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Everything posted by mcohen

  1. Its no wonder that the coffee shop owner was so cavalier about running a business with this poor customer service since he was later charged with 82 counts of tax fraud. Its real easy to get on your high horse and threaten to punch your customer in the groin when you're not paying taxes, not paying employees, not paying worker's comp, not paying unemployment insurance, etc.. He made a big deal about 'fair trade' coffee only to turn around and screw over his own employees.
  2. Imbibe magazine just did a gear test on this very topic, a la Cook's Illustrated, only a couple of months ago.
  3. The set-up for the toddy coffee system to make cold brew coffee seems so simple that it would be easy enough to replicate it at home. I'm curious how people have justified the cost of buying the toddy coffee when it doesn't seem that difficult to make cold brew coffee at home- is there an actual difference in taste or flavor that you needed the toddy coffee for?
  4. When the producers selected the contestants, do you think the producers for the show knew that you had these personal problems and were thus a ticking timebomb or were they surprised by your mental break down?
  5. In other words, Sethro can't find a job because nobody will hire him after his public mental breakdown on the show. Years after The Restaurant, Anthony Bourdain still makes Rocco Dispirto a punch line for cheap laughs. Rocco came off as vain and out of touch, but Sethro truly came off as mentally disturbed. This is going to haunt Sethro for the rest of his career, and its kind of sad to see that he destroyed his entire career in just a matter of days. People are going to think that if he couldn't handle the stress of a reality TV show, how is he going to handle the stress of a working kitchen? I have to admit, Sethro's breakdown suckered me into continuing to watch an otherwise dull show. I couldn't stop watching it; it was like a gruesome and disturbing car accident. As much as reality TV pushes the envelope, this was the final step where we got to see somebody suffer a mental breakdown. I won't be surprised if some producer watches this, and thinks he should build a reailty TV series around that next.
  6. From reading the initial reports in this thread, this restaurant sounded like it had always been geared towards the gwai lo, ie white people. I don't know why you would be so shocked that the food was westernized if you read the menu or description of the food. I know this place uses Chinese ingredients, but I'm not even so sure we should call it Chinese cuisine. Maybe, fusion food would be a more apropos desciption. When I was in Vegas when this place had just openeed, I remember asking some of my Chinese associates if they wanted to eat there and they just scoffed at the place and said it wasn't real Chinese food.
  7. Nom Nom is clearly going to win this thing. Yet, when you go online to look at what people have to say about them, it appears that their food really isn't that great. You can find tastier and cheaper banh mih in Little Saigon and San Gabriel Valley. I live in Texas. Crepes and other "French food" seem to be, to me anyway, although not so popular as Mexican, perfectly fine. Have you spent any time in Texas? ___________________________ LOL. Despite your protests, the Crepes truck got screwed over when they got sent over to Texas and finished last. This was a team that had consistently finished near the top, where they had been in second place to Nom Nom in all the previous stops.
  8. What are the best grilling tools? I kept waiting for the Webers to go on sale, and finally broke down and paid full retail when it became evident they never went on sale. Now, I've got a lot of grilling to make up for. What's the best grilling brush? What's the best grilling thermometer to measure how hot the grill is? I don't see myself doing any BBQ so I'm not really interested in a BBQ thermometer, which just measures the temp at top of the lid. Even in that scenario, why would you want the measure the temperature at the top of the lid? What's the best grill sheet to grill vegetables that would otherwise fall through the grates? I see these flat stainless steel sheets with some holes in them, but wouldn't that mass of metal block the food from picking up the smoky flavor? Don't you want to expose the food to as much smoke and heat as possible without falling through?
  9. The guy is such a fraud about the whole sustainability schtick, and I'm glad the judges called him out on it during Top Chef Masters during the Finale. He can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk. Although, I wish he'd been called out earlier in Episode Six. In that episode, he won the quickfire challenge and had first pick for ingredients for Surf and Turf elimination challenge. And, he ended up picking the worst ingredient, from sustainability point of view, with monkfish when he had better options like squid.
  10. Is it correct to assume that there's a higher upside to being a pastry chef in europe than in america? In europe, you've got pastry chefs like Pierre Herme and Sadaharu Aoki who've gone out and opened up their own succesfull pastry shops that are well known on a national even international level. While, in america, it seems that the top pastry chef must be wedded to a top notch restaurant to remain relevant. And, with so many middle of the road restaurants in america outsourcing their desserts, it really does seem like pastry chefs are a dying breed in america unless you can latch onto a top restaurant. You look at some of the top pastry chefs in america ten years ago, and I'm not sure that many people remember them once they left their four star restaurants. Michelle Gayer, the former pastry chef at Charlie Trotter, ended up opening a small neighborhood bakery store in Minnesota. And, then there's Claudia Flemming, the former pastry chef at Gramcery Tavern. Today, she runs a small bed and breakfast on Long Island. In NYC, how many diners know about her desserts even though her place is located just on Long Island? Are there any pastry chefs in america who've been able to find success in opening up their own pastry shop, outside of the four star dessert paradigm?
  11. mcohen

