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Chef/Writer Spencer

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Everything posted by Chef/Writer Spencer

  1. Paul Prudhomme in my opinion makes the best tasso out there. You can probably figure out how to order it through the web...
  2. Exactly. In a nut shell too. Thanks.
  3. Well I think you're kind of missing my point. I'm not saying chefs are bringing forth this great untapped interest in food to light at all. My point, as convoluted as it reads in my posts, quite simply is that, prove me wrong, food is a lot more POP CULTURE today than it was in say 1975--when all fish was cooked on pie plates with clarified butter and served with lemon wedges and oh, the ever so useless purple kale and paprika dust. The advent of the food network, the rise and popularity of the chef as a pop culture icon, and technology and its various forms are the reasons. And I for one dig that to no end. It's a great time to be a chef--well, not in this economy but that will change sooner or later. I feel like if I continue on the path I'm on maybe I'll be doing a QandA on this site. Back in the day chefs were very rarely thought of as icons--that is if patrons even knew their names. They were over worked, underpaid and misrepresented. Because of all of these new factors that has, for the most part, changed.. Housewives are making risotto, television depicts highly successful people preparing contemporary food stuffs, and more than ever--maybe to the detriment of some employers--young impressionable derelicts are finding their meanderings ending behind the swinging double doors instead of out in the mean streets of America. So, in conclusion, I say bring on the sell-outs--as long as they still use their love of food to make their money. And if I don't like these guys for putting out frozen entrees and posing for blender ads naked then that's my problem. Food, my friend, the search for flavor and perfection and the satisfaction that those things bring are worth the mass-marketing Britney Spears with a meat cleaver BS that we unsung culinary professionals moan about so vehemently in these forums....
  4. Well unfortunately, like music, culinary trends progress. But, unlike some of my contemporaries, and running contrary to my own posts, I think the mass marketing of "Food" is beneficial to the soul of the industry. Yeah, I hate Wolfgang Puck, his cookware, his library of books, his stilted gesturing on the show and all of that phony stuff but he's causing folks that might not want to make a demi-glace for fear of getting in over their heads stand up and take notice. The mass marketing of food, did it not, bring us to the forum we're using right this moment--eGullet.com. It's a .com enterprise conceived out of a love of food, a passion, a collective yearning to provide a platform for professionals and novices alike and yes, some kind of nod to the almighty dollar (ie. shirts, caps etc.) Where else can you communicate with the guys making headlines, Bourdain, Achatz, Meyer (I think they should call his restaurant Blow Smoke). But the guys who conceived of this website should be commended. Bobby Flay--I'll forgo my card carrying personal disdain for the guy--should be commended. If it's about food and trying to spread the word let's allow all of these machinations come to their logical fruitions. Gordon Elliot will get what's coming to him. We don't need to fret about the state of food people........
  5. I think it's time to let this thread die. What do you say compadres.....
  6. Thanks Bri. I wanted to give Portale a shot. I don't mind the erector set thing if there's some flavor there. It's a shame that some chefs hold garnishing in higher regard than creating a well-conceived melding of flavor and hommage. There's a special place for chefs who use lettuce and wonton papers to finish plates--it's called the early nineties. I'm gonna give it shot Bri. Thanks....
  7. Thanks ML, I don't know what I was thinkin'.
  8. I'm about to embark on a culinary pilgrimmage to NYC. I've got my iterary pretty much set in stone but I''m still wondering whether it's worth it or not to hit Gotham. Can some one fill me in. I need to know whether or not his food has substance or is it just architecture. Gracias....
  9. Man, this guy's smart as shit. Wish us chefs were. .....
  10. Did she ever get "rodgered" in the E-type? Good question....I'd say by the stick up Blackstoke's you know what that he was deficient in the "Rodgering" area. She was probably plucking the butchy Sous Chef if you ask me. I think she levitated precariously close to bisexuality. Something aint right there....But that aside, I say we petition to get that show back on air..., replacing 30 Minute Meals or at least one of Emeril's. I'll organize the effort....
  11. Thanks for that. She was definitely a little on the selfish side but being the wife of a chef is a marathon of missed dinner dates, forgotten anniversaries and bad blood...Well, not always but being the significant other to a chef is tough. I actually felt for his wife, snooty little vixen.....Appreciate it....
