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It’s a Chef’s Life ….

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I saw this post by Mark Dale on FB and wanted to share it with you all 🙂
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Chef Hans Susser

Chef Hans Susser

 

It’s a Chef’s Life ….
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What you can expect from making a living in a professional kitchen:
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1 You’ll almost always have open wounds on your hands and arms.

2 You’ll never meet new people because your social life deteriorates into non-existence.3 You’ll find it hard to start relationships because alone time will become a precious thing.

4 You’ll lose your social skills.

5 Your sense of humor will degrade into the politically incorrect and socially unacceptable

6 You’ll eventually start swearing like a sailor and you won’t even notice yourself doing it.

7 You’ll turn into an anorak/monomaniac and always turn all conversations back to food.

8 You’ll earn a pittance for years/decades.

9 You’ll either lose a vast amount of weight or gain a vast amount of weight.

10 You’ll never ever have a tan ever again.

11 You won’t become famous.

12 You’ll develop a habit, whether it be coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, cannabis, cocaine, or even red bull.

13 Your feet will get destroyed.

14 Your back will get destroyed.

15 Your hands will get destroyed.

16 You’ll live in a constant state of sleep deprivation, indefinitely.

17 You’ll have to ask your friends to plan everything around your schedule, which is incomplete opposition with their availability, because you never know your days off in advance and you probably won’t be able to change it.

18 You’ll become of a very highly strung nature

19 You’ll become more prone to temper flare ups

20 Your awareness of other people’s lack of efficiency and common sense will increase and your tolerance of it will decrease.

21 You’ll spend the largest part of your life cooped up in a small, undecorated room with poor ventilation, high temperatures, a lot of noise, humidity, no natural light and no windows, with a small group of people who will become your only social interactions.

22 You will work longer hours than you ever imagined possible or thought legal.

23 You will spend all your waking hours on your feet, never getting a chance to sit down even for 5 minutes.

24 Your shortest work days will be longer than most people’s longest, and your longer workdays, which make up about half of your working week, will be longer than the average person is awake in a day.

25 You will not cook gourmet dinners at home. You’ll be too tired, and too fed up of cooking.

26 You will probably start eating mostly fast food and cheap instant noodles.

27 You will be the subject of abuse, whether physical or emotional. Officially, it will be as a test of character. In reality, it will be as a form of entertainment.

28 You will end up spending so much time at work that your colleagues will know you better than your partner/family/friends do.

29 You will meet and form strong bonds with types of people whom you’d previously never even have imagined sharing conversations with.

30 You will be in a constant state of stress.

31 You will never be irreplaceable and will be expected to constantly give 110%.

32 You will always be exhausted.

33 You will not be allowed to call in sick for a hangover.

34 You will be expected to place your work before any other part of your life in your list of priorities.

35 You will never be congratulated on your work.

36 You will be expected to treat your superiors as absolute masters and never answer back, try to explain yourself, start a conversation, or show any other type of insubordination, even if you know that they are in the wrong or feel as if their behavior towards you is unacceptable.

37 It will become very difficult to watch friends cook.

38 Your mum will stop cooking for you because she feels embarrassed.

39 You will be expected to cook for family gatherings such as Christmas EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Luckily, at least one year out of two, you will be working on Christmas.

40 At least one year out of two, and maybe every year, you will work Christmas, New Year‘s Eve, Easter, Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, bank holidays, Halloween, your birthday, and pretty much every other day of celebration on the calendar.

41 You will have to work many years in menial positions before attaining any level of authority in the workplace.

42 The better the restaurant is, the longer the work hours become, the more pressure you end up under, the more unhealthy your lifestyle will become, the more likely you will be to develop a habit, the more competitive the people around you will become, the less sleep you’ll get, the less you’ll eat etc.

43 You will constantly make mistakes, and every time you do make a mistake, someone will notice it and make you understand that you are clearly a subhuman because only a subhuman could make such a mistake.

