Dear friend’s of ChefsOpinion :
I would like to share this with all of you in order to :
a) Help my friend Daryl to get more opinions about his new project.
b) Find out how popular traditional diners are?
c) Find out what attracts today’s customers to a traditional diner?
Please, instead of commenting on the individual group pages, go to “ChefsOpinion”
and post all your comments directly in the comment box and / or participate in the poll.
Thank you all 🙂
I like to hear what your followers think about American Diners.
My next location is an all stainless-steel diner built in 1950 in Elizabeth, NJ by the O’Mahoney company. It’ll be attached to new-construction that will house the kitchen and a second dining room. The menu will be built on New England and American cookery with a high comfort-factor, but, leaning on contemporary taste and sensibilities for quality and flavor.
My question is in two parts:
1. Location – This is a question asked as work on this project progressed: how does the location of a vintage diner impact or limit the curb-appeal of the restaurant. In our opinion, traditional pre-fab diners are deeply perceived by the public as stand-alone operations. With this in mind, a vintage diner can be positioned in a strip-mall/plaza development in such a way connects it to be connected to the new construction and allows the vintage diner to stand proud of the new construction, giving it the appearance of a stand-alone.
2. Menu – Diners, in their time, offered food that was highly contemporary. Their ingredients and methods were of the essence of their age and, in the process, a style was born. The strength of diner’s cookery style heritage is so strong that to open a diner without including some of that style is commercially risky. So, if you had a vintage diner on your hands, what would you do to bring the classic dinner menu into the 21st centaury to meet the expectations of today’s guests?
I’d also like the leave open the topic of “Diners” in general. I’ve been working on this project for about 8-eight months and I have yet to talk to anyone, another professional or a novice, who does have a reaction to the idea of a Diner. So, let me know your thoughts!
I came across this on cookingdistrict.com and thought you might enjoy this as much as I did.
Take a few minutes time out and have Fun 🙂
The new school year has begun and with it comes the first lecture of the 2012 Food and Science Lecture Series at Harvard. The first installment featured Dave Arnold, the uber creative Director of Culinary Technology at the International Culinary Center and Dave Arnold and gastronomic guru Harold McGee talk about soft matter science, explosions, mayonnaise making, haute cuisine, make some dragon’s beard, and do some super cool stuff with eggs.
See the video HERE
Excerpt from “Yahoo Finance” :
There’s a marketing war going on in Japan‘s fast food industry. Everyone’s trying to one-up each other amid intense competition.
In 2010, McDonald’s and KFC had an all-out advertising war to win chicken-lovers across the nation. Wendy‘s couldn’t handle the heat in 2009 and was forced to pull out. It didn’t re-enter the market until the very end of 2011. International fast food titans have to deal with each other, plus, they have to compete with the many local chains, some of which are quite powerful.
Japan has had a recent interest in more sophisticated items, and as the chains keep pushing the envelope, you end up getting some pretty bizarre things on the menus.
Read all about it HERE
Re-blogged with permission of Ross Ito
The best thing about The Food Network in the summer is that you only have to watch 10 minutes of any show, and you’ll know what 95% of the programming that night will be: BBQ. The mind-numbing monotony of these shows is astonishing: Hour after hour devoted to this pit versus that smoker. After a few minutes, it’s all a blur of: rubs, rings, and burnt ends; of mops, barks, and slaws. And geographically, it’s as if The Food Network doesn’t know that the Louisiana Purchase happened: The coverage is stuck in the South-east and Deep South, as if no one west of the Mississippi ever cooks meat over fire.
I usually don’t like to re-post other folk’s stuff, but this one deserves to be shared 🙂
From : eatocracy, CNN
Barbecue Digest: Cook the opossum, spare the bear
Today’s barbecue joints tend to serve just one or two kinds of meats, with pork predominate in the Carolinas and Georgia and beef the star out in Texas and Kansas City. Not so in the old days.
