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Posts posted by RAHiggins1

  1. Wow. ScoopKW is right on the money.

    I'll add that 3 consecutive years at the same place "should" get you in any other restaurant door. At this point its a matter of if you wish to pursue advancing your skills in this craft. Be prepared to discover that where you are is really about as low as it can get, as you have described it. But at least your brain is telling you to question what you are experiencing. I'd suggest digging deeper into this site. It has hosted a lot of the best in the business at one time or another and there is a wealth of knowledge readily available.

  2. I'm watching it, but that is because of it's comedic value. I'm pretty sure one of the requirements to be on the show is to be a chain smoker. I can't imagine any of them having a decent palate with the amount of taste-buds they keep slaughtered daily. What does make me curious is the amount they must have to pay celebrity chef guests.

  3. Thanks to everyone for all the responses. These are exactly the answers I was looking for! :) I'm twenty minutes outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We have a local college called Atlanta institute of arts, and they have a culinary arts program (at a fraction of the cost of culinary arts school). I will definitely look into a smaller scale culinary program just to get some roots, and work off that knowledge. I'm excited to start shopping around for these books as well though. Pepin seems to be highly recommended as well as modernist cuisine.

    Thanks again for all the input :) I cooked sirloin steaks for the first time on my new weber charcoal grill last night (also my first time cooking on charcoal), and pattied and seasoned my own burgers from ground chuck. Trying lots of new recipes and keeping an open mind for now. Thanks again! :)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Art Institute is too expensive. Chattahoochee Technical College's culinary program is funded by Georgia's Hope Scholarship as a State school and its core classes are accredited and transferable to any four year school. Also CTC has produced some very fine chefs that have done well. Chef James Ellington a CTC Alumni, worked under Sean Brock at McCrady's, he was Charcuterie Chef at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch until he joined Richard Blais's "The Spence".

    You might also consider lining up some Stagaire's in different places to get a feel for it. You can find most chef's in Atlanta on social media, hit them up and be honest about what you want. Your restaurant experience should get you in the backdoor. Another great way to work your way in would be to go apply at Fox Bros. BBQ, those guys know every great chef in town and could line up Stagaires for you.

  4. I believe China Delight is closed now. Does anyone have other suggestions for Dim Sum?

    Do not go to the Happy Valley on Jimmy Carter Blvd in the Oakbrook Shopping Center next to Nam Phuong. It was Gross. It was expensive. I encountered young and old flies buzzing around my food. They did not provide dipping sauces, only soy, mustard, and plum sauces.

  5. My wife scored a copy of "Life, on the line" by Grant Atchaz and Nick Kokonas. I got the book yestrday 2-21-11 and already a 3rd into it the next day and I am enjoying it so far . I'm just to where Atchaz has taken the Chef de Cuisine job at Trio. Atchatz comes across as a little over the top on trying to convey his differentness to other contemporaries. I only know one chef personally that he mentions in his book so far and if all of them are described as "Richard Blais" is then I would say his descriptions of others are pretty accurate as well.

    How I relate to Atchaz's story so far is that in retrospect, it would seem Atchaz made the decisions early in life that I would have made, had this been my story.


  6. As a person working in the industry that did not go to culinary school, I'd say the answer is a definite maybe. The things you learn there may or may not greatly benefit you but having that certificate can definitely open doors. Not having a formal education can be an automatic "no thanks" with some employers. Depending on what doors it opens (or when it opens them), it could be a valuable piece of paper.

    The no thanks is what I am seeing. In this economy, employers can be picky. I see little option myself being unemployed as my old job is not coming back. Might as well go to school as a second degree and get the paper. I can't get more than a cursory glance otherwise.

    If you are going to go to culinary school, go to the CIA or the FCIA, Ruhlman's posting of the excerpt from Boardain's new book "Medium Raw" Has convinced me of that. After spending a year and a half in the trenches, I can say for certain it DOES make a difference. Yea, I walked into Flip and got a entry prep/dishwasher job and quickly worked it to a station on the line and then all the stations. Time however isn't on our side. You like me, because we are old dogs, do not have the time to spend the next 10 years it takes to get there without that Diploma. The whole time I worked in the kitchen, I watched Arts Institute students come and go, but the CIA grad that showed up is on the fast track and I'm not, or wasn't and neither were the local food schoold kids. (Life caught up to me and I had to go back to earning better money. So the kitchen job is sidelined, even though both Flips in ATL want me to work more. I would have stayed if someone would have made me an offer. I would probably have gotten that offer with the piece of paper.)

  7. Last year I decided to get back in the industry. Dave Scantland informed me of an entry level opening (prep/dish) at a new restaurant by a relatively new to celebritism chef. I dove feet first into it as I staged and was accepted for a part time position(cook's wages won't pay my mortgage). My first week there I could hear the chef yelling at the fry station all night. It was a nightly thing. The second week, I came in on a saturday afternoon to find both sous chefs working the fry station. I was immediately put on the backup position and quickly told how to make all the items. An hour later someone else showed up and I was moved to the lead position and successfully worked the station rest of the day. Suddenly I'm on the schedule for fry. The next saturday however, I got weeded so bad I was kicked off the station. A year later and I can pretty much do anything in the kitchen required of me.

