So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Tag Archives: cuisine

Cookbook of the day – Cooking Fearlessly

Cooking Fearlessly: Recipes and Other Adventures from Hudson’s on the Bend

by Jeff Blank, Jay Moore with Deborah Harter

  • Publisher: Fearless Press (September 1, 1999) 
  • ISBN 10: 0967232309
  • ISBN 13: 978-0967232300
  • Hudson’s on the Bend is a creative restaurant slightly north of Austin. It’s owned by two creative chefs named Jeff Blank and Jay Moore. By all reports (I’ve never dined there), it’s a stylish, forward-thinking restaurant known for its willingness to exotic ingredients like rattlesnake, emu,

    This book is a colorful and delightful paeon to the restaurant. The cover gives you a good idea as to the humorous and eye-popping nature of the book.  With lots of original and a bold visual graphic style that first seems garish but ultimately adds to readability, the great thing about this book is the humorous approach the authors take to prod the reader to take some chances. You don’t see this often in cookbooks and it’s refreshing.

    They tell the stories behind the creation of the dishes, dishes that sometimes are birthed through mistakes, happy accidents or thinking “out-of-the-box”.

    The flavor profiles are layered, consonant and bright; the plating is striking.  And the authors give plenty of leeway for the reader to modify the recipes to make them their own and they give some flexibility with suggestions should you not be able to get rattlesnake, armadillo or antelope.

    A quote from a Buddhist monk opens the book appropriately.

    In this food

    I see clearly

    the presence of the entire universe

    supporting my existence

    One of the most enjoyable cookbooks that I’ve obtained in a while.

    Cookbook of the day – Le Répertoire de La Cuisine

    Le Repertoire

    Repertoire de La Cuisine, Le: A Guide to Fine Foods

    byLouis Saulnier

  • Publisher Barron’s Educational Series (December 31, 1977)
  • ISBN 10: 0812051084
  • ISBN 13: 978-0812051087
  • I found this handy little volume yesterday in my local used bookstore. I suspect that it’s going to prove handy as a reference in the future.

    It assumes that you know how to do certain things like poaching, reducing, masking, etc.  Quantities aren’t listed and the reader is on his or her own in determining how much of something to add to the “recipes” or determining cooking times or order of cooking, which are along the lines of Escoffier. As Jacques Pépin points out in the preface, “The professional chef will use the Répertoire mostly as an aide mémoire (reminder) to find out the necessary ingredients for a garnish, as well as to get the correct spellings for different proper names and names of dishes”. he goes on to point out that amateurs can also use the “pamphlet” to “clarify confusion” and simplify the organization of a menu.

    Whether you need the definition of ancienne (“small braised onions without colouring”) or come across a reference to “Turtles Baltimore” (“cooked pieces of turtle, tossed in nut brown cooked butter, dressed in cocotte, with the thickened gravy, and a glass of Xérès wine”), this book covers the gamut of esoteric and obscure French cooking terms. If you’d like to do filets mignons marly, you’ll quickly discover that it’s filets cooked in butter, coated with madeira half-glaze and garnished with artichoke bottoms filled with carrot balls. You’ll find it quickly because each main ingredient is followed with a multitude of preparations.

    This is a small format book (hence the use of the word “pamphlet” in the preface) and is a handy helpful adjunct to Escoffier.

    If you can find this hardback and jacketed book for $2.00, as I did, you’d be a fool to pass it up. and if you have to buy it from Amazon for $12, it’s worth it if you wish to have a complete culinary reference library.

    Hottest chile pepper in the world

    And no, it’s not the habanero. No, it’s not the Red Savina, a special variety of the habanero specially bred to be especially hot and the previous top dog.

    No, dear friends, it’s the Naga Jolokia, from the home of some fiery cuisine, India. The name translates as king cobra chile. And for good reason, because this pepper has some serious bite.

    Let’s put this in perspective. Experts use the Scoville scale. Pure capsaicin, the ingredient that makes a chile pepper hot, is between 15,000,000 and 16,000,000 units. A fresh jalapeño (not the pickled kind) has somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 – 10,000 units. A habañero and its kissing cousin, Scotch bonnet has between 100,000 and 350,000 units. The Red Savina has between 350,000 and 580,000. A cayenne has 30,000 – 60,000 units. The fiery Thai bird pepper has 50,000 – 150,000 units. Police pepper spray has around 5,000,000 units.

    A Naga Jolokia has between 855,000 – 1, 050,000 units.

    No, that’s not a misprint.

    855,000 – 1,050,000.

    Chile peppers of the same variety can vary according to the climate (water and heat from the sun). That’s why you’ll generally see a range and you’ll see different figures quoted from different sources. Different testing facilities get different results over time. Yes, there are people who test these things. One of them is the India Armed forces, who initially tested the Naga Jolokia at 855,000. It was up to another chili expert to get the larger figure, which was the first pepper test found to exceed a million units.

    If you think that the habanero is a killer, the Naga Jolokia is about twice as hot!