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Gifted Gourmet

COOKING UNDER FIRE from PBS: April 27 premiere

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(Oh, and eGullet.org is not listed as an online resource, though a bevy of blogs of varying quality and pretentiousness are.)

Very curious why they picked and listed the blogs they did. What was the criteria for those choices?

Maybe it is because I'm coming in on this late.. but eGullet is the very first link listed under the resources.. did they catch their faux paux?


"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

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Lenny Henry is awesome. I thought that show was very funny -- and that was long before I took an interest in cooking. Lenny's character could rip customers and coworkers alike a new one, while sounding like he was reciting Yeats -- there's just something so very pleasing about a truly eloquent ass-ripping...

The "Pass the salt" skit has him raving and ranting to customers about flavoring his dish with everything from salt to prawn vindaloo, and that isn't just funny, it is also articulate and fairly clever.

Now, has anyone looked at Todd English's Website? Dude, I swear that guy and Derek Zoolander were separated at birth...

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I knew that one isn't supposed to serve wine and asparagus together, but was wondering if anyone knew the scientific reason for it.  I'm wondering the same in terms of the artichokes.  Do they share a similar chemical that interacts poorly with the alcohol or tannins in wine?

i believe it's called cynarin. makes things (even water) taste oddly sweet (only to a certain segment of the population, but a significant percentage). throws off the balance of flavors.

According to On Food and Cooking, cynarin is an organic acid that is unique to artichokes. "It seems to stimulate the sweetness receptors in the taste buds of susceptible people, making everything taste sweet for a short period of time."


-------------------------

Water Boils Roughly

Cold Eggs Coagulating

Egg Salad On Rye

-------------------------

Gregg Robinson

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Random comments:

Regarding Fish & Fruit: Mrs. Paul, the Gorton's Fisherman, and the entire kitchen staff at Long John Silvers would like to respond to the assertion that fish and fruit are an uncommon pairing. Their response is one word: "LEMON."

Regarding Gender: Ming's comments have twice linked the women's abilities to their gender. I get that he thinks it's okay to do this because he's being complimentary. But -- ew. Invoking stereotypes in service of performance evaluation is a bad practice, period. You know, Katie doesn't strike me as the stereotypical woman who "can ask for directions." I'm sure she can but, on the show, it would be because she's a serious competitor who's looking for information to use to her advantage. In other words, she uses her noggin.

But if Ming wants to make a point about sexism in the restaurant industry, hey, I want him go for it. By all means, tell Katsuji of the snotty-ass comments about "the girls" to zip it. No doubt his raging insecurity will provide many opportunities to do so.

Regarding What Makes a Good Employee: Can you tell I don't like Katsuji? The more I think about it, the more he seems like the worst possible candidate for a job. Any job. He tried to sabotage two other cooks by distracting them and psyching them out. Way to show your ability to work with others. Not to mention not prioritizing his own cooking. And trying to ruin two plates of food as a strategy to make his own appear better.

Granted, getting the food out hot, prepared as directed, presented beautifully -- the skills the job demands are numerous. But most skills can be improved. Character flaws are harder to correct. Katsuji was deliberately and openly messing with the other cooks instead of cooking to the best of his ability. Yeah, that's a guy I'd trust with my investment. One tiff with a coworker and he'd screw with their plates.

I've got an artichoke and a nice glass of Chianti ("F-f-f-f--f-f-up") waiting so I'll end my rant.

Ingrid


My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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The NYC girl's actually a Kentucky girl.

Yes but she has been living in NY for years and has worked for one of the best chefs of our time. Also, she may come off bitchy and I told her myself that she came off as having an attitude on the show,( my personal favorite line having to do with people messing with her mise en place and her response " I m from NY and I ll F**** Kill you") but that is the beauty of fine editing, they have the power to choose the personalities of the shows contestants to some degree

anyways, i ve only seen 2 episodes, and I m gone the rest of the summer is there a way to get old episdoes?