  12. Does anyone know if I can get the show CHEF! on videotape. That show was the inspiration behind many a prolonged rant--at the unfortunate expense of my commis and waitstaff. I think in reality I took it a little too far but damn, that was a good show. I'd love to get the whole collection on tape and relieve it all. "....Serious profession...."
  13. I've found even working with highly respected chefs that I get jaded to their cuisine after a while. It's a natural thing I think for creative suboordinates to go through. I'm just having a hard time imagining feeling the same way at TFL. I think I'd probably feel like the luckiest guy around everyday, even if I was laboriously chinoising stocks 24-7. I was in that kitchen this past Dec, posing with Thomas and my girlfriend and there was an electricity in the air that was palpably exciting. The next day we looked into the kitchen through the fence outside and dreamt of being commis. Thanks for your response. One day you'll be The Man....Good Luck...
  14. Let's bribe Boudain into spearheading a show called "Real Kitchens, Real Lives." I think the thing would reach No. in a matter of weeks. I mean do people really believe that Tyler Florence ain't gunning for the cute housewives he teaches. We need a revolution. Uh, sorry again. I'm frothing at the mouth...Peace.
  15. I don't think most chefs hate celebrity chefs. I think we hate what they have to mutate into to become a little more "viewer friendly." I mean I bet Emeril's a fun guy to work for and all, but the pro-wrestling posturing, and "barking seal" mentality of his audience is so foreign to the life we know that our immediate response is to belittle the guy. Watch his first show, the one he did back in the late nineties. It was watchable, if not a little painful to view because he was so awkward in front of a camera. We (chefs) could at least relate, put ourselves in his shoes and appreciate that he was trying to get the word out on food. But now he's had to get a funk band, and wear silly themed get-ups to set himself apart. I mean he looks like he's having a good time and all but shit...that ain't what it's all about I don't think. And the Pastel Goody Goody shows like BEST OF with Jill Cordes and Mark Silverstein and, oh please lord keep me from being booted off this website, 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray are annoying at best and offensive at worst to those professionals that pour their hearts and souls into their food and hold a high amount of contempt for pre-washed and cut lettuce zombies that gravitate towards her show. Don't the housewives already have their own networks? I think I can speak for a lot of chefs, however, when I say that Mario Batali is a godsend. His passion for ingredients, his ultimate respect for Italy, his intellectualizations of food concepts really draws us in and give us something to ponder when we're knee deep in dupes. Yeah, sometimes he totally butchers the English language but give him a break, he's a chef. And his approval rating is bolstered (sorry, bad restaurant reviewer term) even furthur by his apparent ignorance of Food Network decorum. Doesn't he realize that he looks silly in cheap Army Navy shorts, bright orange Birkies and loud turquoise woolies, one might wonder. Yes, I think. I think it's his brilliant wink to the tight-asses in the boardroom who devoutly believe that the more pastel and frosted glass you have on your set the better the show will score in the Neilsons. And I think it's a lot more comfortable than the get ups that most of the guys on that network sport. I'd love to see Torres dressed up like that, instead of wearing that gut sucking sportwear he dons. Sara Molton is fabulous...an anomoly. She's all about housewife but in the know at the same time. She has great guest chefs on her show and, Godbless that woman, tries to prepare multicourse meals while talking joyously to callers who have no idea what kind of coordination it takes to perform under that kind of stress. I know more than one chef that'd be losing his (Bobby Flay) cool under that kind of pressure. Last week I thought she was going to fall apart before our eyes but she pulled it together and finished the show early. And in some of our cases we're just plain jealous of Food Network personalities. There are some of us that feel worthy of our owns shows but know deep down inside that the country isn't ready for brooding, foulmouthed geniuses quite yet. If they'd do a reality show in a professional kitchen I'm sure you'd see your heroes badmouthing customers and co-workers alike. It may not be PC but it is the reality. Every chef, cook, waiter, busboy, etc. shit talks customers. "A-1 with my hangersteak dish? Oh man, f... that sorry fool. Next time they come in I'm gonna give them a sauce they can really sink their teeth into." We want to see the reality on the tube but all we get is polished PC crud. We're a brutish group afterall. We'll settle for a few good burnt limbs and call it even.
  16. Everyone wants to ask you, I'm sure, if you have any good "war" stories about working with Thomas Keller. If there's cult figure in professional cooking out there today Thomas would have to be it. Do you have any insider trucs or funny stories to relay to us rabid chefs and cooks? Were you just totally blown away with the guys talent and abilities on a daily basis or did you become so one with his philosophies that you almost took working there for granted (not that I think that's possible). All of us imagine what it'd be like. Maybe you could shed some light? Thanks man.
