[QUOTE=ChrisLehrer;261617]This may be OT, but I just have a question about Top Chef for some of you pros.
In season 3, I think it was -- the one Hung won -- there was a challenge very near the end, when all the idiots and incompetents had been weeded out. They were at the French Culinary Institute, and were told to do something with the absolute foundational core: chicken, onion, and I think potato.
Result: Everybody was all over the place, trying weird new things, making stuff up, whatever. The woman chef, who seemed very talented, made coq au vin, except of course she didn't use a rooster or an old hen, she didn't cook it a long time, and all in all she made red-wine-stewed chicken. The judges, all classical French chefs like Soltner and so on, called her on this. Her response was basically, "hey, coq au vin isn't this or that, it's a kind of dish, you know, and I do my own thing with it, blah blah." Every other contestant did much the same.
Chris, I work with a crew of young guys in a very upscale club in Palm Beach. Some are good , some not. Some went to culinary schools , some didnt. I am old and semi retired. They call me the old guy. One thing I have found is none of them know the orgins of what they are making, nor do they care. If they mess up they come over to me and tell me "what do you think , or is it ok. I have found the majority who did not attend schools more knowlegable then the others. We have standardized recipes, and they must follow them. Very few of them know technical traits or parts of cooking like why this does that and so on.. The ones that went to school, think they know everything, where in most cases the ones who did not, know more.They believe just by going to one of these schools make them better.If handed a recipe that said chicken in red wine, thats what they would make, it would never cross their minds Coq Au Vin? I am glad I grew up when I did and with the Pro's I had as mentors.Great Country America.:D