ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fastest learning experience
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fastest learning experience

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I would love to know how everyone has learned to do (or NOT to do) what they love in the kitchen. For instance, I have learned that cold water and hot oil do not mix well and 10 minutes isn't enough time for the oil to cool. I have also learned that when you cut a recipe in half ingredients wise, you must cut the cooking time too. From that learning session I learned that the smell of burnt rice lingers for two weeks. So let us know, stupid yet knowledgeable lessons in the kitchen you have experienced.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
post #2 of 26
Flavour isn't everything. About 12 years ago I was insane for baking. I was fond of being "creative" with ingrediants which lead to my blueberry and pumpkin muffins. Tasted pretty good. Had that off grey/ green colour of calves' liver. Totally stomach churning.

--Al
(oh, and to quote Johny Carson, never peel carrots on the nude.)
post #3 of 26
rotfl....peeling carrots....wow there's a visual.

where to start?
When you get a good deal on a product, such are 50# of zucchini or 300# of tomatoes it's usually in the heat of the summer and you'll have to process them quickly or they go south and it's pretty expensive compost even at bargain basement prices.

Have time to breakdown animals as soon as they come in the door.....good lesson.

Just because someone has years of experience does not mean they work efficiently.

Restaurants are on different time tables than caterers.

Don't put exact products on a menu....unless there is a caveat about seasonal products not being guaranteed available. Short learning curve.
Planned an out of town chef's event several years ago and had radish salad from their cookbook on the lunch menu....2 weeks prior to the event there were radishes everywhere, heat wave hit and there were NO radishes to be
found on the market. Had a pumpkin fest year 2 of the market.....watermelon blight hit and you guessed it, NO pumpkins were available on the market that year.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow. It's funny because catering interests me A LOT but with stuff like that, it's kinda scary too.....
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
post #5 of 26

New Agricultural Theory

Shromgirl causes crop failures. :lol:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #6 of 26
Don't anger the chef by using one of his knives. Learned that when I was 13.
I should've been a chef. Where else can you eat your work?
Searching for food nirvana!
Reply
I should've been a chef. Where else can you eat your work?
Searching for food nirvana!
Reply
post #7 of 26
I usualy learn my huting myself in somway shape or form, i was opening filets out of vacume sealed packages and it was in the middle of a rush after a long day and cut the two filets in half except my one fingers was in the way, ouch, i learned form that one that you have to pay attention especialy with knive no matter how tired you are. Another lesson i learned was always open lids on pots aways from you, i pulled a lid off of rice and burn my knuckles from the steam escaping, same thing happend tonight when i opened the steamer except it wasnt as bad this time. Iv dont all kings of stupid things but iv learned from each and every one of them. I have never had to go to the hospital or anything of that sort but its just one of those learning things. Theres lots of othere dumb thing i have done but it seems i only rememvber the ones that i got hurt doing.
post #8 of 26
The chef in the kitchen i work in right now on externship leaves his knives lay around dirty and would leave them there all night if it wasnt for employees picking them up and giving them back to him. I learned to ALWAYS ask to use somone elses tools before using them, i dont care if i ask every day but i still ask. I figure if i give them respect about there tools they will give me respect about mine. I havent personaly ever angered a chef by taking one of his knives but have seen a chef angered becasue somone elses has.
post #9 of 26
Make sure that when you go to lean on the counter, that it is there..I fell on the floor..(they had moved the counter by a slight few inches the night before..duh!)

To not blindly reach for spices that are the same color family...paprika, cayenne pepper..old bay.
post #10 of 26
KY....remember the You Can't Fool Mother Nature television ad......

sugar and salt need to be in different colored shaped dishes. enough said.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #11 of 26
I've only worked in a dietary department of a nursing home but I learned an important lesson there on my fist day washing dishes. Never stick your fingers in the drain on the big sinks to clean it out if it has a metal lip on it. I cut my finger pretty deep...didn't need stitches...but 13 years later, I still have a scar there.

I've learned lots of lessons cooking at home. Don't place a potholder near a gas burner, don't leave anything unattended or you might come back to a scorched mess. If ever in doubt about a recipe's ingredients list, don't try it! lol
post #12 of 26
I've learned never put your tongue on a metal ice tray.

I've learned things that come out of the oven are hot.

I've learned never to go to the potty after dinner, during clean up or else all the pots, pans, and wiping up will be left for you.
post #13 of 26
Things I've learned:

Always hide your clean sidetowels.

Never loan out the good peeler.

Whenever the sous sends you to get the lobster hammer/parsly curler/long weight for the terrines from the bistro across the steet, take a break instead. Tell your sous that the bistro guys want their bacon stretcher back.

That hot caramel may look tasty...

One thing I've taught somebody else:

Brown roux may look like ganach, but isn't.
post #14 of 26
Always cut AWAY from you ... once had a kitchen that looked like a CSI crime scene. Thank goodness the knife was very sharp and finely honed.

