I can't believe the information some of you are sharing........

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I'm 29 years old.  Been doin' this awesome s**t my whole life.

I've been cooking for almost 15 years professionally - even longer personally.  Made Sous twice, first time age 21.  blah blah, not a glamor chef, so I'll save all that.  But, my resume is legit and respectable.   

MY POINT THOUGH is this.... some of you old-skoolers are frickin' geniuses. 

I've read and read and read these threads.....  most of the time not posting.  Sometimes I do.  Was a member of this site years ago but I forgot my screen name.  lol

Anyway, there's a lot of you here that I have tremendous respect for, and I think it's awesome that you're all so willing to join everybody and spread food knowledge like wildfire.

I love this place.    Iron-workers and telemarketers don't have sites like this.  We are truly privileged.  8 ^ )

Thanks to the originals! 

Gratitude = Infinite
 

kuan

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Thank you. :)  There are no secrets.  Just skill and the willingness to work.
 
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caterchef

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/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gifIf you listen to some of the culinary instructors today they will say " Their is nothing being done today that hasn't been done before." Well, don't you believe it, there are things being done today that has never been done before. And there are things that we use to do that we should be doing today that we aren't. The cooking profession is a learning profession. If you ever get to old to learn, you are to old to cook. In "The Old School" you had to earn a person respect  to learn the trade secrets like "put a little sugar in your tomato sauce to counter react the acid" or " put a little vinegar or lemon juice in your pie crust to add acid to relax the gluten."Nowadays the youngsters expect you tell them everthing because you owe it to them. A lot of the secrets I learned from my mentors have never been written down. If you get a little overflow on this forum you are welcome but their is a lot knowledge that will never be written down, the same as we have lost a lot knowledge when we lost our mentors. So rather than look for the latest book on the market, look for a Chef that has paid his "Dues"  and not his "tuition fees' to a school./img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
 
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Wow...a media where the the young 'listen' to the old and appreciate it..... must be 'cos it takes care of the different speeds of the generations! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

Caterchef  ...recently I got told off for the sugar thing by an Italian Chef friend. He said it was a quickfix because if you simmer out your tomatoes long enough the sweetness will kick in as with a wine reduction.
 
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Nothing against age and experience, but some of the best food I'm seeing comes out of kitchens run -- and well run -- by execs and owner/execs in their late twenties and early thirties. 

I can think of a couple of guys in particular who were culinary forces to be reckoned with on an international scale after only a couple of years in the kitchen.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jeremiah and Jonathan. 

How old would Roger Vergé  have to have been before you'd ask his advice?

Furthermore, some people can put out a good spread day after day for fifty years or more, not know how to give good advice, and remain tools to the end.  In fact, it's not that uncommon.

There's always another hand, isn't there? 

Outside of pastry and baking, I haven't met many people who've learned enough to justify the time and expense of chef school which actually applies to the pressure and individual kitchen idiosyncracies of professional cooking.   But as Fats said, "One never know, do one?"

The point is you ask anyone who may have some insight and hold still long enough to listen to the question, then evaluate the advice on its own merits and as it applies to you.

BDL
 
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caterchef

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BDL

/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif

It isn't neccessarily the age of the one you ask but,the sincerity of the one doing the asking.

I started training cooks that became  Chefs when I was 21. It still goes back to earning and giving respect. Don't bother looking it up " it's not in the culinary school reference books."

Just because I hire someone, doesn't mean I have to teach him how to make a bechamel. If he said he was a cook he should know how to make a roux and add milk and seasonings.

As for your term "chef school" it's in the same category as "amature chef " I have never seen one.And to just balance the scales, some of best food I ever eat came from an older Chef's kitchen  and some of the worst from a younger  so-called chef's kitchen.To each his own. "It's my dollar, my choice." I'll take experience over ego anytime./img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
 
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haha!  I knew this thread would get a little attention.

This is exactly what I was talking about.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif

And there is ALWAYS more to learn.  I'm sure the best french chef in the world might have trouble making dim sum.

That's why we talk to eachother and leach information. 

Good stuff!  And age has nothing to do with talent.  Just experience.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
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Nothing against age and experience, but some of the best food I'm seeing comes out of kitchens run -- and well run -- by execs and owner/execs in their late twenties and early thirties. 

BDL

This is an important statement to support. We as "old timers" should feel an enormous sense of pride to see the development of our art/craft in not only the USA but world wide. If it were not for my mentors early on I would not have had the foundation needed to be successful in my chosen profession as I move into my 31st year of professional cooking. Well groomed chefs and restaurants do not happen by accident. I am so pleased to see the awesome young chefs flourishing in our industry, and I am so proud to know that in some small way I was able to take some under my wing and help develop the next generation of culinary professional.
 
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To me, as a professional in the business for more then 35 years, and with that many years of experiences, it is incumbent on me to teach what I know, share with others the pitfalls and offer solutions. Knowledge is something to be shared.