Back when barbecues were large-scale community affairs, the meat served was whatever people had on hand and could donate to the cause. Lists like the following, from a description of an 1868 barbecue in Spartanburg, South Carolina, were par for the course: “beef, mutton, pork, and fowls were provided in superabundance.”
At the largest events, the menus could be eye-popping. Perhaps the most extensive is the selection served at the 1923 inauguration of Oklahoma governor Jack Walton. The event was held in January, and just before Christmas, Walton sent out a call to Oklahoma farmers to donate animals for the event.
And donate they did. The final tally, as printed in the Dallas Morning News, included thousands of cows, hogs, sheep, and chickens plus 103 turkeys, 1,363 rabbits, 26 squirrels, 134 opossums, 113 geese, 34 ducks, 15 deer, 2 buffalo, and 2 reindeer that had been “shipped in from the North.”
A man from Sayre, Oklahoma, captured a live bear and offered him to the cause, too. But the bear won the sympathy of Oklahoma school children, who pooled their pocket change, bought him for $119.66, and donated him to the Wheeler Park Zoo. The bear was a crowd favorite for more than a decade.
The rest of the animals weren’t so lucky.
Today’s installment comes courtesy of Robert Moss, a food writer and restaurant critic for the Charleston City Paper and author of “Barbecue: the History of an American Institution”. Follow him on Twitter at @mossr.
Delve into more barbecue goodness from the Southern Foodways Alliance blog
Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here.
For many years the american style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America forthe first time in 1970, my “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our german version, which go
by the names of:
Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischpflanzln.
To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of low grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
( Remember friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not all )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments.
So here is what I suggest to the american public:
Let’s make GOOD burgers from here on ! 🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle . There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read : History of the Hamburger
- 1 c. finely diced (about 1/2 of a large onion)
- 1 tsp. oil
- 1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
- 1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 3 T. chopped, fresh parsley
- 1 T. chopped, fresh marjoram
- 1 T. butter
- Saute onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan. Form 4 patties and fry over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F until done. You may also continue frying them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.
Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi. In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .Find your own best burger recipe by experimenting
and giving them the love they deserve ! 🙂
While not a prevalent flavor in the United States, rose is fairly common elsewhere. Across the Middle East, particularly Iran, it is used to flavor all manner of sweets. Ice cream is the only use of rose in food that I have found palatable. Rose candy tastes like grandma’s perfume to me, and rose scones just taste wrong. But the ice cream gives a nice rounded sweetness that is just right for such a delicate flavor. The rose petals themselves are not really potent enough to stand up to the amount of sugar and cream that ice cream requires, so it’s fleshed out with rose water.
Rose water can be found at most Middle Eastern grocery stores and at specialty stores. The potency of the rose water will vary from brand to brand, so you may want to start of by whisking in one teaspoon at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor. I used Nielson-Massey, which is pretty strong.
Rose petals should be unsprayed, or organic. The best would be from a friend or neighbor, as they would be the freshest. Otherwise try natural foods stores or a florist/nursery specializing in organic flowers.
Rose Petal Ice Cream
Using the method found in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Makes about 1 quart
- 1 cup packed petals from organic or unsprayed roses (30g)
- 2 cups milk (475ml)
- 2/3 cup sugar (150g/5.5oz)
- 4 tsp corn or tapioca starch
- 1 tsp beet powder (optional—this will give it a nice light pink color)
- 3 tbs cream cheese, room temperature (1.5 oz/45g)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbs corn or tapioca syrup (30ml)
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream (300 ml)
- 2-4 tsp rose water (10-20ml)
- First, get your bowls ready. In a small bowl, whisk the corn or tapioca starch (and the beet powder if using) with 2 tablespoons of the milk until a smooth slurry is formed. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and a small amount of cold water. Place a mesh sieve over an empty medium bowl.
- Coarsely chop the rose petals. In large saucepan, toss in the petals, the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn or tapioca syrup. On medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Set a timer for 4 minutes (timing is very important). After the four minutes, remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through the sieve and press against the rose petals to extract as much milk as possible. Discard the petals.
