okay girls, lets rumble!

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hi k-lost,

 would like to welcome you to CT...  sorry,no basket of cookies, but please, take off your chef shoes and stay awhile....hopefully you will feel comfortable enough here to enjoy and share...it is a motley crew,for sure, but people with real knowledge, definate opinions, and a willingness to share abound!!!......when the testosterone gets too thick, we just come over here for a breather...anyway, welcome!!!!...where are you geographically?(amazing i spelt that before coffee!) what type of kitchen do you work in? hotel?restaurant? little indie spot?

and for all you canadian girls and boys...have you seen the movie "frozen river"?...really good flick...mohawk reservation and illegals to start...also, a film out of australia..."rabbit proof fence"...good day all...happy labor day! is that a canadian holiday? think its just to give us americans another play day off..i don't know, but i know i'm always working...i know someone out there knows how it started...

joey 
 
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Hey Jo, thank you for the words of encouragement. I realize that this is going to be a long journey for me, and I look forward to it! I found a place that I'm really happy to be working in - a catering company of all places! The kitchen is humongous, all the staff is incredibly friendly, and for the first time, I have all the equipment I need to do my job properly! I'm so happy I could spit. I'm actually working as an assistant baker, which I thought would be no big deal, but lo and behold, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ERROR IN PROFESSIONAL BAKING. Ouch. But I figure if I can become a decent baker, it'll only add to my strengths as a cook.

I'm located in Montreal, Qc. Which is a large foodie city, which I think is kind of a drawback and well as an advantage in some ways. Starting salaries are kind of low for the work that's usually entailed. Almost all of the past restaurants I've worked in have been grossly understaffed for the number of people to serve, or on the flip side, service entails serving a dozen people on a "busy" night. I know there are goldmines out there, but right now, I'm happy with catering company. It looks like a great place for me to learn a whole bunch of stuff. 

Welcome aboard, K-Lost! Where are you from? Where are you working? Do you have any documentation? Don't lose hope! 
 
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Sosa, I'm glad you've found a place you're happy in and that you can learn alot while you're there.  This business is all about learning and I think we never stop learning no matter where we are in our careers. 

Welcome K-Lost!  Please do tell us a little about yourself.

Labour Day is a holiday in Canada and the best part about this labour day is... I'm off!!  Yay me!  Mondays are my scheduled days off anyway and we have enough strong people that the kitchen will be covered.  Plus after the miserable day I had on crepes (I got smoked early on and that landed me in the weeds more than once today.. not fun) I want tomorrow off.  My feet hurt, my allergies are really acting up and I want a day off.  Ok whine over...
 
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good morning ladies!

thanks petals for the concern of my whereabouts...have been working like a donkey lately...does that make me  dumb ?  will be thinner than oxygen at this pace, but think i can see light at the end of the tunnel...actually got to spend more than a few hours in my bed last night for the first time in a while....amazing what a bit of sleep can do for the body and soul!...almost as good as pizza!!! as far as the fires, we are on the other side of the state from them, but its always a concern since we live in a state that is mostly national forest land. in 2002 we had a devastating fire(missionary ridge) here that burned for 2 months and over 70,000 acres and was very, very very close to home.....couldn't open our windows for weeks because of the ash...2500 homes burned down and some people just left cuz they were too old to rebuild...it was so sad.....and the wildlife, they were rescueing bears with their coats so burnt they were unrecognizable, not to mention all the other little forest creatures...that was the hardest to deal with...all the animals...us humans can rebuild or relocate, but the creatures are just so vunerable....the terrain was so steep in the canyons and the firefighters just could not get to it, then it jumped the river and became even more destructive..most of the homes here are log construction, so the threat is even higher...needless to say, it was a very tough summer....speaking of which, i think is over here...telluride got 3 inches of snow this past week and it has been very cold here lately...below freezing last night...the squirrels are going nuts gathering for the winter...so i guess we will be seeing yet another season pass.....well now, hope you are all doing swimmingly...anything new? any vacations planned? cook anything exciting lately? i have, but i will save it for later so as not to hog up this forum space...hey petals, do you live with this family that you chef for or do you have your own place, then come in? is this daily? weekly? special dinners or all meals all the time?...very similar to cooking on a boat for the 'owners' and their guests....one of the perks though of boat cooking, was that the owners were not always there, and when they were it was only for a week or two tops at a time....gotta love that......oh, sosa girl...you rock! and spittins' a good thing!!! baking is a SCIENCE...there ain't no getting around that...everything HAS to be measured or weighed....since you're in canada i'm guessing that you weigh out everything...is that right?...working for a catering company will be great for you as you will be making different foods to suit each party menu, so will be learning lots.....that makes me smile for you...okay chefs...have yourselves quite the day...and do good by it...ciao for now...its good to be back...felt like i've been gone for awhile, or maybe i just plain missed ya"ll.....

joey

Edit: removed profanity
 
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Glad to hear your doing ok.

