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Posts by Mikeb

I usually just get them to peel and cook some vegetables, sort through salad greens, and cook staff meal. Can usually get a pretty good idea of how they work/cook from watching them do these simple tasks. Unfortunately, it's also disappointing how poorly some cooks do these tasks (make a mess peeling vegetables, cook them wrong, can't sear meat, etc...). If I don't want to kill myself watching them peel vegetables or sort greens, it's a start. At least then they...
Ditch the gelatin. White choc mousse doesn't need it, between the milk solids and lecithin in the white chocolate there should be enough stabilisers. For white choc mousse usually I melt white chocolate, add some crème anglaise, then some whipped cream. Works pretty well.
Chains are a good starting point. In my own career, I started out in a chain restaurant at 18, then moved to a golf course, and at 19 I got a job at the top fine dining restaurant in my city. After 3 months (still 19 years old) I was made a Chef de Partie at said restaurant, supervising 2 other employees, and since then I've worked almost exclusively fine dining (though at 22 I made a permanent switch to pastry). Anyhow, the point is, chains teach you how to work...
Dunno, this seems strange to me as molecular gastronomy actually started in part with Chefs who adopted pastry techniques to the savoury kitchen...
Odds are she'd screw up the puff pastry as well... You really can't expect anything out of a culinary school grad. Last pastry job I had I had to supervise several pastry school grads - they were so clueless I'd give them busywork just so they didn't have time to screw anything up. Every once in awhile I'd walk them through something, or maybe let them do a few things with supervision. The fact of the matter is, culinary school is more or less a scam to separate...
I used to wear an all-black chef uniform. Nowadays though, I spend a ton of time in the pastry shop, so for that I wear white. I'm not sure which I prefer really, I think my favourite look would be a white jacket with black pants and a black apron.
At a gastro restaurant what I look for is for the plate to communicate to the diner how to eat it. If the food is meant to be eaten in the same bite it's stacked, if it's meant to be eaten separately but with the same sauce you line them up separately, and connect them with a line of sauce. On a cheese plate, I separate the cheeses, and put them next to a condiment that suits them (chutneys, compotes, fruits, gelees, etc...). I really don't think the visual component...
When I was working in fine dining we did spend a great deal of time on plating. I find that when I'm a guest at a restaurant, the plating really doesn't matter much to me. Taste (and texture) is much more important. The food could be slapped on to the plate, doesn't bother me one bit as long as it's tasty. I also dislike the idea of garnishes for the sake of it, and especially inedible garnishes. I once got a piece of fish with a huge rosemary branch in it as...
I enjoy making customers happy. Cooking good quality food for people to enjoy. And that's it. Nothing better than when a customer tells me I made the best risotto they've ever had (and then request it over and over despite it not even being on the menu...), or when a rave review comes out in the paper (or a magazine calls us the best restaurant in the city...). That's what makes the job worthwhile, and why I'm a cook. I have no problem going the extra mile to...
After a certain point, if you want to make any money in this business, you need to transition from cook to businessman. Learning is great and all, but what about family and your personal life? I don't know about you, but the thought of grinding behind the stoves my whole life isn't very appealing. I'd much rather open (or buy into) a simple restaurant concept that makes me money than a fine dining restaurant that barely breaks even. In the end, what is the...
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