44 If you are a woman, you will constantly be the subject of misogynist remarks and jokes, sexual harassment, belittlement and remarks about your menstrual cycle.

45 None of your friends or family will understand what is involved in your work and you will never be able to make them understand.

46 You will spend vast amounts of money on equipment, books, eating in good restaurants etc, which will leave you with not much money for other things.

47 You will develop a creepy obsession with knives.

48 If you are a pastry chef, you will develop a creepy obsession with spoons.

49 You will get a rash in your arse crack from the mixture of heat, sweat and friction that will not heal well, sometimes get infected, will mostly always be slimy and itchy and will be there most of the time.

50 If you are the right type of person, you will thank your lucky star every single day for the rest of your life for making you take the best decision you ever did and become a chef. And you will fall in love with your job and never look back.

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So, would I choose this profession again ?  YEP !
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Would You ???

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Am I Obsolete ?

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I love food

I love food for the sake of food.
Does that make me obsolete? Out of touch? Old fashioned?
Removed?  Aged? Antiquated?  Archaic,? Bygone? A fossil?
Moth-eaten?  Out-of-date?  Outmoded? Primeval? A relic?
Or just plain stupid ?

Why do I ask this question ?
Well, most of my post’s are getting very positive, kind,
approving comments, which makes me happy , appreciated and
assured that traditional, simple, real food still has a stronghold
in the culinary universe. Most of my followers are food professionals
of  a certain age, the “riper” age usually, and a wide variety of
older, younger, middle aged, more or less experienced home
cooks, culinary students and food enthusiasts of all sort’s.
Great ! Who would complain? I certainly don’t !
But I really wonder why I don’t attract more so called FOODIES.
Isn’t the whole point of calling oneself a foodie the point to indicate
a strong love of  all types  of food, in any way, shape and form ?
Yet it seems to me  that some (most?) foodies are more interested in
creations that look like architectural creations, less like FOOD that is
nourishing, tastes great and is beautiful to look at. When I look at the
Internet lately and see some of the dishes out there, I ask myself if
there really is a huge part of the population which think’s that a 30 course
tasting menu made of lot’s of unidentifiable stuff that takes 4 hours
or more  to consume and cost as much as a used car is the new way to eat daily ?

While I am the first person to enjoy some of these foods and I can
appreciate the time, craft, effort and artistry that has gone into that kind of food,
by extremely passionate, highly professional chef geniuses who are truly amazing and
are bestowed with rare culinary gifts, insight and energy, I will never assume
that this is the way people will eat regularly in the future, breakfast, lunch and
dinner. I rather think meals like that should be appreciated
for what they are supposed to represent : Special rare, highly anticipated occasions
which are extraordinary for their cost, beauty, and rarity.

Besides, a lot of these so called modern interpretations of food
are nothing but weird, ridiculous crap, produced by people who call themselves
chefs and innovators who don’t have the slightest idea about good FOOD,
I am highly amazed of the large amount of guest’s in some of these “temples of modern cuisine”
who are gullible  enough to fall for some of the idiotic concoctions presented as innovations.

Again, I want to highly stress that I am a strong believer and admirer of innovation, artistry,
extraordinary new way’s to prepare and present old and proven dishes and explore
new way’s to prepare and improve long forgotten and under-appreciated ingredients
and find new food items and combinations nobody thought of before or which were
just ahead of their time .
But, Food is food. Crap is crap. Period.

So, I beseech all food lovers out there, old and young, experienced or not,
professional or not, to please don’t let the cuisine of our culinary tradition disappear.

Let’s continue to cook and eat them with the respect, love and passion they deserve.
Please continue to explore new stuff, experiment, develop, evolve and improve our
beloved culinary heritage.

I look at myself in the mirror and see an old man, but I
don’t think that should be a reason to dispose of me.

Same with our food. Old can mean ripe, proven, always reliable, satisfying,
reassuring and a great addition to new and exciting way’s and thing’s.

