The burden of responsibility lies on you take care of all

cooking-113411_960_720Hello, my name’s Tom. I’m the ex-head chef of Jack’s Brasserie Restaurant, located in Bristol, Great Britain. As you can tell, my website pays homage to this business, and today, I’m an avid food and recipe writer. All stories posted here are related to my world as a food fundi and my personal philosophies on life. Seeing as it is a new year, I’d thought I’d re-introduce myself here today. I know that there are many readers out there who have dusted off their New Year’s resolutions and, nearing the end of the first month of 2016, they are still proceeding apace.

When it gets hot in the kitchen, stay in it

Congratulations to all of you who have made it this far. Keep it up and do not lose hope, particularly when the going starts to get tough. Chances are that this year may well be a tougher year than the previous one. But it does not need to be unbearable, particularly if you stay resolute in keeping your new years promises and stick to your plan of action. Whether it’s business or personal (even both), make sure that plan you’ve drafted is a realistic one.

LED LIGHTS PLANET holds true to realistic expectations. Their ethos is tailored around a promotional vibe and keeping things safe. It is also all about being responsible. It mirrors the philosophy of always retaining your own burden of responsibility, not just for yourself but especially for those entrusted in your care. A family man, you need to plan ahead to ensure that your growing children are well-provided for and kept safe in their present environment.

Running your own business encompasses a huge array of responsibilities if you want to ensure that not only does it thrive, it survives too.

Look after your kitchen staff

I mentioned earlier that this year would potentially be a tough one. You need to take care of all financial eventualities, anything that can harmfully impact the day to day running of your business. And in this frame, you dare not exclude your customer base or your staff. Allow me to conclude today’s post by staying focused on our mutual staff’s well-being.

The most challenging aspect for you, as a small business owner, may be the wage bill. If there was previously no budget for this, staff not only deserve it, they do need an annual increase. Do not take it for granted that you can plead poverty and simply wring your hands and say sorry. No matter how hard the business and job environment is these days, remember that the days of successfully holding on to loyal staff who have been through thick and thin with you are now long gone.

Also make sure that their working hours are reasonable. If it is necessary that extra hours have to be worked, please pay them for those too. And, as a business leader, make sure that you also pitch in to help in the kitchen. It is part of your burden of responsibility.

Cooking with Fish

Cooking with FishThere are few foods which are more finicky than fresh fish and seafood. Anyone who’s watched a season or two of a Gordon Ramsay cooking show should know just how difficult it is to properly cook scallops – it’s not an impossible task though. The problem with most seafood is the water content compared to other meats. I’m going to pass along a little science lesson here in a minute, but trust me when I say it is important knowledge for every chef, and not at all limited to use in a classroom or laboratory setting. It should be obvious too, but it has a lot to do with water.

You see, water is literally the only thing on this planet that actually expands when it gets colder. Everything else (and I mean everything) contracts as it chills, from computer electronics to plate glass, from the gaseous air inside of tires to steel fittings which hold together good knives. Water is the only thing that expands as it gets colder, which is why frostbite is such a serious issue for people braving cold weather. It’s also why frozen meats, especially fish and seafood, just don’t taste as good as fresh cuts. Freezing and thawing alters the taste and texture of many foods, but none more than seafood.

Therefore, the only way to cook good fish is to kill it, clean it and prepare it from fresh sources. Because hauling in the “catch of the day” is really impractical for most restaurants and even home cooks, this might seem impossible. But that’s where aquariums come into the equation. These tanks filled with fish are good for much more than just housing family pets. An aquarium will keep your fish alive and as fresh as possible until you scoop it up, chop it up and make something out of it. Just make sure you have some quality canister filter or other system for keeping the water clean and pure.

That will ensure your fish remains clean and pure, which in turn will provide the best possible taste experience for whoever ends up eating it. Nobody likes fish that tastes like old mud, and that’s exactly what you’ll get if you’re pulling fish from a dirty tank and using them to make food. All that grit and grime ends up in the fish if you don’t remove it from the water, and that affects the taste of said fish, and not in a positive way.

If you plan to cook with fish then, for the best possible fish, use meat which was only recently slaughtered and cleaned when preparing your dishes. Because this isn’t practical for people with small aquariums, you’ll need a larger tank if you want to handle your fish in this manner. For that, you’ll need adequate filtration to keep the water clean and the meat pure. You can read more about that at http://canisterfilterguide.com/ if the mood takes you. Otherwise, just think of it like keeping pet fish – pet fish you will eventually eat. Take good care of them and they will take good care of you.

Now this is what it takes to be a fine chef

Now this is what it takes to be a fine chefIf you are still contemplating whether or not you want to become a chef I hope that my previous post on what it means to be a chef proved to be educational, interesting and, most important of all, inspirational. Now, what I’m about to tell you next deals with the aptitudes of being a fine chef on more practical levels.

I’m not going to be recommending where you should study further or serve out your apprenticeship. What I am going to do is guide you on emotional, aesthetic, psychological and physical aspects which help fine chefs to cope well in their business.