When I saw the reports coming out of there , well, it had me worried. I live ten minutes away 20 with traffic. I start fairly early , prep as much as I can before I leave.

I get a schedule a week in advance "usually" but sometimes that does not also work out.

It can be anywhere from 1 to 20-50 then parties.

I do not get holidays like everyone else.

There is a weekend shift. Parties over 10 , servers come in. For big Parties of 100 , I normally have 6 serving.  He has one gardener , a handyman and a chauffeur.

Then I am call for travel as well. It is much like when you worked the boat.

Everyday has a new surprise, I was taught well by two French chefs here. My mother used to work for a Swiss family, private as well. Both men knew each other.

Do I enjoy it ? well like everything else , it has its ups and downs but when your in the moment, nothing beats it.

Today I made duck confit with an orange sauce and flowered beats and white and green asparagus.....what i mean to say is, I concentrate so much on what I am doing that time almost stands still, and when  I finish plating , I look at it, and then I decide how I feel about it....(and this is with planning yet) like looking at a painting at a museum.....then I file it in my mind ....the good, the bad or the ......What in suffering succatash did I make ? http://www.entertonement.com/collections/8805/Sylvester

Glad to here your ok ! The weather here has been ugly, cold, rainy, wind....
 
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hi petals,

aahh, duck confit... i have always wanted to make that but never have...i'm thinking of it in a spring roll or fried eggroll...maybe with a light coconut thai chile sauce..whaddya think?....could you pass along your recipe for me? i think the other girls would appreciate it as well, but you could also p.m it to me if you like...as for beets, they are my favoritest vegetable in the world, especially the gold ones...a friend just brought me a big sack from his garden..nirvana...thanks petals, hope your weekend is going well..

joey

perfect fall day here today...perfect!
 
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Hope I'm not interjecting a too male presence, but I've made slow smoked duck flautas (aks taquitos) that worked out very well.  The slow smoking process gives you similar results to confit, except, of course, for the smoke and fat.  

By way of apology:



Directions:  Apply internally. PRN (repeat as necessary).

mmmm duck,

BDL
 
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mmm... flautas...   sorry BDL but I've never been a fan of duck.  It's just too fatty for my taste.  (or maybe the duck that I had was poorly prepared and it turned me off of it for good)

Thanks for the medicine Dr BDL!  I'm sure all of us will follow your directions to the letter  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
 
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So how are you ladies doing today?  Any exciting stories to share from your kitchens?

I have a situation with the KM that is going to take time to resolve itself.  On Tuesday he felt incredibly dizzy all day and went to the walk in clinic after work.  They gave him a diagnosis of inner ear infection and told him to see his family doctor the next day.  He called me on Tuesday a soon as he got home and told me he had bad news and of course first thing I thought was something with his mom as she is 86 and visiting from Europe right now.  Then he told me what was going on. So he went to his own doctor and it turns out that he doesn't have an infection but an inner ear malfunction and he has fluid draining into his inner ear that shouldn't be there.  So he has been having a bunch of tests to find out where the fluid is leaking from and then they can do what they have to do to treat it.  He plans to work through it.. subborn a**  but I can see his point.. the room is going to spin whether he is at home or at work so he may as well do modified duties.  Today he did the cold side and unfortunately I need him on the hot side tomorrow as I have to do crepes.  (yuck.... I am not a fan of crepes on the weekends but whatever I have to suck it up) 

We talked about it today and we're going to wing it depending on how he feels but I don't want him in front of a grill at all so I am going to have a chat with the egg guy before the KM gets in tomorrow.  I had a frustrating day with him today on eggs..  he was not interested in cooking but instead chatting and I had to ride his a** all day.  This guy does not like it when I call board and he is on eggs.  I am the main egg cook on weekends along with the KM and I call eggs like I would run my grill and I expect the egg cook to be able to handle that.  There is no time for chit chat if there are orders and that is how I work.  I call eggs as soon as they come in... even if I know he has no room on his grill I will say "when you have room, new order three sets over easy going on eggs bacon or  eggs whatever"  and he hates that.  I want it out asap as I know the network standard for chit times and I want happy owners.  He is not the one who the owners will rail on  if there are issues... it's me and the KM.   He made a comment to the FOH manager today that I heard.. he was mid chat and I sald.. Bob new order three sets easy and he actually turned to her and said  "this is why I hate eggs"  and I heard it.  He knows I heard it too because I called him  on it.    Nice.  He is in for a shift cut.  I don't need that BS on the line and he is a student and not committed to us anyway so I'd rather give one of his shifts to our adult staff.  He's quite friendly with the foh manager (she thinks he is amazing)  but whatever.. it is boh that I am worried about.  I'm expecting him to quit soon anyway...

We had some contestants from "The Bachelor" in a few weeks ago and a few servers went nuts over them.  Frankly I thought they were not that hot but super annoying as I could hear them in the kitchen over the sound of the fans.  They clearly wanted to be noticed.  We get the Barenaked Ladies in now and then  and they are such great customers.  They don't want to  be the centre of attention, they just want breakfast or lunch and to be left to eat. 