- Ladle a bit of the hot milk into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the rest of the hot milk. Whisk in the rose water one teaspoon at a time, adjusting to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon freezer Ziplock bag and seal. Plunge this into the ice water bowl and knead gently until the mixture is well chilled. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Spread into a shallow container, cover with plastic wrap, and seal with an air-tight lid. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours. This will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.
A helping of sausage gets you through the wurst day
by Jess Kapadia on FoodRepublic
I learned a lot about sausage while reporting on
Germany’s Christkindlmarkts for Lufthansa USA.
I thought it was just a generalization that Germans live off them,
and that they had as many kinds of sausage as Eskimos have words
for snow (also a generalization, as I learned while researching
better ways to express Germany’s love of sausage). But it’s true.
They’re really serious about tube steak. And now I am, too.
Every region has its own particular riff on “sausage in a bun,
” like Nuremberg’s much-loved Drei im Weggla
(see slide 2) or the massive Thuringer, whose bun cannot hope to
contain it all. You can have your
sausage with potatoes or with kraut (hopefully both).
There’s a sausage for every morsel of every pig or cow,
as there should be. Here are 10 favorites I discovered wandering
around Germany’s outdoor Christmas markets.
Knackwurst, also spelled knockwurst, are short, thick sausages made of finely ground pork, flavored with plenty of garlic. The name comes from the German “knacken,” which means “to crack.” We’re assuming these sausages were named for the crackling sound the casing makes when bitten into, but it could very well be for their highly addictive qualities. Recommended served with sauerkraut and mustard.
- Discover German Sausage-making (notecook.com)
- Sausage Recipes, Cooking With Sausage & Sausage Ideas (williams-sonoma.com)
Chef Hans D. Susser, CEC, CHE
Miami, July 2011
An open letter to my students at Le Cordon Bleu, and anybody else who want’s to know………
So, now that you have established that you want to become a Chef, let’s see how you can get there.
Many established chefs will try to warn you not to join our ranks. This probably comes from chefs who are tired of the position they are in at the moment or who never really made it to the top of our profession or are simply burned out after many years of hard work under less than pretty circumstances. Keep in mind that for those chefs, in order to get to where they are now, at one point they had to be as enthusiastic, positive and full of dreams as you are at this moment.
The first question that pops up is usually: “Should I go to culinary school?”
Until a few years ago I would have told everybody that this is a waste of time and money. Unfortunately these days, without a piece of paper which proves that you attended school for a certain amount of time, your life/professional expertise is useless in this country and many others. . Sadly, these days it is nearly impossible to get to a management position in a large company without proof of a degree or at least a diploma from a prestigious school, no matter how much actual experience and skills you possess. (There are of course exceptions, although fewer and fewer as time progresses)
On the other hand, one has to realize that to be a very good cook will only be the minimum requirement once you reach an Executive Chefs position. You must also be very knowledgeable in human resource matters, food cost, labor cost, design, union rules, cleaning/sanitation, public relations and a myriad of other such things. Most places will hire you to fix those things, not to teach them to you. There is a reason the other chef is not there anymore. A wealth of knowledge and skills, patience and diplomacy are expected from you when you walk in the door. Most of this you cannot learn in a school. It will take years of acquired skills and knowledge to become the Chef that you aspire to be. So here it is: You first need to get your papers (diploma) THEN (maybe) you will be given the chance to actually learn, experience and practice what you already are “licensed” to do. “Catch 22″, really.
Don’t be discouraged if things seem to go slow and tedious at the beginning. Think of your culinary career as a kind of snowball: Lay a small snowball (your Career) on a snowy hill and see what happens: Nothing! But push, push, push and it starts to slowly roll down the hill and after a short time, it will start to gain momentum all by itself and off it goes to become a giant snowball ( your Career).
