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paul o' vendange

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Everything posted by paul o' vendange

  1. Oh, not at all. It stands for L'École Supérieure de Cuisine Française, one of the oldest cooking schools in France. Also known as Ferrandi, it’s well respected and personally I love their textbooks. Their main book is only in French but their pastry and chocolate texts are in English. I really like them all.
  2. Yep, agreed. I love Peterson's Sauces book (his Sauces, and Fish books are my two faves). I only have the second edition, though, well-worn. Do you have the current Sauces edition? Is it worth it to buy the new book? I'm very excited to read TFL/PS. I love all his books and this one looks fantastic. Right there with you - I love the classical foundation married to modern approaches,
  3. That's a good point. My suspicion however is it's more caramelization and maillard reactions we pick up after a long simmer, over any aroma compounds given by aromatics and herbs lasting for hours (and with aroma being a key component of what we know of as "flavor", not sure what perceptions would be left, as these compounds, many of them, so easily evaporate). It's an interesting question since these compounds have different evaporation (and thus loss) affinities. I've never compared and so I'm only guessing. I'm sure it's been studied - McGee, maybe? Mostly, I was just puzzled by the book's comments on timing for their general approach or "master method": "...In the early days, at [TFL}, we'd cook the aromatic vegetables for nearly as long as the bones. But vegetables release pretty much all their flavor in 45 to 60 minutes. So today we only add the vegetables at the end of the stock making..." Yet the veal stock as described in the book is as we've always known Chef Keller to do, in three parts, aromatics added in early in "Veal Stock 1." At a loss, then, how this fits within the "master [stock] method" description above. Anymore, I tend to do something along the line Escoffier describes, with bones getting long simmers and any meaty remnants (and aromatics) getting a shorter simmer, to preserve these aroma compounds. I'll also get giddy and do something like the coulis described in Peterson's book, with several increasingly stronger stocks coming to make the final stock. I try to parse when to add the aromatics both to avoid too much sweetness, and preserve some aromatic "brightness," really (e.g., not adding in aromatic veggies for "stock 1" or "2" if I'm doing 3 stages).
  4. Cool. I've not seen them, though I should. I didn't attend but on the timing of a late-addition of aromatics, CIA seems almost religious about it, IMO (adding in at last hour. It's in The Professional Chef, and I might have even read of it in Michael Ruhlman's Making of a Chef, though my memory is hazy). Veal is actually the only one I add it early, actually. I'm looking for sugars and some very background flavors, so don't mind the early and long simmer. I do both a light chicken stock for braising or deglazing, and a stronger dedicated chicken stock simmered 3 hours. On these, the aromatics only get an hour (less, on the light one, as I go to 45 minutes and out. Same for any jus, as these only get an hour, or less, depending).
  5. Hi all, I recently picked up the book. I wasn't aware of the plentiful use of xanthan, carrageenan, etc in the restaurants. Has this been their practice for a long time? The veal stock I found curious. In the leading paragraphs of the liaison section he discusses adding in aromatics near the end, rather than post-initial skimming (or twice for their "master method" - yet the paragraph above mentions only once, with an hour to go). Yet the veal stock as described in the book is their traditional method in three parts, with aromatics given 24 hours or so, effectively, and no added gelatin or other liaisons. So, just curious. Errata? Anyone read the book, and have some thoughts?
  6. Hello all, I've been around a long while but almost feel a re-introduction is in order. I've PTSD and as it turns out a longstanding total body neuro issue is a precursor condition, about 90% within the next 5-10 years, to Parkinson's. So debilitating pain and serious mental clouding means I feel like a newbie again, again, etc. So sorry for any dropped conversations or posts....I have always loved this community. Enough on that. Perhaps a bit of background. have walls of books. Most have been unused tbh. I find myself returning to Keller, Ferrandi, regional French more than anything else. Especially over the last stretch, I find solace in leaving today and here for French cooking, dated at that. Certainly a top book is Peterson's Sauces. I've no grand ambitions left and only a narrow field, by choice. My question goes to the 2nd (I have) v. 4th. Thoughts, experiences. While here, I only know one chef personally who attended ESCF. I was accepted long ago (I cringe at my arrogance from posts here back then), but I know Bruce Sherman of Chicago attended, praised it highly. I don't see too much here. though more from a member here who attended (sorry, can't recall who) than the books, but has anyone enjoyed the ESCF text> I have their three. Just curious. Stay safe.
