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Everything posted by Wesley1

  1. Many people besides Neal make a claim to that sort of influence, and I'm not sure I'd pick him. Regardless, there should definitely be someone representative of the "(new) southern" movement on the list. ← Highlands Bar and Grill?
  2. Maybe you should study the people you idolize and want to be like. That may give you a better idea of what you want to do next. Youll realize that even among the "top" chefs there is a great bit of difference in their work history an development.
  3. Wesley1

    Work Choices

    Write to the chef. It worked for me. But im older and living in America, so im not sure how that will translate. If they dont reply, write again. Or knock on their door and be persistent, not annoying. Best of luck.
  4. I worked for a hotel chain and rarely did more than forty hours per week. Where im working now, come busy season im looking at 75-80 hours. So it depends on where you work.
  5. Im working for a month at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Al. They are paying me a little bit each week. I do need to have my own living arrangements though. Im not sure about meals.
  6. Has anyone been to Birmingham recently and eaten at Highlands? If so how was your experience?
  7. Have you ever seen the " consuming raw or undercooked foods can be a serious risk to health, especially for women who may be pregnant or nursing" on a menu anywhere?
  8. I ended up going to michy's. It was unbelievable. And i have to say there was little to no traffic anytime i was driving.
  9. I was in the area for a night and had the chance to stop by for dinner. Lucky for me i was with three other people as eager to try as much as I was. So, in all, we had 16 different dishes between us. Our meal consisted of: first courses- *Watercress salad W/ tarragon, Grapes, Goats' cheese, shallots, and balsamic vinaigrette. This was delicious, perfectly dressed, bitter until you had a grape along bringing it all together. *Beef Carpaccio W/ Kimchee Vegetables, Galbi Mayo This dish was unbelievable. The perfect textural contrast with the vegetables and the richness of the mayo worked wonders with the spiciness of the vegetables as well. Goes well with a Kirin Ichiban *Peruvian Style Ceviche The best ceviche I've ever had. Everything was perfectly firm, but not chewy, and not too much acid, which I find in alot of ceviches. *Steak Frites (my friend ordered three main courses) Perfect med-rare, best bearnaise Ive ever had. Second courses- *Gnocchi " Lasagna" W/ Bolognese, creamy parmesan, melting buffalo mozzarella Again, the best gnocchi and bolognese ive had. Creamy delicious cheeses reminded me of freshly baked extra-cheese pizza. *White Gazpacho, Marcona Alomonds, Grapes, and Cucumbers one of my favorites all night. Great presentation, great flavor, great texture, great dish. *Veal Bone Marrow Pretty traditional presentation. Parsley, breadcrumbs, and two thick slices of toast. Not my favorite. There wasn't much marrow and it was salty, but the texture of the bit that i did have was delicious. *Shrimp Pasta, Sauteed head-on shrimp, Garlic, Lemon, Hand cut pasta, seafood nage. Great shrimp heads. I didnt have any of the meat, the pasta was a bit hard to eat, it had clumped together, the sauce was delicious. *Duck Confit, Frisee salad, Lardons, Roast Fingerlings, Mustard Nage, Quail egg. Rich, Flavorful, very good confit. *Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads, Bacon braised fennel, citrus brown butter I had never had sweetbreads until now, I imagine these were the best you can get. Rich, smooth, flavorful. The fennel really tied it all together though. Third Courses- * Softshell Crab Ive had this a number of different times and each was either fishy, slimy, poorly breaded, or lacking any kind of meat but this was not this case here. It was crunchy, fresh, firm, and very meaty. * Snapper Francaise, Boniato Mash, Mojo beurre Blanc Excellently cooked fish, delicious beurre blanc, tasty mash *Crispy pork belly, Sweet Chili Glaze, Kolhrabi Slaw Rich and delicious as pork belly almost always is. The slaw was less a slaw than a few slices of marinated kolhrabi. Good dish. Not my favorite. *Short Ribs I loved these, but I have had short ribs a number of times and this wasn't all that much better. It was good for sure, but it had no defining qualities from other preparations. Dessert- *Bread pudding very different from what I consider bread pudding, more custard than anything. I've never been a big fan of the flavor of egg yolk and this was no different. It was good but not my preference. * Chocolate cake w/ strawberry, sherry sauce, almond ice cream. Great dish, perfectly cooked, runny insides, nicely ripened strawberries. * 40 Year old Tawny Port If you even think you like port, buy this! It was phenomenal, so rich, so smooth. I believe that i could have had the aroma alone for dessert and been satisfied. Over all I loved this place, very cool atmosphere, great staff, excellent food. I think though that they over look alot of the small things that could make it above and beyond itself.for instance, the bread was boring and dry and the butter seemed like your regular butter tabs. If your in the area, hell if your even an hour away, make a trip. It will be well worth it. I wasnt sure before this meal but have decided now that I really want to work at this place, it is to me the perfect place, not stuffy, not too casual, and most importantly the food is unbelievable.
  10. Im going to be in Boca Raton for a night and can drive to either of these restaurants, i was wondering which everyone prefers. Thanks, Wes
  11. I dont know but i think i might try and eat there tomorrow. Ill let you know, if i do. ← And? Has anyone else have anything to say about Norman's? ← I haven't been, but i was talking to a guy who works banquets at the Ritz. He said that it's a bit of a palate killer "alot like roys" too much going on; sweet, sour, spicy all at the same time. Thats all ive heard.
