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Rushing Water Fisheries

In a culinary world where chefs quest for new commodities and methods of cookery it is understandable that the idea of cooking with trout does not purvey the concept of modern cuisine. Nor does it really spark the culinary imagination. This is certainly the way I felt - until I encountered the fish form Rushing Waters. In the heart of the Wisconsin countryside - Palmyra to be exact you can discover Rushing Waters Fishery. Rushing Waters is a trout farm with a difference. It is an operation that is focused on quality not quantity. A rare philosophy in the fish business... read more

A Brining We Shall Do

In my XX number of years in the kitchen, believe it or not, I have never brined anything.  Well, I did once, unfortunately I brined a turkey that already had 8% salt solution enhancement, ACK!  It was a Thanksgiving of side dishes only, so I never tried it again, until now. All of the turkeys or parts thereof, that I have prepared, I’ve  just chucked into the oven and said a pray, oh please kitchen gods, let my meal be good this once?  Recently, I have been buying Jenny-O turkey breast tenderloins that are already flavored.  It took me till now to look at more than... read more

An Orange Is An Orange Is An Orange

Imagine this: it's the middle of winter and something as sun drenched and vibrant as citrus fruits are in peak season. In a time when everything always seems to be in season, this may not sound that strange but it's true. Even foods that are as perpetually present in supermarkets as oranges indeed have an optimum period. Though as I write this column it's 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside and hard to imagine anything is actually in season. Oranges are a near-perfect food. One medium sized navel orange has just 80 calories, is cholesterol and sodium free and contains more... read more

The Resort Circuit

The most frequent question I'm asked from visitors to my web site; The Adventures of an Itinerant Chef (http://www.chefpatrick.com/) is, “How do you find all these jobs?”I've decided to take advantage of this column to answer that question. I began my culinary career as an apprentice in 1971 working in restaurants, hotels and resorts on the “resort circuit.”The “resort circuit” is nothing more than any restaurant, hotel, resort, lodge, camp, yacht and other business that operate on a seasonal basis. To “work the circuit”one could work the Summer season at a lodge in... read more

Strawberries

Will the Real Strawberry Please Stand UpSaint Hildegard was a 12th century German abbess, (the nun in charge of a convent), who supposedly had prophetic and apocalyptic visions.  The theological authorities at the time confirmed her visions as authentic.  In addition to her prophesies about God and the end of the world, Saint Hildegard believed strawberries were unfit for human consumption.  Because they grew close to the ground, she reasoned that snakes and toads contaminated them.  Clearly her "vision" was shortsighted.  According to the Food and Agriculture... read more

Where Are The Employees

One of the questions many of my restaurant clients have asked me is, "Where are the employees?"With everyone howling about the labor challenge and so many restaurants competing for the same people, it's important to remember that our best recruiting strategy is employee retention.You've already found performers. Today's real challenge isn't finding new people, it's keeping the best ones we already have and making sure that they're feeling happy, challenged, fulfilled and excited about what they're doing. Why not focus the next six months on making the employees - the... read more

Finding Comfort Between Two Slices of Bread

Finding comfort between two slices of bread   Jim Berman   There is probably more in print - and on television - about Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers than every James Beard Award winner. Combined. And that is the last the time "James Beard Award" and "Primanti Brothers" will appear in the same sentence. In case you missed the article in National Geographic, the spots on Man vs. Food and the Jon Stewart Show or are not a 'burgh resident, then you probably do not know about Primanti's goodness. From the wall-hung catalog of about 20 meat/fish choices, the rest is... read more

Champagne

In the James Bond movie "Goldeneye", 007 and the villainess are playfully racing down a scenic mountain roadway.  Bond's passenger is a young female coworker sent by M to evaluate him.  Having no stomach for his perilous antics she orders him to stop his Aston Martin immediately.  Bond complies and proceeds to seduce her, but not before opening a secret chilled compartment revealing a bottle of the 1988 Bollinger Grand Annee Champagne.  An outstanding choice, and not just for romance. Another New Years Eve is upon us and countless people the world over will celebrate... read more

Retaining Younger Workers Isnt Difficult

One of my clients calls younger workers hummingbirds because they flutter from job to job. While it's difficult to get Generation X workers to stay put, it's not impossible. We suggest you follow these strategies: Ask them for their opinions. Studies have shown that one way to reduce turnover with younger employees is to convince them that you value their opinions. Involve employees in decisions, especially when those decisions affect them. Be willing to take the time to meet with and listen to employees, as much as they need or want. There is a difference between... read more

Preserving The Gardens Bounty In A Jar

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