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Everything posted by phan1

  1. Well, I have a sushi restaurant in Texas. And I was wondering what purveyors that great sushi restaurants would use on the West Coast, as I'd like to have more options. I've worked in some great sushi places on the East Coast and am pretty picky. But now that I'm in Texas, my best options for great fish are on the West Coast where I never worked and am unfamiliar with. Right now I'm using International Marine Product, and they're great but I feel like there's gotta be more out there. Who do the great restaurants like Urasawa or Mori or Yamakase use? True World is another good one, but they keep defering me to True World Dallas, where the fish is not as good to be frank. Where else do people get their fish on the West Coast?
  2. I am going to be visiting NY solo and have a sushi bar reservation at 5:00 on Thurs, July 10th. Sushi bar reservations are made only in pairs, so I need a date! If you're interested, shoot me a PM and we can go from there. Thanks, Phan1 Click here for the terms under which this event is listed in eG Forums.
  3. phan1

    Sysco Food

    I live in Austin and I have to say Sysco is AWSOME. Sometimes they come in and personnally take our order and ask us directly what we need. Kitchen spoons, strainers, new wagyu options, whatever. They're great to work with and take good care of us. And the quality of their food is not "crap", they're just as good as what you'd get at your local HEB. I've never worked in a 4star restaurant, but I don't think they use organic everything either. That aside, we are a pretty big ~100 seat restaurant that serves ho-hum food. So make your own judgements based on that.
  4. That sounds awsome guys. Thanks. I'll try making an agar agar ganache. Probably add some half&half to keep it creamy. I just don't want it to end up tasting like a brittle gel, as I'm not a big fan of that mouthfeel.
  5. Hi, I'm brainstorming for a dessert and I want a chocolate component that's solid on a plate but is served HOT. I'm not having too many ideas at the moment, and so far I've got: 1) Cake/fudge/brownie/cookie 2) Gel And keep in mind I'm still looking for something that can be made to order 1n 7 minutes, something that you can put in the microwave/oven. Unfortunately, agar is really the only food chemical I have in my arsenal right now. I can make a hot gel with it, but it's simply not going to be as delicious as a piece of fudge, which is my most likely route. What I REALLY want is a chocolate mousse that can be served HOT! But I don't have a recipe or chemicals like methocel to do it. I'm not even sure if it's possible to to make an airy chocolate mousse that can be served hot...
  6. Thanks for the advice guys. Yeah, I think my problem was grating the ginger instead of simply slicing it and letting it steep. The grated ginger likely made everything too harsh, similar to grating garlic.
  7. Hi, I don't have much luck making ginger-flavored desserts. It never comes out right. What I usually do is simply grate fresh ginger into my custard, whipped cream, simple syrup or whatever. It seems like the logical approach to make ginger flavored desserts. The problem I have is that the flavor is too pungent and astringent. It hits your nose like hot mustard. I've tried boiling the ginger to mellow it out, but it doesn't work. It's till too astringent. The only thing I've been able to do is dissolve pre-made ginger candy into my desserts, which I'd rather not do. Maybe the ginger I'm using is too pungent? What am I not doing? It'd be nice to use fresh ginger, bBut now that I think about it, is fresh ginger ever used in desserts? I know most people use powders or candies, and that looks like that's the route I'm going to have to take...
  8. OK, the basic custard recipe, no matter the ratio, isn't very difficult. But I do have one problem... Lots of recipes tell you to beat the egg yolks and sugar so that they're lighter in color and form ribbons. Then, you can add your milk and cook it until you get your napee consistency. The problem I have with this is that my custard gets very foamy since I beat the yolks and sugar together before adding in the milk. The incorporated air from beating the yolks and sugar will make my custard very foamy at the top, which messes up the consistency of the sauce. Well, the obvious solution is just to not beat the eggs and sugar together of course! Just add the yolks and sugar directly to the milk and heat it up! But it just bugged me that this step is so prevalent in recipes, and I was wondering if other people have had success doing it this way. Maybe I'm not beating my yolks and sugar far enough? Maybe this step found it's way into creme anglaise recipes because beating yolks and sugar is such a common technique for cakes and pastries?
  9. Hi, I'd just like to have some recommendations on sushi books. I'm not looking for a cookbook. I'm more interested in the technique and culture of sushi. Why does a Japanese sushi apprentice do nothing but wash rice for 3 years? What makes good sushi rice? Is it supposed to be warm or room temperature? This is the stuff I would like to know. Thanks!
  10. Are you a sushi line cook much less a sushi line cook? Sorry, but when the guys around me are slammed during a lunch rush, I better make myself really useful or else I'm not going to be able to be there for very long. There is a balance between perfection and getting things DONE. Good sushi is all about your mise anyway. With good mise, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between sushi made by Morimoto or Pablo. And for the record, Pablo's a total badass who's been doing it for years.
