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The Bocuse d’Or 2011 - What's the importance to you as professional chef? - Page 2

post #31 of 37

While I do understand the competitive spirit issue as well as the tickle down effect, I still don't understand the reasons why creating a food display or plate within a given time period as being a contributing factor to ones abilities.

Each and every day Chefs and their team have an time factor in their Mise en Place to get the menu items ready of service. Even Garde Manger Chefs have a certain amount of time to get ready for say, Sunday Brunch or a Pastry Chef for a wedding cake. Most of the time these people have help in the prep with chopping, slicing dicing, etc....

I don't see how this prowess makes a Chef better than another. This is all subjective and the judges are opinionated from the start. 

I watch Top Chef on TV and am ready to put my foot through the screen, I get so worked up. The downright gaul of some of those (Chef's) to judge another's work is beyond me.

"This sauce has no flavor or that plate doesn't have enough color or this presentation is all wrong." According to whom? Them? Remember one thing and one thing only, that these competitions are all about ego and nothing more.

 

I'll step down now.....Thank you...

post #32 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

trickle down effect? perhaps...okay, definately yes, but to what degree? and on a day to day basis?... take sous vide, for example..do you go to places that cook that way? i don't know anyone who uses that method in their restaurant, and personally i'm not sure i would even go to a place and pay good hard earned denero for food cooked in that fashion....i like my food grilled and colorful and crusty where it should be, roasted, browned,sauteed to perfection, and above all else, i like to smell it cooking...not in a bag being boiled....so, for food application, i'm not interested...however, i do think it has its place...hospitals, supermarkets, hotels.....so what trend do we have to look forward to from this years' award winners? look what happened to molecular gastonomy.....i just really don't think it caught on, atleast not around where i live...its cattlemen and ranchers...you can just picture what they think when told that their steak is now in the form of foam...or boiled in a bag, because of the bocuse d'or winners are trendsetters...sorry for the ramble...things just keep popping up..

joey


I work in several places that sous vide. A little thyme, butter and a tiny bit of salt - In the dunk tank for an hour is all it takes. The nice thing is it doesn't take more than seven minutes from bag to sear to pass. You get a much better product to the customer, it really takes up a lot less space and you can keep extra portions ready in the walk-in without waste if you don't need them. Sous Vide is a great thing, not a trendy thing. Just have to have the right equipment (CryoVac and Controlled Immersion heater). With all due respect, Chef, I had my doubts about it too - But it makes cycle time faster on the line, prep easier, less loss/waste, it's a win-win.

 

You will probably get mad when you see people wsting Cryo Bags or using them as piping bags - but short of that you will love it. I promise! I'll bet you three days stage in your kitchen that you'll like it if you try it!

 

Green Eggs and Ham, Chef -- It's just like Green Eggs and Ham.
 

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #33 of 37

Sous vide is kinda funny, and it's invention and populairty has nothing to do with competitions.

 

If I understand correctly, the germ of the Sous vide idea started when a higher-end "working" Chef was looking for a way to poach his foi gras with a minimum of weight loss.  He approached a plastic mnfctr, Cryo-vac, I think, in the 70's and they helped him with this process.  The plasic bag guys weren't dull and knew there was more money in volume than in high end dining.  Sous vide was popular in institutions (hospitals, jails, etc)  This system was known as the "Nacka" system in most parts of Europe back in the 80's.

 

A lot of the Euopean chains like Movenpick in Switz. and Germany used it, and Fauchon (France) used it as well for "idiot-proof" a'la carte dishes starting back in the '80's.  Never really was high end stuff though.

 

When the meat packing boys found out they could fob off moisture and wieght loss on the consumer by vacuum packing, ie "Boxed beef", the vacuum packer and the bags became cheaper and more popular. 

 

The bags are still expensive, the technology much cheaper.  I remember when a packer cost over 8 grand, required 3 ph 220 V, and you had to change the oil and filter regularily, or the kitchen would fill up with smoke............

