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Garde Manger/ carving books

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
OK. So to get better hours and more pay I bench tested for the Garde Manger Chef position at the Resort. Needless to say I got the job. This means I give up my position at the hotel that I love and working in a 4 diamond restaurant, but I do believe that in the end it will be a win/win.

Now to the "meat" of the thread. I need recommendations for books on modern buffet presentation and fruit/veggie carvings. I do "ok" with my platters n stuff, but I want to do better and teh interwebz is severely lacking in pics of decent trays to pull from for inspiration for my platters.

Also I am not versed in carvings. I can do the fruit swan and some other mundane stuff, but I really want to learn the Thai style of carving.

Any book or video suggestions would be most appreciated.
post #2 of 9
I have an older edition of Garde Manger, the art of the Cold Kitchen which at the time was the textbook for the CIA. I like it quite well, but there's not much to compare it to in my limited experience. It includes some basic carving. The presentations are pleasing, but perhaps dated.

As to the Thai Carving, I have almost no knowledge. My sister brought me some English language Thai Cookbooks she picked up in Thailand and they show some basic Thai Carving. They'd be hard if not impossible to find a source for I bet.

However, Youtube has quite a few hits on Food Carving when I typed it in a minute ago. I suspected they would. Some are for ice and roasts, but most seem to be fruit and vegetables. You might also try an google search set to search only images.

Martin Yan usually has some neat small carvings and bundles as garnishes in the food pix in his books. Borrow them from the library and flip through them.

Phil
post #3 of 9
japanese carving books are great and give really good pictures
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
Reply
post #4 of 9
As to carving meats: no such text I have seen as such. Suggest, however, that you learn from a master how to do the tradtional japanese tea ceremony. The simple, elegant hand movements will make you seem like a real expert carving that less-than-prime-rib hunk of meat, even if you are not.

Garde Mange: boy, am I glad you asked. I am also annoyed that no professional has bothered to answer your question. IMHO, no aspect is more crucial to the success or failure of a restaurant than garde manger, nor is there an aspect to pro foodservice more neglected :cry:.

Humbly suggest you buy a copy of
The Professional Chef's Art of Garde Manger by Frederic H. Sonnenschmidt
If this works out, please let me know. This is one of my beefs with other foodservice pros.
post #5 of 9
Jerry said: "Suggest, however, that you learn from a master how to do the tradtional japanese tea ceremony. The simple, elegant hand movements will make you seem like a real expert carving that less-than-prime-rib hunk of meat [sic]." (?!!) as they say in international chess annotation.

Jerry -- You've left me in the dust. What do you mean, exactly?

Chef Lolla -- I know you'll be a real success. Congratulations on making Chef d'Partie! Actually, I should be congratulating your employer. Start looking for a briefcase style knife carrier, the Magic Eight Ball says something about "Executive."

You earned it,
BDL
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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #6 of 9
Sorry: my answer was so obscure and stupid, even I do not understand it, so permit me to rectify.

OK, you are manning the meat carving station at a buffet or catering event. The perception of + or - by the individual customer depends a lot on what happens at the meat carving station where they receive their allotment of prime rib or suckling pig or whatever.
If you, the carver, seem like you really know what you are doing, the customer will think you are the greatest chef in the world. I have found that this perception depends a lot on the confidence and gracefullness of your hand motions, and little, if any, on your ability to recite to the customer about the properties of various portions of the meat piece you are happily hacking to pieces.
The first time I did this was at cooking school carving the suckling pig at a Friday buffet. Even though my attitude was arrogant and dismissive, the customers were appreciative because my carving motions were fluid and graceful (truthfully, I forget exactly why my hand use was so elegant at the time; I wish I knew, I could really use it in my current job).
post #7 of 9
We're wandering pretty far away from Lolla Rossa's request for presentation pieces when we talk about carving stations, but what the heck.

I think the big five are: (1) Super sharp knife -- minimum of sawing; (2) mad skilz to make really even, thin slices at constant angles; (3) mad skilz to use knife and fork together to shingle the slices on the board, then, using the knife as spatula, and the fork as security, plate them precisely while the diner holds her plate; (4) mad skilz to use two forks or fork and spoon as chop-stick style for plating garniture; and (5) arrogant, dismissive attitude.

BDL
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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #8 of 9
Stumbled across a book today that might fit the bill
the wok shop: selling woks for 30 years
post #9 of 9
Most of the Gard Manger books from the Cia are good.. The Original Buffet Catering by George K Waldner and Klaus Mitterhouser. Fritz Sonnenschmidts book on Garde Manger is very good. I worked with Fritz in the 60s and he knows his business.
Also let me clarify one thing. What you are doing is 2 jobs , You are the Garde Manger and the Chef Decorateur. Originally in the hotels the Garde Manger was sent all of the leftovers from every kitchen and made new items from it. The Decorateur made and decorated platters given him by the garde manger like pate' galantines etc which the garde manger made from all the leftovers. Then there was the pantry cooks who helped everyone. :roll:

Congrats on your promotion!!!
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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