to give a "dignified reason for an undignified tip", then should the waitstaff also be required to defend (or explain) the crappy service they provided? ← That would be interesting. Honestly, I think they should have a little comment section at the bottom of the bill. I know there's been at least one occasion I've made my own comment section for particularly bad service.
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