  17. "Curses like a dream" what kind of analogy is that? I don't how I'd take that one. Maybe curses "well" with "aplomb", maybe curses "eloquently" or how about, "The curses roll of his tongue like the smooth purr of a 67 Mustang eight barrell." Sorry, I'm rambling again. Perhaps I should have said creatively curses? Don't they bleep that kinda stuff out anyways?
  18. "Curses like a dream" what kind of analogy is that? I don't how I'd take that one. Maybe curses "well" with "aplomb", maybe curses "eloquently" or how about, "The curses roll of his tongue like the smooth purr of a 67 Mustang eight barrell." Sorry, I'm rambling again.
  19. The show was great, it was fun watching the people 'kick' and 'punch' you because you pick on Emeril. I hope you have a ball doing these shows, you can't please all the people all the time. One request. PLEASE film an episode at El Bulli!!! El Bulli may prove to be painful for Tony to highlight given his adoration for the guy and Adria's apparent desire to create food that only dweebo lab coat, Transylvannia castle dwelling freaks could fathom. I hear Adria's going through the motions, maybe a false lead. But it'll be interesting to read Bourdain's facial intonations when he let's raw cuttlefish fettucine with cuttlefish ink "cocktail" and parmesan ice cream sandwiches slide down his gullet. I'd love to see the guy rock out tight with some classic Catalan fare but I think we're all in for the erector set on quaaludes bit. Get Adria into a Crazy Bob bit and I'll buy stock, good or bad....
  20. Yeah, that'd be too Bourdain. How does it feel to have your last name used as an adjective. That's got be the feeling of arrival........
  21. Well shit Tony, you win some, you lose some. The Crazy Bob "skit" was utterly enjoyable. He reminded me of a former employee, Tim, the drunken lout who liked to pour two cups of canola in a smoking skillet, drop the fish in-making sure to burn his finger tips-- and do the cool chef flip thing--pulling layers of skin off while lighting up the rest of the stove eyes like the oil rigs of Kuwait. He didn't even flinch, pickled creepo. Classic stuff man. Don't mind my cynical jabs anyways. You know I'm a jealous fuck. While you're out there touring the world gratis, meeting everybody who's anybody, I'm here negotiating the price of chicken tenders with a Sysco rep. I want the 25.00 dollar model please. The 23.00 ones have too much carrageenans....We're still digging it man.
  22. I'm usually the first one to jump on the Bourdain bandwagon but the scripted stuff doesn't seem in keeping with his abhorrance of the goofy stuff on Food Network. And when he was in that police station begging for a bone with, "I'm a famous Food Network Personality, you know, No Fish On Monday..." I couldn't help but harken back to the first few chapters of KC and feel embarassed for him. But in the end I guess Tony's right, selling your ass out to the Food Network is better than knocking out Eggs Sardou at Brunch. You gotta do what gotta do. Tony, do me a favor though, when they ask you to don a tutu and shake your rumpa with the Emeril automatons smack em across the noggin with that Evan Williams bottle and get it on film. Can't wait for the El Bulli show......Cooks rule.....
  23. Went to Bistro Jeanty--and it was pretty darned good--save from the monkfish in Bouillabaise broth. Apparently they don't store the fish with as great a care as Thomas Keller. It was a nice bistro type dinner though. Phillipe was on the phone outside the restaurant on a bench arguing with his significant other. Made for a colorful moment. I almost asked for his autograph but said F it. Hit French Laundry...best meal ever. It's hyped to the nines but the guy performs. He looked like death when he made it to our table at 115am. Do try and make it there but save your cash for a couple of years...
  24. What's wrong with Keller wanting to better the LV cuisine scene? Like he wants to do in NY? I'd admire him for trying. And that fact he helps is brother is really a family issue. Blood is blood, right? I wouldn't fault him for that either. I for one can't wait to get out to LV and partake of all the food, sites, girls, and gambling. I dont think any of these big names are really trying to better the scene. If Keller's going there I think he's seeing green. It'd be nice to think that these guys are trying to make the world a better place to eat but when it's vegas it means only one thing---cash money... Keller's my idol, if that word can best describe it, but the thought of eating his food as I watch lost souls losing their ass is troubling. Let's watch this one progress my friends. I'm betting the slag he gets will make him think twice. As for nepitism...I agree with you.
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