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internet chef?????

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
so this has been driving me crazy. I've been sous here for 15 years and i'm on my third chef. Well, the deal is we will do parties with this or that sauce, this or that dish, whatever it may be, thai peanut sauce, mojo verde, asian dipping sauce, gumbo ect., ect., he goes to the computer punches in the dish or sauce and then prints it out and hands it to the cook and say's "here you go". I can't believe we operate this way, has it been tested, no, will it work, who knows until it's done and maybe to late, is it any good, maybe, maybe not.......my feeling is you can take a look at a recipe to get the ideas and then give it your own spin. Here we are the second oldest country club and we're serving EZ French dressing from the womens club in Podunk Idaho.....no offence to Idaho......i'ts diving me crazy but i do relize it is his kitchen and he can run it the way he wants but it hurts my pride to know were really not doing it the way we should done.....just had to vent .....any thoughts
post #2 of 24
That would be frustrating.
I'm with you, a recipe sourced in that fashion is merely a guide.
I've been known to occasionally pop a quick recipe off of the 'net, but the expectation is that my team talented enough look at the ingredients and ratios and then put their own spin on it.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #3 of 24
I did same thing only they are my recipes tested and refined over the years. Have all been tried. and have yields for 25/75/100 guest. I dd not have time to write them over and over again. Also we operated in on many floors in multiple locations, and I could not be in all. Every level had a sous who carried out our standard recipes/ thus assuring consistency/
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #4 of 24
I've never fired anything, no matter how good the source, from a recipe that I've never made and eaten myself. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #5 of 24
I agree, this is the way I work too. I use the internet a lot as a guide or a reference but you can never trust a recipe until it has been tried and tested, unless it is from Cheftalk of course :p
post #6 of 24
Great post! It's very nice and useful. Thank you so much for your post.
post #7 of 24
I'd be wary of just pulling something off the web and then making and selling it without first trying it myself. I have used the web as a guide before and that has worked well for me but for the most part any recipes I use are my own tried and true ones or something from here of course with the poster's permission.:thumb:
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #8 of 24
I have to hold my hands up and admit to using the biggest recipe book in the world (WWW) as well as using recipes from many high end cook books.
Our students enjoy the food we cook and are impressed that we are able to replicate recipes from the French laundry for over 100 students (at a fraction of the price).

Saying that we change our buffet (cafeteria main course meat,fish, veggie) menu twice a day, seven days a week. We have to come up with over 40 unique dishes weekly that are not replicated throughout the college year-this is difficult to say the least.
We accomplish this by looking at trade magazines, different websites, newspaper supplements, cook books etc., our chefs are given a brief description of a dish i.e. baked Salmon with saffron, clams and tomato concasse- they are then left to interpret the dish as they see it and prepare for service.
It wouldn't be possible to cost each ingredient for each recipe daily; we work on the cost of the main ingredient i.e., fillet of chicken £1.00, add 25% for additional ingredients and then sell for £3.50 ( we supplement our student prices and work to break even only). This seems to work as our costs as a % of revenue have fallen for each of the last three years.
Sometimes when your imagination goes blank you need the net for inspiration!:thumb:
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
i understad inspiration but if you give a cook a recipe titled "EZ French Dressing" theres something wrong.....at least it should say, easy, and not EZ....LOL
post #10 of 24
If the chef [sic] needs a recipe for French dressing then you should have him pick-up golf balls from the driving range on a busy Saturday morning! LOL:lol:
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
you know, that may be better suited for him...:laser::chef:

