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Everything posted by mcohen

  1. I've read most of those books, and I can see why the author didn't recommend them either. The author doesn't name check every book, but I think its clear he's familiar with those books you listed. Cookwise and I'm Just Here for the Food are probably the books he writes about how McGee's "On Food and Cooking inspired a number of cooks and cookbook authors to integrate scientific approaches into their practices, and some of them have produced cookbooks that read as more populist versions of McGee’s book." Techniques and Cooking fall into the "in-depth guides to mastering the fundamentals of a classically respected cuisine (most often French or Italian) or matter-of-fact catalogues of cooking techniques" books that the author mentions.
  2. With how you described Shoreditch, I don't think that'll be one of my tourist stops. I'm only in London for a number of days and there's so much to see and do that I don't waste too much time traveling for food if there isn't aren't any sites around to see. For St. John, do I still need to make reservations even for their bar menu? With jetlag and unfamiliarity with the area, I don't want to tie myself to a scheduled time. And, has anybody done a Taste of Yauatcha for two? Is that 29 pound price for each person or the total price? Speaking of Rick Steves, does anybody how his or r any of the guidebooks like Fodor, Frommer's,etc. are for London food recommendations? The problem I run to is that I can find something that sounds delicious and not that expensive, but then it'll turn out that the place is located far away in the suburbs or somewhere with cheaper rents. By looking at guide books, their recommendations should be located near the tourist sites. But, the question is whether or not their recommendations are any good. And, how recommendations for London afternoon tea that's not that expensive either. I was looking at Fortum, and I could order a nice dinner at that price. Why is tea so expensive?
  3. Even with Brexit and the pound dropping, everything in London still seems really expensive for a visitor. So, are there any recommendations for something good while still affordable for somebody on a budget?Ideally, I'm looking for something that's not too far off from sights and attractions like Tower of London, London museums, etc... I'd love to try a salt beef bagel from Biegel Bake, but it seems too far away from tourist sights. I know Indian food would probably be my best bet, but I'm not a fan of that cuisine.
  4. What about the Alessi flatware? Anybody have any experience with that?
  5. Has anybody ever tried to cook fava bean soaked in scallion oil? I read about it on culinary backstreets where they listed various Chinese fava bean dishes, but I can't seem to find a recipe for it. http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/shanghai/2013/spring-food-break-3/
  6. And, they also make faux foie gras... Anybody ever notice that some of the most vocal supporters of the shark fin ban were also the most vocal opponents for banning foie gras. I hate the PETA extremists but you've got to credit them for consistency.
  7. Which region would the dish of steamed pork ribs in lotus leaf come from? I'm trying to identify the regionality of the dish to try to see where its from so as to know if you're supposed to use soybean paste or broadbean paste to make it. I've found two recipes that seem to be about making the dish- steamed pork ribs covered in rice powder. But the first recipe used broadbean paste while the latter used soybean paste. http://www.holyshitake.com/archives/2004/11/steamed_ribs_in_rice_powder_with_sweet_potato.html http://www.nicolemones.com/pork-ribs-in-lotus-leaf.html Anybody else have any more tips or recipes on how to make this dish?
  8. Since tommorow will be the tenth anniversary of Barbara Tropp's death, I thought we should honor her by starting a thread so we can talk about her life and her accomplishments. For those who've never heard of her, it might seem strange that we're talking about a Jewish woman with regards to Chinese cooking. But, oftentimes, it takes an outsider to break the surly bonds of complacity and conventional thinking. Albert Einstein, Sigmeund Freud, Betty Friedan, Ralph Lauren were all outsiders who ended up gaining a deeper understanding because of their outsiderness and thus revolutionizing their respective fields. (Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz to lower middle-class Jewish imigrants but ended up revolutinizing WASP clothing.) For those who've never heard of her, if you love Julia Child, then you will love Barbara Tropp who wrote the best, most authorative book on Chinese cooking, be it in Chinese or English. Because Tropp was an outsider, she studied it more thoroughly and more deeply than those who grew up with Chinese cooking but never questioned why they cooked it that way. Instead of just cooking Chinese food because that's how your parents cooked it, Tropp wanted to understand why we cooked Chinese food like that and then taught us why and how in her masterpiece cookbook. For those who've never heard of her, if you love Alice Waters, then you'll love Tropp because Tropp did to Chinese cooking what Alice Waters did to American cooking- she brought local and seasonal ingredients into the Chinese kitchen. For those who've never heard of her, if you love Mission Chinese food, then you would have loved Tropp's restaurant, China Moon. When she didn't find any great Chinese food in SF, she founded China Moon to fill that void. http://articles.sfgate.com/1999-01-20/food/17677557_1_barbara-tropp-chinese-cooking-china-moon/4
