Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kitchen Confidential #2

Bourdain offers a lot of advice about what not to eat at restaurants in the section entitled "From Our Kitchen to Your Table."  Detail at least two of the caveats he gives.

In the chapter "How to Cook Like the Pros," Bourdain talks about the tools of the trade.  Which 3 new tools does he discuss that you've learned to use so far this month?  What's a tool he mentioned that you haven't used but you would like to experience?  Why?

Who is Bigfoot, and why is he so important to Bourdain's career?  What is your favorite Bigfoot story?

9 comments:

  1. Bourdain gives us several different points of advice when it comes to ordering food at restaurants. He tells us not to order seafood on Mondays because the seafood is most likely old and probably spoiled. Chefs order fish on Thursday and wait until after Monday to place another order, therefore making fish on Monday more likely to be old and nasty. Another piece of advice he gives us is ordering mussels in general because most chefs do not handle mussels with care and they can easily go bad. Mussels are not allowed to bathe in their own liquids or else they will spoil, so a chef must be careful in handling them.
    The tools I've learned to use this month are decent chefs knife, stockpots and saucepans, and butter. I did not know how to handle a chefs knife but I learned the proper technique. I honestly did not know the difference between saucepans and regular pots, but luckily I learned the difference early on in the project. I also learned how to cook with butter; I never had to cook with butter, so I just didn't know how to handle it, but I finally learned. Something I want to learn how to handle/make is demi-glace. It looks delicious and easy to make so I definitely want to acquire that skill.
    Bourdain talks about a man nicknamed Bigfoot who happens to be a good friend of his and also a mentor. Bigfoot is this big mean-looking individual who makes sure his kitchen is always on point. Bigfoot helped Bourdain a lot by giving him a job and teaching him a lot within the kitchen walls. My favorite story about Bigfoot is when Bourdain asks Bigfoot for $25 before payday but Bigfoot gives $200. The reason I like this story so much is because you would not expect such a mean guy to act so kindly. It shows us that even a mean guy like Bigfoot has soft spots and a good heart.

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  2. In this chapter Bourdain discusses various tips to help the consumer order wisely and save them from possible poisoning. The narrator warns us not to eat fish on Mondays because it's more probable that the fish is not fresh. Another tip of advice he lends to the reader, is that many chefs don't tend mussels with care and like many other seafoods can go bad easily. Furthermore, he explains further that restaurants typically order fish on Thursdays in order to be ready for the weekend rush. This gives the reader more of an incentive not to order fish on Mondays.
    Three tools I have used this month are the plastic squeeze bottle, pots and pans, and roasted garlic. He talks about all three of these kitchen items and ingredient in this chapter. I learned in the kitchen course how to create a plastic squeeze bottle in order to drizzle icing on our hamburger cupcakes. We have used pots and pans for everything, but one instance in which I used the pan by myself was when I made my crepe. Today I sizzled garlic in a pot in order to make our marinara sauce and I learned that to burn garlic is a sin and a crime against humanity.
    Bigfoot is Bourdain's stern-looking, good-natured mentor who shows him the ropes of the kitchen. One of the most fascinating moments of the "Bigfoot" chapter happened towards the end. "The most important and lasting lessons I learned from Bigfoot were about personnel and personnel management - that I have to know everything, that I should never be surprised." I was intrigued by this comment by Bourdain because the most impactful lesson from Bigfoot wasn't about how to work with food, but rather how to work with others.

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  3. Bourdain advises us not to order fish on Mondays. He gives us this advice because it is custom for a chef to order a lot of fish for delivery on Friday morning. By Monday, the fish has been sitting around for 4 days and there is usually no delivery until later. Bourdain also advises us not to order hollandaise sauce. This is because there is a very specific temperature that the sauce must be so that it is not ruined. This lukewarm temperature is perfect for bacteria to proliferate.
    So far I've learned a few ways to use a chef's knife. I've also learned how to correctly use pots and pans. Lastly, we've been using a lot of butter throughout our recipes. Even things that I never thought butter would have a place in. I'm curious about shallots. I've seen them used a lot on the Food Network and Bourdain describes them as quintessential to restaurant cooking, but I've never seen them in any individual's kitchen.
    Bigfoot is important to Bourdain because he served as his friend and mentor. Bigfoot was a large and intimidating guy, but at the same time was precise and clever with every aspect of his cooking. Bourdain aspires to be like him in the kitchen. My favorite Bigfoot story is how, after offering Bourdain a job while he was at a low point in life, he trusted Bourdain despite bad stories. Bourdain asked Bigfoot for $25 until payday. Bigfoot gave him $200 instead. I liked this story because Bourdain was a drug addict at the time and would probably have ran away with just the $25. However, because of Bigfoot's trust in him, Bourdain stayed and vowed to never betray that trust.

