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David Hensley

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    Roanoke, VA

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  1. So, I've recently become the Exec, at a local place. I've no real authority to change the menu, thanks to my owners. I can, and have, tried my best to improve the existing menu, as it stands. I've been met with about a 50/50 split of lovers and haters. The lovers, of course, urge me to keep going in my current direction, which I appreciate. The naysayers, however, are of an old lot, local folks who only discovered the place, because they heard (and discovered) that the food was bland, and unexciting. What should I do? My owners are about 50% sympathetic to them, and its killing me, because I have to work twice as hard, to make both flavorful, and bland food, haha. I'm caught in a position in which I like my owners, but hate my customers, ya know? Perhaps it's the opposite, now that I think of it... I'm literally at a 50/50 point, as far as tableside commentary is concerned. Half love it, half hate it. The ones who love it are youngerish, 30-35, people like me, almost. The older crowd is really becoming a problem, though. Tonight was slow, but we still had about 20 people come in at once, half of them ordered steaks, mid-rare...then sent them back until they were mid-well... Those of us in the business know what I'm talking about, and know that I mean no offense to anyone... How can I, if I can at all, retrain my customers to accept tasty food, instead of pasty food?!!?
  2. David Hensley

    Pickled Shrimp

    Having approached the issue from both the ceviche side, and the blanch and pickle side, I can say that I agree with Katie, in that they're always rubbery, somehow. I've not tried the alkaline method, though, but will soon. Could anyone give me a quick summary thereof?
  3. When I fry potatoes, hillbilly style, with onions and carrots, I make it a point to get them firmly, but gently blackened on one side. A beautiful, perfect golden brown is simply inadequate...they must be clearly black in color, or else they don't taste "right" to me.
  4. Any progress on the products, Rob? I'm drooling, and waiting...lol
  5. Please keep us informed, Rob, as I'm interested in this product, as well. I'm entering the final phase of a new restaurant, and would like to utilize these bags as a part of my menu design. Your experience is trusted, and needed!
  6. I've been there....done that...so to speak. As a natural bully (not that I was, but certainly wanted to be), I've learned the hard way. Being bullied is simply unacceptable, PERIOD. When someone tries to bully me, I solve the problem quickly, quietly, and with a greater show of force. If you threaten and shove me in the kitchen; I punch you in the mouth, then hit you with something heavy. This will usually solve the problem quickly, and efficiently. Being bullied in the kitchen is just like being bullied anywhere else, I think. When you're threatened, respond with quick, quiet, and overwhelming force...leave NO doubt that this behavior is UNacceptable, and WILL be met with consequence... Thats just my opinion, though...I'm a different kind of guy, I suppose...
  7. &droid, I'm glad you bring this up! I've been brining beef for years, and I seem to be the only one, anywhere... For small steaks, I prefer a quick spice rub, and equally quick cooking. For large cuts; Brisket, whole chuck roasts...etc., I almost always give it 24-36hrs. of soak in a heavy brine. I find that over the course of smoking or braising for long periods, the brining helps retain moisture that most people would replace with some kind of sauce. Although I love a good sauce, I sometimes just want beef-flavored beef, ya know? I'm the weirdo who will occasionally just brine and oven roast an entire brisket....to be carved and eaten like a good prime rib....
  8. I have used them, and frankly, I hate them. On the better models, you pay a bit more, for nothing; on the worse models, you pay a bit more, just to get a loose silicone covering which allows food to get inside the coating, and never come out again. The only real advantage I can personally see, is in safely using them inside of non-stick cookware, but even then...I hate them.
  9. I've used several brands of "no-boil" sheets, and generally liked them all. That being said, I was unhappy with most of my results, primarily because I hate a wet lasagna. Most of the recipes I tried seemed to call for an excessive amount of moisture, which the pasta didn't fully absorb. I did, however, find a good trick to fix it. I found that a soak in hot water, for just 10-15mins will pre-hydrate the pasta, just enough, so that your other ingredients don't need to be overly wet. I find that the soaking saves not only time, but hassle, as well. My result has been consistent, and I no longer need to have lasagna skating all over my plate while I chase it vainly with a fork...
  10. Believe it or not, my owner and I are currently plotting to try this!
  11. For better or worse, I'll be doing it myself haha If Andrew Zimmern can watch it being done, I can likely do it...
  12. I've noticed lately, both locally and nationally, the trend of selling some preparation of "hens egg" on menus. Pickled hens egg yolk slow poached "hens egg" with whatever "hens egg" gratin You get the drift, folks..... Have we all been eating cocks eggs, unknowingly? Have I really failed so badly at biology? Is it the hens favorite egg? WTF...please help me.....
  13. Personally, I'm interested in some sorghum seeds. They apparently "pop" just like corn, but look like a micro version, and are just slightly inherently sweet... I honestly hate popcorn, but am curious to find out what other seeds may "pop" in a similar manner.....
  14. Cook things in it, man! If it has a good, solid lining, then I wouldn't worry so much. If the lining becomes thin, then maybe worry just a small bit. Some of us don't have such nice toys to play with, enjoy it while you have it !
  15. Where in Appalachia are you from, Pip? If you don't mind me asking....
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