  9. There was no footage because most, if not all, of that stuff never happened. Gordon Ramsay's lucrative contract with Channel 4 in the UK is up for renewal, and he was scared because his ratings have been declining. So, in a pathetic attempt to goose up buzz and ratings, Ramsay flat out made stuff up or exagerrated something minor into an international incident. If any of stuff really happened and the cameras were rolling, there's no way they wouldn't have aired that footage. Let's look at that article's claims and what was actually shown on his documentary: From what I saw on the documentary, it actually seemed fairly regulated especially in terms of finning. In Costa Rica, with the exception of one shark, there wasn't any finning- the boat had to bring the rest of the sharks to the dock if they wanted to sell the fins. And, in Taiwan, the boats also had to bring the rest of the sharks if they wanted to sell the fins. Ramsay made a big fuss that the number of sharks didn't match the fins, but sharks have multiple fins so obviously you shouldn't expect one shark fin for every shark being brought in. And, if finning seems to have been regulated, it seems disingenous for Ramsay to blackmail those Chinese restaurants with outdated finning footage when his own more recent footage didn't really uncover or show any finning. This time, he actually went to Costa Rica and yes, they did seem places that were heavily guarded. But, if shark fins are worth so much, is it really that surprising that they are heavily guarded? In other words, if I pass a business in America that is heavily guarded, should we automatically assume that that business is doing something illegal or wrong? But, when he runs up the stairs to a rooftop to see shark fins being dried, this happens in Taiwan, not Costa Rica which is what Ramsay seems to imply. In Taiwan, somebody does drop a small amount of liquid to chase him away after he breaks and enters into the building but it certainly wasn't a barrel. And, that liquid wasn't petrol- you don't use petrol to prepare or dry shark fins. In another article, I think I remember him saying that he got soaked with petrol and how they threatened to light him on fire. But, he doesn't even get a single drop on him. In Taiwan, we see only 1 Mercedes with blacked out windows but it doesn't try to block Gordon Ramsay in. But, we do see an increasingly paranoid Ramsay warn the audience that the Mercedes must be owned by a gangster instead of a businessman or an international football star. However, we don't see Ramsay running away once that Mercedes arrive. Instead, what seems to really scare Ramsay to leave is when he hears a dog barking behind a gate and that's when Ramsay says they have to leave because the Taiwanese have let the dogs out to chase him even though the barking dog remains behind its gate. Even then, Gordon Ramsay doesn't 'dive' into the car and 'peel' off to escape the barking dog. Oh, where to begin... We don't see Ramsay dive under the boat or discover a sack full of shark fins. In Costa Rica, the fishermen are pretty open and show him the sharks they've caught and the fins. While doing that, Ramsay spots a large fin that doesn't match any of the sharks on-board. In this case, the fishermen did break the law by not returning that one shark back to the harbor. However, there wasn't any screaming or shouting- more like the fisherman shrugging their shoulders about getting caught red-handed for what they didn't see as big deal. In the fishemran's eyes, they weren't committing finning because they cut up that shark as bait to catch more sharks. Again, there's no footage of anything like this, nothing even close. We don't see any guns, or Gordon Ramsay being lined up against a wall. The only mention of guns in the documentary is Gordon Ramsay bringing that topic himself in Taiwan when he's breaking and entering into that building where shark fins are being dried. After awhile on the rooftop, Ramsay finally says they have to leave 'before they get shot' after a lady on the rooftop makes a phone call. Yet, we don't see any guns on the rooftop. In all likelihood, the lady was probably calling the Taiwanese police about some stranger in the building and yet Gordon Ramsay was acting as if she called the Taiwanese Triads to kill him. If ndeed the police did advise Gordon Ramsay to leave the country, I betcha it was more likely that they gave him a warning that they'd have to arrest him if he continued to illegally break and enter into buildings.
  10. You know, its not that difficult to google Gordon Ramsay and hypocrite or Gordon Ramsay and endangered species. But, since you asked... Obviously, just because it wasn't shown on one of his TV shows, doesn't mean he didn't fish for sharks for fun. A year before he filmed his shark documentary, even though he now descibes how 'barbaric' and 'wasteful' for others to go after sharks for food, Gordon Ramsay went on a private fishing expedition and hunted down two sharks for sport. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1351577/Gordon-Ramsay-hypocrite-How-TV-chef-defended-sharks--previously-caught-rare-ones-fun.html If Ramsay is going to criticize finning as being barbaric, was Gordon Ramsay's method to kill those two sharks really any better: But, just because he didn't hunt for endangered sharks for fun on one of his TV shows, it doesn't mean that he hasn't reveled in hunting or eating endangered animals before on his TV shows. There was the time he went hunting for puffins, an endangered species. But, at least, this time he didn't completely waste it and ate its raw heart. http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/09/17/chef-gordon-ramsay-in-trouble-after-puffin-hunting-scandal/ Then, there was the time Gordon Ramsay told the BBC that Britons should eat more skate, a critically endangered species. http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/offbeat-news/tv-chef-urges-viewers-to-eat-endangered-fish/455 As to the endgangered spcecies he serves at his restaurants or which he consults at, there are several cases: At Verre, one of the restaurants he consults at, their online menu proudly states they served Atlantic Halibut, an endangered species. At Castel Monastero, another restuarant he consults at, they were serving "local tuna" which if its local and comes from the Mediterranean, its going to be likely bluefin tuna, another endangered species. And, Ramsay was serving endangered European eels at his London resaurant, Maze, as well as at La Veranda, another restaurant where he consults at. So, Gordon Ramsay continued to serve endangered eels three years after conservationists critized him for catching and eating engangered eels on his TV show, the F show. