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  1. jimmyb.

    Hardest Thing about Culinary School

    Hardest thing: Matriculation.  Sticking with it.  Culinary school is not like standard classes in academia, nor is it for every one.  For those thinking of enrolling, keep this thought when reviewing choices of schools: "It's not what the school puts into you, but what yoy put into school". I...
  2. jimmyb.

    food cost question

    I agree with UniChef. Although, upper management and owners like to look at Food Costs, remember that you can't take percentages to the bank. You take money to the bank. So, look closely at contribution margin. Years ago, I worked for a restaurateur who got too hung up on food costs and was...
  3. jimmyb.

    Why does my bread always seem flat or dense?

    You might be over-proofing in the second rise. The dough will look good when you put it in the oven, but the wall structure is too weak to support itself while the bread bakes. It literally collapses on itself. Try a batch where you think the second rise is a little under proofed and see if...
  4. jimmyb.

    White wine substitute

    For a marinade, as others have said, your favorite vinegar or citrus juice works fine. I also use a little tomato product from time to time. It adds acid and a complexity to the flavor profile. The enzymes also act as a tenderizer. For a sauce, where reduced wine would be used, vinegar can...
  5. jimmyb.

    Which stand mixer?

    Hey Vetclone, sorry to hear about your Sunbeam walking off the counter...It happens. I've had a KA, K5SS (5-quart bowl) since 1989, and it's a champ. I bake whole wheat bread at least twice a month (5-6 cups of flour per batch) and pizza dough,and have never had a problem. The only time the...
  6. jimmyb.

    The use of the title Chef

    A few responders to this thread have touched on the "definition" of Chef. I'm a culinary school grad, also with an advanced degree in hospitality management; have 15 years on the line and in the kitchen. Do I call myself a chef? It depends on the job description. The word Chef is French for...
  7. jimmyb.

    Hard question about working in this industry...

    If you want to cook, cook. I've worked with Culinary graduates who could cook, and some who could not. I've also worked with very talented people who did not go to school. If you want to go into management or exec positions with a large company or hotel, then Culinary school will have...
  8. jimmyb.

    drinks for staff??

    Boozehound: with your detailed explanation of covers, kitchen etc. it sounds like you're rationalizing (trying to justify the drinking). Drinking on the job is drinking on the job. I'm guessing that your bartender is also drinking during the shift and is looking for others to join in to avoid...
  9. jimmyb.

    Which School?

    Hi Egirl, I had the privelage and honor to graduate from two of the finest culinary schools in the country, and I'd like to share a piece of advice that I received from two respected chefs: "It's not what a school or others put into you, but it's what you put into it". In other words, you...
  10. jimmyb.

    Trying to convince myself to take the plunge...having difficulty

    Cooking professionally is nothing like cooking as a hobbiest, no matter how enthusiasticly one "plays" in their home kitchen. Like any passion in life, if you can't see yourself doing anything else, then you've answered your own questions. People that cook, do so because this is what their...
  11. jimmyb.

    Knife reccomendations

    When making your purchases, buy the best quality that your budget will allow. Forschner makes good starter knives and kits. Check out knives by F.B. Dick. This brand is widely used by meat processors and professional butchers. They're made with thicker steel than Forchner and have full tang...
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