  7. paul o' vendange


    I’ve really enjoyed goat when I’ve had it, which has usually been as barbacoa in Chicago Mexican eateries.
  8. Thanks. I was looking to spend less for the fillet knife - the Wusthof being the upper end at $110. Could be I'm thinking of semi-flexible, of which I have a few, but none of which I'm truly happy with. I've seen flexibility in different widths, many wider than a standard "sport fishing" profile fillet knife. Expensive, I know, and thinner, but MAC for instance, fairly wide:
  9. Whoops, missed your second line. Thanks, will look them up.
  10. Sure. First is Matfer's "couteau filet de sole," A flexible blade, wider: Second would be Wusthof's "Grand Prix II Flexible Filet de Sole." Flexible filet blade, with a more dramatic sweep and narrower blade. It is also flexible (v. "semi-flexible" or "rigid": I know Wusthof makes an 8" model, 4518-7/20, which looks good. It isn't cheap, and I'm wondering if anyone has been happy with lower cost knives for filleting large flat fish, salmon, etc.
  11. I will often do a fruit sauce with flying game - typically, something local if I can, stock (game - specifically, the game in question, if I can), sometimes herbs, and an acid that works. Poivrade family, of course. I had a venison plate with a twin-saucing of juniper-syrup (acid contributed by Sauv. Blanc - not too cloying) and a pomegranate jus. People enjoyed it
  12. Hello all, I send my best hopes you are safe and well during this terrible time. I've a need for a better fish fillet knife. I've a host of old knives for boning and filleting ranging from semi-flexible to rigid, among them older Chicago Cutlery and restaurant-chewed up Sysco blue handles. I know they are fantastic, but at this time anyway not looking for a Deba style. Of the flexible-bladed knives, I do like the wider knife, less the narrower style. Thanks for any thoughts.
  13. Weinoo, Sorry for such a late reply. I have substantial medical issues and I've been out of commish. Just to say thanks for your posts. I've a better idea now.
  14. Yeah, I did use it a bit loosely in terms of common usage. It's used interchangeably with rondeau; also braiser. I have an army of various sauteuses, sautoirs, etc., large (28 qt.) stock pots, and a massive rondeau, don't recall the size but I used to braise 4 lamb shoulders at a time in it, mostly what I used it for. I just don't have an idea of scale for home on the rondeau. I do have a few Le Creuset heirlooms from my wife's side, which are beautiful. I was looking at Vollrath Intrigue's 12 quart, but it sounds like maybe that's overkill. Thanks for your post.
  15. Hello, I have a lot of cookware, but it's all vastly oversized for home use. Generally I've always gone with Vollrath Intrigue on stockpots and my large rondeaus. I've been collecting smaller items over time. At home, what size/capacity braziers do you use? Brands (will have to stay with Vollrath range, i.e., Matfer Bourgeat is out). Thanks all.
  16. I wrote on another site that one can find the fact his mashed potatoes may be his most remembered dish as either very trite or extremely profound, depending on one's viewpoint. I learned so much technique in just this one simple thing, I'm forever grateful. Loving Eric Ripert and knowing what it was to pass through Chef Robuchon's kitchen, he was a lion, but a titan of monumental importance. Too many this year will be forever missed. Thank you, Chef.
  17. I love my 2001 LaRousse ("Red."). In fact, it's bedside now. Inspires me when down, or I need a certain term I've lost, or to just generally learn or refresh on something. I find it a really valuable book. I see the current issue, 2009, is coming in at $45, my edition, the 2001 edition, is coming in right around $15 on Amazon. Just one reason I've found it valuable (like Escoffier, which I'm still trying to work through). Grant Achatz: “It is critical to have a sound understanding of traditional culinary principles before attempting to push boundaries in cuisine. Larousse Gastronomique helps me execute the progressive cooking we do at Alinea.” —Grant Achatz
  18. Re-reading Daniel Boulud's Letters to a Young Chef for the umpteenth time. Have not cooked in consistent reality in over 10 years. 57. Can I be a, ahem, young chef, to be lettered? 🤔
  19. Totally agree, Suzi. That was incredible and typical of Anthony. Thanks for doing that, and for the post reminding me of that.