  12. Are you serious? ← serious about what? ← Not sure what the question was either - Wes - you know what you want - you just have to figure out HOW to get to where you want to be - and do it --- it is passion that drives chefs not money (even though it is very nice) I love what I do not becasue of the Exec being jealous of my work, or the yelling at why I orederd what I did or the notes I leave for the staff to remind them - I do it becasue I want to look good and I want my crew to feel good about what they do... ← I agree with you. And I thank you, and everyone else, for your input. I think,for me, its best just to rough it, why not? There will always be work somewhere. And honestly i feel better about it, my fear though is missing the fundamentals but there's a million books that I can read. So ill make do. Thanks
  13. Are you serious? ← serious about what?
  14. I have two good kitchen positions, one that i worked out of the dishroom for; so its never going to be a matter og being out of the game, i only need to decide whether school is a better option then good old-fashioned hard work. Thanks.
  15. I went into class, for the "stocks and sauces" portion. We were told that "stock" in their kitchen meant, " 1 T. base to 1 Qt. water" and that we should know how to make stock because "it's important" but that we wouldnt be making any in class. We were told that we have to make the personal decision to make our own stock, it is apparently a moral issue. My biggest problem is that they dont show us the best way to do something, the right way, then tell us that if we wanted to use a base we could learn that on our own time. So... I dropped the degree.
  16. Aha! It is fairly common that souffles are baked in individual serving ramekins and served, all tall a puffy, to each person who has the responsibility to deflate them. Classically, baked souffles are not unmolded. You would need to prep the hell out of the mold, and probably bake them in shifts of two or so, and have an assistant help ferry them to the table. Alternatively, you can bake one large souffle, take it from oven to table to be admired, and then, using a large dessert or other serving spoon, portion it onto plates at the table and pass around. You could, I suppose, get them out of the ramekin and onto the plate, but unless there are some stabilizer ingredients being used, you will need to cook it towards the popover level of doneness in order to get that sucker to look like a basketball player standing on the plate. Good luck. Theabroma ← Awesome! so does anyone have an idea as to what type of stabilizers would be appropriate?
  17. Thank you all very much, I appreciate the help. But this still hasn't answered my question of how to get it out of it's ramekin onto a plate, and to a table while maintaining it's height (8").
  18. Ummm... If I knew what those were, I may have an answer.
  19. Thanks for the posts. But now, how do I keep it from falling?
  20. My boss ate at Citronelle a couple months ago and had an orange souffle. He told me that it stood at least 8 inches and was out of its ramekin. Anyone know how this is done? I assumed it was some form of stabilizer or something along those lines. I want to try it because it seems like a great way to keep your souffle from falling too quickly. Thanks, Wes
  21. Im going to be in ST augustine at the end of the month for an evening and Daytona beach the following evening. I was looking for restaurant recs. Im looking for the best food, not necessarily the most expensive, but if it is thats fine, in both locations. I will most likely be dining alone so there is no issue as far as the type of restaurant/cuisine. Thanks, Wes
  22. Uh...what did you expect? ← I know, I know. But I don't expect a poor math teacher or English teacher. I expected some level of expertise beyond the Food Handlers Safety Guide and The basic overviews of the "On Cooking" text.
  23. I wouldn't let the opinion of one, possibly dissatisfied, individual devalue my entire educational experience. Cooking school is sort of like an outline for the first chapter of a novel that you alone have to write the entire body of. Some outlines are more developed or more informed than others, but it is ultimately up to you to fill in the gaps and expand the concept, working, reading, eating and thinking along the way so that your version of the novel is the version that satisfies you the most. If the chef-instructors aren't adding up to your expectations, have fun with it, learn more and challenge the hell out of them. You'll probably get more out of trying to be a smart aleck with these guys than abosrbing and regurgitating what a seemingly more qualified instructor might gently spoon into your mouth, agape with awe, no questions asked on your part. Keep the faith! ← Challenging them seems to me like the best option. Perhaps ill learn that they are as under qualified as had originally thought. Or perhaps they are simplifying for the class. Thanks, Wes
  24. Ive been working in the business for a couple years now. This class has done nothing for my confidence except in relation to job security.
  25. I recently started my culinary arts degree at a local community college. I was excited upon entry into the course, but recently received information from a student due to finish up his degree. He told me that the course was essentially "useless" and that the "chefs" knew nothing. He told me that anything i expected to learn i would have to learn on my own. I know that the "chefs" are both certified. somewhere. But from what ive learned neither has had any real experience in a kitchen. They have only been in management positions not a "chef" or even a cook for that matter. This, to me, is shameful. The "chef" merely talks about Hells Kitchen being a poor outline for management and gives us information about working in the kitchen like "its ok to take a sick day" or "everybody wants the job with the least work and the most pay, right?" Right. And in all this, im beginning to wonder, what am i here for? Cant I learn on the job? Read a book to learn these things? or should i stick it out for the highly coveted "degree"? My point is, and i know this has arisen countless time on this site, i dont know which would be the best way to spend my time, in the kitchen or at a desk. If all im expecting out of school is paper saying ive been in school, then what is the purpose?
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