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

trickle down effect? perhaps...okay, definately yes, but to what degree? and on a day to day basis?... take sous vide, for example..do you go to places that cook that way? i don't know anyone who uses that method in their restaurant, and personally i'm not sure i would even go to a place and pay good hard earned denero for food cooked in that fashion....i like my food grilled and colorful and crusty where it should be, roasted, browned,sauteed to perfection, and above all else, i like to smell it cooking...not in a bag being boiled....so, for food application, i'm not interested...however, i do think it has its place...hospitals, supermarkets, hotels.....so what trend do we have to look forward to from this years' award winners? look what happened to molecular gastonomy.....i just really don't think it caught on, atleast not around where i live...its cattlemen and ranchers...you can just picture what they think when told that their steak is now in the form of foam...or boiled in a bag, because of the bocuse d'or winners are trendsetters...sorry for the ramble...things just keep popping up..

joey


I work in several places that sous vide. A little thyme, butter and a tiny bit of salt - In the dunk tank for an hour is all it takes. The nice thing is it doesn't take more than seven minutes from bag to sear to pass. You get a much better product to the customer, it really takes up a lot less space and you can keep extra portions ready in the walk-in without waste if you don't need them. Sous Vide is a great thing, not a trendy thing. Just have to have the right equipment (CryoVac and Controlled Immersion heater). With all due respect, Chef, I had my doubts about it too - But it makes cycle time faster on the line, prep easier, less loss/waste, it's a win-win.

 

You will probably get mad when you see people wsting Cryo Bags or using them as piping bags - but short of that you will love it. I promise! I'll bet you three days stage in your kitchen that you'll like it if you try it!

 

Green Eggs and Ham, Chef -- It's just like Green Eggs and Ham.
 

green eggs...sounds yummy....not!

joey
 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #35 of 37

Competitions are a learning experience, and take you beyond your day in and day out kitchen duties.  I've progressed and built more confidence as a "Cook", just by doing so. If I don't win, it only makes me want to do more to better myself. Also, you really know you love your job if you enter a Culinairy Salon (Cold Show)...

post #36 of 37

Have to agree with Chef Ross re judging food on TV. I have seen people who were really good get chopped because of their attitudes or the way they answered the judges. Are they judging the food or the people???  Their is 1 particular judge who shows up whom I had the displeasure of working with(I won't mention name) who is a drunk and could not get arrested He got to where he was by dating and bedding a prominent food critic for a prominent newspaper.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #37 of 37

One thing you're overlooking is that contests on TV are not about the food, per se. They're about two things:

 

1. Being good television---which, almost always, means coping with unrealistic situations against a clock.

2. Playing to the biases of the judges.

 

That last is, of course, true about all contests, not just those dealing with food. Years back I won a photo contest with a shot of my first son being born. Keep in mind that cameras in the delivery room, common today, were all but unknown back then. So much so that I sold those pix to doctors and medical magazines. So, on one hand, the image, itself, was dramatic and important. But the camera club I was in at the time also knew the judge, and that he was biased in favor of children and large images. So, was it merely the image that won the contest? Or the fact it was a 16 x 20 print of a child?

 

Chopped, in terms of judging, is an absolute joke, that not only reflects the biases of the judges, but the fact that they are incapable of consistent judging criteria. How come, for instance, one contestent who doesn't complete his plate is forgiven, and the next one is chopped for the same reason? And it's not like the biases are secret. We know, for instance, that if you're a woman chef you better be at least twice as good as the men you're competing against, or you will be chopped. And we know that if Scott Conant is judging you had, if you expect to win, never use raw red onions (and be gentle with the cooked ones); never use black pepper; and never, ever combine cheese with any seafood. And so forth.

 

Let's also keep in mind that virtually all TV food contests are based on the last-man-standing approach. Every chef, no matter how good he or she may be, has an off day. If that happens during a contest, you're gone---despite the fact you might, overall, be better than everybody else. Think of the Iron Chef season in which Michael Symon was the winner. Nothing against him---he's one of my favorite chefs, in fact---but does anyone really believe he's a better chef than the other competitors? Especially when they were down to the last five or six?

 

Ultimately, you don't have to win any of these contests. You just don't have to lose. Take Top Chef as an example. It's quite possible that you can play it safe, never win nor lose each week, and thereby wind up in the top four. If you then whip out your big guns, you can walk away with all the marbles.

 

What contests can do, however, is serve as inspiration for our own cooking endeavers. We watch what the contestents do, and react by saying, "what a great idea," or "If I were doing that I'd......," and so on. That's where the trickle-down effect comes in.

 

While we hate to admit it, and never do when strangers are around, the restaurant scene in any community---be in New York or a small town in Montana---is very incestuous. As soon as one chef starts doing something successfully it quickly becomes the in thing in that community. So, to bring it home, if one top-ranked chef is inspired by the Bocuse d'Or, pretty soon everybody around him/her is similarly inspired, even if they don't know the source.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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