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Helping others - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Hi shroomgirl a question where do I fit in? I had my own successful catering business for over 20 years (part time) as well as cooked on the line and prepped at a cooking school. I don't refer to myself as a retired professional for the same reason I would never refer to myself as Chef? But regardless, I chose to notate myself as a home cook because that is what I am now. It doesn't mean however, that I don't have something of value to offer in some of the threads here on this forum. What do you recommend? Where is "my place"? I too was understanding this was an open board... :-/ TIA!
post #32 of 58
You'd be back down at 1500 posts if we took away all the posts with pig/pork references:D:lol:
Giving advice is a choice. Advice is just that. I wouldn't take everything I read at face value. This works both ways. I've read advice or answers that I know are totally incorrect, but are correct in the givers mind.
I don't think fstfrdy was referring to anyone in particular. I understand the post though. Someone said, just hit the back button. That's what I did a while back. It works for me.
post #33 of 58

Helping others

I'm not quite sure why Shroom is getting the heat for this thread (not that you need my defense, shroom). She didn't start it, only responded. It is clear feelings run strong and I am not sure there is anyway to resolve this. It seems people are making it very personal when it really is about the purpose and goal of the forum. Has anyone taken a look at the guidelines lately? I haven't yet, but think I will...
post #34 of 58

Helping others

Well, I went looking for the guidelines and only found the definition of the Prof Catering Forum: "Professional caterers can share their experiences and ideas here."

Likewise the other cooking forums omit the word "Professional" I guess people need to decide where they fit?
post #35 of 58
oh no,
I would never give Shroom any heat. I was being a smartazz. We go back a couple of decades :D I do understand her position though. Most professionals in this business hardly have any time to themselves. Some come here to unwind, relax and share. When one encounters numerous and repetitive posts that do not require a professionals responce, that pro could become wound up and tense.:crazy:
Does that sound condescending and uppity? didn't mean it that way
post #36 of 58
Panini, I can relate to that. I chat at a HVAC pro site (that is my field now), and it wouldn't be the same if non-pros took up a lot of space. Out of respect, I will leave you guys alone. I hope others will do the same.

A side note, it would be helpful if it was more obvious when a pro forum was being entered. It took me a bit to figure out.
post #37 of 58
AndyG, I must have screwed up and sent the wrong message. Stay, participate. It is a community. Don't listen to me. What a jerk I am. When I hit the half century mark, I seem to talk in circles:talk:
I'm just going to run to the Pastry shop and try to pull my foot out of my ____
post #38 of 58
No you're right, you spoke for many I think. no problem :D I have fun in the non-pro forums too.
post #39 of 58
There is plenty of forums to post in on cheftalk. Nicko has made sure of it, so all feel welcome. There is however something to be said about allowing professionals to have there space also.

I have known shroomgirl for 7 years, and can say with the utmost confidence that shroom is one of the most important people to this site.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #40 of 58
Cape chef, I completely agree with you! To all, I also give my apologies, I was not trying to single out shroomgirl nor to make this a personal matter, I was sincerely asking the question because sometimes people like food don't fit into neat boxes.

I really don't know where or where I shouldn't be posting and I definitely wouldn't want to invade peoples' area. I'm sincere here. I don't know why it sounds as if I'm being sarcastic or defensive, I wish you could see inside my head. :-/

Oh well, I will also stay out of the professional forums out of respect. No hard feelings and again, shroom sorry to reply to you.

post #41 of 58

helping others

Again WOW! I love you all & am sorta sorry i got involved in this thread... I am a pacifist... all about world peace
post #42 of 58
everyone decides for themselves if they are a food professional.....defining that would seem to be easy but the few first things that come to mind are not fast and firm....
cooking in a commercial kitchen....well personal chefs don't do that
making money from cooking.....not all that cook for non-profits make money
having been where those of us catering have been....obviously of value to those of us muddling through

As to pig threads....:) personally I think there should be a forum heading just for porcine....but it's not my site.
This is a community founded and run by Nicko....I defer to him.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #43 of 58
oh yeah....pan and cc are extended web family members that probably know more about me than my biological least cooking big brothers....they have gotten as well as given grief through the years. There is a friendship that develops with time.

