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Everything posted by AaronM

  1. What'll set us apart from any other restaurant is creativity. I find eating out anywhere without a large price tag to be fairly boring - not because of the price, but because it seems to me that no one's doing anything interesting with food at a lower price point. Especially in my area. There's quite literally one restaurant in Greenville that even uses something as basic as sous vide. I'm talking about a restaurant actively engaged in breaking new ground in the food world. We'll be alone in our market with the concept. My cooks will have 30 minutes at the beginning of their day to work on dishes - once a week, on a rotating basis, a cook will have to present a dish to the rest of the staff. Our plating and flavors will be constantly evolving. We can never repeat a dish once it's gone from the menu. If you're not actively creating and honing your craft, you do not belong in this kitchen. This relates to the cooks-as-servers idea as well. If the person serving you your food cooked it (possibly created it!) they would be more likely to produce better product - and be more interested in the guest's enjoyment. My target market is anyone legitimately interested in food. This restaurant will certainly not be for everyone, but would welcome all. You won't have to put on a jacket, or pretend to have a knowledge of wine to have a great meal here. If a group doesn't want to commit to the menu and concept of the restaurant, then they shouldn't come that day. This is the thing we do. If you just want to grab a quick bite after work, there are plenty of places that can do that for you - we're different. The business plan is written with the idea of filling each table once a night. We can handle much more, but I want to aim low for covering costs. I appreciate your support - and it's good for me to have to defend my ideas. If I can't defend the reason for something, then I should reconsider it.
  2. Anything I have to put much effort into. I cook professionally every other day of the week. My day off, I want someone else to take care of it.
  3. In other news regarding this: I served a cheese plate (manchego, romano, speck, dried cherries, olive oil and grilled bread) to someone the other day at my current thing. We got to talking after I came back to check on him and he said he thought I was really talented. Turns out he's super rich and was throwing this big party where they're cooking a whole flayed cow over fire, he said all the chefs from the nice places around here were coming and he wanted to introduce me to them. We talked about this concept I have and he said we should put in a specific chef's hand, and that he could help me do that. The next night one of the GMs from a place here called High Cotton came by. I gave her a couple off menu things that she adored and was super supportive of the concept, told me she'd help me get a proposal together whenever I'm ready. Good things happening.
  4. I participated in the "Customer is Not Always Right" thread we had here - my thoughts on it are in there. In a nutshell: I believe the customer is not always right and that their every whim should not be catered to, but within reason we should accommodate someone if possible.
  5. A peanut butter sandwich? My parents were terrible cooks.
  6. I've got loads of cookbooks, but I almost never use them for actual cooking. I really buy them as inspiration/learning tools.
  7. I think you guys are overinvested in an offhand comment I made. I don't think I'm super amazing, and I don't tolerate rudeness (from the staff, or the customers). Having some swagger doesn't mean treating people poorly.
  8. I don't think it really matters - they're pretty different shows.
  9. What I mean by the "punk rock attitude" is that they do their thing and don't really care what anyone has to say about it.
  10. I've got the food cost pegged at 28%.
  11. What if one is not "ordinary?" That said, I'm all for the concept. In Philadelphia it is hard to escape a gastropub's app, dinner and entree for less than $40. $40 for state of the art cuisine should have lines out the door. I agree that $100 for a class is on the high side, especially since five courses go for $40. Well, by "ordinary" I mean "Not Rich". It was just a tag line to the thread, not a statement of purpose. The idea behind the classes and their cost is that the restaurant will be shut down for the evening to accommodate the class, everyone will get their own ingredients to prepare, and receive personal time with the chef - and we need to pay ourselves for our time. And some of the techniques would be rather eye opening to some people - like quasi-sous-vide with plastic wrap, a candy thermometer, a pot of water, and some ice cubes. How to make cool stuff with dry ice. Dehydrating. Everything that goes into each dish will have a method to prepare it at home for the students. But we're not just teaching them how to make that one thing, we're helping them develop actual skills they can use on their own. I think $100 for what would amount to around a 3 hour class is pretty reasonable. And there'll be booze.
  12. I'm not tired of the flavor of bacon - I'm tired of the marketing of bacon.
  13. Northwest South Carolina. About an hour and a half south of Asheville North Carolina.
  14. I just read everything on the schwa site - very inspirational. It's extremely similar in concept, but at a higher price point. Even the no-wait-staff no-wine thing is something I've been discussing with my would be sous. Also, the punk rock attitude of the staff. I grew up as a skate punk metal head and fell into cooking when I was 14. This is very embryonic at this point - I've got about 1/4 of the business plan written and the basic start up cost done; but there's no chance this'll open inside of a year. Living in Greenville (a culinary wasteland) it's fantastic to learn there are others who feel the same way I do. I've tried to search the internet for these type of places, but never found anything. This forum has been a blessing in that sense. Thanks for the feedback so far.
  15. I'd never heard of a tasting menu that low in price. But I live in Greenville, SC. That's excellent though - I'll have to see what they do!
  16. Knife skills would definitely be a rotating class we'd have to keep in there on occasion to accommodate new people taking some of the more advanced classes, but I would certainly do my best to keep it open to people of all skill levels. The classes would be divided into groups of 5, with myself and my sous moving back and forth to make sure everyone gets personal attention at all points.
  17. The following passage is an excerpt from a business plan I'm writing for a new restaurant. It calls into question the seeming necessity of luxury in modern food; and the cost associated with having an exceptional meal. In my opinion this type of establishment is long overdue. We need to take interesting, amazing food out of the hands of the few and into the hands of the many. ---------------- Our restaurant will be like no other restaurant in the world. The entirety of modern cuisine is a prohibitively expensive, often stuffy, affair. We aim to change that by bringing xxxxxx a restaurant that serves modern food, with cutting edge techniques, in an ever evolving 5-course tasting menu for $40 dollars per person. The goal of any business is to make money, but more than that we aim to change the perception of what can be done with food. The majority of the public has never had the experience of a progressive tasting menu, and we plan to show that this is not only the best way to experience food, but that it can be done in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. We reject the assertion that high quality food must also be expensive food. Truffles are not necessary to have an exceptional dinner. Sirloin can take the place of Wagyu. We hold ourselves to the same standards of excellence as the top restaurants in the world - yet serve food at 1/3 the price. Exceptional cuisine should not cost a week's pay. One need not be surrounded by gilded cognoscenti to have the best meal of your life. We plan on furthering our commitment to showing that this food is not only delicious, but attainable, by offering cooking classes 1 night a week in our kitchen. Every week we will choose a dish prepared in our restaurant and teach a group of 10 how to make that dish in their homes - without commercial equipment - for $100 per person. ----------------- I'm very interested in feedback on this concept.
  18. Clearly Oedipal in nature. /Freud joke.
  19. This is like Ortolan - it's just kinda wrong.
  20. I've had the svs for about a year now and think it's excellent. I use it at caterings all the time. Even did about 50 63* eggs at once one time. Worked great.
  21. I have a certain schadenfreude complex regarding this show. I also play a game with my wife where I have to come up with a plan before any contestants.
  22. Finally got the infamous delay email. April 25 - May 13th.
  23. The book "Pintxos" is a decent overview of things. Sorry, don't have it handy for the author.
  24. "We reserve the right to refuse service to any customer, at any time, for any reason."
  25. I didn't know this product existed until I saw it in the Noma book last year in loads of recipes. It's vinegar made from apples in the balsamic style - aged in barrels. Anyone have experience with different brands? I was gonna buy a bottle or 2 to try out; but it seems there are a bunch of poor quality ones out there.
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