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3344014/Gordon-Ramsay-criticised-for-eating-endangered-eels.html On the show, Ramsay justifies catching the eels when he says,"I know it's a delicacy and I get that but f****** hell, it's an extraordinary amount of work. Thank (expletive) they're delicious." At the same time, he tried shark fin soup and didn't care for the taste of it- he completely missed the point that its tehre for the textures. It makes you wonder what if he had found shark fin soup to be delicious, would he be as quick to condem it?
  11. If its anything like her cookbook or TV show, then the consensus on egullet is that its not what would be called authentic Chinese food.
  12. And, the original Lotus of Siam is really no better. Their Vegas restaurant has okay flavors, small portions, and high prices. I kept returning to Lotus of Siam each time I went to Vegas, trying to understand all the hype. Finally, after eavesdropping on another diner, I realized that almost everybody there was from NYC. When you think about it, its not a suprise that New Yorkers will think Lotus of Siam is great. There's not a lot of good options for Thai food in NYC so they'll go Lady Gaga the first time they encounter decent Thai food. And, food prices in NYC are going to be high just from rent alone so they'll be accustomed to paying for small portions and high prices that Lotus of Siam charges even though Lotus of Siam's rent is much, much less.
  13. I remember hearing from those who've talked to him that he totally plays to the camera- he has a accent in real life but he will totally take it to the next level when he's being filmed.
  14. I was listening to an interview with the state legislator who proposed this ban, and it kinda seemed like a total ban on any shark meat was going to be his next move. Otherwise, it seems like a waste that if fishing for shark meat is legal, then why couldn't you use those fins? For whatever reason, he really seems intent on a total ban on any fishing of sharks and rejected any possible compromises that could have kept shark fin soup available to Chinese-Americans even it was done in a more enviornmental friendly and sustainable method. One of my problems with this ban is that its so broad- not all sharks are endangered. From what I've read, the numbers range, depending on your source, from 20%-33% shark species in the world are endangered. But, California actually has a number of healthy populations of sharks althought the great white sharks in California are endangered. Its like deciding for a blanket ban on the sale of ALL tuna just because the bluefin tuna numbers are low. And, with bluefin tuna, we're talking about a specific species that is threatened and yet we don't see a similar ban... To me, its fairly obvious why there's no ban on bluefin tuna- its not just a single minority group that eats it. If a shark species has a healthy population and it can be harvested sustainably, then I don't necessairly see anything wrong with shark fin soup, notwithstanding the weird texture.
  15. So, Columela is the best sherry vinegar you'll find in a grocery store?
  16. I was really surprised that the taco place went down so early. Yes, the guy was a d-bag, but the concept can work- there was a recent favorable review in the LA Times about such a place that served various types of non-mexican cuisine inside a taco. At the very least, I thought he had picked a good chef and that that chef would carry him further into the competion. If that chef is good enough for Gordon Ramsay, you'd think she could hold her own in a reality TV competition but it seemed like the judges never liked any of the tacos she produced.
  17. So, do you think a Baratza really makes a difference for drip or is a bland grinder okay?
  18. Wow, what a guy... So, its okay for him to fish for and kill endangered sharks for sport, but its not okay when others want to eat them? Why is he even lecturing others what to serve when he was serving endangered animals after his campaign? If he wants to do something, why not focus on the endangered fishes and animals that he serves at his restaurants and which his audience eats instead of going after a chinese delicary that he and his eaters weren't going to eat in the first place. It must be so much easier and convienent to lecture others about what not to eat instead of looking in the mirror.
  19. There are hundreds of species of different endangered animals that are consumed in California, yet only sharkfin has been targeted. Why? Because only the Chinese, a small minority group, eat it. If it was something which the non-Chinese ate, like bluefin, there would be no such ban. If we don't want to call it racist although there's certainly a racist undercurrent that inevitably crop up about shark fin soup, then its certainly politcal posturing at its finest- the legislators get to talk up their enviornmentalism by targetings something only a minority group eat all the while ignoring more pressing, important enviornmental issuses.
  20. mcohen

