May 28, 2006

A spoon that does the tasting for you...

MAKE: Blog: The Intelligent spoon
The Intelligent Spoon!

May 26, 2006

I'm right there with you, Chef Kondo!

Danish royal chef quits in disgust: "'All the soul has gone,' says Chef Kondo about cooking for the Danish Royal Family. "

Something nearly every chef has to deal with is cooking for people who don't know how to eat.

Your cornish game hen is glazed with an apple-apricot-brandy sauce, and you'll notice that I've pre-boned the legs for your convenience. It served with Pommes Macaires. I have labored over these little potatoes, clutchng a birds-beak knife and making perfect little tournées out of them, then carefully boiling them, drying them, roasting them in herbed butter. Isn't it lovely how they're golden and crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside? Isn't the perfume of the thyme divine?

No, no of course I don't mind, I'll be happy to bring you some ketchup.

May 25, 2006

working a lot lately...

The work I get paid for is performed at clients' homes, but I have to do office work from too.

and in order to keep organized, keep track and keep on task, I work a lot from home.

When I'm here, it's me and the dogs, something ambient from iTunes and traffic noises.

unless the phone rings, I don't talk to other people. I don't even really chat up the dogs too much unless I'm feeding/watering them.

which is why, when I figured out a tricky thing in filemaker...
and, in my excitement of realizing it worked...
I shocked myself at the sound of my own voice when I said,

That's what I'm talkin' about!

and let out a couple of whoop-whoops, for my own benefit.

heh, I think I'm ruined for working in an office environment any time in the future. How did I ever manage to not get fired from those jobs? What a little drone I must have been.

Last thing I ate or drank: leftover chicken & pork fried rice that I made the other night. after I came home from cooking for a client. because Kelly asked for it. I'm such a sucker for that boy!

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May 16, 2006

Google Loses Newly Acquired Chef

Google had hired two new executive chefs, Scott Giambastiani of San Mateo's high-end Viognier restaurant and Steve Petusevsky, a former national director of creative food development for Whole Foods Markets.

After a highly-publicized search, (which included many, of my friends forwarding the details to me, heh) they came in to replace Chef Charlie Ayers, Google's most recent chef and former Grateful Dead chef. Ayers left Google in May 2005. It has taken Google over a year to find a new chef; the search began in December 2004.

Today I read that Steve Petusevsky already quit as the co-exec chef of Google's headquarters.

Did he just do it for the publicity or was there something about the organization that didn't sit well with him?

If you get a link to more information, I'd love to find out what happened.

Google Loses New Chef

May 09, 2006

culinary school flashbacks

I used a recipe that one of my Chef-Instructors gave me a long time ago:

Chef Drumlake was in charge of doing a dinner for Chef Rosier's product demo for Ghirardelli Chocolate. We student workers were given a recipe for something called "Firecracker Ono" but he only told us to make the fruit salsa. Fresh pineapple, mango, cilantro, red chili, and red onion. Good stuff.

I've held on to it all this time, and finally made the complete dish. The "firecracker"part was pieces of lime-marinated fish, dressed with chilis and cilantro, then wrapped in nori and thenwrapped in rice paper. Really pretty presentation.

I made it five times over the past week:
  • once to test it out, following the directions but couldn't find ono and used tuna. Pretty good.
  • once to test it, but instead of frying it, I tried spraying it with oil and baking it. Not as good, but not horrible.
  • once to refine that last test, frying it briefly and then baking it in a 450 oven to cook the fish through. pretty good, and less splattering
      luckily, my husband who had never eaten seaweed before, liked this a lot, because he ate it three nights in a row.
  • then once for a client who loved it, and said to put it on their "repeats" list
  • then again for a client who didn't like it, in fact, disliking it so much he was motivated to send me an e-mail to tell me so.
It's a matter of personal taste, of course, but it's so confusing that one client just LOVES it and another just HATES it. I'm not so much proud of myself when someone loves my food, but when someone dislikes it, I can't help but take it personally.

It reminded me of when I entered that first cooking competition at school... I practiced so many times, and Kelly dutifully ate the same meal many times in a row. On the day of the competition, the other students raved over my braciole and the rich tomato sauce it was dressed with, but Chef Parker scolded me because he thought it tasted like canned tomatoes...even though he said in class recently that you'd be an idiot to use fresh tomatoes out of season. It was, after all, December. Would it have been useful for him to have told me how to avoid that in the future? You'd think so.... but he didn't. I had to learn it for myself.

Funny what you learn in culinary school... sometimes it has nothing to do with cooking.

May 02, 2006

I'm the chef in this article about the Survival of the Richest TV show!!

Reality News Online - Survivor - reality TV - Big Brother - Apprentice - Amazing Race - American Idol - Television Entertainment: "The next morning, the producers have arranged for a personal chef to cook the players an elaborate breakfast. Unfortunately, when the chef arrives, the kitchen looks like a disaster area, complete with a sink full of dirty dishes and several inches of crud cooked onto the stove and grill. The chef throws up her hands and declares that she cannot cook in these conditions. She storms up to the bedrooms and rousts the kids out of bed to clean up the kitchen so that she can cook.

The kids slowly get out of bed and down to the kitchen. The chef says that she will not cook and they will not eat until the kitchen is spotless. Not what they think is spotless, but what she thinks is spotless.

The kids don’t seem to take well to someone barking orders at them. Of course, dear readers, if you remember the previews from last week, you know that things are only going to get worse for these kids.

Anyway, they get to work cleaning the kitchen. As always, the rich kids can’t seem to figure out which end of a mop to use, while the poor kids just shrug their shoulders and get down to work. Hunter tells us that he has never developed the skill of cleaning, but that he has developed the great skill of how to order a fine meal, which is just as good.

Jacob provides the morning’s entertainment when he and Hunter are setting the table. Hunter asks if Jacob knows where the knife goes in a table setting and Jacob answers that he never uses a knife when he eats. Hunter says that Jacob fills all the stereotypes of a southern bumpkin. Jacob finishes off the stereotype by announcing that he doesn’t like all this fancy food and would rather have a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast.

But, the kitchen is cleaned and the players all have a good breakfast of what looks like Eggs Benedict. Sammy says that this is what breakfast should always be."

Cate, you saw it, right? Tell 'em it was really me!