In conclusion, I believe there is a time for everything:

A )  A time for expensive, highly elevated food, presented in the most outrageously beautiful amazing fashion   🙂
B)   A time for excellent, beautiful, nourishing, economic, simple food, presented nice, clean and appetizing  🙂

C) There should NEVER be a time for pretentious crap  😦

Bon Appetit !
Good Is Good. Crap Is Crap !
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The ( culinary) world is a big, beautiful, interesting, evolving place, and it’s center is not necessarily in our own backyard :-)

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Hans Susser  wrote on LinkedIn
about the vanishing need of butchery knowledge by chef‘s :

Dear fellow professionals,
It always amazes me how many americans think we are in the center of the world and only our practices make sense and are up to date. The fact is that in most countries around the world there is a paralel world of  meat utilisation. While there are comercial  slaughterhouses everywhere, the majority of meat and  seafood is processed on a much smaller scale. Those  chef’s who travel the world practicing their trade will be faced with the fact of seeing whole  animals being delivered to their hotels and restaurants and then broken down on the property. Dishes are being cooked from every part of the animal,including the blood, feet, snout, heads, etc, etc. A chef would look pretty silly and useless not to be able to teach his staff to work more time effective, cost effective and cleaner while doing these tasks. Then you have the areas where game is a big attraction during the seasons and again, many hunters just take out the digestive tract and deliver the animal whole, pelt, head, innards, EVERYTHING 🙂
Imagine the waste which would occur (and it does) when the animals are not handled by knowledgeable folks.
Unnecessary craft and skills ? Not in my opinion, unless you plan to work in a environment without creativity. I am aware that sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to be creative to a certain point, after all, we need enough customers who are willing to pay for dishes they have never heard of or are not currently on the “in”list. However, if given the chance, we should embrace the opportunity to be well rounded chef’s who can carry on the traditional skills which will always be needed in one place or another, during one time or another.
While I have embraced the convenience and cost effectiveness of buying pre-cut meat and fish on many occasions and places, being able to break down the whole animal was a far more common requirement during my career. I have also worked with a professionally trained american butcher who was amazed by how much he could learn from me in all aspects of  butchery, from the traditional cuts as they are done around the world, down to sausage making and breaking down seafood. So in conclusion, it is my opinion that if you work in an environment where certain skills are not required, please don’t dismiss them as being unnecessary and antiquated.
The ( culinary) world is a big, beautiful, interesting, evolving place, and it’s center is not necessarily in our own backyard 🙂

50.000 Hits In Just Four Months Of ChefsOpinion. Thank You All !

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Dear Friends, 

Thank you all for your continuous interest and support of ChefsOpinion.
It makes me happy and proud that I can share my dishes and my culinary views with so many  fine folk’s. Even if we are not always of the same opinion about a specific dish, style, recipe, or method, you and I share a never ending love and passion for all things culinary and appreciate an open dialog about it.
I would highly appreciate any suggestions and / or requests to shape ChefsOpinion even more to your liking. If not, I will just continue to do what I love to do and hope that we, as a community of culinary enthusiasts, will grow even larger and that we can enjoy many more dishes, opinions and ideas to come   🙂
Friend’s, if you can find it in your hard and if you think my blog deserves it, please be so kind and help me spread the word amongst your friends, colleagues and family. Thank you.

With best regards,
Hans.
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Life is Good !

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” More Rice ” 飯 – Fan (Chinese Steamed Rice)

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One of the comments to my ” Rice ” post yesterday came from one of my former
students at “Le Cordon Bleu”, Christine, who post’s at: The Perky Poppy Seed

Thank You Christine  🙂

” I was thinking about your class last night… so I made my Perfectly Steamed Rice 

from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook:) You might find it amusing to read…
it may bring back memories from class:) LOL:) “

