There’s More to a Chef than Good Recipes- my article in mail today

Tuesday 7 December 2010 | Posted by Kishi | Articles,foodaholics

Have you imagined how much labour and love goes into making one meal?

I always get emails and phone calls from young aspiring cooks and chefs. People seem to have this holy reverence for a pastry or culinary chef. And just like the trends on Twitter, they seem to envision a long hat, dazzling array of stainless steel kitchens equipped with automatic state of the art tools filled with lines of pastry/chef assistants swarming around in a room in a wonderful rhythm.

Part of this is true, the rest is fiction. Sometimes you need to wake up but never stop dreaming and I’m here to tell you how. The view is always best from the top. When you become the main head in your organization or the executive chef things look much sweeter, the journey, however, begins at the backdoor of the restaurant where inventory worth thousands of rupees of products every morning gets unloaded.

The hard work starts early in the morning wee hours before dawn when most of your friends and relatives are snoring away to glory. You don’t wait for the roosters call. What this job needs are 2 things: – Diligence (patience) and Perfectionism. The easy part is being surrounded by chocolate, sweets and other yum for the tum foods, but to hone your craft and to be the best you have to put in many many hours. I think Malcolm Gladwell had it half right. It would take 20,000 hours.

Everyone starts at ground zero. You know nothing when you start and all those knowledgeable, exciting chefs you’ve hero-worshipped all your life will show you how to run your kitchen. That was my first lesson.

To every profession, even cooking, there are good and bad sides. It’s not easy to survive culinary schools for those who don’t understand the physical requirements of the profession: Lifting hefty pots, being on your feet for eight hours (probably more), stirring barrels of stocks, sauces, rolling pounds of dough scooping lots of cookies and ice creams. The job requires a lot of out of you to begin with. Simply having an eye and a palette for food does not make one a chef. That was my second lesson.

As time progresses the chef is less of a Cook and more of a manager. He or She becomes responsible for a myriad of things, ranging from employee training, menu development, spoilage and waste control, to budgeting and the overall ambience of the establishment. While the term multitasking has become dominant in today’s culture, on the line, however, this word takes on an entirely different meaning. Think of being a chef as a balancing act walk on tight rope with a looming deadline and pleasing the largest audience of any profession (a lot of people eat food). You cannot choose what you must end up doing, but you can choose what you should focus on. But you will have to do everything once to understand and grow as a full-fledged chef. That was my third lesson.

When you start small you’ll be worried about the day to day activities and learning the recipes. Once you start to master them slowly and get into an autopilot, the skill that separates the newbie’s from the professionals is the amount of detail and experimentation that the chef puts into his or her plan. That means you’ll be responsible for creating a number of entrees, appetizers, salads, and/or desserts flawlessly over and over again. In simple words a chef is someone who can repeatedly multitask, is disciplined, has an aesthetic sense of food and can manage and churn meals. The most important ingredient in all of this is a smile. That was my fourth lesson.

The ladder to success is a bit taller than it seems in the papers. One thought step at a time. Don’t expect overnight success. Even the top stars of today didn’t have it overnight. It is difficult for new chefs to have their skills recognized without an established history of success in a variety of workplaces. So work around a lot, do all sorts of dishes, niche yourself after you have gained expertise not before. You have to do your job well whether it is menu items are being produced correctly and in a timely manner or ensuring proper food safety and sanitation in the kitchen at all times or the ability to delegate, consolidate and maximize labour is another part of the job.

Being aware of all things that are occurring at all times is necessary to any successful restaurateur or chef. Although the food is the major concern of the kitchen it far from the only responsibility that you have to worry about. The career recompenses the talented and the enterprising kind that can see opportunity and grab it.

So as a chef, here is a 4 course meal recommendation to your success, tuck in!

Salad: Find a mentor

Appetizer: Work hard

Main Course: Multi- task

Dessert: Smile- always!

07Edu04.qxp

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A no fuss meal

Tuesday 4 November 2008 | Posted by Kishi | Easy Cooking

Spanish Garbanzo bean soup : Recipes and Article in Mail today

Garbanzo bean 100 gms

Tomato 4 Nos

Garlic 2-3 cloves

Onion 1

Veg Stock 3-4 cups

Spinach ½ cup

Oil 1 tbsp

Spanish paprika 1 tsp

Cumin seeds, ground 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds, Ground ½ tsp

Fennel Seeds Ground ½ tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Coriander to garnish

METHOD:

· Soak the garbanzo beans overnight, Boil and cook till tender.

· Slice the onion, chop garlic separately and puree the tomato.

· Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions

· Add the tomato puree and all the dry spices and cook will you see the tomato mixture leave oil.

· Add the vegetable stock and garbanzo beans and simmer till everything is mixed properly.

· Serve it in a bowl and add the spinach and garnish with coriander.

 

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Black Pepper Soba noodles


Soba Noodles 200 gms

Oil 1 tbsp

Black pepper 3 tbsp

Red chilli 1tsp

Veg oyster sauce 2 tbsp

Soy sauce 1 tbsp

Sugar 1tbsp

Garlic 2 tbsp

Onion 1 Chopped

Mushroom 6-7

Baby corn 5-6

Salt to taste

Tomatoes and Green onion for garnish

METHOD:

  • Boil the soba noodles and keep aside.
  • In a wok sauté mushroom and baby corn and keep aside.
  • In the same wok heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic and add oyster sauce and soy sauce.
  • Add the sugar and dry spices and add the vegetables. Mix well.
  • Add the noodles and toss.
  • Serve on a plate and garnish with green onions and tomato.

Blueberry pudding with mascarpone cream.

Blueberry Compote 50 gms

Digestive Biscuits 2-3

Butter 5 gms

Mascarpone cheese 50 gms

Whipping cream 100 gms

METHOD:

  • Crush the digestive biscuits and add butter to it
  • Whip the cream and fold in the mascarpone to it.
  • Take martini glass add the digestive biscuit in the bottom
  • Add the blueberry compote and then some mascarpone cream
  • Add another layer of blueberry and mascarpone and garnish with some compote.
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