  11. Awsome, thanks for the informative post! Can I ask you how long it took you until you could keep up with the rest of the sushi line cooks? I'm actually doing sushi training right now and I have to say it's F'n hard! I can do it, but I'm too slow. Just spreading rice on the seaweed for Maki will take me 20 seconds if I'm lucky. It takes "Pablo" about 6 seconds to do that. I've only been at it for about 5 days, but I'm already impatient and wondering when the heck I'll be able to do it as good as Pablo.
  12. I think that's what I need to do! Elevating the parts make a big difference, yeah? I've skipped that part and was a bit dismayed over my lack of fond when I put my chicken parts straight in the pan. Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Demi is great and all but for me, but nothing beats the quality of a classic pan-sauce.
  13. I was wondering how you build a pan-sauce quallity sauce without the pan. Let me explain. Lots of people are cooking their proteins Sous Vide these days (like a boneless chicken breast). That means you don't get to sear something in a pan to get the fond so that you can build your pan sauce. So how would a professional restaurant (like French Laundry) build a pan-sauce quality sauce that goes with a SV chicken breast? The thing is (from my limited experience), you NEED FOND. Reduced chicken stock just doesn't cut it. You really need that fond on the bottom of the pan to get that caramelized-tasting goodness in the sauce. So how do they get fond? Do you just fry up chicken scraps to get the fond in the pan? I've tried roasting bones (maybe I'm doing it wrong?), but the bones don't create enough fond the way pan searing a piece of meat does. Can someone help me through the process of making a pan-sauce quality sauce without searing your main protein?
  14. Oh no no no no. I WANT it to be hard. REAL hard. That means I get to learn a better skillset! It's just that I'm curious about weather or it's as hard as people make it seem. We've all heard stories about Japanese sushi chefs having to go through rigorous training to become sushi chefs. It's just that I'm curious about weather or not it's really that hard or if it's all just a part of the lore of the sushi chef. I mean, is Pablo the sushi linecook really doing the same thing that a master sushi chef is doing? I know Pablo can cook a perfect medium-rare steak just as well as Thomas Keller. Can he make standard maki and nigiri just as well as Morimoto?
  15. Like the topic says, I love sushi and want to get into sushi, but I'm having some issues since I feel like I'm at a cross-roads right now, and I'm looking for advice. One of the most important things for me is developing skills that won't get me replaced by the dishwasher. That's why sushi really appeals to me. So how difficult is sushi, really? It's hard to tell whether or not it's just Japanese pretentious BS or if it's truly difficult, and I know sushi standards vary from place to place. I worked for a bit at Roy's and they wouldn't even let me touch the sushi station. The guy running the station even proclaimed it as not being a "line cook position". But I've staged at a place where the sushi line cook used rubber gloves since it was easier to keep the rice from sticking to his hands and he mashed the rice down on the seaweed paper pretty hard. I asked if sushi rice was difficult to make (which I know it is) and the answer was a straightfoward "no". I obviously never came back after staging that day. But I've even asked another sushi chef at a reputable place and asked them if it was difficult and they gave me a straightfoward "no". Let's be honest here; I ain't going to work at Masa in NY anytime soon. I'm just looking to get into a quality kitchen and serve quality sushi. None of this "wearing rubber gloves BS". But I'm not going to be filleting fresh fish for sushi either; likely just using pre-filleted, quality, frozen fish. I haven't been in the restaurant business for long, but I do know how things are done to a certain extent. But getting important culinary skill sets is really the most important thing, particularly since I didn't go to culinary school and I've only been cooking for 1 full year. But I'm already getting very impatient and my next decision will be an important one, cause that's what I see myself doing for the next couple years. I'm a bit torn in 2 directions: 1) going into sushi or 2) simply trying to get into the best kitchen I can get into period (likely French/American). The problem is that the two seem worlds apart, and I'm having trouble deciding what path to choose. I'm leaning toward sushi cause that's what I personnally enjoy eating but I also don't want to end up being seen as a 1-trick pony since sushi seems like such a "niche" job. Advice?
  16. VERY cool! Thanks for all the hard work. I'll definitely be looking at this for future reference.
  17. Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse, Pappa's Seafood, Pappadeaux's. These places all have amazing bread! It's so soft, yeasty, and fluffy, and you can't get them anywhere else! Even your local bakeries or your Whole Foods and Central Market bakeries can't make bread like that. All the breads in the markets and even recipes in books are for rustic-style bread. But I want soft and fluffy bread like in the restaurants! I was wondering how I could replicate any of these at home. To be honest, I highly doubt any of these restaurants have enough room to make the bread from scratch, they probably get them frozen for all I know. I really don't care how they do it; it's so good and I want to learn how to make them from scratch. I know there are some recipes floating around for these breads, but I really don't think any of them are the real deal. But I've been researching and it seems to get soft yeasty bread requires more than the standard ingredients of yeast, flour, eggs, and butter. I've seen online that they use "dough conditioners" and "Vital Wheat Gluten" to achieve that softness. Anyone know about this stuff? Is it unhealthy? I'll gladly put gallons of butter if that's what the recipe calls for, but I don't want to be messing with anything un-natural like trans-fats.