Below find Christine’s post from The Perky Poppy Seed

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

September 1, 2012 by The Perky Poppy Seed

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

Tonight I thought I would share my Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook.  This recipe comes from my Cuisine Across Cultures Day 2 notes.  My Chef … my oh my:)  He was one of the best instructors at Le Cordon Bleu.  Chef Susser would never accept excuses for anything.  Things had to be done the way he said or forget it, you just wasted your time.  Chef really taught us to do things properly and in an orderly fashion.  Now, sometimes I thought he was a bit nuts… but… it all paid off in the long run.  Chef Susser wanted to teach us things that would stay in our head forever.  He wanted us to do things properly without thinking:)  I am not sure about the other students, but he certainly gave me a whole new second nature!  I never, and I mean never walk past a pot that is boiling without attempting to turn it down.. I never let a tomato get mushy when blanching…. I am always cognizant of the dishes that I dirty.  I stop in the middle of things sometimes to clean them:)  I am always aware of the rules of sanitation…. which I like to call the rules of sanity:)   If at all possible, before anything I make a ” sample” to make sure that the outcome is going to be what I had anticipated.  I have Chef  Susser to thank for my second nature in all these areas and in all the other areas that he stamped on my brain.  Before his class I had to think.. and in the kitchen thinking takes up valuable time.. time that just cannot be wasted on lolly gagging… Now I go into the kitchen and I am thinking but it is not about things that Chef Susser taught us, those I just DO!…:)  Thank you, Chef Susser:)  This one is for you:)

Now a word about the rice.  This is the simplest no- fail way to do rice.  I have done it with all sorts of rice.  It always works:)  It turns out just like the rice in Chinese restaurants.  The other day my boyfriend wanted to buy pre-made rice in a microwave bag.  Are you kidding? I told him there was no way I was paying that much money for rice!  This recipe is great for making ahead and freezing in vacuum sealed pouches.  It is also great for children, since there is no flavoring in it.. it is just rice, which most children like to eat.  It is great anytime you want rice as a side dish.  This rice is great for company, when it is soaking shower & finish setting the table… have a drink.. then make sure your silverware has no spots or fingerprints on it… make sure all the glasses are sparkling..( a newspaper is great for this.. http://theperkypoppy.com/2012/07/20/no-more-dirty-glass/ – check out my post on dirty glass- use a mixture of vinegar and water for your drinking glasses.) Then when and hour is up, drain the rice & bring to a boil; simmer for five minutes, then off heat and let sit for 10 minutes and that is it! That is it… Perky Perfection:)

 

 

Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

 

1 cup of rice makes 2.2 cups of rice 

 

  • 1 cup of rice ( for this you can use any kind of rice…the cheap rice at the grocery works..plain white rice (just make sure it is not par cooked.. basmati rice works.. jasmine rice, etc)
  • 1 cup of water

 

  1. Put rice in colander and rinse… rinse … rinse 

    See the cloudy water… this rice needs to be rinsed MORE!

  2. Do not skimp on this step (if you do you will have gross rice that just sticks together & and is a glob of starchy yuckiness)
  3. Keep rinsing until your water comes clear (once again … DO NOT skip this step, it is vital to the final product’s success) 

    See the clear water? This rice has been rinsed properly:)

  4. Once water runs clear for the rice, place in a large bowl fill bowl with water so that it covers at least 2 inches above the rice.
  5. Then let the rice soak for an hour..Set your timer for this, the time is very important.  You do not want the rice to absorb too much water, or not enough water… ONE HOUR-NO MORE -NO LESS  (if you doubt me just ask Chef:)-
  6. Then strain the rice in a fine strainer (a larger strainer will let too many rice grains through) 

    Using a fine strainer to strain the rice

  7. Then put rice in a sauce pan with equal amounts of rice to water ( ie: 4 cups rice, 4 cups water)
  8. Then place on stove top.  Bring to a boil, meanwhile take a piece of aluminum foil that is at a little larger than the size of the saucepan; and get a heavy pot that is at least the size of the mouth of the sauce pan.
  9. Once rice & water come to a boil, quickly turn down to low, as low as it will go..
  10. Then cover the saucepan with the foil, making a tight seal ( be careful, as the pot is very HOT) 

    Tight foil to seal in the steam

  11. Then cover the foil covered saucepan with the heavy pan that you gathered earlier.  If you see steam escaping, crimp the foil tighter around the pan. (Be careful STEAM IS VERY HOT!!!! ) 

    Heavy pot over the foil to seal in the steam. This may look a little ghetto, but when properly done, it seals in the steam!