to be fair he does do some good stuff and is a REALLY nice guy, just that internet crap kills me......personally i like him, chef wise not so much
post #12 of 24
I think that as a Sous you should be able to say "hey Chef, I have a recipe for the Asian dipping sauce", etc.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #13 of 24
I would have to agree, have you sat down with your chef and said anything?? 15 years in the same place should say something about your experience.
post #14 of 24
I can understand Fryguys frustration; I have a number of chefs who have worked for my College for 15/20 years (our head gardener has worked at the college for 42 years). Where the going is good ( private club, Cambridge Colleges) staff expect and tend to stay for life, or **** close. We offer final salary pension schemes which are almost unheard off now in Europe, 5 weeks paid holidays plus 8 day's bank holidays, discounted private health care (this is optional as in the UK we have free medical care through the NHS), we close two weeks at Christmas, twice yearly bonuses during the summer and again at Christmas, staff sports days, BBQ's, staff outings (London west end shows, ferry trips to France, paint balling, Go carting etc, flexible hours, relaxed working conditions in a 600 years old College.....The down side:
Try to get the older staff to show inspiration, commercial awareness....
Some times you have to accept the bad to enjoy the good......
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #15 of 24
I hear you. Where I am at currently we have a lot of older staff including one who has been there over 35 years. There are a lot of issues but the higher up management won't allow it to be handled as "why fix something if its not broken." Yes we are rated the highest in our region, but there are so many issues that could make us so much better. They have created this beast and unfortunately I am not able to fix the issues so long as they sit on their hands.
post #16 of 24
:rolleyes: As far as I am concerned the title " Chef " is a title earned through respect of the position they hold as head of the kitchen. I have never respected a Chef that had to use a recipe. A housewife uses a recipe, commercial kitchens uses procedures learned through years of experience. In the hotel I took my apprenticeship we had two scales,
one platform scale on the receiving dock and one sixteen pound beam scale in the bake shop. The only mearuring device was the gallon measure they used by the coffee urn to make coffee with, 3 gallon to the pound. The only book that was allowed in the kitchen was a Menu Pocket Dictionary and that was mostly for spelling. If you looked up Beef Stroganoff it said Brown sauce, Beef tips,Mushrooms,and Sour Cream and that was it. If you needed to know Chicken ala King it said Diced Chicken, Chicken stock, Cream sauce, Mushrooms, Green peppers, Pimentos, Sherry Wine. I have used books and the internet for spelling and reference only for entrees that I am not familiar with. A true Chef should be able to look at the list of ingredients and make any dish and in any amount based on his knowledge that a 80 quart pot has 20 gallons in it and a gallon liquid weights 8 pounds. Even the bakery dosen't use recipes, they are formulas and bakers percentages with Flour being 100 percent.
As far as being a Sous Chef for 15 years I have stepped down from a Chefs position to a Sous Chefs many times for an opportunity to work with a more knowledgeable chef.
Because I think it takes 20 to 25 to be a True Chef, you just can't do it by going to school 3 or 4 years. :thumb:
post #17 of 24
Not to be a jerk, but if you had no idea what was in a dish, and had a request for it from a catering client or VIP in the restaurant, would you not look for a recipe? I don't think of a recipe so much as "a cup of this and a tablespoon of that." I look at them more as a shopping list that can be added to or altered based on how I want to present the dish.

Even if you know what you want in something, it's still a good idea to write it down for the line apes. No offense guys, there's just usually a few idiots in the mix.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #18 of 24
I believe that is exactly what many of us are describing.
Using recipes as a guideline, not following a recipe to a tee.
Not many Chef's are well versed in all cuisines.
The internet is just as good a reference as a book, a colleague, etc.
You just have to be smart enough to know what you're looking at and how to apply it to your needs.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #19 of 24
I had to laugh out loud at "line apes"... not every line cook could be considered an ape but I have seen a few that come pretty close:lol:
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #20 of 24
There's Commis and Partie, and then there's a line ape. The first two are in it for a career, the latter is in it for a check.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #21 of 24
:rolleyes: I tell them when I hire them I don't use recipes. I don't mind training a guy if he is willing to learn but I will not pay him a cooks or chefs wages to do so.
If he dosen't know the difference between a Bordelaise and a Bolognese, I may offer him a job in the dish room or driving a van.:thumb:
post #22 of 24
I agree, some recipes, especially pastry require very specific ratios of ingredients that can't just be guesstimated, likewise the internet can provide inspiration and can be a great source of learning. My kitchen has recently began to experiment with molecular gastronomy and we've purchased alot of elbulli ingredients. These ingredients have to be weighted by fractions of a gram in some cases to ensure the correct results. I have many, many great cookbooks, most of which have been published in the last 5 years that my chefs constantly experiment with. However, if all we did was steak, fish and chips I wouldn't be handing out recipes.....

Also, what happens when you buy new equipment that requires a learning curve? How many of us had pacojets, sous vide baths and thermomixers when we started out? I can't afford to only hire chefs that don't require, or need any training and development, they cost me too much..;)
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
Reply
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
Reply
post #23 of 24
I use the internet a lot to create new dishes. I don't kid myself, I'm not a walking larousse gastronomique, there is always something I haven't done before, and I use cookbooks and internet to find 4-5 recipes of a particular dish, try out my own version, and from there I assess the recipe and improve on it, or add my own style / twist to it.

Someone wise once told me, if you master your techniques, you can cook anything.
post #24 of 24

few years ago a chef wouldn't give his personal recipe to anyone...today it's different....u can find everything u're looking for....

let's make this an advantage even if u don't have to trust100% on what u find if u don't try it before....

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