Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking with alcohol


NulloModo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Heya,

So it occured to me this evening, that as a forum of food and drink lovers, it would not be uncommon for many of us to cook whilst under the influence of alcohol. This started me thinking (as I was under the influence myself) does this change what/the way you cook?

Are you more likely to cook certain dishes when drunk, or to play around with the recipes when in that state? Do you just go for broke with whatever happens to be in the cabinets? Share the stories, this should be fun.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does seem that whatever Im drinking and whatever Im gonna drink after that makes it into what Im cooking. Now granted, I grew up in New Orleans so I lost my ability to handle(through too much handling) most crazy liquors. So its only wine for me.

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a professional kitchen (surprise) never. Never would drink.

I guess that attitude came from seeing too many who did, and who made fools of themselves more than once. (Plus, it is my feeling that one should not be inebriated or even tipsy when handling heavy possibly dangerous equipment. Very bad things can happen.)

Home cooking? Of course. Part of cooking is the pleasure of the colors, the tastes, the aromas, the textures, the combinations, the inspirations and hopefully the company!

Generally by the time a real (i.e. not produced mostly for the children) meal is on the table, I have had enough wine and! enough tastings of the food while cooking so that really, I am not hungry or thirsty anymore, and can simply enjoy the enjoyment of my guests.

A lovely thing, a good wine.

As for changing the style of the cooking...no...wine or not, it is what is in front of me that forms the meal. No 'recipes' used here. But the music of the meal does become louder with a bit of the grape in attendance... :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm pre-diabetic or something but drinking on an empty stomach makes me very drunk and very miserable. If I'm cooking, there's a good chance that I'm hungry. The two usually go hand in hand. And speaking of hands, that's probably what I'd chopped off/burn off if I attempted to drink while I cooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most of the food I prepared at Varmint's Pig Picking was prepared through at least a mild haze of inebriation, and lots of my fellow cooks were in the same position. The food was some of the best I've ever consumed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoy drinking during extensive prep work and whilst preparing simpler dishes.

Yet I've found that my sense of timing and ability to taste salt ( :huh: ) diminishes with more booze consumption. An over-salted, late supper served by a drunk wife is less than appetizing! :wacko:

What really hits the spot is the glass of wine or beer on the back porch after dinner has been served and the dishes are done. Ahhh.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahh. I posted about this in the Hangover Breakfast thread:

What's really bad, for me, is when I start cooking, drunk, in the middle of the night:

Me:  Peanut noodles would be really good right now, huh?

Jeff: Mmmmm, peanuts.

Me:  With some fish sauce and bell peppers and red onions dunked in hot water to make them soft but crisp, you know, kind of squelchy, like a good pickle?

Jeff: Mmmmm, pickles.

Me:  Mmmmm, pickles.  I wish I had a big cheeseburger right now with pickles and onions.

Jeff: Or peanut noodles.. with pickles and onions and cheese.

<extended pause>

I think you all know where this is going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ti-MING, I mean TI-ming, goes right out the window. Keep this in mind should you be invited to a dinner party where I'm in charge. Dinner at 7? Be ready to wait until 9.

Edited by Al_Dente (log)

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love to cook with a little -- ok, a lot -- of wine in the systemtand I find that a modest level of inebriation actually aids the cooking process. When cooking dinner for, say, six or seven dishes for service to eight people, a modest buzz gets me the rhythm of the meal, moving quickly and efficiently to finish everything up properly and on time without really thinking about it. It's like entering "the zone," everything is done by instinct, and it really makes making dinner a lot of fun. Of course, If I'm trying to follow a recipe, a good buzz tends to be something of a drawback. And there have been those occasions where, upon cleaning up later that night, we had one of those "hey, we forgot to serve the broccoli moments."

It's all in the pacing.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you more likely to cook certain dishes when drunk, or to play around with the recipes when in that state? Do you just go for broke with whatever happens to be in the cabinets? Share the stories, this should be fun.

Couldn't say. I've never done the control experiment, the one where I'm not drinking while I cook. Unless maybe you're talking about breakfast, in which case I've also not done the other half of that experiment (though I'll let you know if I do).

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooking under the influence is an opportunity to use up all that crap you've got in the kitchen that you want to get rid of.