When I went to work in the industry there were far too many Chefs who would turn their back to you, lift up there arms and shoulders so you could not look over them to see how they did something. 

Many of the older Chefs were of the attitude that they had to go through the school of hard knocks so everybody else does too. They were some of the hardest Chefs to work for but, i believe, that it helped me become the pro I am today.

We always learn from the ones we hate.
 
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By way of analogy...

In NZ we have Maori and Pakeha....indigenous and white folk with culturally different descision making processes...consensus vs majority rules.

If you ask a question of a class of kids the smartest Pakeha are inclined to jam their hand up then look over their shoulder to see who they are 'competing' with... a group of Maori, down the back might confer then one will casually raise his hand....

Pakeha though I am, I'm inclined to the latter...

I say share it all and let skill and hard work sought it out!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
 
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Well, if we're going back to how we ourselves learned -- it's my experience that the best advice is preceded by a thrown spoon; accompanied by a stream of drunken, German invective; and completed with, "Verstanzen, kollitch boy?  Du got dat?"

Du got dat?

BDL
 
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G

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Titomike,

I could've told you about the tomato sauce and I just started Culinary School a year ago... but I learned that from an old German Chef in his 70's.

BDL,

school actually prepared me just fine for the pro kitchen, in fact my first job involved far more standing around doing nothing than I was used to. I did learn a lot of useless stuff for the job, but I like to learn that stuff... additionally I am learning food management stuff, so if i am tossed into the exec chef position one day, i can actually handle that. its an interesting hierarchy... you cook cook cook for most of your life, then sit behind a desk. if all you know is cooking, that may be a rough transition.

and age matters... taste buds start to go... maybe you don't care as much anymore... maybe your food is too classic... my fav restaurants are also from younger chef's.
 
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By way of analogy...

In NZ we have Maori and Pakeha....indigenous and white folk with culturally different descision making processes...consensus vs majority rules.

If you ask a question of a class of kids the smartest Pakeha are inclined to jam their hand up then look over their shoulder to see who they are 'competing' with... a group of Maori, down the back might confer then one will casually raise his hand....

Pakeha though I am, I'm inclined to the latter...

I say share it all and let skill and hard work sought it out!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
That's so cool...your a Kiwi I never noticed on your threads ....what a wonderfull place. My children's father is from Auckland..and we bungy jumped there!...Food is soooooooo expensive!
 
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/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gifIf you listen to some of the culinary instructors today they will say, " There is nothing being done today that hasn't been done before." Well, don't you believe it. There are things being done today that have never been done before, and there are things that we use to do that we should be doing today, that we aren't./img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
And there are things that we did in the past, that we should have never done and shouldn't try to do again. When I think about the fact that the statin drugs like Lipitor, Mevacor, Crestor, Zocor...are prescribed by the millions because of  the American epidemic of heart disease, due to atherosclerosis, and how we used to slowly poach fish in goose fat, my own LDL numbers spike. There's a tremendous amount we old timers can and should learn from the youth in the industry. We have to listen when they're talking, too.
 
 
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Yeah, I agree. 

It goes way beyond just the aspect of cooking and food itself.  When relative to health especially.

Techniques change, most for the better when you think about that for a second.

So many layers to what we do....
 
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Joined May 20, 2009
Titomike,

I could've told you about the tomato sauce and I just started Culinary School a year ago... but I learned that from an old German Chef in his 70's.

and age matters... taste buds start to go... maybe you don't care as much anymore... maybe your food is too classic... my fav restaurants are also from younger chef's.
Yeah...I've always used sugar 'cos that's how my mum taught me. Now I have a Filipino household they're just used to sweeter sauces. What surprised me was he described it as something Grandma would do....

I was conflicted...I'm supposed to go against an Italian Grandmother's treatment of tomatoes!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif

My own take relates to 80-90% of 'taste' being smell leaving the 5 basics...so I 'round' out a dish, eg aioli, with a little sweetness as you would season 'cos you can't demonsrate balance/dominance/contrast without the thing your dominating/contrasting...but that's just my design training, maybe my buds are past it or too classic! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2010
Yeah...I've always used sugar 'cos that's how my mum taught me. Now I have a Filipino household they're just used to sweeter sauces. What surprised me was he described it as something Grandma would do....

I was conflicted...I'm supposed to go against an Italian Grandmother's treatment of tomatoes!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif

My own take relates to 80-90% of 'taste' being smell leaving the 5 basics...so I 'round' out a dish, eg aioli, with a little sweetness as you would season 'cos you can't demonsrate balance/dominance/contrast without the thing your dominating/contrasting...but that's just my design training, maybe my buds are past it or too classic! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
I can't ignore this, sorry ......SUGAR in tomato sauce !!!!..say it isn't so.....please OMG! The Italian mamas who invented "THE SAUCE" are rolling in their graves!
 
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