Sunday, December 30, 2007

I really can cook....


They are what interviewing chefs do as part of the hiring process. It is the process of cooking for your potential employer. I have never had problems with a tasting. But for some reason this past week in Chicago I forgot how to cook. The tasting involves sending a menu and a list of ingredients up and they supply the food. They also will sometimes give you a mystery basket of food. Its a suprised and they tell you to cook from it. Again no problem have done this many times before.

Well I showed up at 530 am to cook and not all the product was in yet. I also tried something new for this tasting and had timelines drawn up and a prep list ready. Well it was a disaster and I was helpless to stop this train wreck. It was like watching a nightmare come true.

Then halfway through the prep the Corporate Exec Chef came in and told me that they wanted twice as many plates plated up. This means double the prep.

After the tasting word got back that they were not happy with the tasting and were not sure what they were going to do. I was supposed to get a call on friday telling me what the next step was. I am slated to interview with the client next but it is Sunday and still no call. Needless to say I am a little on edge. Oh yeah I also have caught a nasty cold as well. Let me know what you think is going on here......

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and to all .........yada yada yada

Wow what a Christmas sitting around the table talking to my family and enjoying just being still was fun. The opening of the presents by lil chef was the best part of the day though. She got a tonka truck.....she picked it out, a lil backpack, some clothes, a Mr Potato Head(she is a chefs daughter) but the thing that was the show stopper and has been played with more than anything else was the $.75 bottle of bubbles. We played for over an hour with that, the cat thought it was pretty cool as well.

BUBBLES RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, December 24, 2007

I am starting to like least for this year

Chefs hold a special love hate relationship for the holidays. We love them because of our childhood memories and it is the time of giving. But we hate them for the fact that it is the busiest time of the year for us. While everyone else is running around cheering and celebrating we chefs are working hard long days and just when the Christmas rolls around and everybody else is settling back for a week of doing nothing we are thinking about the longest night of the year.....That's right NEW YEARS EVE.

I tell my family that my favorite holidays are Halloween and Super Bowl Sunday, yes this is a holiday if I say it is. No one goes out to eat on those nights. Oh yeah I am also a big fan of Arbor Day as well, Hallmark cards and wal mart haven't figured a way to capitalize on that day yet.

But this year I was fortunate enough to have the holidays off and spend them reliving my childhood memories. Like most chefs my fondest recollections evolved around food and for me that means Christmas cookies and candies.
But in true chef fashion I made sure to put making these little delicacies off to the last minute and then proceeded to spend two 18 hour days getting them ready and oh lets throw in several complicated cookies I have never made just for fun. We will also make our fudge from scratch no marshmallow whip in this house. Oh we can also go ahead and make enough to make these large platters of holiday sweets to give as presents to all our family and friends. I'll never learn. You know the keep things simple.......NEVER!!!!

As you can see we got them done only after many yelling and screaming matches with my significant other and some mistakes but it was fun and worth it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lil Chef and the cinnamon rolls

Just found this amusing......Things to do on a snowy cold day.

tap the link

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My own Lil Chef

Since my time at home I am finding it harder and harder to not want to be in the kitchen just cooking to cook. And in the absence of a sous chef I have recruited one.
This past week I helped a friend cater a lunch for his race team seminar he puts on. The meal prep went well as did the lunch but I made too much dessert, chocolate mousse cake. I left the mise en place at home for later and went to serve the meal.
Later that night my significant other was complaining about wanting something sweet. So I went in and started to assemble the dessert. Well standing at my feet is my 2 year old sous chef. Well she hopped on her chair and started putting chocolate chips on the cake. In typical sous chef style she assumed the cake was her creation.
Well we served the cake and it was a hit. But the next morning we got up and came down for breakfast and the lil chef went straight to the fridge and helped herself to the cake. Since then there is a constant sound in the house.......her opening the fridge door. And for some reason the handle of the fridge is covered with dried chocolate mousse.
Her mother and I cannot figure out why she has been hyper lately either.....:))

Friday, December 14, 2007

When to pass off a job offer

The famous chef offered me the job of executive chef. If was an honor and I was flattered. But the problem is that they have gone through 4 chefs in 3 years. In case your wondering that means there is a problem. A BIG PROBLEM..... the client is a pain in the ass and the famous chef's company is run by a bunch of ego maniacs. The ego maniacs I can handle nothing new there but the client is a so full of themselves that the lady who runs the place is nothing short of a bitch..... Having taken a long hard look at this seeking some advice from some folks including the cities gossip columist. I decided to pass.

What a phone call that was.

They took it the same way Paris Hilton takes being rejected at a singles bar. Not well!!!

So its on to the next stop.....

I will keep things posted as they happen.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

When good things happen

This past week I was asked to go to DC to cook for this famous chef to see if they wanted me to takeover one of his flagship restaurants. This is something that happens that I have only heard about. Get on a plane at 5am fly to DC take a limo to the restaurant meet the chefs talk for a while get everybody comfortable, then my bosses boss says now go cook something for us. No mystery basket no menu just go cook in a kitchen that I have never been in and know nothing about the operation and oh by the way we are putting out a catered lunch for 200 at the same time. The kitchen is full of people who have just been hired, several of the corporate chefs are running around looking over your shoulder. The only way I can describe this is that you are auditioning for a supporting role in a major motion picture directed by Speilberg staring Pitt and Witherspoon and I am the plucky comic relief.

They were all very nice but SHIT!!!

Now what do you cook for four corporate chefs whom you have admired for many years. Steak and Potatoes of course. They loved it offered me the job and put me back on a plane. Total time on the ground 6 hours.

I love this career.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

In order to keep cooking you need to have a kitchen to cook in

I am interviewing with three different places and all of them are in the large grand scale that I love working in. One is with a large sporting venue that will doo $100k on a regualr is with a new facility that is opening and needs a chef to spearhead its opening.....and the final one is taking over for a museum that is managed by very famous chef. Not sure how this is going to work out but I will let you know.