Cheftalk has been a great resource of support, joy, ideas, etc.....bouncing project ideas or getting feedback is so important to creative people....finding "your people" that enjoy the passion of cooking is one of the greatest things to have. How many of you get shut down by friends or people around you that are just not as enthralled with food? Cheftalk always has had members that will share the joy of a discovery....(even new members that aren't tired of having pig on the menu, or are into heirloom varieties or just like breaking them down and making shtuff with the bits and pieces ;) thank goodness, cus I'm still working through pig ideas.....
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #44 of 58
Shroomgirl, thanks so much for the clarification! I have a bit of knowledge here or there to give but lol like to use it judiciously since I'm not in the trenches now and if my better half B bawks at eating something I fix well...hmm...hellll let's be honest that just doesn't happen unless I get fouled for over-use of spinach.

Can anything pork be bad??? I would dearly love to break a whole hog down to parts!
post #45 of 58
it was stated earlier....and worth reiterating....
Catering is not all about how to cook food en site catering involves oh so much more.

menu development
movement of food/equipment/staff
being able to work with time.....time is one of caterings biggest elements.
working out logistics, time schedules, personnel issues
knowing with each client what's important
running a commercial kitchen, training staff
looking at packaging
retail vs wholesale
deciding whether to add a "bread and butter" product ie....a friend who caters sells shortbread and cookies to coffee shops and stores to help suppliment her bottom line. I take in personal chef clients and teach classes to offset the slow time.
print material
public relations
choosing events and professional groups to join
learning about new equipment
working up new ideas
deciding when/if to expand
how to continue enjoying the work we've chosen
how much staff to bring in.....
chosing premade vs scratch vs partially made vs contracted I make water bagels but buy swiss commercial chocolate small tart shells, I'll make lavosh but buy other crackers....I'll make pate chou but would buy petit fours from a wholesale baker.
types and amounts of insurence
licenses/taxes etc...

How about deciding how to market yourself? That's a constant thorn for me....I've not got set menus so each event is do you market that you work through budgets/pcing guests/time to people that are looking to hire a caterer?

That's what professional caterers deal with.....well and the not killing nor maiming people.
Home cooks giving advice on transporting food to offsite venues without kitchens and a hall for staging....or producing a product that will be stable for a couple of hours ......or know costing on basics.....or just knowing that coffee service would involve much more than plugging in a pot. Most of the time they haven't got the experience to respond with help that makes sense.

These are what makes the professional threads different than the regular threads further down the page.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #46 of 58
Well said Shroomgirl, maybe you ought to contact Webster’s and have them use your definition of caterer.

I will say that I have never been one for message boards or on-line communities of any sort. In all the years that such things have existed I have come across many different food related message boards and never (until I came across this one) have I felt the desire to bookmark the site and “lurk” (I believe that is the term used) let alone participate.

I was struck by the level of professionalism, the willingness to share ideas, and the fact that all types of professionals (chefs, caterers, pastry chefs, owners, writers and so on) were interacting at the same site. The food industry is so diverse and many of us wear many different hats in this field, to find a venue that encompasses so much is impressive.

I haven’t been a member very long, but visiting this site is now part of my day. In fact, not too long ago I had to assure my husband that I wasn’t having an on-line affair, I was just coming here! I check posts here before I check my e-mail.

Back to the difference between a “newbie” caterer and a “newbie” to the site:

I understand where some posts should go, i.e. venting over clueless clients, menu ideas, staffing issues, etc. are for the professional categories.

However, as a professional I like to develop my own recipes and experiment. Things that we do in a professional capacity use different techniques, certainly different quantities and have to fulfill different needs. Furthermore, there are differences in the professional world. What works for a restaurant may not work for a caterer and vise versa.
An at home cook, no matter how talented (unless they have professional experience) can’t begin to give me advice on some things. It even goes beyond the technical aspect of preparation. How will an at home cook give advice on gauging how clients might receive the dish and if the work involved in prep and expense will be worth it or pearls before swine? So where do I as a professional post ideas or ask for input on recipes? In the general categories or professional?

