So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

Tag Archives: kitchen skills

And now…the rest of the story

Yesterday, I talked about , Laura Martinez, the blind lady who wanted to, trained for, and became a chef.

Don’t ya just love a happy ending, especially one as juicy as this one?

Charlie Trotter job offer makes blind chef’s dreams come true

Tribune profiled woman’s quest in December

By Rex W. Huppke, Tribune reporter

January 27, 2010

In late December, the Tribune profiled a young blind woman chasing her dream of becoming a chef. Laura Martinez will finish her work at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary program at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago this spring, but she was worried her disability might make it difficult to find work doing what she loves.

Passionate about food and, according to the head of the program, tremendously skilled, Martinez’s worries are now over.

A producer for CBS “The Early Show” read the Tribune story and decided to send a crew to report on Martinez. To add a twist, CBS arranged for renowned Chicago chef Charlie Trotter to come with them to watch Martinez at work in the cafeteria kitchen at the Chicago Lighthouse, a center for people who are blind or visually impaired.

“We thought he’d go, he’d offer some encouragement and that would be that,” said Robert Kozberg of CBS.

Instead, the chef offered Martinez a job.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/ct-met-blind-chef-20100127,0,6107489.story

Behind the scenes at Charlie Trotter’s, from the very fine, and ironically named (at least in this case) blog, “Taste With the Eyes”, from Lori Lynn. Visit her blog here:

http://www.tastewiththeeyes.com/

Cookbook of the Day – La Technique

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La Technique

by Jacques Pepin

Publisher Times Books (December 12, 1976)

ISBN 10: 0812906101

ISBN 13: 978-0812906103

This is a companion volume to Pepin’s La Methode, which I will review in a future installment of Cookbook of the Day.  Both volumes can now be purchased in one volume, but I’ll discuss each one separately.

This was the first of the two volumes and it’s exactly as the title describes – all about technique. It starts with holding the knife and finishes with making Cheveaux d’Ange (angel hair). No, angel hair doesn’t refer to pasta, but rather sugar gossamer “angel’s hair” used to decorate elaborate desserts.

There are recipes scattered throughout but only recipes that require use of a technique to accomplish. Filled with step-by-step matter-of-fact black and white photographs, Pepin takes you through the basics of breaking down a chicken, shucking clams and oysters, making terrines, poaching eggs and even folding napkins.

This was one of the first really practical volumes on technique that clearly showed the American chef step-by-step how to replicate the results of the top chefs of the world. It, along with its sister volume, is really a foundation book for any kitchen library. You should pick up the new combined edition if possible, but you can also find the two books in both hardback and paperback in selected used book stores. My copy of La Technique is hardback, while my copy of La Methode is in paperback. I don’t mind at all. 

angel hair A confetti version of  Cheveaux d’Ange  – imagine that it’s made of sugar and sits atop some elaborately constructed gateaux.