Few random questions

Joined Apr 6, 2010
Just some things that have been on my mind while on summer break:

1) I hate croc(k)'s, last semester I wore boots during class which worked out fine. Obviously I can't go long in the kitchen with boots, can anyone recommend some good cooking shoes?

2) I'm obsessed with cooking, during work I think about it (none cooking job), during my free time I'm thinking about it, even before bed I'm thinking about it. Is this normal for a young student?

3) Why don't many chefs wear black chef jackets?

4) How can I learn to properly pronounce French cooking terms?

5) While I'm obsessed about cooking I know very little actually about it, give me a recipe and I can make the dish but if someone mentioned something as simple as searing something I really don't know what they mean. How can I learn the basics outside of school?

6) How can I learn what is "in" modern cooking? What are the latest trends, hot new dishes on the cooking world etc?

7) Attitude adjustment - while I don't know much about cooking yet I'm a perfectionist and sometimes this demonstrates itself as being an ass (sorry) to others in my group because I demand it from myself. How can I make myself more personable with out laxing standards?
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Well, I can't answer all of them, but will take a stab at some:

1. Talk to your shoe store people. There are many compromises. So-called work-shoes, for instance, used by nurses, retail sales folks, etc. They use the technology of running shoes but are more presentable. And provide better support.

2. Yes.

5. Isn't that one of the things you're supposed to be learning in school? Anyway, there are several books dealing with techniques. I'm sure the school library has a few.

6. Subscribe to trade magazines, such as Food Arts.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
It took me years to find decent shoes. I have come to conclusion the lighter the shoe the less tired my feet..I have tried them all. If you are not clumsy you do not need heavy steel tips or boots unless you work in a fish market or slaughter house. I prefer a soft shoe and have for the last 2 times settled on sketchers brand ,I put a foam insert inside them. Another trick is change shoes 2 times a day. These things work for me and I was on my feet 10 to 16 hours at a clip. Also I was born with Bilateral Splay feet(extremely flat, no arch at all.)
Joined Jul 30, 2007
i would try to find a part time job in a small restaurant, cafe, bistro or catering outfit to start.. you will get more one on one everything, and a smaller operation is just more comfortable..i know that if someone without experience but with interest and passion came to my door, i would hire them in a heartbeat..i personally love newbies!...you can learn everything you want, if you want,if you are interested, focused and open minded.....you need to be picky(perfectionist)...in the end, having higher standards will serve you well, just don't become a snob/snot about food..no one likes that, trust me.... black chef coats, while they may look 'cool' are hot, hot, hot....just like a black car, or black asphalt. or black roof....shoes, i wear danskos and naots..i agree with ed....why bother with steel toed anything...maybe if i was in a meat factory, or a military kitchen...they are only good for kicking a**, or kicking a walk in door shut...just too heavy...its enough just to pick up my feet after a long day without adding any extra work...information/knowledge via the internet is unlimited...and read, read, read...from the classics to the food trade mags... just don't watch the 'prime time' cooking 'shows'...they are toxic, in my opinion...i do not include the classic chef shows such as rick bayliss, mario batali or lydia (etc.) in that group (they are gifts)...its the showy, showy, hollywood stuff that makes me groan and reach for the bottle (aspirin, of course!)......


 i think ed was/is a culinary school instructor...he most probably can give you great advice about what books would be good to start you off...and bdl, is how you say in english,' a really big french foodie know it all' (feel the love bdl),...you have a plethora of knowledge right here at cheftalk

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Joined Feb 26, 2007

Firstly - remember to breathe /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif   It's great you are so keen on cooking - that's when you absorb the most knowledge about anything.  You do need to switch off sometimes though.  Watch some tv or call a friend, read a book not about food.  Listen to the radio.

You obviously use the net...so if anything confuses you - look it up, it's a great resource.  Read all you can when you need to, research, try out the techniques at home.  There are websites which have audio for pronunciation of languages, I don't a link for them but I think it would be helpful if you could find one.

As to point (7) -just relax a bit.  Don't try to boss others while you are still learning yourself.  If you have a helpful suggestion for someone, just mention it as a hint gently.

Point (3) Black jackets?  I guess white is in because you can bleach it after getting messy.  Black bleached is not good, plus it retains more heat and white reflects it.  (Chefs please chime in here :)   )  As a commis I worked in normal clothes plus an apron.

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