Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

I posted a trailer about this a few months ago, but I hadn't been able to see it in Austin until last night.  The Austin Film Festival is going on over the last weekend and JDoS was shown as a regional premier.  It will be released in theaters on March 19th, 2012...assuming the world doesn't end...again.


Needless to say, It was one of the most beautiful and most inspiring food movies of any sort that I have seen. 

Jiro is an 80 year old sushi chef in japan with three Michelin stars, who was kicked out/left home at 9 years old and has been making sushi since he was 15.  He is the epitome of master craftsman and in the movie he talks a lot about being and becoming shokunin and the shokunin kishitsu. He also has at least two children one of who is 50 and works for him at his restaurant and the other is a little younger and has opened up a second location.

They filmed at both restaurants with some interviews of various people and also film a tuna auction at Tsukiji fish market and talk with various fish suppliers and purveyors.

Fascinating film with a beautiful score and beautiful HD filmography.  Also to look forward to, extra bonus footage on the blueray when it hits dvd.

If it comes around you...make a journey.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a family tree

so way back in the past I was interested in doing a family tree for Le Pyramide...

so here is one done for Le Cirque...illuminating...over on EaterNY

Le Cirque at 36: A Chef and Restaurateur Family Tree

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

our technique

I have been searching for this for a few months, unsuccessfully, but now I have finally found it again after digging through Michael Laiskonis's blog.

I wanted to provide the young-chefs-to-be a list of the common techniques applied to foods.  But I was having a hard time coming up with the list.  Mr Laiskonis had a beautiful list he had prepared in the past...going back to 2008.  So...if you look back at the post...

psshhh..Its time to start writing again..

... you'll see that I was trying to come up with the food from idea to plate.  

 Here is the link to his list... Download Index of Methods and Preparations.pdf

So right now, I am teaching introduction to foodservice which includes basic mise en place, knife skills, and introduction to cooking techniques.

We start with the basics...what happens to food when heat is applied.

WATER-EVAPORATES

SUGAR-CARAMELIZES

PROTEIN-COAGULATES

FAT-MELTS

STARCHES-GELATINIZE

And that's really it.  So in order to make those things happen, we have thirteen specific cooking techniques.  Some dry, some moist, and some combination (according to our textbook, that is).

These are:

DRY

saute

pan fry

deep fry

bake

roast

broil

grill

MOIST

poach

simmer

boil

steam

COMBINATION

braise

stew

In order, to determine which of the cooking methods is appropriate(when applied to meats), we need to take a look at the muscle fibers, fast and slow twitch.

To be continued....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nick Kokonas=awesome

This is taken from an eater interview...

Nick Kokonas on Informality, Exclusivity, and the Critics

I found it awesome as it relates to hospiatality...and yet it puts the diner in their place...

 

"And he also responded to someone who didn't enjoy the Thai menu on Twitter, offering to refund their meal.
That's good customer service, but at the same time, I get emails — oddly, from lots of doctors — saying that our system is patently unfair and that they just want to pick up a phone and call. That would be just as hard, but setting aside the logic, they're basically saying what one of them directly expressed to me in an email: "You must accommodate people like me." I wrote him back, highlighted that line, and just said, "No, I mustn't."
There are a lot of people that come into our restaurants and have a really good time and think it's a good value. If you're not, why would you want to subject yourself to it? We had a table during the Paris menu that came in and said, "We ordered the wine pairing but I only drink red wine. I'm allergic to white." And there was a whole string of requests after that. Our manager came to me at one point and said, "Nick, I'm really trying to make this work, but they're not having fun and they're starting to bum out the tables around them. Is there anything you can do?"
What did you do?
I walked over and said, "Will's really trying to make this work for you, but it doesn't seem to be your type of place. What I'd like to do is end the meal right now, refund your money, and make you a reservation at any other place in this city. And I will pay for it just to get you out of here." They were jaw-dropped. The table next to them basically spit their food out laughing. And they said they wanted to stay, which is amazing. They looked miserable — one of the things they said was that they didn't like French food, and this was the Paris menu. The woman also complained about the chicken, saying it was undercooked. There were several things on that menu that could have had some variations, but that chicken was cooked sous-vide. There was no way. And I told her. She insisted, and so did I. The customer isn't always right."