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paul o' vendange

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Everything posted by paul o' vendange

  1. all I found on releve was that it is a ballet term .. nothing culinary showed up in my search ... ← Actually, this did come up originally - and I was almost certain it was the word. However, My wife, who is similarly consternated, said it was not. But releve - "remove" - is used. See Food Courses - see under "France". Racheld, thanks - this may be the one I was thinking of. I am now totally flabbergasted, as this word was in such common usage that it should be leaping off the page at me...
  2. It isn't the word.. I gave up on that about midnight ... I know that a true tru normand is appropriate as well but that is more than one word ... you know, in the end, I think that the answer is here but Paul has confused it with another term .. and, in the end, he'll smack his head and say, "yeah, that was the word I was looking for" and I will collapse in a fit of laughter ...ironic laughter at that ... ← Oh, there is no doubt that a big "d'oh!" is coming, followed by my hiding my head in a dark closet for a goodly length of time. Just surprised that entremet didn't leap out. What's really weird is that I've used the word on my degustations....and as I usually float fairly well in French, this would be a big gaffe if wrong...
  3. OOOHHHHHHH no - wait a minute, I do not YET yield the field. I am trying to find a chef from Val's, Toluca Lake, of nearly 20 years ago...then, and only then, do I yield the feuilleté. I mean field.
  4. I don't think it's the term Paul's looking for, but are you thinking of amuse guele? ← No, this is during the degustation, prior, usually, to the main course. Equivalent to entremet (and I may just be having one collosal brain dropoff, and entremet is what I am thinking of).
  5. N. ← I'm sure you're all right - I may be using some weird colloquialism. What's weird is that this word I'm looking for was used in at least 3 restaurants where I worked, across many years.
  6. Well, I of course could be wrong. But the word I'm thinking of is not entremets. I will bite the bullet and call a former restaurant...
  7. Thanks, Behemoth, but Gifted Gourmet suggested that yesterday. For the life of me, I can't remember the name. I'm sure I'll remember it about 20 minutes after getting to sleep.
  8. No, but thanks for the valiant efforts! Not the actual thing (like a liquer, sorbet, etc.), but a one word term for the course or "break."
  9. Man, this is driving me crazy - no, a one word term, French, usually served before the main course. Usually sorbet, granite, yes, but the term itself eludes me - though I regularly wrote it on my degustations. Uh, yep, better lay off the Gigondas for awhile!
  10. Yes. This is nuts, as I've cooked French food for, oh, 30 years, and served it nearly as long, but for the life of me, I can't remember the term - French equivalent to intermezzo....arggggggghhhhhhh.
  11. Hi all - I've only been around this term for 20 years. Palate cleanser. French term, not intermezzo...absolute brain meltdown. What is it? Let a guy sleep tonight!
  12. Confit was usually stored in jars in the root cellar, or anywhere the temp remained cooler than normal. If the confit was properly stored with the simmer-hot fat on top, allowed to cool, and the solid fat cap was not broken by the 60F temp, then it would undoubtedly be safe. And I would agree with Pielle's points 3 and 4 above. If we're talking a few hours, it is safe. One thing, though - the 4 hour benchmark is obviously not an either-or threshold. That entire time, you're food is gathering pathogens. While you may not get sick, you may be feted with a host of off tastes (though, likely, not enough to reach sensory thresholds). Personally, I would toss and start over. Sorry - I know how painful this is.
  13. Interesting discussion, Alex. I have a different cold smoker - "Le Smoker," which we used at my restaurant. I would agree that Alder is a great wood for smoking, and particularly marries excellently well with salmon. I used a mix of hickory and applewood (hickory, very little, to add a very small "bite" of pungency; applewood, for softness and sweetness - echoes my gravlax below, with a citrus, tarragon and cognac cure; if I were only serving the cold smoked, I would likely use alder). I cured my salmon for 5 hours only. I usually dried in the refrigerator before the fan, for anywhere from 12-18 hours. The pellicle was present, but not heavily so. My salmon plate was a duo of salmon - one, a citrus and tarragon based gravlax, the other, the cold smoked. Slices were translucently thin, so I wanted to retain enough oils in the smoked salmon to make for a nice mouthfeel, while dry enough to cut well. I do not like dryly smoked salmon. I did not serve the tail section of either my cured or smoked salmon on the above plate. The muscular structure is tougher, and although I cured this section more gently, it will tend to pick up the cure disproportionately. I would, however, use the tail section in a tartare - chopped, or brunoise on the bias, serving it with something else that tends to pull it back down a bit. Interesting discussion.
  14. One of my favorites is a braised pork shank, with a jus of cider, a touch of verjus, aromatics, and a late harvest riesling-braised red cabbage and bacon. I find marzens, with the malty sweetness and just a nod of hop bitterness, go great with the meal.
  15. I don't use any one make, but rather different makes for different knives and uses. My chef's knife is an Eberhard Schaaf. I like the heft and balance, the edge is the finest I have come across. It just suits my hand. Because I do a good deal of butchery, I depend on my F. Dick cleaver as well - it has held up to countless lamb, duck, pork, guinea hen, beef breakdowns. My flexible boning knife is a no-name. Served me well for over 5 years running, and that through heavy production. Generally, I buy one or two high quality knives - usually, my chef's and paring or utility knife; for specialty knives, I burn through low end knives that will take but not hold an edge, although as I've said, my flexible boning knife, which likely saw as much work as my chef's, has stood the test of time and use.
