Carlos Carreon(Bacon by TIm Z

24 07 2009

Buying local product is a wide spread subject but yet the movement is slowly catching on. I frankly, don’t understand why more businesses aren’t getting involved with their local farms to get the freshest product instead of trucks that have been on the road for miles before it gets to your establishment. The average distance that food travels before it gets to your plate is 1,500 miles and being harvested in California, Chile, and other parts of the world before it even gets to the distributor. This is definitely enough time for sugars to turn to starch, plant cells shrink and produce to lose its vitality, in turn we get the short end of the stick and pay the same for it.

Local food is usually GMO-free, and more and more people look for that on food labels just as much as they do for organic or any other health driven tag on packages. Local farmers are not authorized to use GMO seed nor would they use it if they could because the damages to the farm and all the legal issues behind it make the seed undesirable to local producers. Farmers aren’t out to hurt their consumers and when we start buying from them we make a long standing connection between grower and consumer which is vital in more ways than just one. Supporting someone in your community I’m sure feels much better than giving your money to some huge tycoon food distributor that never thanks you, whereas local farmer give bushels of free product when harvest is good, and you’re good to them.

Taxes will be on the rise in the near future no matter what community you live in if we don’t start supporting local growers because losing farming land to develop new subdivisions will cost you more in taxes for services. Every dollar raised in revenue by a farmer the government would pay less than the cost of services from those raised in revenue by developers. When there is few developers you preserve more land for wildlife and agriculture alike, which promotes a cleaner environment and abundant food for all.


Carlos Carreon (bacon by Tim Z.)

24 07 2009

The restaurant industry is going to take a turn for practicality after our countries recession and the other that follow behind us. Don’t get me wrong the quality of food and standard of service will not go down as a result of this transformation. On the contrary I believe that quality and service is on the rise but prices on the decline.  The average consumer is not a millionaire by any means but that does not mean that they don’t like to be treated as such. Obviously high price produce and product will always pass the bill on to you but restaurants as well as the individuals are trying to save now more than ever.

Restaurateurs understand the importance of utilizing all ingredients they order in a timely fashion to save money and the consumer now wants the most out of every penny he has, so a burger and fries for lunch is not cutting it anymore. The world sees the importance of healthy eating and how it corresponds with a healthy life, which I believe would only drive more people to go to mid scale high end restaurant to acquire those bold flavors and appropriate servings. All the while we must keep in mind that those very people aren’t made of money but we want to squeeze as much as possible out of them by giving them the best of service and the best of food.

Sure we can look at look at food trends and what the hottest chef is doing but in the end if it doesn’t sell and you can’t get butts in the chairs then all your hard work will goes unnoticed. Many chefs do very amazing things in their restaurants with a lot of flair, but they have established themselves enough to where they can take risks and have freedom to do that. These are not trends or movements; these are skills and experience at its best and if more people educate themselves on how to stay in the food service industry than more skills and experiences are bound to be recognized in the future.

Chris Kauppinen gastronome

5 06 2009

I personally believe that in the future food will not be just a meal and entertainment but a destination, an experience and be more fulfilling not just to people who care but to most of the population. I think gastronome and the contemporary ideas that come from it won’t be used as much as some people predict but rather like all of the cooking styles and chefs of the past, some of it will be placed in the grand reserve of cooking.

The idea of flavors not seeming how they feel or making something appear its not, are grand tricks that could be used in many other applications of cooking to sauté or grill to even something simple as how we plate a salad. Many new ideas may come along from how we use chemicals and science to help us in the kitchen. A good example we as chefs may say something is very hot, then you’re told to be careful, but what if someone brought you a soup and told you its very cold be careful? Ideas such as this may seem weird or strange but could be basic concepts in the near future.

Things we do today would seem very alien to chefs 100 or even 50 years ago, how we plate, what we plate, how we cook a food item, would insult some chefs from long ago, yet today we find them perfectly acceptable and even some genius and elegant. In conclusion, I don’t think gastronome is the future but rather a link as many other styles and will connect us to the next set of years, to the next generation of chefs, and even how customers dine and see food.

