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.

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.

Learning to Live Your Life By Yourself

man-945438_960_720After I left my job, it seemed like everything ended then and there. I used to sit and do nothing being pushed into a sense of stupor. It was natural after having worked busily as a senior chef with not a minute to spare. However, I somehow managed to get out of my stunned state and I now have various busy activities lined up.

I am writing a recipe book for kids, involving myself in the local club activities, and I am thinking of starting a catering school of my own. Life is suddenly beautiful and full of possibilities. Mind you, I took some time to get to this state, but it was worth it. Here are some things that you can try out, if you find you are by yourself and have time on your hands.

Catch up on lost time

When you are busy working, you will not have time for watching your favorite show on TV. But when you have time to while away, grab the remote and find out the timings of your favorite show and start watching it without interruptions for a change! I used to love all those reality shows, especially the ones that select the best singer in the country. I like singing and go to karaoke parties occasionally with my friends. One of my friends has an excellent quality karaoke machine, which we use whenever we have a get together.

Sip a cuppa!

Take your tablet or book and go to the coffee shop nearby. A coffee shop is the right place to meet with people. Don’t be obvious about it. Be casual instead of looking desperate about it.  Strike a conversation asking about easy enough things like the best drink at the café or if you have your tablet, how to connect to wi-fi in the place or the most easy thing being the weather. Who knows you may meet your best friend for life this way. So, why not try this!

Go on a long drive

You don’t require a destination for taking a drive. Just hop into your vehicle, put on your favorite music, and sing along as you enjoy the drive. I remember during my student days when I went on bike rides with my friends. We used to have a great time. Even then we had some sort of karaoke sing along parties. Now there are advanced machines like at KARAOKEISLE, which is quite awesome. I would readily recommend it for those who like to have karaoke parties now.

Fitness freak

adventure-925049_960_720With work keeping you away from the gym, this is the best time to become fit as a fiddle. You can take up the fitness routine you like. Yoga, spinning, pilates, dancing, aerobics…take your pick. You can even find a friend in the aerobics or yoga sessions you sign up for. Being healthy is in itself a state of bliss that leads on to many other good things.

Even doing your daily routine in a relaxed manner, savoring the experience fully will make you realize that being alive is truly a wonderful thing, which we tend to forget in our rush to earn money and fame. So, remember that every minute of your life is precious and to be lived fully.

Healthy Skin Recipes

food-1022674_960_720My friend was complaining the other day about how his food habits had made his skin look dull and dreary. Foods high in fat and sugar content can lead to skin losing its healthy and glowing look. Foods not only serve as a solution for your hunger, when chosen properly they can help you gain a healthy skin too. Some foods are real powerhouses that help retain the smooth and supple nature of your skin and prevent age related destruction such as wrinkles. Here are some foods that keep you looking healthy and vibrant.

Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. It offers excellent protection for your skin from environmental pollutants. Foods such as pink grapefruit and watermelon are also rich in lycopene. Adding tomato paste to food daily continuously for about 12 weeks can give better protection form sunburns.

An easy recipe for a tomato pasta sauce is to saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add tomato paste, basil and oregano and water to get the consistency you need. Simmer for about 10 minutes and serve with pasta.

Cranberry-Grapefruit Juice Sparkler

You can easily make sparklers with organic and fresh juices. Choose juices that do not have any added sugar or fructose rich corn syrup and add sparkling mineral water. The effervescent, vitamin rich and low in sugar juice is a healthy and surefire way to keep your skin and body rehydrate. For a blemish free skin, using the advanced treatments  here also helps a great deal.

Glow with Chocolate

Cocoa is great for hydrating your skin. It makes your skin firm and supple. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, which is a powerful antioxidant.  To get the full effects of chocolate you should choose chocolate that has minimum of 70 percent cacao. Even topical application of chocolate is said to reduce puffiness in skin due to the caffeine content in it.

Yogurt for wrinkle free skin

Dairy foods are rich in protein. They keep the skin firm and free of wrinkles. This is particularly effective if you use Greek yogurt as it contains twice the amount of protein as in the regular yogurt.  Eat one serving of Greek yogurt every day to get a smooth and supple complexion. It also helps to soothe sensitive and irritated skin. For acne scars and other blemishes in the skin using the microdermabrasion system at CAMILASBEAUTY device helps, regain your normal healthy skin right from your home itself.