  16. Bond Girl - I humbly submit your financial acumen is light leagues ahead of mine, but in terms of a startup arrangement, it sounds reasonable to me - I presume you are building adequate management compensation into the arrangement, though, so you have a regular salary (presuming your active involvement in the company)? I'm no lawyer/accountant, but we organized as an LLC as we intended on taking nominal, consistent, "guaranteed payments" monthly in lieu of any presumed profits at the end of the year (hahahahah). Such an arrangement results in a better tax situation, as I understand it, than in a S corp or the like. We were careful, however, to draw only a nominal amount - what we absolutely needed only, as Chef (me) and Front of House Manager (my wife). Many months we drew nothing.
  17. Sorry, double post. Bond Girl, if you're still out there, care to revive this fascinating thread?
  18. Actually, it strikes me that a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous. Either the investor should help to run the restaurant (and have the background to be helpful), or s/he should entrust that responsibility to those who do. I haven't opened a restaurant, but in most fields, investors who dabble in substantive decision-making can be the kiss of death. ← It's the same for lenders. Perhaps even more so.
  19. I know that in our case, financing was a drop-kick. They didn't examine it at all. People were so keyed that we wanted to open a French bistro our way that they threw money at us even saying, and I quote, "we appreciate you being conservative in your numbers. But you're going to blow those numbers out of the water." This, from the BIDCO in our area, an institution normally predisposed to grilling the would-be restaurateur for being too optimistic. This should have given us pause, my wife and me, but we bought into it as they were the local pros. A stupid mistake, one we will not repeat if we do it again.
  20. I wonder how many restaurants sell the business and at how much profit or loss. My uneducated guess is that most sales occur when the restaurant goes out of business and is forced to sell the assets at a loss. Is this a fair assumption? How often has a new restaurant evver moved into an old restaurant location without renovating the dining room extensively? I wonder how much kitchen renovation is done as well. Wear and tear on chairs, carpets, tableware, etc, is very high anyway and successful restaurants look shabby rather quickly anyway. It would seem that a good part of the investment much be depreciated and affect the real bottom line, but I don't really know about this. ← Sorry to bump an old thread, but this is all very salient for me, and this thread is marvelous. We closed our doors last November after starting great guns. The first authentic bistro in our region, likely doomed from the start due to a host of variables. Hindsight is marvelous, except for the excruciating pain involved in such a debacle. The absolutely insane thing is that whereas I only months ago swore off ever picking up my knives, much less crossing the culinary portal, again, I am reconsidering and beginning to muse on the possibility - another place, another plan. The sleepless nights are hell, as is the sinking knowledge that no matter what you do, your aim was amiss and you cannot turn the ship around, to the detriment of yourself, your partner-wife, your family. But the freedom to create, to use all you have to make a go of it, to give over something of real worth, cannot be replicated anywhere else, in my experience. So you stop, and leave forever, or you say screw it and with lessons learned, try again. Such is the dilemma. Bux, I would venture that most sell-profit is gained on the valuation of the business, in terms of yearly revenue, than physical plant. If you can build a yearly revenue from scratch to something of real worth, have paid down whatever note exists, you can likely convince someone, somewhere, that they are entering into a stable enterprise, so long as they don't rock the conceptual boat too much. IMHO, of course. A helluva lot more humble than it used to be.
  21. Just came on this thread, delighted (and jealous) that you folks are able to try the beers. I used to work with both Phin and Matt (of the eponymous brew) while we were all at Goose Island. I am hoping to get ahold of their beers through our downstate (Michigan) distributor. Cheers, drooling, Paul www.waterstonerestaurant.com
  22. This is very interesting. At Waterstone, I want people to feel as if they've walked into a living room, with a fireplace blazing, and they are among friends. Yet, to draw an analogy. In my former life, I was a Shakespearean actor and director. Much of my directorial work was concerned with the ability of theater to be artifice and truth; the paradox of how fantasy can be more real than reality. I deliberately sought to elevate the time and place to be theater, so that all senses of the audience could leave behind the world of street noises, ambulances, prosaic mutterings, and hone in on the reality taking place on stage, say, in Hamlet's opening lines. I did this by construct - whether by building a huge, black wall behind the back row of seats, such that to get to the seats, all patrons had to climb up, rise to and in front of said wall structure to enter - and turning back, saw nothing of their entryway, so that the only option was to turn towards the stage and take it in. Theater. Not life, but if done well, perhaps life as it might be viewed through a prism - all colors bright and clear, piercing truth, transcendent and lasting reality. Now, to fine dining. A certain dress code not to make class distinctions, but perhaps to acknowledge that there is a certain element of theater, of focussed attention here - not eating at home, but a certain elevation of the senses, a certain respect for Occasion. Of course, never enforced, at least at our place - because more often than not, the baseball hat and jacket wearing guest has a palate that is eminently developed, his or her love for food is patently clear, and his or her money is as green as the suited patron. But I understand the thoughts about a certain dress code. Paul
  23. Will do, gents, thanks for the support! So far, outside of some post-new years doldrums, we have been graced, especially given a low (read: zero) advertising budget; the university, the rather large medical system (a regional draw), the fact that Marquette is the economic hub for the area, coupled with a growing body of repeating regulars, all have kept us relatively busy our opening months. We were also blessed by a good amount of publicity on local T.V., Mining Journal, Business Journal (U.P. Business Today). Our only mission is to keep our heads down and keep to work. We love this community and are really happy to be here. Will post thread in heartland...thanks again! Paul
  24. OK, in the hope you Southerners venture further afield in joining us North of the bridge, a first swipe at our newly minted website: Waterstone Cheers! Paul
  25. Shamless plug for my beloved adopted home, if'n any of you dare to travel north of the bridge, pay us a visit in Marquette - chez nous, Waterstone. Autumn is beautiful up here, but all year round is a wilderness of beauty. Our own little 28 seat bistro is humming along quite nicely, and it would be good to have you in. Paul Formerly Chicagoan, decidedly a country boy
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