    Wild Rice Recipes

    Is there a difference, in taste or texture, between the wild rice which is harvested by indians and wild rice grown commercially?
  12. So, the only I can eat authentic almond tofu if I'm willing to poison myself? What is this, the Chinese version of fugu?
  13. Has anybody been able to make ice cream at home that has the same texture and mouthfeel as ice cream from a store? I'm curious if its possible without all the emulsfiers that the professionals use. And, going back to the compressors vs. gel cannisters debate, I've read more than one person comment about the differences to believe that compressors do produce a better ice cream.
  14. Can somebody please translate what she's saying. I think she's using two different types of almonds?!
  15. The recipes I found on the internet used almond extract, canned fruit, gelatin, etc.. I don't doubt that that's what most chinese places do, but I'm not interested in that- most of the almond tofus in those places aren't that good. Instead, I'm searching for the trick, technique, secret, or whatever you want to call it when you stumble upon really great almond tofu. Out of 10 chinese places that serve almond tofu, maybe only 1 of them has the almond tofu I'm looking for. Its got this elusive, deeper almond taste that I haven't captured yet when I try to make it at home.
  16. When I go to a Chinese restaurant, I always hope they end it almond tofu for dessert. Fortune cookies aren't even really Chinese, and I could eat oranges at home. However, I can't seem to duplicate making almond tofu at home that tastes as good as the really good ones in a Chinese restaurant. I've searched on the internet and followed the recipes, and bought the almond tofu that came in a can or a box that they sell in Chinese grocery stores. But, none of them contained that same elusive almond taste in a really great almond tofu. What am I doing wrong? What's the ancient Chinese secret to making almond tofu?
  17. In the Slate test, I noticed that the machines where you had to freeze something for a few hours ended up struggling with French Style Ice Cream while the machines with built in freezers didn't have as many problems with the issue. Perhaps, the problem is that the gel cannisters start to become warmer as soon as you take them out of the freezer whereas the machines with built in cannisters should be able to maintain that constant temperature? Maybe, constant cold temperature is more important for French style ice cream vs. Philly Style?
  18. What exactly is the drawing temperature, and how is that relevant for the amatuer at home? I've skimmed through some ice cream books, but I don't recall anybody mentioning that. What would be a good ice cream book that's more than just formulas, but also explains the process and all the key steps to making better ice cream? At the same time, I don't necessairly want a technical book that talks about stuff not relevant to making ice cream? I've also noticed when looking through the different ice cream books is that they tend to repeat the same information, as if they all used the same reference without actually checking to see if their reference is correct.
  19. That's interesting. According to the Slate article somebody linked, if I'm reading it correctly, the reviewer actually came out with the opposite conclusion: Has anybody else run into that problem with the Cuisinart? If I am clear on your question, you are asking about a problem with 'the' Cuisinart? I have the little ICE-20 model, purchased second hand two years ago, and my only problems are that you have to refreeze the canister after each batch and that it makes only a small amount. Yes, I was referring to the Cuisinart ICE-20, if anybody had encountered the same problems with french style ice cream as listed in the slate article.
  20. That's interesting. According to the Slate article somebody linked, if I'm reading it correctly, the reviewer actually came out with the opposite conclusion: Has anybody else run into that problem with the Cuisinart?
  21. I love to eat fava beans even though they're a pain to prepare. Usually, I prepare them in Mediterranean dishes where I'll use cook them with pancetta, pecorino cheese, etc.. And,in my lifetime, I've eaten so many chinese meals that I'm sure I must be part chinese by now. But, I've just learned that China is the biggest grower of fava beans in the world and I'm curious what do the Chinese do with fava beans. I don't recall eating any fava bean dishes in a Chinese restaurant. Anybody have any recipes?
  22. When I was watching Iron Chef America with Kelly Liken as the challenger, the show menttioned that she was the top student in her class at the CIA. Now, I'm curious who were the top students each year at the CIA and other top culinary schools. And, how much of that correlated with success in the restaurant industry once they graduated?
  23. mcohen

    Fish pliers

    Maybe, its one of those things where there's no such thing as a bad fish plier- that any fish plier will be superior to a fish tweezer for removing pin bones.
  24. Portland is bloated with average-quality food blogs. When Tony hit town in January, he was mobbed. I asked a fishmonger friend who had dinner with him how it went and he said there was a line of food-geeks at his table that went out the door. Did anybody offer him a boiled rabbit? Its scary how obsessed some of his fans can get. Its even gotten to the point that one of his fans has become short hand for a crazy stalker on the TWOP forum-he/she is obsessed with Bourdain, knows every little detail about him, and acts like they're best friends.
  25. mcohen

    Resting fish

    Is this the PBS show you were referring to? I've never heard of Michael Cimartusi before, so I can't speak of his qualifications with regards to fish. But, I think Rick Moonen is more familiar to foodies and in this radio podcast, he also stated that you should let fish rest: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cesliearmstrongshow/2009/07/14/sunny-anderson-chef-rick-moonen-on-the-ceslie-show The Rick Moonen interview starts about halfway through the podcast, but he specifically addresses resting fish at 48:43 to 50:15 mark.
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