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Posts posted by ADF

  1. The thing is plenty of people do not know how it feels to stand on your feet for 15 hours a day and cook your heart out. In the end, a restaurant is a business and a chef becomes an entrepreneur. Selling out? I guess making money is selling out to some but they really don't know how is feels to cook on the line and lead a brigade. I am a cook myself who highly respects TK and I understand that he is simply taking opportunities, that are offered to the seldom few who make it as a chef. I think if a man in a tie offered any chef a 100,000 dollars to help his buisness, that chef would not think twice. People, go stand on your feet for half your life, give up your social life, and earn little money, than talk to me about selling out.

  2. Well Daniel would always just use your knife on the station and if it was dull, well thats a different story. This was just faster for him instead to walk around with knives. Most cooks use Misono,I use masamoto and these knives do get "Lost" a lot. Pairing knife, get the cheapest one, I have gone through too many.

  3. Well I would say that I have cooked with plenty of "smart people." I have friends who previously studied something else before cooking as well as cooks who just like to be able to talk about something other than cooking. Cooks, the professional ones, for the most part are bright people and do have like to read books other than cookbooks. I went straight to the CIA after high school, and it would of been smart to take a couple courses elsewhere. I think it just really depends on the person, I have met college educated people who can't do basic math or have no common sense.

  4. There is nothing like a fresh French dip at Philippe's in Los Angeles but I also enjoy a pre-made sandwich at Bouchon Bakery in NYC, for me there was nothing. Back in my days at The CIA in Hyde Park, I quite often enjoyed a pre-made sandwich at the bakery. I think it really just depends, some good bread, good condiments and some love can make a good pre-made sandwich.

  5. ADF, I went from making a lot of money to making very little -- started out as an attorney and went to being a writer and running a nonprofit organization. I've experienced the condescension, the judgment, the cracks about being unemployed (I make them myself too). I think there are a couple of things going on there: the first is that people who love you are genuinely concerned about your well being, the second is that a lot of people resent you for living your dream. Society wants you to conform. If you come from a middle class background, your peers and family want you to be a professional at a desk, in a courtroom, in a hospital, to live a certain way. That's how your subculture judges success, and only a small percentage of people have the independence to step out of it.

    As for how to respond, I think it helps to have a plan and to be explicit about it. Where do you want to be in five years? Do you want to have your own restaurant? Let's just assume that's true, that you plan to work at three more top restaurants for a year or two each, and then you plan to go out on your own. If so, make a presentation to your family, just as you would at a business meeting. Say, okay, this is what I've done, this is where I want to be in five years, these are the things I'm doing to get there. Maybe you're planning to take some business classes, or learn basic accounting, whatever (because you haven't likely gone to college, you should explain how you're going to do self-directed education to make up for your lack of a business degree). Explain how you're going to get investors by doing private cooking gigs on the side and by networking with customers and former employers. Explain how the restaurant business is a major growth area -- present statistics from the National Restaurant Association -- that this is what you love, that you're serious about it, that you've thought it through. Prepare your answers to the most common questions ("Don't most restaurants fail?"). And end the presentation with, "And I'm asking for your support." Make clear that you're not asking for investments (at least not yet) but, rather for love and emotional support in your pursuit of your dream. That's the point at which your family has to decide whether or not to get behind your dream. They may, or they may not. All you can do is try.

    Well thank you, I do want to own my own restaurant before the age of thirty. I do come from a family of educated people but not educated about food. Foie gras and caviar does not impress this bunch. Food is seen as just a way to nourish the body,not as anything else, and it is very hard to convince them other wise. You should see their faces when I try to explain what a white truffle goes for. I grew up thinking Olive Garden was fine dining, don't get me wrong they are very consistent and know how to make money, and eventually learned food is many different things.

    The Fat Guy is right I need to educate myself more, to know what will be the outcome of my career. As children many of us dreamed of being Rock Stars, Professional Athletes or Movie Stars and we ended up never pursuing our dreams. There is a sense of reality that plays into these decisions. I always try to just be patient and not give up my dream.


    This article on Alain Passard is a good explanation on what I mean.

    <a href="http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/05/yourmoney/marpege.php">Forget Greed: The Recipe for Success is Passion</a>

  6. I did go to culinary school and cook on the line, yet I regret none of these decisions. With a culture of Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen and Emeril, is cooking so glamorous as it seems. Where did Gordon Ramsay start? Well at the bottom and no he did not walk into life as an Executive Chef. Kids now a days see Rachel Ray knives and know what a culinary "foam" is. My 12 year old brother knows every single contestant on all three seasons of Top Chef and a family friend,15 years old, wishes to be like Emeril.To discourage them and kill a dream or let them find out the hard way? I am a product of the kitchen, I have tasted a white truffle and eaten caviar with a blini. Yet I don't know what to say. I know why I cook but it is hard to know if they want to do it for the same reason. To be or not to be....A chef.

  7. Well, they do help me from time to time with money. Family is family,I love my family thats it, I always will. Yes, I have moved around a lot, I know I need to be loyal at this restaurant,TFL, for the next couple of years, the moving around may be a cause of my family seeing me as ungrounded. Thank you everyone for your help.

  8. I am 21 years old and I have worked at some of the top restaurants in the United States, Sona in L.A, Daniel** in NYC, Alain Ducasse*** in NYC, and now a days I am starting at The French Laundry*** in CA. I would say I am from a family of intellectuals, but yet I am seen as the black sheep. I receive questions on a daily basis concerning money(the lack of it), Emeril, why are the plates/portions so small and when am I going to cook them a meal. I am seen as unsuccessful in what I do, often hearing of someone's family friend who no longer cooks or is a drug addict/chef. How money is more important than happiness, yes I do understand that in the end a restaurant is a business. Why my cousin who works at a retail store in the mall is a bigger success than I am. Are you sure you want to be a chef? Yes!!! The long hours, getting screamed at sometimes, the little money and no social life. I do it for the love, I am patient, capable, and I am happy. What is my point? I would like some advice from all sides of the board, how to respond with my family, how not to become depressed when told I am a failure, and some stories as well. Thank you.

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