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  1. thegardenguru

    A "balanced" menu

    I'm just starting to put together some thoughts on this subject and, at this point, it's quite broad.  I'm not sure where it will go or where it needs to go. What do you think of as the most important elements and factors of achieving balance in a restaurant menu?  Design/art of the piece of...
  2. thegardenguru

    Keys to being a Great Chef

    There was a great thread on the subject of "What it takes to be a great chef". I've searched and can't find it now. Help? Joe
  3. thegardenguru

    Anyone had Skeeter Pee?

    At first, I was sure this was simply a misspelling. But the name was just too curious to pass on so I had to Google it.  Sho 'nuf, "Skeeter Pee" is a real thing.  It's fermented lemonade, basically.  A lemon wine, in other words.  Evidently tricky to make but it does sound interesting. Joe
  4. thegardenguru

    Shop owner wannabe...How to start?

    Amy: You sound like the perfect "business" partner to a baker. In most successful businesses that I know, there is a technical mind (in this case, a baker) and a business mind.  Two different people.  It's extremely rare that a great baker would be a good business person and vice versa.  More...
  5. thegardenguru

    halibut cheeks

    Fast and furious is what I would have done.Thin slices quickly sauteed or thicker pieces breaded/battered and deep fried.Joe
  6. thegardenguru

    Is This A Good Guide for Setting Up a Catering Business?

    $97.00!!!!  Sounds way over the top expensive for a "Guide". kuan is right -- the best "guide" is experience.  Combine that with a good book on the business of catering and you have a great synergy.  There are many such books (all well under $97). Joe
  7. thegardenguru

    Need advice on industrial strength pots and to forum

    beeswax: At home, I have, as I said, a "great mix and match" set. I have some stainless, some cast iron, some aluminum (which has never warped nor oxidized for me at home; it's pretty thick stuff), a couple of copper bottomed pots/pans, a couple of hammered-steel woks, three anodized paella...
  8. thegardenguru

    The next food network star?? Surely your kidding

    You said it Ed: "future STARS". They're not looking for "chefs" nor are they looking for someone to teach cooking. They're looking for entertainment (a future FoodTV host/ess) while providing some entertainment.  Subject minutes counted during a 1-hour show: "Personal drama/emotions...
  9. thegardenguru

    Tomato sauces

    The really rich red "tomato sauces" spooned up in every Italian restaurant I've been in involve using canned tomatoes and tomato paste.  My grandmother did the same. There are, of course, the fresh tomato sauces ("il pomodoro") that are simply fresh tomatoes, minimally processed and cooked. ...
  10. thegardenguru

    Need advice on industrial strength pots and to forum

    Virtually every professional kitchen I've worked in used no major brand of cookware.  Nor was there anything that was ceramicized or teflon-ized or such. Cooking shows (FoodTV) use beautiful home-grade cookware because they've been given it by the manufacturers for "promotional" purposes.  That...
  11. thegardenguru

    Is there a market for cookies?

    leeniek makes a great point. If you come into the "cookie market" with some innovative new cookie, you need to be prepared for a "second act".  And "third act" and "fourth...". If you choose the innovative approach, you'll attract the innovative-seeking audience.  And they're exactly the ones...
  12. thegardenguru

    transplanting wild asparagus?

    There's a great many advantages to buying "domestic" asparagus that pay many times over versus digging up wild stuff. Growing asparagus properly starts with more than just digging holes and dropping in some dug-up clumps.  If you're going to make the effort, you might as well make the...
  13. thegardenguru

    Is there a market for cookies?

    You need to research health department requirements, local and state licenses and permits and community zoning laws.  In some cities, the process is pretty easy.  In others, it's quite complex.  Start with your city's planning/business/licensing department.
  14. thegardenguru

    Is there a market for cookies?

    There's a huge market for "homemade" cookies.  In fact, people are buying gazillions of "homemade" cookies as we speak. The bigger, better question is, "Is there a market for YOUR 'homemade' cookies"? Why would people plunk money on your cookies rather than buy cookies from the store, from a...
  15. thegardenguru

    transplanting wild asparagus?

    Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you want to dig up "wild" asparagus and transplant it rather than buy domestic asparagus and plant that onto the property you have to use? Joe
  16. thegardenguru

    White pasta fagioli

    Growing up in an Italian neighborhood, I ate lots of pasta e fagioli. It was pasta and beans.  Not a soup really, but rather a pasta cooked with beans in a lightly-creamy-almost-saucelike broth.  The creaminess came from the white beans in their own cooking process. Grandmother Vittoria took...
  17. thegardenguru

    Marketing to Pharma Reps

    Contact the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives 2541 IH 35, #176 Round Rock, TX 78664 Joe
  18. thegardenguru

    Artichokes in the Northeast?

    Artichokes are easy from seed and seed is available from a great many sources, including quite a few good Italian heirloom strains. The trick for you is two-part: grow them strictly as annuals and sow the seed indoors in winter to be planted out as 2-gallon plants in late spring. They like...
  19. thegardenguru

    Red and Green Sauces for Mexican Food

    Here's what I see happening: If you make your salsas too hot, you'll lose the sissy audience.  If you make your salsas too mild, you'll lose the macho audience. If you make your salsas somewhere in the middle-ish, the sissies will come back for another try and either ask you if you can make it...
  20. thegardenguru

    Eggs and Breakfest

    Just eggs, Mexican style: Huevos Motulenos Huevos Rancheros Frittata Machaca con Huevos "Duck eggs and chili" Arroz con Huevos Fajitas con Camarrones Frittata Migas Scrambled eggs with Chili Verde Huevos al Albañil Serve with Jalapeno Corn Cakes Pineapple Tamale Muffins Tropical...
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