Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Food Network Rant #2

I love Italian food. Everyone loves Italian food. The food network has 3 Italian cooking shows that run almost every day, "Everyday Italian", "Molto Mario", and "Easy Entertaining". Then a fourth show that isn't on as often, also starring Mario Batali. That's great. The problem is that they don't have a single cooking show that focuses on French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, or Indian cuisine. For that matter they don't have Moroccan, Portuguese, Mexican, Philippino, Greek, Korean, Thai, German, English, Scandinavian, or Jewish shows either. But 3 Italian shows everyday? And what else is there? Nu Southern American with Paula Deen, BBQ and Southwestern with Bobby Flay, Cajun with Emeril, and that's about it as far as shows that focus on any specific culinary background. There's no show specifically about wine, cheese, seafood, bread, or any other specific type of food like that either except dessert. If you add everything up it comes (roughly) to Italian: 4, different varieties of the American South: 4, Dessert: 1. Everything else: 0. All the rest of the cooking shows have no real central style (not counting diet food shows), which isn't necessarily a bad thing but on the Food Network this is the category where Rachel Ray and her ilk rear their ugly heads. Sandra Lee is probably the worst offender. But that's a different rant.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Food Network

For most of my life I never had cable TV. That's ok. There are many worse things to be deprived of. Now that I have cable TV and way to much free time I'm developing a very masochistic obsession with the food network. I realize that they are in the business to make money and therefore it makes far more sense for them to market to bored housewives than poor, pretentious, aspiring chefs, but do they have to show 4 and a half hours of god damn Rachael Ray making "Spaghetti and meatball 'stoup'"("thicker than soup, thinner than stew!") every day? On any given day up to 21% of all programming on the food network is Rachael Ray centered. She has like 5 shows now! Can I cook better than her? Do I know more about food than her? Probably not (yet) so maybe I have no right to call her an obnoxious hack, but I'm going to anyway. Rachael Ray is a cancer on American cuisine. Emeril (who is also an obnoxious hack), Alton Brown, and her take up almost half of the Food Network air time. I don't mind Alton Brown so much. His "Good Eats" program has taught me many valuable things, but this imbalance is still completely unacceptable. These figures are based on the schedule for one day of programming but from what I've been observing this is about the norm. It's complete bullshit.

Many more rants about the Food Network and ways it could be better to come. I realize I have a very poor track record when making promises about updating this blog but this time I'm serious. Seriously. I promise.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A few pictures from the kitchen

I took these with my cell phone over the past few months. I like them.

The first one is a picture of some meat loaf that Jason made for staff meal after he started making burger patties but didn't get a chance to finish. By the next day all the ground beef he'd opened but hadn't used had oxidized. When ground beef oxidizes it turns brown so that you can't cook it to temperature properly. Yes, it is shaped like a cock and balls, and yes it has fries for pubes.This is cheesecake base with huckleberry puree that has just been pressed through the chinoise on top.
This is avocado that has just been pressed though a sieve. I thought it was really cool how it stayed in perfect little squares as it stuck to the bottom. The white stuff on top is a little bit of the whipped cream that the mashed avocado is about to be folded into to make avocado mousse.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Victory Passive Aggression

The servers put dishes on the cart in the hallway by the window. I carry them to the dish pit and wash them. Up until a week or so ago they brought their water pitchers straight to the pit towards the end of the night or whenever they were done with them. At some point someone made the executive decision to start leaving them on the cart with the dishes and at least a few others followed suit. That bothered me. This situation was far too minor to complain to someone about but far too much of an affront to just deal with(maybe not but who wants to be mature?). I decided to just let the pitchers pile up there and pretend like I didn't see them. Don't get me wrong I'm all about making the servers lives easier whenever I can, but there it absolutely no practical reason they can't carry the damn pitchers to the pit themselves. Its like, seven extra steps. They have to walk by it all the time anyway. If they had always put them on the cart I would never have given carrying them a second thought, but to arbitrarily change the system to make more work for me? Fuck that. It seems the message was received because tonight they started putting them in the pit again. When I noticed this I smiled for a solid minute and began outlining this entry in my mind.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This has never happened before

Tonight was the first night since I've been working at The Jones that I didn't carry a single stack of dishes in to the kitchen from the dish cart. I was able to accomplish this feet in part because it was a slow night, so there weren't many dishes to do early, thanks to Bumbershoot/labor day weekend and in part because of the fact that I started making Ravioli around 6. Ravioli making, start to finish takes over 3 hours. By the time I finished around 9:20 the line had started breaking down and of course I was way behind on the dishes. Normally I'm the first one done at the end of the night by 10-20 minutes unless there are a bunch of late orders, then I'm even more ahead. But every once in a while, for whatever reason, I get way behind and the line finishes well before me. When that happens someone usually helps me out by doing things like carrying the dishes in, organizing the silverware, etc.. They can't leave until I'm done anyway. I couldn't believe it when Jeremy asked me to make them. I made 13 some orders yesterday but I guess they sold them all. I suspect the only reason that Jeremy asked me to do them is because I'm taking tomorrow off to go to Bumbershoot (The New Pornographers, Spoon, The Emergency, Blue Scholars, Kanye West!) and everyone else hates making them. That's fine with me. The apparent popularity of the Ravioli fills me with pride.
Locations of visitors to this page