That bag of quinoa? That goes in the pot. The one can of Bud your buddy brought over but that you refuse to drink? Chug it and the rest goes in the pot. We're cooking Belgian! Insanity sauce? Why not? Raisins? Hell yeah. BAM! BAM! BAM! Toss in a Japanese curry cube if you've got it. Boil. Go take a nap.

The next morning, scrape out the sludge. Grab a bag of chips. Go read eGullet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That bag of quinoa? That goes in the pot. The one can of Bud your buddy brought over but that you refuse to drink? Chug it and the rest goes in the pot. We're cooking Belgian!

Now that made me snort Darjeeling up my nose! Thanks, Ed.

Because dinner prep and cocktail hour occupy the same time slot, I usually have a glass of wine around when I cook. It's just the flow of the evening. I agree with Al that over-imbibing can make for a later dinner hour, but a couple of glasses of wine don't seem to make a huge difference.

I've been accused of undersalting.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many, many years ago during my stint as a waiter the restaurant I worked in informed us one day that we were all to be required to stay for an extra 2 - 3 hours to polish brass and clean windows because a photo shoot would take place the next morning. We were making "restaurant minimum" of $2.15 per hour with no tips - none of us were thrilled at being exploited but we gritted our teeth and did it anyway. The next week the trend continued. Management announced that they were having their first ever "nouveau Beaujolais" party, to which many movers, shakers and local dignitaries were to be invited as non-paying guests. It was slated to run for three hours, from 5:30 to 8:30, at which point we were supposed to clean up and then open for a late dinner seating. Once again - we were advised that we'd be working for restaurant minimum and no tips.

In retrospect, what followed was not a good choice but I still chuckle....

There was a bit of a quiet mass revolt in which the entire wait staff and most of the kitchen help decided that we'd maximize our forced labor and gain some returns by drinking as much nouveau Beaujolais as possible during the party. Many, many bottles were consumed (straight from the bottle no less).

Among my fuzzy memories of the night are sitting at a customer's table to take their order.... which I promptly lost.... delivering the wrong dinners to another table.... and walking back to the pickup counter only to look up and see the hairy ass of "Miss Burgene" (the guy who was our head line cook) shaking around as he stood on the small shelf in front of the Viking range and sang Rolling Stones tunes while mooning us.

They restructured the party the following year and decided it might be wise to pay the staff for working :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and i heard that about smokers and pot smokers.  there goes both those theories right out the window where they belong.  :laugh:

It's funny you say that about pot. A few years back I was a private chef to a very well known actor who smoked pot constantly. He used to hang out in the kitchen and get high while I cooked, always offering me a hit of this intense, mind blowing dope. Now, I am not a big pot smoker - everything else I can do till the cows come home, but pot makes me nuts. And I used to jokingly say to him all the time - "I would love to be able to get high with you. But I can't - because then I don't know if the food tastes good because it tastes good, or it's just that I'm stoned." And even though he usually was high when he ate, (and liked his food hot and spicy), it was important for me to know that it tasted right in the first place.

The one time I did smoke his dope (at home, by myself) it rendered me so completely catatonic I couldn't move, much less get up and navigate knives and pans and fire.

I know that's why God invented take-out, and actors with lots of money hire their own chefs. :rolleyes:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that once I get a little booze in me I usually leave out a key ingredient and/or garnish at the end of the dish. So before cocktails get passed at my dinner parties I make sure everything is laid out in sight of the pot it should go into. I get uneasy even thinking about cooking an entire meal from the get-go under the influence.

"Why are you petting that raw chicken? And where's the cat?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing about drinking and cooking i learned the hard way, get the prep work done first....many times i have been slicing onions and taken off a little "extra"...but, I must add, it never hurt!

The last couple times I've whacked off a fingertip I've been damn near sober. It seems so unfair: first, you have no excuse except your own clutziness and, second, it hurts like hell.

On the other hand, my knifework is improving.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of malts, no make that a few.... no, wait make that several; help me think out of the spice box and I have more often than not conjured up some of my best cooking.

There is no way in my sober state, could I have ever thought that a smidgen of coffee could liven up a Biryani.

Ah, but I can do this only when I am cooking for friends.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...