Jump to content

Renn

participating member
  • Content count

    97
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Renn

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://
  1. Talking strictly about the brick noodles themselves...I tend to prefer those that use potato starch. Back to Nongshim specifically, 2:30 is my personal sweetspot for cooking, and while I know many like to ditch the seasoning packet altogether, if you use it like you would use salt to season a broth, there's a really wonderful complexity hidden within it. At normal use levels, the spice, salt and MSG blow everything to kingdom come. For something different, I'm also a big fan of Indomie Mie Goreng Kereting Spesial...Indonesian Dry Fried Noodles.
  2. One of my favorite ways to use it is to take short rib/chuck/pork shoulder etc, flavor, season (generally little or no liquid) and wrap tightly in parchment. Wrap that whole packet in foil just to keep things neat and in it goes at 325F Covection Bake for 120 min. Let it sit even after the cycle's done until it's cooled. throw the packet in the fridge. Next day, portion/shred and crisp in a frying pan. The jus left in the packet makes great sauce.
  3. Stinky Food

    This (warning, language):
  4. And what has always been Chef Pepin's messaging? Fundamental technique...so of course, that's what he displays when on TV. The only other chef I've seen recently with a focus on fundamental technique (vs. say modernist technique) on TV would be Raymond Blanc. But again, we're talking about the fantasy world of TV...how things are in restaurant kitchens, that's a completely different discussion.
  5. Back to David's original post...I'd say that it's mostly a disconnect between what you want to see in these TV segments, and what the chefs in question are trying to show. You want to see a display of technical skill, but if you sit back and look at these segments for what they are...generally that is not the theme nor intent of them. As a further example: skip to 5:35 If we were to judge Grant by just this one video...you could say that he's a total hack. And beyond chopping at celery like a fruit ninja, you could make other observations...why isn't his mise en place in perfect order? Where's his sense of urgency? etc. etc. But I assure you, Grant has ample technical skill. I'd be willing to bet that a pint of fine brunoise from him would pass muster. The key is the context and the intent. This video is clearly about applying a (then unfamiliar) restaurant cooking technique to the home. 'It's not magic, it just makes sense' that sort of thing. Similarly, while I can't speak to every chef that ends up in the media, I assure you that Rene Redzepi has knife skills...but for the messages he so often focuses on, a technical focus actually hinders communication. People already perceive him as being "above and beyond," whereas he spends most of his time trying to say "what I'm doing isn't beyond reach of anyone." You can always tell in an instant who the strong cooks are when you work with them. And just like the rest of TV...I wouldn't make too many judgements of a person based on what hits the screen.
  6. I also really like the Adria Family Meals book. If you're familiar with El Bulli's cuisine, they've never been afraid to take advantage of ready-made food products. When you have the workload of an El Bulli, you draw the line differently in terms of what you're willing to do from scratch vs. what to purchase ready-made. It's also an additional avenue for their creativity. It's a questioning of an assumption...Of course at home you can draw your own lines of what is acceptable. Even more so than the recipes themselves though, that book is the first I've seen that attempts to adapt haute-cuisine restaurant systems of produce management/staff meal to the home context. And in that aspect, I think it's both underestimated and likely under-utilized....but completely useful at home. PS, the potato-chip tortilla is delicious. My "avoid" cookbook is Aliza Green's "Starting with ingredients" Maybe it's just me, but every time I try to look up something...I can't find it. That, plus it's huge and unwieldy means that I had to get rid of it. This is in stark contrast to all of her field guide books...all of which have been the exact opposite of "Starting with ingredients". Compact, useful, comprehensive.
  7. The Kuhn Rikon Y-peeler is my favorite, even compared to other Y-peelers like Swissmar, and I definitely can no longer use swivel peelers. The key for me is the shorter handle which provides me greater control...necessary when you're peeling baby turnips, radishes and asparagus and still want to keep them nice and round. However, I can see the pros of swivel peelers if you mainly peel large potatoes, carrots and the like and the concern is more of having a confident grip.
  8. Could you use acetate instead of parchment for this purpose? If so, then you could use regular masking tape to secure the bars to the acetate.
  9. Not that I have the answer...because without actually eating it or at least seeing it without the sauce, it's hard to say, but for your next attempts I have some suggestions: sweet potato starch tapioca flour rice flour I'd try them in that order.