You need to spend more time in your own kitchen

Most of you already know that the business of being a chef is highly pressurized, even at the best of times. I’d like to share a short anecdote on a colleague of mine before I go any further. Firstly, let me also tell you that http://www.grapplingdummyinsider.com/ is but one of the many internet resources which suggest options on how you can stay in shape in the kitchen. Now, this genial colleague of mine is one of the finest chefs I know. Not only is he talented, he’s also a brilliant businessman and quite egregious with people, staff and patrons alike.

But his problem is that he rarely has time for himself, not so much for the long hours that we keep, but more to do with his physical and mental well-being. Not by any means a heavy drinker, in fact he hardly drinks at all, he is a heavy smoker. Smokes and cups of coffee are his breakfast staple, and ironically for a master chef, he rarely spends any time in his own kitchen at home, preparing healthy meals for himself and his kids.

You need to be inspired by others

In fact, when he has them over, he generally treats them with outings to their favorite fast-food restaurant. Let’s just say that at his time of life, this is all a recipe for disaster. But on a positive note, I’ve never seen someone immerse himself so much in literature the way this bloke does. Apart from all the other genres, not a month goes by when he doesn’t have his canny nose in re-reading excerpts from our cooking bible, Larousse Gastronomique, recipes from our godfather, the legendary Paul Bocuse, and inspirational ramblings from renowned American celebrity chef and author, Anthony Bourdain.

I do pretty much the same, and I enjoy amusing myself with new work from my compatriots Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. Fortunately for me, I also enjoy keeping myself physically active and in shape when I’m not in the kitchen.

I’ve got my regular gym membership and I particularly enjoy my long Sunday walks. I’m also a convert of martial arts and these days am also preoccupied with honing my self-defense skills. You can read more here how I practice with realistic-looking dummies while thinking about my next spring and summer menus.

What Makes A Hotel Luxurious

hotel-940730_1280I’ve spent most of my working days at Jack’s Brasserie, and I loved the place, but I’ve also had the chance to cook for other restaurants, and sometimes even hotels. During those times, when I was still young, I often found myself fascinated by all those different places. I personally liked the low-budget restaurants better, because they all had a warm atmosphere and a joyful staff, but I still find myself going down memory lane to catch another glimpse of the majestic buildings in which some of the five-star hotels were situated. What amazed me the most is the fact that opening a luxurious hotel is not as easy as it may seem. In other words, it’s not just about the money you’re willing to invest – you also need to be aware of the things that constitute such places. What follows are my modest observations, and since I’m a professional cook, I had to put food first.

Great food

In my opinion, you can’t have a luxurious hotel without great cuisine. When staying in a five-star hotel, people tend to expect the restaurant to offer not only delicious food, but also a wide selection of different dishes. It is also recommendable for the chef to offer a certain number of signature dishes.

Something to spice things up

Most luxurious hotels, for instance, have spas. And although a traditional offer should serve the purpose, each and every five-star hotel that I’ve visited had something extra, like a heated pool. You might think that that’s nothing special, but you should check a review of the equipment that’s necessary to keep it running before going any further.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a pool equipped with a proper pool heater; it can be a winter garden, or a large aquarium, or a tennis court. It all depends on the type of clientele you’re trying to attract, as well as the overall image of your hotel.

Discreet and attentive service

People staying at luxurious hotels expect a certain kind of service. The staff should be extremely polite and helpful, as well as always around when they’re needed. But what’s crucial is that they also be very discreet, since the guests expect a high level of privacy.

Tasteful décor

Appearances are not that important, or so they say. It’s definitely not true when it comes to luxurious hotel. In such a place, dust, worn-out furniture and filthy wallpapers are simply not allowed, but what’s also important is the décor in general. Every five-star hotel that I’ve visited has featured tasteful furniture and luxurious decorations.

Comfortable rooms

You can tell a hotel by its beds. It’s true, since every decent hotel has quality mattresses, and fine linen. When it comes to luxurious places, you wouldn’t be out of place if you expected only top-of-the-line furniture.

Plenty of appliances and cosmetics

A room in a luxurious hotel is packed with useful appliances, including TV sets, hair dryers, towel racks that can also serve as heaters, shampoos, conditioners, bath salts etc. After all, these things are an important part of feeling comfortable.

Using Game Meat for a Unique Menus

Using Game Meat for a Unique MenusI’ve worked for as a chef and I never thought I’d use game meat in any of my menus until my most recent gig. I was invited to prepare a menu for an annual gathering of our local hunters club. I imagined the participants to be burly guys with beards and complete with hunting gears and stuff. They could be wearing some hunting boots, much like the ones found on this website. What could be the best treat for such outdoorsy, muscular gang?

I was scouring over a long list of pre-set menus that I have but it seems there’s none that best suits the occasion. Then I suddenly realized: why not use game meat? I have rarely cooked wild meat and this gig is definitely the perfect time to be inventive.