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  5. One of the main warning he talks about was ordering fish on certain days. Fish can get bad real easily if not taken care of properly and the fish merchants and cooks don't care they just want to make money. He warns the readers about ordering fish on Mondays because it can be fish left over all the way from Friday or even Thursday. The manager or cook orders one big shipment of fish and whatever they don't get rid of during the weekend gets served to the Monday people. Another thing he informs us about is the bread you get when you're seated. He said that that bread is sometimes left over from a previous table which could have been possibly been people who have messed with the bread or coughed and/or sneezed on the bread.
    I learned the right way to use a chef's knife and what knives are used for what purposes. At home when we cook it's whatever is at hand. Mrs. Tuorto showed us the proper way to handle and use a non-stick pan because it can be potentially dangerous if you don't use it correct. The non-stick feature comes from a teflon chemical coating the pan. If you scratch the coating with either steel wool or a metal spoon or spatula that can add carcinogenic components into the food you're cooking. I learned that the heavy weighted pots and pans are much more useful than if it had a thin bottom. If they have thin bottoms it can easily scorch your food. One of the tools that sounded cool to me was that knife thats shaped like a Z. In my head, I'm thinking how could that possibly be useful but it sounds useful if you know how to use it.
    Bigfoot was the head of one of the restaurants that Anthony worked in. Bigfoot was an inspiration to him because he was very meticulous and made sure everything was running smoothly and he ran a strict shift. Bigfoot didn't seem the type to be nice about something he wanted everyone on time, and if not honest about it. He wanted the cheapest stuff and the quickest preparation. Anthony was a drug-addict. He came up to Bigfoot and asked for 25 dollars and Bigfoot handed him 200. He could have went and bought drugs but that inspired Anthony because of the trust he must of had to hand him all that money. Bigfoot lifted Anthony from a dark time and showed him how to run a successful kitchen.

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  6. In the chapter "From Our Kitchen to Your Table," Bourdain warns his readers of eating mussels at a restaurant because they are often handled without care. In most restaurants, mussels are often left to sit in their own urine. Because of this, Bourdain does not eat mussels at a restaurant unless he personally knows and trusts the chef. In addition, he advises not to eat at a restaurant with a filthy bathroom because the condition of the restaurant's bathroom can indicate how clean the restaurant's kitchen is. If the restaurant's bathroom is not kept clean, then the kitchen where the food is being made could be in an even worse condition.

    The three tools that Bourdain discusses that I have learned to use so far are a chef's knife, stockpot, and butter. I have learned the proper way to hold and use a chef's knife. During the 3-day trail, we used stockpots in order to cook massive amounts of food. In addition, we have used butter for different purposes throughout the class. I even used butter when making pancakes one morning during the 3-day trail so that the pancakes would not stick to the pan. A tool that Bourdain mentioned that I have never used but would like to experience is shallots. In the book, Bourdain describes shallots as an essential ingredient that makes restaurant food different from food cooked at home. Therefore, I would like to compare the difference shallots makes in an dish.

    Bigfoot is a big, but brilliant cook that Bourdain admires as a friend and mentor. Bigfoot is an important part of Bourdain's career because Bigfoot was able to help Bourdain turn his life around by means of a simple gesture. In addition, Bigfoot taught Bourdain a lot of life lasting lessons. One of the lessons Bigfoot taught Bourdain that I find most interesting is "about personnel and personnel management." Bigfoot taught Bourdain that it is important to know everything and value solid reports of things going on around him, so that he can anticipate any future problems and prepare for them. I believe this lesson is important because as Bourdain mentions at the end of the chapter, "Prior preparation prevents poor performance."

