Saturday, September 22, 2012

on the side part II

 continued..... But more frustrating than that is the fact that the sauce on the plate is part of the design of the dish and a well thought out component that ties all the other menagerie of ingredients together. In most cases the artistic placement of the sauce is the beauty and highlight of the chef’s creation. Get a clue!
Switching the starches and vegetables also should be done at your own risk. AGAIN, these plates are built with a certain direction in mind in cuisine, in texture, in flavors. For the most part speaking for myself and most chefs I know, they are complete.
 There are a few necessities every plate needs. Called the 5 Ss

1.     SALT: first and foremost. It’s the end all seasoning, it’s a science. People often ask me what is the difference between a chef and a cook. For many years I would answer with a cocky self important answer like “chef’s don’t do dishes” which I realized was WRONG when I opened my first restaurant. But now after many decades of thought, I say, if you “understand” salt and use it properly you are a chef. Even if you work in a cubicle for a living and cook only for yourself, if you understand salt you are a chef.
I can’t stress this enough,
SALT CONTENT IS NOT A FUCKING OPINION, IT HAS ENOUGH OR IT DOESN’T.  I cook with salt, lots of it. I can’t cook without it. Salt is the color of food, even Rembrandt cant make a masterpiece if you take the color out of his paint. Low salt diet? Awesome, check out the cafeteria at the hospital.
I use salt to the edge, perfectly seasoned is over salted with the addition of one grain of salt. I don’t put salt shakers on my tables, salting your food is my job. Most people had moms that cant season and its habit to grab the salt and douse their food without tasting it. If u do that to my food it will be inedible.
If you want to base a statement on your opinion make sure to end the sentence with “FOR ME”. “this is too salty” is saying I don’t know what I’m doing, which clearly isn’t the case since were full at 6:30.
Man has been eating salt since before we knew what it was, its history is older than life on earth. It is also proof of evolution, you see ocean water and human blood have exactly the same salt content (500ppm) which proves we came from the sea.
Early coast dwelling humans dipped raw potatoes in the ocean after each bite.
The words salary, salutation, salvation and soldier all are routed from the word salt.    Kurlansky “salt” buy it, read it, its life changing.

2.     SWEET: whether it’s the raisins in a salad or the lactose in reduced cream sauce or the crisp edges of a roasted carrot every plate has sweet. To get it in there and not overdo it is the trick, its very easy to over sweeten savory food and even sometimes desserts. its BFF is salt, the recent mainstream discovery of this has changed the food world for the best. Chocolate covered bacon, caramel jerky, bacon glazed donuts.

3.     SPICE: the heat of a small piece of ginger or the tangy spice of some well placed mustard or the fire or a bright red radish in your salad

4.     SUCCULENCE: FAT, that perfectly placed butter on your toasted bun, that crisp lardon on your pear salad, that chunk of crispy skin on that fried chicken thigh, that avocado on your toast, the filling of a twinkie. We crave it, we need it, we love it

5.     SOUR: acidity, that light lemon squeeze on your watermelon slice, that tang of the vinegar in your dressing, that wine reduced intou your chicken sauce

So moving starches and veggies from plate to plate aint gonna happen.
I realize that you don’t like corn but I refuse to change it to the lemongrass ginger broccoli coming with the grouper special and put it on a plate with BBQ ribs and baked beans for you.
The wasabi slaw is great but it won’t work well with the truffle glazed duck breast, have it with the mushroom risotto and saffron string beans. 

Look around, ask your fellow diners what’s good, observe what people are eating and order that. People specialize in some things and not in others. Chefs and owners alike are forced to sell things they dislike, I choose to embrace those items and make the best version ever. Others choose to buy frozen and fry it up, either way pay attention

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