"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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Once again I found myself enjoying the show. There was a lot more talk about food/cooking this time, limiting some of the "reality tv" crap.

I am wondering what type of information do the contestants have during the competition. Do they have books by the judges? Internet? Their own books? One of the contestants stated that it was obvious that they will be cooking terrines the following morning. Could they have studied prior to the challenge? Some of the cooks looked quite lost and although Mr. Ruhlman was quite helpful, if given the chance, they should have done some research on the subject in advance.

Also, most contestants were not taking notes during the explanations. Sometimes I just want to yell, "Get your shit together!" I assume that if I saw the entire challenge I will have a different view, since editing might changed my perceptions.

Anyway, I will be cooking a terrine sometime this summer. It is something I have not tackled yet.

Next show is teamwork, two teams of three people each. That is going to be good.

Alex

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Did anyone suffer the way we did last night? We ran over to the TV to watch the show, and it wasn't on! A check of the website informed us it won't be on for the

Next TWO Weeks!

This is NYC's channel 13--I thought perhaps it was Pledge Time, but to tell the truth, it seems every time I turn the station on they are begging for money. I am tempted to phone in and say, "Well, if you hadn't taken the show away, I might have made a donation.", and hang up.

So now the question is, do those of us who watch Ch. 13 miss the next two episodes, or will our station pick up where it left off?

Angela


"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ

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Angela,

I've heard the same from others and it really chaps my ass that pbs goes to the trouble of trying to make and promote a show and then takes it off the air.

complain to channel 13.

alexP,

as for the terrine show, the 7 noble cooks got a chapter on terrines from me last minute. difficult, because we were all flying in from vegas. the terrine takes some care and skill but is not difficult. as as they were all working cooks, we expected them to be able to handle it, given basic guidelines, which the pages they got contained. and they did do well, better than expected in fact, except for two of them. five were good to excellent. what you don't see because of the half-hour shackle was that katie's terrine was like soupy pudding. you couldn't serve it. yannick's salmon terrine looked good but it was broken, separated, so it felt grainy, which is not fun to have in your mouth. but most important, it didn't taste good. neither were servable in a restaurant. but: katie's tasted so good (she'd infused her cream with the shellfish, things like that), and in a restaurant, you might have been able to serve it in a ramekin as a rillette or something--that is, it was salvagable. the other was not. thus the 86.

but it was real cooking and i was there to do all i could to make them succeed to their best abilities so that they could be judged on what was their best, not on some phony reality scenario.

people who don't like the show or criticize it for whatever visceral reason--I don't disagree or have a problem with, because it really was done as honestly as possible (perhaps too honestly), nothing of significance is hidden from the viewer, they were all really cooking and all working hard.

and lighten up on todd. you who are perfect, etc... he's a good cook and a pleasure to work with. i'd cook under him any day. (ming's a different story, of course.)

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So far I have seen the first show and last nights show and missed every one in between do to PBS auctions. :angry: Which is just ridiculous.


Robert R

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. . . as for the terrine show, the 7 noble cooks got a chapter on terrines from me last minute. difficult,  because we were all flying in from vegas.  the terrine takes some care and skill but is not difficult. as as they were all working cooks, we expected them to be able to handle it, given basic guidelines, which the pages they got contained.  and they did do well, better than expected in fact, except for two of them.  five were good to excellent.  what you don't see because of the half-hour shackle was that katie's terrine was like soupy pudding.  you couldn't serve it.  yannick's salmon terrine looked good but it was broken, separated, so it felt grainy, which is not fun to have in your mouth.  but most important, it didn't taste good.  neither were servable in a restaurant.  but: katie's tasted so good (she'd infused her cream with the shellfish, things like that), and in a restaurant, you might have been able to serve it in a ramekin as a rillette or something--that is, it was salvagable.  the other was not.  thus the 86. . .