Customarily, you don’t see game meat such as antelope, wild boar, wild birds, bison, buffalo and other more unusual animals on the restaurant menu. Not that game meat is unhealthy or unsafe, but because they are quite difficult to find. In fact, if I only had a chance, I’d serve game meat dishes as unique house specialties. I’m sure patrons will crave for it. But since these types of meat are not readily available, they rarely find the way to delectable menus.

Game meats are those that come from animals that have been hunted for food. Game meat recipes are as equally rare as the meat itself. When planning to use game meat, you have to be creative and versatile. You are unsure about what type of meat will end up in your kitchen. Normally, you’ll prepare the recipe on-the-spot, depending on what is on hand.

For this hunter’s club gathering, I plan to serve rosemary winter and pheasant stew, hearty venison stew, bison bulalo, bison meatballs, clay pot rabbit and rabbit cattiatore. I am unsure if I could get real games or probably I would go for farmed game animals. I’m afraid I will do the hunting myself and might need to wear hunting boots, such as the Lacrosse Aero Head Men’s Boots, if ever I couldn’t find sufficient game meat.

Game animals that have grown in the wild have that unique taste. They are also leaner compared to farm animals as they feed on natural vegetation that is abundant in the wild. Since game meats are leaner, they have the tendency to overcook fast. It is a good idea to stick with recipes that won’t overcook the meat. Stews, long marinades, braise, and moist heats are some cooking techniques that work well with game meats.

Authentic hunter recipes are very straightforward. Grilling is the most common way for cooking game meats, especially in the wild. After a day of hunting, hunters typically set camp in the wilderness and then start a fire where they can grill their game. But with my recipes, I’ll show them what better way to prepare and enjoy their games. I hope they love my dishes as much as I love this challenge!

Venison And Its Health Benefits

venison-542592_1920True gourmets know how to enjoy in food, and they valued venison on their plate. In addition to specific taste, it is also very good for our health. Here are some reasons why you should learn to hunt and occasionally enjoy as true gourmets.

Venison is full of iron. Therefore, it prevents anemia and affects the production of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is very important, and has a role in providing enough oxygen to your muscles, tissues and organs.

In this way, eating of venison can affect your overall health and energy.

Venison meat does not contain fat. Is there anything better than a piece of pure meat? This meat is especially good if you deal with bodybuilding and try to develop muscles. For this, you need a lot of proteins, and in the venison is full of them. Besides, this meat is lean. Wild animals in the wood lead an active life, and their meat does not have too much fat. It is not a philosophy – it is the same with humans. I know many people who do not like fatty deposits on meat. The solution for these people could be venison.

You might be wondering now, where to get the venison. You can buy it, or order it in a hunter’s restaurant. However, when I already mention physical activity, perhaps it is not a bad idea to learn to hunt. Hunting has many advantages, starting from better concentration, better condition to the cheap procurement of tasty and healthy meals. To increase the chances to make a good catch, you will need an adequate hunting equipment, which includes clothing, gun, and high-quality rangefinder. Of course, you need a supply of water and food. It is best to take the one that has no complicated and rustling package, which will show your position. After speaking with my old pal who is a professional on this topic, I would personally recommend this one.

Are you trying to lose weight? Venison meat is an excellent choice for your diet, not only because it contains less fat, but because it has twice fewer calories than beef meat.

The best diet connects good and useful. In this case, it means delicious and healthy at the same time. Venison will give you a good portion of protein and iron, but it is a rich source of vitamin B12, which is also important in the fight against anemia. There is vitamin B6, which affects the conversion of carbohydrates, which is very important for people who have problems with diabetes.

Perhaps the most important thing is the fact that the venison caught in the wood is actually a kind of organic food. Such meat is not enriched with hormones and antibiotics for faster growth and is therefore, perfectly natural and healthiest source of meat.

Venison has a strong and specific taste. It’s a taste of the wild that was the inspiration for the development of hunting cuisine. Until you do not try to eat the hunting specialties, you cannot know what it means to be a true gourmet!

What it means to be A Chef

ChefsLet me present myself. I am Tom and my work speaks for itself. I am a skilled person in my field of activity. I am in charge of food production in my restaurant. According to this description, you can call me a Chef. My duties are extremely diverse. I manage my kitchen and oversee my staff in order to plan menus, work out various dishes or manage raw material procurement.

Job as a Chef

My work as a chef is different from that of a cook. Sometimes the two terms chef and cook mean the same. However, both education and experience differ. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to become a chef. You should first work as an apprentice and learn the craft at a culinary academy and after that join an establishment. Sometimes you must spend some money to learn the trade. All in all, as a chef I spend long hours of work, doing my best to perform my job and please my clients. Being a chef is not an easy career but I have a strong passion for food and cooking.

There are some qualities that each chef should have when referring to this profession. A chef should have an absolute passion for both food and cooking, a food philosophy. As for me, I am fond of my profession. I have a total commitment to my job. I always work under pressure. I also have time management skills. I keep calm in difficult situations. My sense of business is at a higher level. I can also work as part of my team and mentor the others. I am able to take criticism if necessary and always please the client. I can create exquisite food and I am always up to date to the most recent trends in gastronomy.

Continue reading