Krystal Talavera

4 03 2009

Taking wine class was a very interesting class, I didn’t think wine was a real big deal, while talking about the history of wine, I never knew how detailed they were down to the entire grape and with the whole process of making it. My favorit wine tasted in class was the Beringer white zinfandel from cali. its rosey color kinda peachy and the taste is sweet. I also LOVED the smell of the wine reminds me of a flower shop. Over all I loved the class, its history especially the tasting.

Mind your manners by Mandy L.

25 09 2008

Ever since I can remember, my grandmother has made numerous accounts of how a child should be able to adapt to good manners and table etiquette, so as to carry forth into adulthood. As much as my cousins and I had been driven crazy by her perseverance, it is these microscopic lessons, that now become pivotal in executing a sense of class. An attractive napkin fold, a traditional utensil setting, or even the do’s and dont’s of bodily functions and habits at the dinner table.

In school, culinary students learn various cooking techniques and appealing presentations. They know that typically people eat with their eyes first. It is up to them to set the tone for a true dining experience. But I’ve noticed that perhaps with all this focused concentration, somehow personal habits are cast aside before we sit down to eat. And for that matter, one may construct a dish that is colorful and voluminous, but would you have it served on a surface of disarray? I would think that bad manners and table settings,is a default in what the cook worked so hard to make memorable in the beholder of the eye and palate.

Although my concern may come across somewhat snobbish, it isn’t my intention. I simply believe that most outside opinions can be drawn by how one carries themselves in front of others, not just your craftmanship. I consider myself to be visually stimulated by most of the five senses one inherits at birth. It is crucial to me, as I’m sure to others, that dining out should be pleasurable not forgettable.

I think everyone would benefit from this, and more over, a bit of culture. Recently I had the undesired privilege of witnessing some modern day archeology of the nasal passage and ear canal at a local cafe. The evidence had been discarded by wiping it upon the tablecloth and napkin, followed by a masking of irrefutable burping. This was an appetite suppressant to say the least. Maybe habits are formed by the way one is raised, or good manners were implimented but the person is careless and lazy, and simply doesn’t give a hoot.

Whether you were raised in a barn, or the Four Seasons hotel, you should carry some core lessons with you to succeed as a respectable chef.

Anyone who has spent time with me in the kitchen, knows how detail oriented I can be. It seems like the older I get the more I strive to gain success in the way my outcome will be in this industry. I truly would like to see my peers have the same as well. Maybe when you are younger the little things seem to be trivial, but actually it is that in which only improves personal and professional ethics.

It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. But to dine amongst grace and elegance is perfection.

Vauquelin by David W.

25 03 2008

I don’t know if anyone has heard of the blog site, but it’s a great blog site dealing mostly with molecular gastronomy (post modern cuisine). The most recent post on the site has to do with a new concept introduced by Herve This called vauquelin. This concept is basically just microwaved egg whites. It’s almost like a meringue, but not quite; It has a much more spongy texture. The khymos website has excellent pictures. Anyway, on to the idea behind the name. So we all know that egg whites, when whipped, can increase in volume up to 8 times. Well what if i wanted to increase the volume of an egg white 40 times? 50 times? Why not?

Herve This proposed a theory that since the proteins in egg whites are what support the the foaming, and the foaming is only possible because of water, what would happen if we whipped egg whites with water? For that matter, why not add a little acid or sugar to further stabilize the proteins? This not only proposed this idea, but experimented with it as well. The volume of foam obtained from an egg white after adding water and sugar is absolutely mind blowing. If you go to the khymos website, you can see it. They mixed 1 egg white with 1.5 dL (1/2 cup) blueberry syrup (juice works too) and it produced an astounding 2 Liters of foam. One egg white weighs what, 2 ounces? 2 ounces turned into 2 liters is pretty cool in my book.

Now, this isn’t quite a vauquelin yet. After whipping the mixture, you need to microwave it for a short amount of time. I haven’t tried it yet, but depending on the power level of your microwave, it could take anywhere from 5 seconds to 20 seconds. I think I’m going to experiment tonight with the times and update this post tomorrow to let you guys know what time in the microwave I found was adequate. I really recommend checking out this khymos website. It can open your eyes to all sorts of new ideas and techniques.

Also I just realized there is a link to the khymos blog under the Blogroll section of this web page. Check it out.

Scooped after microwavingCut after MicrowavePre-Microwave