    Fish scaler

    Anybody try something like JB Prince fish scaler where the scalers are arranged in a circle? http://www.jbprince.com/utensils/heavy-duty-french-fish-scaler.asp There's a lot of these fish scalers like the JB Prince where the scales are arranged in a circle, and I want to know if they're any better than more tradtional fish scalers?
  21. I skimmed through it, and I didn't like that book. First of all, its too focused on sutanability to the point that the other information and recipes get short shrifted to a certain degree. Its like what happened to Sunset Magazine, where the constant enviormental harping turned me off the magazine. This should have been a much better book if he had left out that sustanability stuff, which takes up a lot of room in the book, and used that space for other stuff. There's a bunch of glaring mistakes that just jumped off the page- he continously mis-labeled fishes in the book with the wrong picture. You don't even need the ability to identify fish to spot that mistake because the book used the same photo of a fish for several different types of fish throughout the book. Also, he continues the oysters with R myth. At that point, I was surprised he didn't say anything about searing steaks to keep all the juices inside the steak... And, then the recipes themselves didn't look that great themselves. The guy's a fishmonger, not a chef. If he had paired up with somebody else to develop the recipes...
  22. I would have never thought about buying one before, but Williams-Sonoma is having a close out sale on their fish scalers, Triangle fish scaler, from Germany. Is there any advantage to using a fish scaler vs. using the back of a knife or spoon to scale a fish? And, if I do get a fish scaler, what should I look for that makes one fish scaler better than the other. Any specific design features? What is considered the best fish scaler out there? Does anybody own a Triangle fish scaler? There's no customer reviews on Amazon, or on WS website.
  23. mcohen

    Fish pliers

    Where did you pick up that information? When I researched this topic, I've never seen that point addressed before.
  24. mcohen

    Fish pliers

    I'd go with what the Japanese use since they're on a different level than us when it comes to fish. I'm assuming that must be what sushi chefs use when they prepare sushi. But, I'm curious what the difference is between the $3 fish tweezer vs. the $20 fish tweezer.
  25. I don't want to pay the $5 for Imbibe's back issue just to find out who they picked as their favorite strainer. Does anybody know who they picked?
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