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Always less!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
In the age of the ever growing food network and culinary school craze I find that the growing trend is "more is better". You see this the most in two areas, knife rolls and plates. As soon as young culinary student gets their knife roll they start dreaming about which new knives they can buy. A kid fresh out of culinary school came in the other day to stage and he had almost 30 different knives and utensils in his roll. I love knives just as much as everyone else but I have found myself removing so many from my knife roll. I use 4 or 5 at work so that's all I keep.

Plates! Dear God some of the plates of food that I see now are busier than Atlanta traffic during Friday rush hour. It's ridiculous. The best advice that any of my chefs gave me about plating was, "what can I take off this plate as opposed to what can I add?"

Thoughts? Anyone else notice this?
post #2 of 3

IMHPO, I tend to agree but I was also trained that plates have 3, maybe 4 components. The components were a protein or entree plus garnish and a starch and/or a vegetable. That why it's 3 maybe 4.  These should also be sized well enough to satisfy the reason why you ordered it in the first place. I hate when a meal makes me feel uncomfortable because I didn't want to waste the food, just as much as I hate to feel hungry after dropping 30 bucks for a couple lamb lollipop chops and a smear of some root vegetable puree with a couple drops of demi. I believe this is also a cause of food to lose it's temperature and can be the most unappetizing of all. To go one step further, I also hate the trend to make every entree as or more sweet than a dessert. Savory is the way to go for me. 


While beautifully decorated plates are wonderful and sometimes impressive, most times I've found the more highly decorated they are presented, the less appealing in flavor and enjoyment. Too much confuses not only the palette but the senses and also can sometimes leave you hungry because quantity was sacrificed for art.


I believe desserts are the only thing where this shouldn't apply. Again, IMHPO, the dessert should be the smallest and most potent part of the dining experience. A sort of wicked indulgence to satisfy the palette after the meal. Something that puts an exclamation point on the meal leaving you wanting more but because it was so decadent, the guilt and idea of more keeps you in check.


As far as knives, toward the end of my time in the kitchen , I had 6 permanent and 2 temp knives.....10" Chef's, paring, fillet, bread, boning and butcher/scimitar. The temp were a fluted carving knife when I served something that need to be carved and a heavy cleaver when I would work with butchering meats and I rarely used the heavy cleaver the later half of my career.

post #3 of 3

I would rather have simple well made food over highly decorated but mediocre food.

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