Michael, the preview for last night's installment contained an audio clip of something being referred to as "cat food." However, that moment didn't seem to appear in last night's show. Can you elaborate? Thanks.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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As long as we are directing questions to Mr. Ruhlman.....what is the rest of the day like for the contestants? Are they spending the day taking lessons from yourself, and Chefs English and Tsai? Or from the guest Chef? Are they spending the entire day in the kitchen doing things that end up on the cutting room floor? Travel from one city to the next? They don't seem to be doing any TV/radio promotion of the show (maybe if it were on FOX), so I was wondering what they're doing outside of the 6-8 hours that probably go into a given episode.

Regarding last night's episode......the bottom two terrines were chosen with good reason. I though Katie's(?) lack of local ingredients would be her downfall though. It was stated in the beginning: food should taste like where it came from. Her terrine could have been made exactly the same in Boston or Portland. And given the flavors of southern Florida, it's a slap in the face to not use the local produce.

I found it strange that Yannick had so much trouble. I thought terrines were classic French cooking, which I (incorrectly?) assumed was his background? He seemed to be floundering with the entire process. I would have expected much better from him.

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people who don't like the show or criticize it for whatever visceral reason--I don't disagree or have a problem with, because it really was done as honestly as possible (perhaps too honestly), nothing of significance is hidden from the viewer, they were all really cooking and all working hard.

Thanks for the explanation.

Regarding honesty (above quote), I think your paragraph above describes the show well. What I mean is that the show does not use any of the antics of other reality tv programs. Yes, there has been some arguments among the contestants, but appears that the judges and producers are not trying to force drama. In that sense, the show, the people involved, and their actions appear to be genuine, a rare find in most reality tv that I have seen, that is not much anyway.

Alex

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Also, she may come off bitchy and I told her myself that she came off as having an attitude on the show,( my personal favorite line having to do with people messing with her mise en place and her response " I m from NY and I ll F**** Kill you")

Wow, your girl Kentucky Katie sure dodged a bullet last night. Her terrine looked like it was sludge and for some ungodly reason refused to use a single local ingredient, after the guest chef was brought in to describe them and even made suggestions. This competition is about listening and following instructions to the letter. By ignoring what was said Katie was begging to be cut from the show. I was totally surprised at her decision making.

Her only saving grace is that the Frenchman Yannick was such a mess. He acted like he's never even heard of terrine before. Um, isn't that a french word? After seeing him rely on the food processor to puree everything together, it looked like the old Bass-o-matic routine. I felt like I could taste the mealy result through my screen during the judging.

Anyway, I think we're seeing the show coming into its own. The first episodes have to set up the characters, and now there are six down, and five to go.

I like the show, and look forward to it every Wednesday night.


TomH...

BRILLIANT!!!

HOORAY BEER!

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but it was real cooking and i was there to do all i could to make them succeed to their best abilities so that they could be judged on what was their best, not on some phony reality scenario.

Michael... I have a question... do you go so far as to make suggestions of ingredients or technique, such as telling Yannick to infuse the cream slowly while the food processor was running, rather than dumping it all together the moment he was doing it? I noted this suggestion was made after the fact during the judging.

How far can you go with helping out during the cooking? Do you just answer questions that are raised first or are you more proactive than that in correcting what you see as mistakes?

Thanks, Chef/Author Ruhlman, I really like the show and all players in it. Yes, even Ming :wink:

P.S. When is the 86 pan going to be marketed? :cool:


Edited by BuzzDraft (log)

TomH...

BRILLIANT!!!

HOORAY BEER!

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Did anyone suffer the way we did last night?  We ran over to the TV to watch the show, and it wasn't on!  A check of the website informed us it won't be on for the

Next TWO Weeks! 

This is NYC's channel 13--I thought perhaps it was Pledge Time, but to tell the truth, it seems every time I turn the station on they are begging for money.  I am tempted to phone in and say, "Well, if you hadn't taken the show away, I might have made a donation.", and hang up. 

So now the question is, do those of us who watch Ch. 13 miss the next two episodes, or will our station pick up where it left off?

