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Q&A - All About Eggs - Cooking with the Pros

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thanks, Ellen Shapiro--

beautiful images. and Tavern on the Green does huge volume.

going to the grocery store now, as i need an excuse to eat hollandaise sauce. :smile:

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I enjoyed the article. Nothing like photos of eggs to get the heart pumping on a dismal Sunday afternoon. :wink:

If the Tavern on the Green guys wear Krispy Kreme hats, what do the Krispy Kreme guys wear? :shock:

How long is the hold time on the poached eggs? Do they knock them all out in the morning or is it a several time a day process?

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They serve brunch 10am - 3:30pm. Poached egg production begins around 9:45am and runs until around 10:30am. So your eggs are always going to be on short hold of a few hours or less.

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Jinmyo   
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Yowza! :shock: Thanks, Ellen.

Those photographs were excellent.

The whole essay was great but the photographs were just amazing.

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Jojofofo   

Wow! That's all there is to say! What an incredible team. I'm awestruck at the the speed of cracking eggs, and the ability to multi-task. Must be years and years of practice!

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Lyle   

Ellen, I doubt you were even attempting to keep track of this, but if you could estimate the number of people preping in the prep room with Fernando I'd be most appreciative.

Incredible report. I'm glad you were able to tangent into other areas of food prep besides eggs. Thank you.

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In that particular area, there's just Fernando and two cooks. There are several other prep areas as well. We didn't even see them all. If you like I can try to get some figures on the total number of people employed at Tavern in various capacities.

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Lyle   
If you like I can try to get some figures on the total number of people employed at Tavern in various capacities.

That's certainly not necessary. I was just trying to scope the magnitude of the operation. The fact you spent a several hour clip there and didn't even see all the prep areas speaks volumes. I've never been to the the Tavern OTG (though my wife has several times), and I had no idea the number of diners they service. It drives me crazy imagining how they would pull that off with a proper degree of quality.

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Ellen, once again you've shared with us another amazing essay and photos. I particularly liked this quote:

Frank is in charge of the station that handles poached eggs, crab cakes, frittatas and several other items. His first words to me are, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" And it turns out he does: 10 years ago, Frank was the counter-man at Canard & Co., the deli-grocery around the corner from my apartment. I used to buy coffee from him every day.

What a small world.

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Thanks, Ellen, this was absolutely fascinating. Diana (13) looked at it with that "wow" look in her eyes, as well.

Question: when they put the poached eggs on the muffin/ham, how do they reheat the eggs?

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perhaps I'm just partial to the restaurant operations I'm involved with, mind you I'm fully aware of the enormous success of the tavern. I'm looking at some of your pictures and I concurr the article is very informative, but I'm convinced we do eggs better. Perhaps our technique is not as refined, but I'm certain our presentations are devine. from toast, to waffles, to benedicts on a croissant with an orange-hollandaise; we put a lot of tlc into presentation, and our brunch covers top 400 on any given weekend day; in a much smaller space. Our flavor profiles are superb and I reckon our success is testament to that. I have not dined at Tavern on the Green, but I'm very much aware of their success and reputation and have every intention of dining there sometime in the near future. I hope it lives up to its billing...

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Snowangel: After their initial poaching, the eggs are stored in large rectangular pans. During service, when the line cook is a few minutes away from needing the eggs, he pours medium-hot water into that pan to cover the eggs. This brings them up to temperature nicely and keeps them there while that pan of eggs gets used up (quickly). The muffin and ham are heated under a broiler, then the egg is added, and then the sauce is put on top. The sauce also makes a contribution to heating the dish. And everything is served on insulated dome-covered plates so as to avoid too much cooling during the long schlep to the dining rooms.

Mangandi & Lyle: I think it would be overly idealistic to say that a restaurant can do Tavern's numbers without any compromises. But Tavern appears to maintain a higher level of quality than I would have imagined possible at that scale.

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interesting photo's. My husband vows never to eat pauched eggs again though.Any time i tried to explain the process to him he didn't believe me. It's that hold and reheat that gets you into the little boys room shortly after breakfast.

We usually go out for breakfast once a week because he's just coming home and I'm just leaving. He's going to take even LONGER now with the menu ugh.

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chappie   

I have lately become adept at poaching eggs and do so for my wife most mornings before she leaves for work. But yesterday's Washington Post food section printed a blurb that confused me and countered my own intuition on the technique. It read:

"Another tip is to use eggs right out of the refrigerator; a chilled white will be thicker and less likely to 'feather' or become stringy when it hits the water."

To the contrary, I have been using either room-temperature eggs or even soaking them in water as hot as my tap will produce for at least 10 minutes before poaching, using the logic that they will set faster by beginning closer to the setting temperature when they hit the simmering poaching water. I have had good results this way. How do you explain the Post's logic?

Also, if you're adding cold eggs, won't it lower the temperature of the liquid and both slow down cooking and encourage "feathering?"

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chappie   

Hello? Anyone out there who can answer my molding query?

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