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Old 06-28-2008, 08:34 AM   #31
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Geez guys calm down, 3-4 light hearted posts hardly means war has broken out on the forum. I would be surprised if anybody took any offence to anything I said in this or any thread.

I mentioned Gordon Ramsay in passing, as for his cooking skills I wouldnt know as I have never eaten anything he has cooked. But I know he has a crap load of money.

Mostly I was not after some sort of complete A-B of cooking for chefs. Just the basic level of skills and the basic recipes you are expected to be able to cook at a basic level as a qualified chef.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:19 AM   #32
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I think if you really want to call yourself a chef, and not just a cook, you should really be familiar with most or all of IC list. You can have the most creative palette and better understanding of flavor than anyone in the world, but it won't matter if you don't have the technique to create flavor, everything you cook is going to taste like mud anyways.

If you're looking for a basic competency that will make you a better cook than you are now, I think IC and GW have really said it all, but here's my top 10 list:

Proper Seasoning (The very very very easiest place to find more flavor)
Heat Control
Knowledge of Ingredients
Knife Skills
Methods of Cooking (braise, grill, sautee, fry, roast, poach, etc.)
Stock
Checking for Doneness
Layering Flavor
Knowledge of Tools
Safety and Sanitation
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:09 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
IC - I know ... I rejected the idea of mayonnaise being a "Mother Sauce" for years because it is not a cooked sauce. But Fellows and Escoffier both recognize it as such ... and they use it as such, so who am I to argue?
Mayonnaise was not one of Escoffier's original five Mother Sauces. They were bechamel, espangole, tomato, veloute, and hollandaise.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:25 PM   #34
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Oh really, Iron chef?????? and how do YOU make a demi glace? The proper demi glace is made from Espagnole. which is made from Brown Stock.

didnt see any of that on your list!!!!

Now, I'm not saying a good or even great chef always makes their own, but do you REALLY think a chef doesn't need to know HOW to do that????

I think so.....

Aîoli is like a Garlic Mayonnaise -- but not quite. There are NO OTHER "aîolis" anything else is properly flavored mayonnaise. and that's fine, but flavored mayonnaises are NOT aîoli. in fact, the word aîoli is a mix-up of garlic -- ail, and olive oil.
I make my demi glace the more contemporary way: roast the veal bones, saute the aromatics (I prefer to saute them rather then roast them as they cook more evenly and there are no burn spots), then make a veal stock. I then strain the stock and reduce it by half, then fortify it with mushrooms, herbs, and little more aromatics for about 45 minutes to round off the flavor. Other than in culinary school, I have never had to make, or have never seen anyone make a traditional demi glace from espangnole. Plus, I like the flavor of a glace de veau much, much better than a demi produced from an espangnole.

With the other mother sauces, I haven't seen any contemporary kitchen or menu that uses a classic veloute or Escoffier's version of tomato sauce so while it's good to know how it's made, I don't think that it is important to be proficient in making it because there's a 99% chance that you'll never use it after culinary school.

With aiolis, I'm talking about it in a contemporary sense. I know what a classical aioli is, but in todays terms, aiolis do refer to a flavored mayonnaise so it is what it is.

While it's important to know the history of things, I believe that it's also important to become skilled at doing something that you will use more often, and that means the contemporary versions of classical sauces or other dishes.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:36 PM   #35
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Mostly I was not after some sort of complete A-B of cooking for chefs. Just the basic level of skills and the basic recipes you are expected to be able to cook at a basic level as a qualified chef.
I think you are getting confused between the terms "chef" and "cook". A cook can refer to anyone: a home cook, a cook in a fine dining restaurant, a short order cook in a diner, or Rachel Ray.

