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New and saying hello

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm almost positive that nobody will read this, but it says I should introduce myself so here goes:

Hello all, I'm British and currently working in China. I'm a chef by trade and have been for more than 5 years. One thing that always bothered me working as a chef, is how much the industry is filled with mis-information and general lack of understanding for food and flavours, beyond urban-myths and simply doing as they are told. So I have (and still am) spent a consideral amount of time to understand the science of food and the food processes, and really feels like I've been released from the shackles of the mystery of food and the whims of the kitchen and the head chefs!
I am very much looking to improve my skills and knowledge, and love learning something new.

If you did take the time to read this, thank you very much.

Chris.
post #2 of 11
Hello Chris and welcome to Cheftalk.

I'm from Edinburgh and there are a number of British members on here - both professionals (like yourself) and enthusiastic amateurs like me!

How are you enjoying being an expatriate in such an exciting area of the globe? Many changes in China every day, I suspect!
post #3 of 11
Will anybody read your introductory post?

Hmm,
BDL
post #4 of 11
Welcome to CT!
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #5 of 11

Hi Chris!!!!

Hope I can tap into your expertise!

Brian
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well its a strange place. I can't say the food here is very good though! Western style chinese food is much more considered (ironically!).

Thank you all for the warm welcome.
post #7 of 11
AMEN! Well said, Chris.
I share your philosophy exactly. I blame Food TV. MTV is to music what Food TV is to food. MTV used to play music, now they're entertainment ABOUT music. Food TV doesn't teach you to cook, it's entertainment ABOUT food. People have been lead astray by the edited TV show where everything comes out perfect every time.

I believe people should cook with basic cooking methods, forget the recipes, and create from the ingredients you have and the inspiration in your heart.

Quick story - A newlywed wife is making roast beef for her husband. She takes out the roast, cuts both ends off and puts it in the oven. "Why did you cut the ends off?" asks the husband. "That's how my mom does it," she says.

Later, they're at mom's house. She cuts the ends off the roast too. "Why do you do that?" he asks. "That's how my mom did it." the mother replies.

For the holiday, they go to grandma's house. She takes out the roast, cuts the two ends off and puts it in the oven. "This is too much," the husband says, "three generations of wasting beef." "Why do you cut the ends off?" he asks the grandmother.

"I never had a pan big enough to fit the roast," she replies. Three generations later, the way to cook roast begins with cutting the ends off.

People need to ask "why"? in cooking.
Not only did I read your post, but you inspired me to relate that story.
Thanks, and welcome.
post #8 of 11
Chris, I also completely agree with your philosophy. To quote Alton Brown:

"What I am interested in is making food make sense. I want to understand what makes food tick and how to control the process known as cooking. In that regard I'm more a mechanic than I am a cook"

That's the reason I joined; it looks like a great place to swap knowledge with the experts
"Of course the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. At some point, I hope to learn enough to realize that I know nothing at all. Then maybe I'll be able to snatch a pebble from Julia Child's hand"
- Alton Brown
Reply
"Of course the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. At some point, I hope to learn enough to realize that I know nothing at all. Then maybe I'll be able to snatch a pebble from Julia Child's hand"
- Alton Brown
Reply
post #9 of 11
Hi Chris, I'd like to add my welcome to all the others.

As you enjoy the science of food, You really must, if you havn't already, Read up on how Raymond Blanc started out. He taught himself how to cook scientifically, pretty much perfectly. He's been a huge inspiration to me,

I vividly remember learning to drive (Bear with me) couldnt get the hang of the gears.
A mechanic friend taught me how to visualise them working and after that i had no trouble.

Same, same with someone like Raymond Blanc and food

Look forward to hearing from you
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well from inside the industry I always blamed the attitude that cooking is an Art, not a science. However its not the end of the world when cooking is merely a hobby, but you'll be amazed how many professional chefs misunderstand the basic processes happening in food. They develop an almost 6th sense to the dishes, yet lack the basic knowledge of what's happening.



I like Raymond Blanc very much, I'm also a *hides* Heston Blumenthal fan, he really inspired me to begin my studies with his 'Kitchen Chemistry' series, therefore (also thanks to our perculiar friend Heston) I started by reading the infamous; 'On food and Cooking' by Harold McGee.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the kind greetings.
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