  12. Set the timer for 5 minutes.. yep just 5 minutes.. no more no less!!!
  13. Once timer goes off immediately remove pot from the heating element.  (Do not disturb the foil or the heavy pot.. KEEP THEM ON)
  14. Then once pot is off heating element, set the timer for 10 minutes (Remember to keep the foil & heavy pot on at this time)
  15. After 10 minutes, your rice is ready!!!
  16. Take off the foil & heavy pot, then fluff with a fork 

    Fluffing with a fork

  17. At this point, you can serve your rice.  Personally I like a little pink sea salt from the Himalayan mountains on my Himalayan Mountain Basmati rice & a touch of extra virgin olive oil.  Or you can place this on a sheet tray or a cookie tray to cool then package up for the vacuum sealer:)  Or put a little milk & honey or maple syrup on it with some freshly grated nutmeg & cinnamon. Anyway you make it, this is some tasty rice:) 

    Himalayan Basmati Rice & Himalayan Pink Sea Salt go perfectly together:)

  18. Enjoy your fluffy,  Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook :) 

    Perfectly Steamed Rice from Perky’s Le Cordon Bleu Notebook

 

 

 

Related articles

” China Is Building an Army of Noodle-Making Robots “

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I came across this at “EATER” and thought my readers would enjoy this.
If these robot‘s cost only $2000, they could be a great, cheap gimmick on a coffeeshop’s pasta buffet .
Your comments please, or choose an answer from the poll below    🙂
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Image from “EATER”

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Excerpts from “EATER” :

In the face of rising labor costs, Chinese restaurateur Cui Runguan is selling thousands of robots that can hand slice noodles into a pot of boiling water called the Chef Cui.
Runguan says in the report below that just like robots replacing workers in factories, “it is certainly going to happen in sliced noodle restaurants.”
The robots costs $2,000 each, as compared to a chef, who would cost $4,700 a year. According to one chef, “The robot chef can slice noodles better than human chefs.”
News of Runguan’s invention hit the internet in March of 2011, but they’ve since gone into production and are starting to catch on: 3,000 of them have already been sold.
But why do their eyes glow, and why do they look so angry?
Read more and see the video HERE
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” Why are chefs so poorly compensated? “

Wow folks, this discussion is really heating up !

Arno Wilson says :

Hi Patrick, maybe I come across a bit severe. But this is my feeling. Cooking food throughout history has been a low level activity and whilst everybody since we can tell has always enjoyed a “good feed” it remains a fact that the kitchen has been relegated “out the back” downstairs” or otherwise “out of sight”. As much as people these modern times try to glorify cooking it remains an act of applying heat to dead things – usually animals or other creatures. It is the art of transforming dead animal flesh and in some cases organs into something else that appeals to the modern sense of beauty.
I am a chef myself and have worked in many different arenas of food production. I have been Executive chef, Head chef, and all other positions in Australian kitchens. I have acted as a restaurant consultant and am versed in management techniques and financial aspects. In the course of my work I see many chefs I now run a chefs agency finding work for other chefs. Many chefs are pretty clueless and some are downright dumb. A smattering are excellent and could be successful in any occupation. A small number are outstanding individuals with admirable skills and ability and intelligence. I am sorry but the average run of the mill chef that crosses my radar is more commonly described in less flattering terms.
If you have any specific questions I would be happy to answer them.

Follow / participate in  the discussion  Here:

” Hans’ Pho “

From my book # 4. Enjoy !

” Foie gras laws causing a flap with California chefs “

Foie gras laws causing a flap with California chefs

Unfortunately,
Idiot’s rule much of the world 😦