  20. I really didn't know where to put this. Anthony was obviously a universe more than food media. I'm sure like all of you, I'm still really grieving him - my wife and I watch and re-watch Top Chef and were as surprised as the contestants to have him suddenly come on and fill in for Tom as a guest judge on an episode last night. I'm tearing up as I write this. It's impossible to accept yet. We're trying. I myself am still trying to find a way back into cooking. It occurs again right now that maybe Anthony, as frank as he was, was also as compassionate as I've known; a soulful whisperer. If you haven't seen it, just a little bit from CNN.
  21. I love and have re-read both books several times (in fact, on a sort of CIA bender lately, so read both over the last few weeks. Re-reading TPC as well). I liked Jonathan Dixon's foreword, in which he gives hommage to but distinguishes his book from M. Ruhlman's book; his as slightly more of a subjective study, Michael's more objective as a writer coming from outside to learn the experience. I don't think either falls so neatly into Dixon's distinction, but it was a nice way to sort of bookend both texts. I could re-read both (and will, I'm sure), dozens of times. I've got a mountain bedside. Guess I'm on a bender in general. Mourning Anthony, can't quite get to his books again yet, so reading Eric Ripert's books again (On the Line, the Le Bernardin Cookbook), and also finished 32 Yolks, which I absolutely loved. Wonderful. So much in a tight little tome, draws me to him all the more. And enough 2 a.m. reads of inside, ludicrous things that happen in the trade, that as I bust out laughing and wake my wife up, get me in fitting trouble.
  22. I'm very sorry I can't offer any current or substantive suggestions as to places to go, just wanted to throw this out there - if you haven't read it - is Lawrence Durrell's Prospero's Cell. I'm not as big a fan of his fiction, which I find overwritten to some extent, but I'm really fond of his non-fiction travel writing. Among them, Prospero's Cell is exceedingly beautiful in its narrative of the life, land and sea of the island. Granted, from another, more innocent time, but I just wanted to toss it out as you might draw some enjoyment from it, before your trip. Happy travels.
  23. Hey Paul - Actually, I said white stock, not white sauce. It's the second stock after estouffade (and his chicken is the same thing, with the addition of additional giblets and/or carcasses, and "three boiling fowls" - that's a lot of bird per gallon of water!!). I've worked across many spectrums, all of them, really, classically based. But I've never cooked entirely true from Escoffier's work, to the word. I'm doing it because until I do, it's just a thought experiment, you know? I can't know what it is, until doing it verbatim, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. But I really am tripped out by not just the use of salt (I don't in my stocks, but many do - two immediately come to mind, Paul Bocuse, Judy Rodgers/Zuni Cafe Cookbook - lost her book years ago, but I seem to recall not only that she salts her stock, but against all orthodoxy, doesn't skim it at all - let's it cool scum and all overnight, then skims, if memory holds), but man - that's a lot of salt, or so it seems to me! It will be nice to make some velouté and derivative sauces from this, to see how it works. Partially, I'm just trying to feel the Belle Époque - and imagine, their palates demanded a richer, fuller experience. Partially, I love culinary history, the underlying reasons of why a certain gastronomy was as it was. But here, as well, just curious if anyone else has literally worked Escoffer, and what their experience of this use of salt is. Edit: Equally astonishing, at least to me, is that I haven't found any discussion of this anywhere on the web. I would have thought that given Escoffier's importance, and the importance of these stocks to French cuisine as we know it, there'd be more on this. I just find it kind of jarring, but then I admit I can go in fits of obsession, when nature allows.
  24. Hi all, I'm puttering a way back in. I've read Escoffier but in all my life, though I've used, as many of us have, a world of techniques and recipes, etc., passed on by traditions following from him, I've never replicated much from the book. Starting from the beginning. I've NEVER put a grain of salt in any stock. What he calls for in his white stock seems crazy to me. I gulped and added the full measure (though I made chicken stock, which calls for additional carcasses, whole boiling hens, etc., which I did). It's a luscious stock. Absolutely rich and an entire paradigm apart from the chicken stock I regularly use, which is a wetting agent, a braising liquid, a lighter basis for derivative sauces, etc. As this stock stands, I would use it in potage, but cannot imagine reducing it for sauce purposes. The salt is palpable, though it's "nice," I guess I'd say. The stock tastes great. I also find it interesting Escoffier doesn't typically call for salt in his small sauces. So it seems, salt in stock, watch it in saucemaking. I've tried finding discussions about this on the web, even in French, and I came up empty - which also really surprises me. Anyone else make his white stock? Anyone else use salt in their stock? Anyone else use it in this kind of ratio (60 g/12 litres water)? Thanks.
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