A chef is someone who has EARNED the title, usually by working their way up to being in charge of a restaurant kitchen. So there really is no answer because there are different types of chefs. You might be a chef at Ruby Tuesday's and not know how to make a proper lobster stock, or you might be a chef at the French Laundry and not be able to handle working the grill at a busy burger joint.
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ironchef View Post
Mayonnaise was not one of Escoffier's original five Mother Sauces. They were bechamel, espangole, tomato, veloute, and hollandaise.
IC is right the mother sauces or as Escoffier also called them the leading sauces he classifies Mayonaise as a cold sauce.. I have Escoffier's book Basics Elements of fine Cookery. I never thought of mayo to be a mother sauce either in the book he classifies it as a cold sauce and from what I see it's a sauce that is not cooked.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:14 AM   #37
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Litterally, Chef translates from French into the American version - Chief, or head honcho if you will. A chef is much more than a cook. A great cook is what I am; and in my home, I am chef, or chief of the kitchen. In a professional sense, a chef must not only know how to prepare all of the foods under his/her care, but must also be able to stock the kitchen with all of the tools, and ingredients required to make the many dishes prepared in that kitchen. He/She must also know the skill levels of the line cooks, prep cooks, sous chefs, and even the dishwashers. He/she must be able to plan menues and organize the various kitchen workers to execture the meals in a timely manner, making sure that each person has the skills and knowledge to do the job they are supposed to do. He/she must ensure the cleanliness of the kitchen, and food safety procedures are followed. How the food looks, how it tastes, how it is presented, and even the courtesy of the wait staff is all under the auspices of the chef.

In a kitchen, the chef is like the captain of a ship. And that is a skill that comes from not only scholastic training, but from hard won experience and on-the-job-training. An interesting bit of info: in many fine eating establishments, the chef rarely cooks, but is always checking the quality of the foods prepared in his/her kitchen.

Personally, I wouldn't want the title chef. I'd like to be known as a great cook, and maybe a teacher or instructor of cullinary knowledge, and to a point, I am that, but not professionaly.

Always remember that gaining knowledge is much like climbing a mountain in that the higher you go, the further you can see. What that means is that the more you learn, the more you realize there is still so much more to learn. And that certainly applies to the wolrd of cooking, or cullinary arts.

Seeeeeeey; Goodweed of the North
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:56 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
Litterally, Chef translates from French into the American version - Chief, or head honcho if you will. A chef is much more than a cook. A great cook is what I am; and in my home, I am chef, or chief of the kitchen. In a professional sense, a chef must not only know how to prepare all of the foods under his/her care, but must also be able to stock the kitchen with all of the tools, and ingredients required to make the many dishes prepared in that kitchen. He/She must also know the skill levels of the line cooks, prep cooks, sous chefs, and even the dishwashers. He/she must be able to plan menues and organize the various kitchen workers to execture the meals in a timely manner, making sure that each person has the skills and knowledge to do the job they are supposed to do. He/she must ensure the cleanliness of the kitchen, and food safety procedures are followed. How the food looks, how it tastes, how it is presented, and even the courtesy of the wait staff is all under the auspices of the chef.

In a kitchen, the chef is like the captain of a ship. And that is a skill that comes from not only scholastic training, but from hard won experience and on-the-job-training. An interesting bit of info: in many fine eating establishments, the chef rarely cooks, but is always checking the quality of the foods prepared in his/her kitchen.

Personally, I wouldn't want the title chef. I'd like to be known as a great cook, and maybe a teacher or instructor of cullinary knowledge, and to a point, I am that, but not professionaly.

Always remember that gaining knowledge is much like climbing a mountain in that the higher you go, the further you can see. What that means is that the more you learn, the more you realize there is still so much more to learn. And that certainly applies to the wolrd of cooking, or cullinary arts.

Seeeeeeey; Goodweed of the North
Nice post goodweed. So I am the part time captain of my kitchen, I cooks what I cooks and if ya don't like it you can walk the plank, aye!

I agree the more you learn the more you need to learn. When I started coming here, I was cooking things like steaks, some stir fry, roasts, some pastries etc. Just the basic stuff to get by. Now I am finding new things to cook in new ways, and even trying new ingredients that I would not normally go for. It's giving me great inspiration.

My reason for this thread was to continue this inspiration to cook some more stuff that is something the basic level chef/cook should know. I did not want to start any debate over this, and cause any trouble.

I will continue learning.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:11 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by knight76 View Post
Nice post goodweed. So I am the part time captain of my kitchen, I cooks what I cooks and if ya don't like it you can walk the plank, aye!

I agree the more you learn the more you need to learn. When I started coming here, I was cooking things like steaks, some stir fry, roasts, some pastries etc. Just the basic stuff to get by. Now I am finding new things to cook in new ways, and even trying new ingredients that I would not normally go for. It's giving me great inspiration.

My reason for this thread was to continue this inspiration to cook some more stuff that is something the basic level chef/cook should know. I did not want to start any debate over this, and cause any trouble.

I will continue learning.
"Hands off the vegemite!" That is absolutely classic! I love it. It tells me exactly who you are, ina an instant. And best of all, it made me chucle.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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