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  7. In the chapter “From Our Kitchen to Your Table” Bourdain gives us, the readers, a lot of advice to help us maintain a regular life. One example being from Bourdain would be that nobody should have seafood on monday’s. Bourdain explains that it’s most likely spoiled due to the regular schedule of chefs ordering fish. Bourdain also mentions to never eat mussels in restaurants unless you know the chef personally or know how they store and hold their mussels. Most likely they were not kept well enough for someone to eat.
    In the chapter "How to Cook Like the Pros," Bourdain talks about the tools that have become very useful to us and to others who wish to pursue the profession of becoming a chef. One of the tools that I believe that have learned to use this month would be the offset serrated knife when cutting and/or mincing vegetables. Another tool that we have used relentlessly would be the thick-bottomed saute pans, when even yesterday we used this pot to boil water. We have also used the nonstick saute pan when on the trail. Geri and I used this to fry the vegetables. One of the tools I would like to use would be the flexible boning knife just to see and be able to cut through bones without much effort. Or even the mandoline which would make shredding cheese a lot easier.
    Bigfoot is essentially a friend and mentor for Bourdain. Bigfoot was so important to Bourdain’s career because the most important lesson Bourdain learned from Bigfoot was about personnel management. Bigfoot also taught Bourdain the value of a good, solid and independently reporting intelligence network. My favorite Bigfoot story would probably be the first night he worked for Bigfoot. After knocking our meal after meal, and finally finishing his shift, Bigfoot called Bourdain into his office. Bigfoot complimented him and asked him to work, and at that moment, Bourdain felt like a million dollars.

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  8. In the chapter titled From Our Kitchen To Your Table Bourdain gives us the readers advice on what is safe to eat in restaurants on certain days. For example Bourdain explained that when you hear the words Monday and Special it is probably something that you want to stay away from. This is basically a way for chefs to trick customers into having a special deal while getting food that is old. Bourdain said that he never orders fish on a Monday unless he is at a four star restaurant. The reason is because most chefs are ordering their food on Thursday and waiting for it to be delivered on Friday morning. This means that when a person comes to the restaurant on Monday they can be eating fish that has been siting for days and that is no longer fresh. The chef does not want to throw away remaining fish if they can make money off of it before it causes food poisoning. Bourdain also gives us advice on using the bathrooms in restaurants. He says that if the bathrooms do not look like they are being cleaned on a daily basis, then that is probably how they keep their kitchen.

    In the chapter titled How To Cook Like The Pros, Bourdain talks about several tools that chefs need in order to prepare a good meal for his customers. In cooking class we have also used some of theses to tools in order to cook a good meal for ourselves and for the people we cooked for on the three day hike. We have used a flexible boning knife for chopping off parts of meat that we do not need. For example when we cooked the buffalo wings yesterday we used this knife for cutting off pieces that we did not need. We also use a paring knife for cutting things like onions and garlic. We also use saucepans stockpots,and pastry bags. One thing that we did not use that I would eventually like to use is a offset serrated knife because it can cut things like bread and other thick things such as tomatoes. What makes the knife cool is that it is indispensable.
    Bigfoot is a friend of Bourdain from the CIA. Bourdain works for Bigfoot who happens to be a very serious and organized cook. He is very passionate about what he does. I think that Bigfoot was the first example how a chef should be for Bouradin and inspired him more to become a chef. My favorite Bigfoot story was when Bourdain had to inform his Bigfoot when he was going to be late and why. I also liked when one of Bigfoot's waiters said that she was returned from vacation late and said her flight schedule changed. Bigfoot called the airport to verify her story. When he discovered it was a lie she was fired.

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  9. In this chapter titled How to Cook Like The Pros, Bourdain talks about a lot of how to prepare and what tools you need to do so. He tells us some helpful hints like don't eat seafood on Mondays, and don't eat muscles at all unless you know the chef or restaurant personally.he talked about some tools and others things that i never knew about that I would like to see and try. Like the mandolin, shahots and I want to what chiffonaded parsley looks like.
    My favorite story about Bourdain and Bigfoot was Bourdain worked for Bigfoot and at first the only Bourdain knew was he killed a guy with his bare hands. But Bourdain still considered Bigfoot a friend a mentor. He describes him as a big, fat, balding, red-face Jewboy, who looks a little like Bruce Willis. Bigfoot sad he knew nothing about how to cook but the bl him away. Bourdain said that he had skills of preciseness and knowledge of how to get the cheapest ingredients, also his skill of cutting the exact portions to compare it to other cooks.

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