Here now, in a few words, is how the snowball of my career rolled for me:
I started as an apprentice when I was thirteen and a half years old, in a small hotel in the black forest in Germany (Hotel Wiedenfelsen in Buehlertal). Tough times. Hard work. Long hours, sometimes no day off for many weeks. At that time there were no “shifts” you were assigned to. It was normal for everybody to work breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eight hour work days ?! Go work at a bank! During my first year, I earned room and board and approximately $20 cash a month. Second year about $60 a month and during the third year probably around $100. From the second year on, an apprentice was expected to run his or her own station. (VERY few girls in the kitchen at that time, 1967). My secret dream at that time was to become a disc jockey as soon as I’d finish my apprenticeship. Thank God my dad found out and gave me a few fresh ones to set my head straight. The next stations of my journey, as much as I remember now, were as follows:
One winter season as a Commis de Cuisine during the winter season in Austria. (Hotel Alpenhof: Jungholz, Tyrol)
One summer season as a Commis de cuisine at the German seaboard. (Hotel See Schloesschen, Timmendorfer Strand).
One summer and winter (1972 summer Olympics) as the lone cook with two helpers in a small restaurant and banquet facility in Munich (Gaststaette Zunfthaus).
One year during which I was promoted from Chef Tournant to Executive Chef at a Congress Center in Germany (Congresshalle Boeblingen) The Chef got sick and I had to take over – there it was, my first big chance.
After that, I took a year off to live in Hollywood, California. (A whole different story)
After that, back to Germany for some time, working in a five-star restaurant as Chef de Partie (Ratskeller Ludwigsburg) and then going back as Executive Chef to the Congress Center in Boeblingen.
At around 1980 I took a position as Sous Chef at the Manila Midtown Hotel in Manila, Philippines. I stayed there for a few years and was promoted to my first international position as Executive Chef.
From Manila, I moved to Singapore (Peninsula / Excelsior Hotels) and Thailand (VERY extended vacation ) and eventually to Miami where I joined Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. During my time there as Senior Executive Chef, I met my lovely wife Maria who also worked for RCCL.
For the next 15 years, Maria and I traveled the world, living and working in a variety of Countries.
During my career in the hospitality industry, I have held the positions of:
Apprentice, Commis de Cuisine, Chef de Partie, Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef, Executive Chef, Senior Executive Chef, Area Executive Chef, F&B Manager, Owner, Chef Instructor (Le Cordon Bleu), Program Chair for the English Program at a Culinary College (Le Cordon Bleu), Program Chair for the Spanish Program at a Culinary College (Le Cordon Bleu)
I have worked in restaurants, hotels and cruise ships.
I worked in places where I was the only cook, in places where I was leading a staff of a few hundred and in places of any size in between.
I have lived and worked in such places as Germany, United States, Jamaica, Grenada, US Virgin Islands, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, France, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and probably a few more which I cannot remember right now. According to my wife Maria who keeps track of those things, I have lived, worked and/or visited 128 countries in total.
Not bad for a kid who left school before he was 14 years old and, after apprenticeship, had no further formal education.
During the past 25 years in the hospitality industry, my specialty for which companies hired me was to open new ventures or to bring back the former glory that many places had lost. This made for some very hectic and stressful but nevertheless beautiful and exciting years, which I would not want to miss for anything. (The money was great too). I lived mostly in five-star hotels or other high-class accommodations, provided by the companies I worked for. If one works at this level, most companies provide a high-class expatriate package, which can include great amenities for the whole family such as free travel, insurance, maid service, company car and chauffeur, free food, drinks, laundry, medical service, etc, etc.
During the past eight years, I have worked as a chef instructor at a local culinary college (Le Cordon Bleu, Miami). Life is good, even without the stress and hectic. Sometimes I miss the crazy action, most times I don’t.
Well folks, there you have it. It is all out there, just waiting for you! All you have to do is work hard, never give up and understand that all beginnings are tough.
Good Luck ! Life is Good !