Then there is the issue of which professional category to post in? I see a lot of cross over and wonder what the etiquette is because I am not only new to this site but the message board world as a whole.

And is it considered poor form to be as long winded as I am? If so I will try to be less wordy.
post #47 of 58
professional forums for professional recipe development.....all info that professionals would know that at-home cooks would not......

Catering is different obviously from pastry and the top pro thread which I don't remember the name of but is basically all....heavy in restaurant/ country club guys.

Down the page are the regular threads that are not specific to pros or've already stated the obvious in that foodies without commercial experience will be active in those threads, so know that going in.

As to length of post, don't worry about it.....I don't....if there is time long windedness sometimes helps working out shtuff, other times asking/answering a question may just read. "yep"....only now there seems to be some computer thing that says you have to post more than 3 letters....not sure what's up with that but sometimes ditto or yep works.

Cheftalk is special.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #48 of 58

helping others

Once again, Thank you shroom... your list/definition is spot on.
post #49 of 58
Thread Starter 
I have enjoyed this thread it has been informative, to me. I never intended to single out any one user but spoke in generalities. Now after reading each post I have been educated. My original opinion is still the same but I have found the other posting areas. I now, thanks to this post I have found the other areas further down the page. Exchanging basic information on cooking and really for a chef/owner/operator/cook at home/try to keep my kids eating good fun food like me I am very happy to post there now also. I have aready learned some stuff from the "cant boil water" gang.:D

Cheers fstfrdy :chef:
Kill a cow...Light a fire.....The Magic begins
Kill a cow...Light a fire.....The Magic begins
post #50 of 58
Just want to say that as a professional in another area, you will learn more if you keep your ears open to those outside your profession as well. Yes I know a lot more than you in some things, my territory, but doesn't mean I can't learn from you too. No need to be haughty.
post #51 of 58
Professional Food Service Forums
These forums are reserved for professional's in the food service industry
(Please note these forum are intended for professionals only. You are free to read but please refrain from posting.)

this is on the front page....Andy, I'm trully tired of being insulted....long day I catered an offsite event for 650 and just wanted to kick back and relax.
Enough already.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #52 of 58

well kick back in that home that's made comfortable partly by those in my profession lol
post #53 of 58
I dont care for the small talk about petty issues, if you want, you can take them to PM..

Shroomgirl what you wrote about catering is a long list of every single thing we do on a daily basis with the one exception of profiling and estimating based on that element :), nicely done!
post #54 of 58

Helping others

Shroomgirl captured both what we do & the purpose of the forum. I started out thinking everyone should be welcome. However, Andy exemplified in his last few posts exactly why this should remain a forum for "Professional Caterers". I come here for the input from my collegues in my profession, not for this ridiculous immaturity.

I think I am done reading this thread... I hope we return to catering issues, questions, support and conversation!
post #55 of 58
I was on my way out, don't care for the elitism here. I'm not immature at all, perhaps a bit too long in the tooth for my own good. If you and your colleagues are sure that you have nothing to learn from the lower classes, you are missing a lot of learning opportunities.
post #56 of 58

My two cents

I have been catering since 1990 and a few things I have learned on catering for different groups. Seems like Church groups, teachers, realtors and events where there are mostly family members eat LOTS. Groups where people are comfortable with each other always seems to consume more food than a cocktail party where everyone is "watching their weights". I have never run out of food in 17 years so I don't know if that means I'm wasting food or just planning correctly. Anyway, I never mind questions, I'm sure I will be asking some pretty dumb ones from time to time.
post #57 of 58
If I'm looking for an answer from a professional, well, I'm going to go where the professionals are.
I would expect to get a faster, and more informative response in the professional forum than a newbie forum.
I agree that giving advice should only be done by those qualified to give it.
But asking?
I would think I could ask anything of you all, and those that were of a mind to would respond, and others would ignore, and nobody would get bunched up undies.

That's the great thing about forums.
They are a wealth of knowledge.
It's like being in a room with a constant rotation of many people, with many levels of experience.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #58 of 58
AGAIN - I will help anybody who needs it!! - I will MAKE time!! - just the way I am - I have come a long way - with a little help from my friends !! - ask away!!
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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