Fruits for protection

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenol antioxidants. The polyphenol fights against free radical formation and regulates the blood circulation in the skin giving the healthy pink hue to the skin. Drinking 2-3 glasses of pomegranate juice everyday will help in keeping you healthy. You can also apply the juice on your skin topically. The antioxidants help to smooth the lines and help in moisturizing your skin.

Yellow and green peppers also reduce the formation of wrinkles particularly near the eyes. The antioxidants present in the peppers help to reduce the sensitivity of skin from exposure to sun. Adding peppers to your meals daily will give your skin the healthy and supple look.

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.

Nutrition in The Style of Bruce Lee

kick-185384_1280When we mention the name of Bruce Lee, nobody thinks about the nutrition. His name is associated with remarkable martial arts skills and movies. However, to achieve such fantastic results, to have enough energy, strength and body full of muscles without a lot of parts that are shaking as they are made of gelatin, he had to take care of his diet. Let me remind you – the sumo wrestling is a martial art too, but fighters do not look nearly as Bruce Lee.

The Bruce Lee diet is based on the eastern cuisine. It is part of his origin, from where probably stemmed and his love for martial arts. Of course, martial arts have their other roots, such as the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you deal with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bruce Lee advices can be useful too. For the success and progress in this sport, you need Gi like these and the following nutrition rules:

Avoid refined flour. Although many of us think that the bread and biscuits are a source of carbohydrates, realistically there is a better choice. Many of us cannot imagine a meal without a bread. Bruce Lee avoided these food because he felt that the white, refined flour does not have anything that would be useful to the body – only empty, useless calories. And when it is useless, it is not something you should have on your plate. Instead of bread, as a source of carbohydrate, he used rice and pasta.

Eat the “real” foods. This may be the attitude with which I, as a professional chef, must agree. If there is something I despise, that are those ready and semi-ready meals, that are more a poison than food. That’s why I chose to deal with food in my life. Under the “real” food, we talk about fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, and not on their products. In other words, learn to cook!

Drink tea and protein drinks. Tea is full of antioxidants, and it strengthening the immune system and help the body in a natural way. It is a part of Chinese tradition. Regarding the tradition or not, the Bruce Lee was drinking tea every day, often sweetened with honey. Honey and bee products have often been part of his diet. As an energy drink, he drank royal honey and ginseng. Bee Propolis is one of the supplements he was taking, in addition to vitamins C and E and other supplements.

apple-2391_1280Eat smaller meals more often. Well, this is probably the key rule of any healthy diet, even the one that has consumed this great fighter. This way of eating allows you to constantly be satiated. Having a steady schedule and eat always at the same time, helps a lot to bring your metabolism in order. Respect some rhythm and it’s going to work like a clockwork. Irregular meals and overeating lead to accumulation of fat and cravings for junk food and sweets that will quickly raise the level of sugar in your blood.

Bruce Lee avoided milk products. Not because he thought they are unhealthy, but simply because they did not like them. This is an item that I would personally skip in his diet. Proteins and calcium, which can be obtained from dairy products, are important for strong muscles and strong bones. And you need them, if you want to be successful in martial arts.

The Philosophy of the Great Food

Great food

Healthy Eating

My philosophy of food and healthy eating has its roots in a balanced way of living. This means eating and leading my life in a sane way. Food is one of the greatest joy in life, but it can turn into our enemy if we lead an unhealthy life. Ingredients such as pasta, stews and burgers have their place in our diets; still, we should be aware that we need to keep our common sense and eat healthily. If we eat these ingredients from time to time, this should be alright. Eat a fresh salad, enjoy it, but do not eat a cake afterwards.

Knowing how to cook means that I can turn many fresh ingredients into meals which are cheapest and in season. Cooking this way will be cheaper and healthier. Therefore, you will find your balance if you use fresh ingredients to cook healthy dishes. For instance, sometimes I feel like making something light as well as fresh and sometimes something both warming and hearty. If I want to snack between meals, I eat something healthy rather than chocolate and potato crisps. When I refer to having a healthy approach to food, it means that I keep a balance as far as food is concerned.

Continue reading