  18. Hi, I was wondering if you could freeze creme brulee and then thaw it without a bunch of liquid seeping out of it. I've read in many places that it can be done, but I'm still a bit suspicious. What I want to do is make a creme brulee filling for a pudding. To do this, I need to freeze it, put it in my pudding, and then thaw it out in the refrigerator. I just don't want the creme brulee to weep out water as it is thawing, as it does when you freeze something like Jello. If someone could explain the science behind it, that'd be really nice. Something about the texture of creme brulee that keeps ice crystals from forming? So no ice crystals, no weeping?
  19. OK, I tried it. How was it? FAIL! I'm thinking that the modern interpretation of a siberian omlette as being ice cream encased in baked meringue is a refinement of the recipe. It was never supposed to be a souffle in the first place.
  20. OK, I'm flipping through Fernand Point's much heralded Ma Gastronomy where I stop at his "Omelette Siberienne" dish and think to myself "NO F'N WAY!". Paraphrasing here: He mixes together egg yolks and sugar until fluffy, and then he folds it into a meringue made from the left over egg whites. He then dumps half the mixture into a pan and bakes it and cools it. He then puts some very cold and hard ice cream on top, and dumps the rest of the mixture in and bakes it. After it has risen, you serve it immediately. Now right here, I'm thinking this pretty much a hot souffle with cold ice cream inside. GENIUS. But I'm also thinking, "does this actually work?". I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of such a recipe. I think I'll attempt it but I'd like input from other people first. I know most "Siberian Omelets" are the same thing as baked alaskas where you have ice cream encrusted in meringue. But this recipe is different and looks like a souffle with ice cream inside...
  21. Hello, I'm trying to figure out where a certain dish came from. I watched Iron Chef's Clark vs Batali where the secret ingredient was Halibut. For Batali's dishes, he made various versions of famous Micheline starred restaurants such as Bocuse's Truffle Soup and Daniel Boulud's Paupiette. But one of them I couldn't recognize: He made a very cool dish where he sauced a halibut dish with 2 types of Beurre Blancs. One of the Beurre Blancs was enriched with hard boiled, finely diced egg whites. The other Beurre Blanc was enriched with the left over hard boiled egg yolks that have been run through a tamis. So you have 2 sauces of the same Beurre Blanc except that one is enriched with egg yolks and the other with egg whites. Can anyone recognize this dish and where it came from? Batali said it was originally Sturgeon, not Halibut. Thanks!
  22. You can see Keller's evolution by comparing his new "Under Pressure" book as well. His new book is very different from his French Laundry cookbook, as his food now looks very modern, almost El Bulli-ish in style and presentation. On an opinionated, critical note about the Alinea book, I HATE the photography in it. I don't want stylish photos with crazy angles and affects in my cookbooks. I want to know what the dish freakin looks like! With these artsy fartsy photos, you can't even tell what the dish really looks like half the time, literally. I've seen photos on blogs that better depict what the actual dish looks like. But other than that major gripe, I love the book.
  23. YES! It was an AWSOME episode. The best culinary thing I've ever seen on TV! I don't know how to get your hands on it, but try try try!
  24. I know there is a perception that this type of ice cream is inferior because it's cheaper and full of air compared to dense, premium ice creams, but I disagree. After a meal, I prefer ice cream that is light, fluffy, and easy to eat, especially for a la mode applications. I want my desserts to feel like it's being perfumed with cold ice cream rather than feeling like it's being enriched by ice cream to an already rich dessert. So here's what I think I can do to make that happen: 1) Find a good ice cream base with no eggs. I'm not going to get something light and airy if I got eggs in it. 2) froth/aerate my ice cream base before churning. I'm wondering if this is possible. I think all I would get would be a bunch of bubbles at the surface rather than a thoroughly aerated mixture. I could perhaps use a siphon to aerate the mixture, but that's just not practical for me. 3) Double-churn the mixture. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do this. I've eaten Breyer's double churned ice cream and thought it was just what I was looking for. Any idea how it's done? 4) I still want a full fat recipe! I've noticed ice cream with little fat content just can't carry any flavor through a la mode applications. The fat really helps the flavor linger in the mouth. Without it, the ice cream flavor just disappears! Can someone give me an ice-cream base recipe to work with or critique my thought process? Any help is appreciated!
  25. I personnally don't like the food or the prices. You'll get a better and cheaper meal at a real chinese place. The westernized style of PF Chang's just doesn't suite me. And it has nothing to do with it being a chain or anything; I happen to like a lot of chains where the turnover is high and the food is kept fresh. I just don't like the food there. But please don't be discouraged from enjoying the food if you really do! Don't let some pretentious nuts that hate restaurant chains to tell you what to like and not like!
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