  8. Update for me...

    I never made it to culinary school, but then I went through the USMC culinary school way back. I saw no need to be taught the basics again.

    I did however do what I said I could not see myself do, I walked into the kitchen of a restaurant that a celebrity chef was opening and took a entry level position. I haven't been able to commit more thsn 25-30 hours a week because I still work the "angry 8" to pay the mortgage and feed my 4 month old new born. But after a year of busting my ass I now work 3 different stations on the line on 3 different days. Its hard work and low pay but to me its Zen. I work with and learn from some of the best chefs in my city, even if they all are half my age.

    Anyways, I just finished 11 hours straight on my feet and am off to bed, I have to get up and get my kid ready for daycare so I can go do the angry 8 job.

  9. Initially you started this post by discussing what would usher in the end of "Progressive" Cuisine. In america we are finding ourselves being hamstrung when using "Progressive" techniques. It started in NYC as you are most likely well aware of, you need a HACCP (hazard analasys critical control point) plan to use these techniques now. Restaurants aross the country are being told to cease and desist until they submit a HACCP plan. I do not wish to go into great detail with where I work but suffice it to say that the Dewar, Vaccum Chamber, and Circulators have been shelved until we pay out the nose for something that should be standardized by now and included in the USDA guidelines as opposed to each restaurant replicating the same research at their expense. I believe this is what will quell the on rush of the modernized kitchen more than anything else. Hopefully it will change or diners will be forced to go to the now elite kitchens that are able to successfully pass an unnesscessary litmus test.

  10. I've finally watched the first two episodes. It seems that this version has taken more elements of top chef into the contest. I'm finding it hard to describe what it is that makes me not like it. I found it to not be very compelling. Perhaps its the quickfire or whatever they are calling it, where the judges judge themselves. It reminds of why there is no pirate king in pirates of the carribean (they all vote for themselves!) But also for me I think it's the hokey chairman bit. Also , I seem to continue to compare the show to Top Chef. I will of course watch the whole season. I sat through all of the Chopping block.

    On a molecular side note, I did see a sous vide bath in the background and it appears as if chef Mehta chose to use LN2 to make his sorbet the second time. Top chef now has all this as standard appliances as well. So when can we drop the "molecular" and just call it Gastronomy?

  11. Typically we salt the grits and add lots of butter while cooking. Everything after is a condiment. Cheese, Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Shrimps, Sugar, Maple Syrup, all compliment grits nicely. Grits in general are a great canvas on which to paint your masterpiece. Follow kim's advise and get yourself some real old fashioned stone milled grits. Season with salt, add lots of butter, and slowly simmer while stirring often. Then I suggest trying different toppings to see what you like on your grits.

  12. My current kitchen seems pretty neat and tidy over all, so I can't understand why the robot coupe, cuisinart, and vitamix are all exempt from being cleaned.  The splatters of basil oil and beet puree all over the equipment are starting to bug me.  How hard is it to take a towel and 30 seconds and wipe the thing off?

    I get ticked off over the slicer; it seems no one ever cleans it when they're done with it. Ditto for the wall mounted dicer- every time I close it has tomatoes all over it. Gross.

    How about resetting the slicer to zero....

  13. Not sure if its a pet peeve, but after having service run 30-45 minutes because there is a line at the door, then 10 or so front of house employee tickets showing up on the board really irks me. By that time I have everything I don't absolutely need already pulled off and put in the dish sink. Food put away, etc...

    AHHHH EAT YOUR YOUR MEAL WHEN ITS SLOW, like when you are chatting it up in the back.

    After close, I just want to break it down, clean it up and go home and stare at the floor/wall with a beer in my hand and let my brain downshift.

  14. It is making more sense now.

    Looks like he brought it home in an ISI Siphon or the like (sealed). He then proceeded to try to open said (pressurized) siphon with a screwdriver in the bathroom (why) of his girlfriend's apartment. I'm guessing he had the siphon between his knees at the time since the explosion blew a chunk out of one of his calves and also did significant damage to his naughty bits. Talk about adding insult to injury the local police also will be pressing charges against him.

    If not a darwin award winner certainly a runner up.

    ...Währenddessen wurden neue Details zum Hergang des Unglücks bekannt... Martin E. soll sie in einem Sahnesiphon – einem druckfest verschließbaren Gefäß – in die Wohnung seiner Freundin gebracht haben, für einen solchen Transport ist der Siphon ungeeignet.

    Im Badezimmer habe der Koch dann versucht, den Stickstoff umzufüllen, das Gefäß stand wahrscheinlich bereits unter hohem Druck. „Offenbar hatte er versucht, den verschlossenen Siphon mit einem Schraubenzieher aufzuhebeln“, so Laurisch. Dabei kam es zur Detonation, das Badezimmer brannte völlig aus. Gegen den Koch werde nun strafrechtlich ermittelt, sagte Laurisch. „Wenn die körperlichen Schäden über das hinausgehen, was er angerichtet hat, werden solche Verfahren aber gemeinhin eingestellt.“

    full article

    More on the extent of his injuries

    Full Article Translated (Thanks to Babelfish.yahoo)

    English Translated Page-Injuries (thanks to babelfish.yahoo)

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