I saw the note on the website several days ago and we were upset. However, we're fortunate in that we also get Channel 12 - Philadelphia (didn't look to see whether New Jersey Network was carrying the show, since it didn't matter at that point), so we taped last night's episode. Now to watch the tape and see what I've been reading about just now... :-)

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whether to use the cat food comment was debated. everyone thought it, todd said it, worth using but not worth shaming somebody outright--there it is.

the contestants did a lot of sitting around waiting to be judged, that looked like the hardest part. days were pretty much filled. they went out to dinner together, they didn't stay out late and got up early. they were working. but it was also disorienting for them, I think. it was hard, no question.

just because yannick is french doesnt mean that he's an expert at french technique. shows how much of the world is becoming americanized, sadly. I would like to add that yannick was a pleasure to work with. cheerful and funny. I think with his pepin like accent and good looks he could do TV.

the ground rules for the terrine day were that they had about a half hour to get their mise together and think a game plan through and could ask me anything they wanted. once they got going they were allowed one prevent-disaster question.

the pages they got talked about what an emulsification was. it should be intuitive for a cook that, when incorporating fat into something not-fat, you do so slowly. the mouselline forcemeat is one of the easiest and most stable to do at home. he should have been able to do it--he had a recipe as well as the mouselline ratio. his flavors were off, the consistancy was off, the plating was weak. the only thing off for katie was the consistancy, flavor was great, and bottom line, is flavor. it's got to taste good.

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just because yannick is french doesnt mean that he's an expert at french technique. shows how much of the world is becoming americanized, sadly. I would like to add that yannick was a pleasure to work with. cheerful and funny. I think with his pepin like accent and good looks he could do TV.

Of course not. He attended New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier the very heart of France.

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I think it could be said, without being accused of being overly cynical, that it was just a matter of time before the French dude got the boot after voicing his heretical views on salt...

What I'd like to see, is for the tasting to be done blind, without the judges knowing who cooked what dish...

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ironically, for the significant item to describe who he was, during tryouts, and what food meant to him, he brought a bag of salt. it was one of the reasons he was chosen...his appreciation of the importance of salt.

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Angela,

I've heard the same from others and it really chaps my ass that pbs goes to the trouble of trying to make and promote a show and then takes it off the air.

complain to channel 13.

You know, I think I'll do just that. PBS/Channel 13 has become so retarded lately that I am at the point where I no longer get my hopes up too high when it comes to actually being able to watch something I want and at the time I expect.

Should I tell the children Yannick got the axe/pan? Or hope Ch. 13 deigns to allow us peons to see it later? I'll tell them.

Thanks.

Angela


"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ

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Disclaimer: I have not read all six pages of this thread and I apologize if my thoughts are a re-hash of previous posts...

I've seen three episodes, including last night's terrine one, total of this show and I am a little dissapointed by the fact that we get to see almost no cooking. All the screen time goes to commentaries by the three judges and some of the cooks. We get probably five minutes of in-the-kitchen time then another four of critique and 86. Probably an extra thirty minutes (making the show a total of 60 minutes) would help tremendously.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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(ming's a different story, of course.)

You forgot to add a smiley, right? :unsure:

yeah, of course, ming's first rate and a lot of fun...though something of a head sweater, we called him Shiney Chef, kept the make up girl busy...

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aha! but not on pbs.org will you find my killer pate en terrine recipe, from an up-coming, harrowing cliff-hanger of an episode....

Is THIS RECIPE in the book?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Shut up!

You lost me at the mis episode.

In order to prepare your mis you must know what you will be preparing. That’s the entire point. It is prepared so you have what you need, nothing more nothing less.

However, if I were in such a contest and some a--hole chef said prepare your mis with no further explanation I would grab every f---ing thing I could in the allotted amount time.

I don’t know why non-industry people, “foodies”, are so infatuated with every pretty boy graduate from an overpriced trade school with a pair of tongs and a cable show.

Where in the hell is Bourdain and his new project.

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