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Pans and Perspective

You provide the food and I will provide the perspective." – Anton Ego, 2007

Month

December 2014

Quotes of Chef “Death” Roe

I will post some content on Chef Roe eventually but for now here are some of my favorite Roe quotes.
“I am serious as a heart-attack.”
“Do you feel like a fucking idiot?” – Directed solely towards me
“Blue Hill is the most fake, fantasy, made up, wet dream….fake version of sustainability”
“I can do my best…for example, as an NFL player I can show up to practice, fit, on time and without cocaine in my back pocket and prostitutes in my car.”

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What I took from extern: Weeks 1-4

I stepped into the kitchen with no real expectations. I was every excited and just as anxious. my first day i wandered around the kitchen looking for someone on the management team. After managing to find my way into bake shop I finally found the Sous Chef. He put me in connection with a manager. I immediately jumped in to help a team slice carious garnishes for a salad bar. It was simple work but still very entertaining. After finishing that I did various tasks around the kitchen. I was essentially a tournant, my role was to jump from team to team to help pick up the extra work.
One of my tasks involved searing crab cakes for a party the next day. A slim, African American gent was standing over the tilt skillet furiously dropping and turning crab cakes. I was awestruck when I saw how many he had completed, as well as how many were remaining. 2 full sheet racks, each filled with 18 trays, each tray containing over 50 crab cakes. I introduced myself and found out that his name was Jeff. We stood, with the racks dividing us, and mindlessly seared crab cakes for another hour or so. I had fully lost track of time by the end.
I discovered later that Jeff had not left until 2am that morning because he had to make and form all of the crab cakes the night before. We were actually doing yesterdays prep work. Regardless it ended up being one of the best decisions I made on extern. I made a solid friendship that would end up helping me. Jeff and I had a very unique relationship. It was more of an unspoken agreement but after that day we continued to work in tandem on tasks. If one of us needed help the other would jump in ,no questions asked. As a result we frequently ended up with more overtime than most of the people we work,ed with. I really enjoyed the work though,. I always had fun doing these monotonous tasks. I think it was partially attributed to the fact that i had a solid teammate. We are always told that a kitchen is made up of a team but it is seldom that you find a teammate you can so heavily rely on.
This stayed constant during my entire 18 weeks at Marriott. I noticed though in the early stages that everyone was very nice, but no one was really willing to stay to do extra work or help their team. That’s not to say I didn’t get help from anyone else. I just felt that the teamwork aspect didn’t really exist. I didn’t mind it, because it forced me to work hard and helped me improve on various skills and timing. Thanks to Jeff and many others my first four weeks were quite enjoyable.

The real reason onions make you cry.

During a lecture today we discussed the use of the pestle and mortar. One of the teams in our class was making a salsa that was ground rather than chopped. We were using tomatoes, jalapenos and Anaheim chilies, onions, lemon juice and cilantro. This process of grind gives the salsa a slightly more unique mouth feel as well as flavor imparted from the stone that composes the pestle and mortar. This particular version was made of volcanic rock from the Mexico. It was a rustic looking bowl on a three small pegs. The mortar was short and resembled an inverted snow cone with a rounded tip.
The discussion changed directions when Chef presented the class with a question. Why do we not add the onion in immediately to the mix and grind it. Onions belong to the brassica family. This is a family of vegetables that contain sulfur. These gases are released when an onion is cut. When using a sharp knife, the cells are sliced rather than crushed or popped. This prevents the mists of sulfur gases. When this gas mixes with our tears it actually creates an hydrochloric acid (HCl)
This was significant because processing the onions with all of the other ingredients causes more of the gases to get released. They overwhelm the salsa rather than enhance the flavor. The concept was, the more that an onion is processed, whether that be chopped, minced or ground, it will release more and more flavor. Some other bulbs such as shallots also share these same properties. Mincing shallots by hand will yield a more gentle flavor than if they are chopped.

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