Oh, yeah, always keep your knives sharp ...

Wear shoes in the kitchen ...

Never stir your bacon with a plastic fork (a housemate did that and I laughed my *** off)

shel (still laughing!)
post #15 of 26
Storage Bins too! Gawwd That was one he!!uva mistake. :blush: Thee very worst cake batter I ever made.:eek: Good thing I forgot proticol and licked my finger.:suprise:
Fryer filter powder and Flour look identical too.
Be careful how closely together you store the cornstach and baking powder when they are from the same purveyor. I had a Sous that worked for me a couple years ago and he went for the baking powder thinking it was cornstarch. Made his slurry and dumped it in the chowder.

Took three days to get all that mess cleaned up. There were Clam and potato bits everywhere. Come to think of it that steam kettle never worked the same after that. Needless to say there was a roux only rule initiated after that.

Never stick your finger in the pan of bubbling goo (sugar) for a taste test.

When it comes to the kitchen, food and menu... Always listen to the Chef. No matter how or what you think differently.;)
post #16 of 26
be careful pourring 250* sugar syrup into stiff egg whites as the mixer is mixing....

oh, and adding a ton of flour to said mixer that runs pretty much on low and high nothing in between is not fun to clean up afterwards....flour storm.

when the dishwasher guy says wipe off the knobs in the very back bottom of the hobart...do it....overwise it gets coated and water pours out all over the floor.

old double deck ovens are not only HOT on the inside but HOT on the outside...got great unintentional tatoos to prove it.

Not everyone has asbestos fingers

Remember to tell newbies that silver trays are to be handwashed not run through the dishwasher....ugly, ugly......

Double bag the trash can if there is potential of messy, heavy, shtuff being thrown away.

Not a good sign when the refer repair guy finishes then tells you to put a glass of water in the fridge so you'll know when it freezes....um it's a fridge not a freezer repair guy.
Had to come back 2 more times in 3 weeks.

Not everyone is enamoured by cooking even though they do it for a living.

When someone known to be squeemish asks a question like, "when does the oyster die?" or "Are we eating the soft shell crab's eyes?" or "what's in boudin?" really really think twice before telling them the truth, especially if they are family, especially if you ever want to cook at a family holiday ever again.

Just because someone writes about food doesn't mean they are a foodie.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #17 of 26
OMG, where to start? :blush:

Always keep an eye on anything you are reducing when it's close. I used to get saucepans of carbon instead of port wine reduction :o

Always cover your nose and mouth when you are grinding dried chiles in the food processor. Corollary: always avert your face when you add the chili paste to the hot oil. Corollary #2: don't try to make chili oil in cold weather, when you have to keep the windows closed.

Always wait for the buffalo chopper to stop COMPLETELY before you reach in. (Luckily, I waited long enough so that the blade bounced off my thumb, instead of going right through it :eek:).

And always listen to Shroomgirl! :lol:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #18 of 26
Never add cold water to hot sugar... unless tyou are at least a 10-foot pole away.
and don't reach into a new proto-ype cookie mixer to remove a speck of shortening, that belongs in the mix, untill it has stoped moving completly or broken. and don't ever ask "whens the baby due"...to a woman...
post #19 of 26
never ever ask a chef for recipes and not give them a drop dead date.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #20 of 26
Shel: I have a flat spot on my left thumb because I forgot that. I think I was 12 at the time.

Don't expect pasta or other dough to do what you want it to do unless you let it rest first.

When using two ovens to roast two different birds (a duck and a turkey), make sure you put the correct bird in the right oven or you'll get raw turkey and burned duck. :rolleyes:
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
post #21 of 26
I wish I were 12yo when my kitchen mishap ocurred. It was much more recent than that and it's only been in the last few weeks that full feeling in my thumb has returned.

What's with the rubber bands? Are they dangerous, too, and something around which I need to be careful?

Shel
post #22 of 26
Always take your recipe from the source, in context. Called my grandpa for his wonderful split pea soup recipe, and was told "Use the bags of dried peas, two of them if you're cooking for a bunch of people, plus a gallon of water and a kielbasa link,a ham hock, and a bunch of carrots and celery per bag of peas." Forgot that, to the retired NY fireman, a "bunch" meant an engine company (four or five people), a ladder company (five people), two lieutenants, a chief, and a dog.

Me and my three housemates ate pea soup for a week. It was good, though.
post #23 of 26
Shel, that's what my dough was like when I tried to roll and cut it without letting it rest. :D
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Reply
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
*cringe* I have had a similar experience with a brisket. I tried to just cut into it and realized that was a bad idea. It was almost like a jerky. :eek:
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
post #25 of 26
Never put a plate on a burner of the stove when you're using the stove to cook several items at once. You might accidentally turn on the wrong burner!
post #26 of 26
Before we were married, we got the two families together for a "meet and greet". When my future stepson started cutting the turkey...(which looked and tasted great), much to my humiliation, there was the bag with giblets... :eek:
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fastest learning experience