  10. Light on the science, but definitely a comprehensive meat cook book is the River Cottage Meat book. If you want to go into specific, but different methods of live fire meat cookery, I'd recommend Francis Mallmann's Seven Fires. As for game, there are many books out there, but one I particularly enjoy is Andrew Pern's Loose Birds and game. If your focus really is on the science of meat cookery/differences in cooking methods, I don't think anything out there is as understandable and in-depth as Moderist Cuisine.
  11. I think you've hit on an important point about people being easy to see through, and I also think that it's one of the biggest challenges for a server....that's sincerity. The repetitive nature of menus, interactions, steps of service and so on make it difficult, but I think striving for sincerity in your interactions will always build a foundation for excellent service. Regardless of how formal or how casual the restaurant, everyone appreciates honest interactions. When the guest sees you as a sincere person, the impact of minor mishaps is dulled, whereas in the opposite situation, it just becomes ammo for them to discount the whole experience.
  12. To get to your original question, there is probably about as much consensus on how a server should conduct themselves as there is consensus on how the kitchen should cook its food.... Your interest in proper service and the desire to learn is a great asset. What you need now, is to find a restaurant whose service you personally admire. If you find the people who serve the way you want to serve...you can learn from them. That's my take on things.
  13. Haven't seen anything published in English...maybe someone would be kind enough to translate "The Ra-men Book for Professional I & II" one day...
  14. To speak to an earlier comment about how disjointed and loose the show is...that's pretty much Chang in a nutshell, so I don't predict that that aspect will go away. Also given the show's zero point zero production, the show's style will likely continue to be a loose connection of segments. I'm guessing that if it were really up to them, there'd be no continuity at all, but because this is for an audience...they'll make some practical concessions. Specifically when talking about Rene...or any other forward thinking chef, the primary challenge will always be how to best communicate what you do. It's a challenge in any format, and especially in TV form since you don't have the luxury of the printed page to talk on and on about the intent and process of your dishes. For the Spain episode, the Arzaks didn't even address their cooking...and Elena was pretty much a non-entity. They just wanted to focus on "he's a cool and legendary guy who loves to eat good food in his amazing home town." Andoni's story was..."he's a wild and exacting guy, but makes even the craziest ideas appear natural to the diner." Simple messages for some rather complex people. And given the time allotted...it worked well. Now we get to Rene...he has a whole episode, more time to focus, talk to Soren, forage, etc. And actually time to cook together...but sometimes allowing for more depth can also make communication an even larger challenge. A perfect example was the "garbage plate." The story is "here are some normally discarded items, thrown together on a plate to make something delicious and fun" and it all seems very casual...he has some "oddball garnishes" and the plate's done. What's not said in the episode is that there is a tremendous amount of work and thought and development behind that dish...and nothing is casual about why things go on that plate, or how it got there. You get a hint of it when they have the segment with Soren and the vintage vegetables, you can imply several of the plants are foraged from the beach. But they don't talk about the fact that the milk skin is a very specific and rather difficult to execute recipe...that the wild thyme oil is a 3 day process that usually takes at least 4 people to make, that the watercress stems are picked just for their stems...even "just warm butter" is anything but. In any case, I mention this because, Rene in the media may seem like a "whimsical genius" but he's probably one of the most methodical, reasoned and sincere chefs I've ever encountered. And the end product is something that is more often than not, uniquely delicious. Plenty of chefs go overbard when it comes to adding complexity to a particular dish, I'd argue that Rene is not one of them....His plates' success often lies in the fact that it has been edited to its bare essence. Things are done out of necessity, not just because "he can." The problem is that he's also a guy of a thousand profound ideas and he wants to share all of them with you...but he can't. He knows he can't...so he has to pick and choose what he says depending on the venue. Sometimes the message gets a little muddled, but I suppose that success is actually just getting people to think differently about their food. "It took 5 hours to gather, 5 minutes to arrange on a plate, and it will take 30 seconds to consume" I think he knows that he can only say so much depending on who he's talking to...and he also knows that to the consumer, it doesn't matter that it took X amount of effort and Y amount of time to make something. All you get are those 30 seconds.
  15. Looking at that picture, I'd suggest slowing down and cutting smaller bundles. Takes more time at first, but with more practice, your consistency will improve.
×