I posted in the late night cafe about a culinary fundraiser for womens cancers and my husband's work has picked up the pledging and if they are one of the top pledgers they asked me to go in and represent them.  I took it on but OMG I am afraid if they win a spot in the kitchen.  I doubt they will but still... I am nowhere near good enough as the celeb chefs appear to be (and they could be like our head office trainers, great with the knowlege and crap on the line)  but that I have no idea of going in.   Ramsay is the Chef of the kitchen and well.. to even see him is a lifetime experrice.   Wish me (the team at the studio) luck

I think that's all of my news
 
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wow bdl...

you sure know how to apologize well and as always,in style!!!...just not sure why really...you,as anyone else are always welcome here, for sure...man, i could use a bathub  full of martinis to soak in tonight...'they done this cowgirl in', that's for sure...leeniak...just go wth your best shot, your best plate, your strongest dish...and i think that perhaps you should be the one to do it....whaddaya think bout that one missy?.....focus on your strongpoint...whaddaymean your not good enough?...of course you are...you know the dance steps. the food, the presentation and all the b.s that's behind door #3.....tell us more about what's involved......thinkaboutit sistah!!!! if you don't win, at least you can't bitch!!!!  come on!!!   why not?!!!

joey

oh, cheers all and thanks to our lovely personal  virtual bartender, bdl...cheers, kind sir!!

bdl and petals, would love to get some sort of duck confit recipe...even in simple basic form...duck breast...roasted?...i don'r have a smoker bdl, but that woudl certainly add a new dimension to the flavor for sure.....grill and oven is what i got.....thanks to you both
 
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Joey...

Duck confit refers to a preservation technique of salt curing then storing air-tight under fat. The full method will preserve for six months or so (winter was the original intent), it will be easy for you and is so good.

Whole duck legs is the go. Make a rub of your choice if you want ...then salt generously inside and out (having cut through the tendons at the base of the leg bone) and cure for 24-36 hours on a rack in a hotel pan. Discard runoff, pat dry (after rinsing if necessary) and return to the pan...keeping them tight lessens the amount of fat required. Cover with duckfat (if you dont have enough to cover...baste and or/turn over during the cook), bake at 140-160C FOR 2-2 1/2 hrs. 'till 'fall off the bone'. Allow to cool in the fat then store under fat.

Can omit the salt curing if you don't need to hold it longer than weeks to a month...

Very rich so we serve it with a bittersweet orange gastrique or something similar to cut it...delish!

Hope this helps...
 
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sooo,

 the duck confit is probably not what i was thinking of, in the end..thinking more of something to use as a filling of some sort, like bdls taquito thingy, but not fried...is the confit pate like in texture or when you take the meat off the bones do you kind of 'smoosh' it with your fingers, then put it back under the duckfat? then you serve it with what? baguette? cheese? preserves? the duckfat itself?..so its eaten as a small plate sort of thing? cold?...sounds pretty straightforward enough in prep as basically the duck does all the work really...petals, do you use just the legs or the whole duck? can you just buy duck legs? all those ducks without legs...like the frogs....always wonder about them! 

leeniak, when is your contest, and do you get to decide what to cook, or does someone tell you what you must do? gordan 'ram it' ramsey...thats worth the price of a ticket, just for the fodder!...i just can't stand that guy..i know its all about ratings and money and perhaps its just his tv personality that is so obnoxious and not the real person, but anyone that makes money deliberately belittling the most pathetic, is 'scum on the ole bum shoe', in my book..i know we've had this discussion before, so won't belabor it.....as for your coworker...man, what if he gets dizzy and falls down and hits his head on the way to the floor...worse case scenario is that he seriously injures himself( think brain), then sues...the workmen's comp lawyers will be like maggots on a dead horse......does your  medical insurance allow for some sort of medical leave or compensation? don't you have socialized medicine up there? you're a smart cookie, leeniak..and no one wants to cut a good coworkers hours/pay, but i think it could be a potentially dangerous,potentially costly situation...just my 5 cents(inflation, go figure!)

okay, on a lighter note...if you had but one cookbook to keep out of your whole 100+ book collection, which one would you choose?...good day all, hope you are all well.....one more night before my 'fetal monday', which i have missed for the past several weeks due to extra caterings...i am truly toast!....hope i did not offend anyone with my rantings, truly not my intent..ciao

joey

p.s....whats a leeniak?
 
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Confit:

Confit is nothing like pate, it's more like carnitas, a lot more like carnitas.  Confit is usually put away as whole duck legs (including the thighs).  No meat is removed and pushed back under the fat.  You're conflating confit with its cassoulet destination and coming up with something entirely unknown.  Sounds like you're on to some sort of duck p'tcha.  If so, make mine with extra garlic.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're very, very lucky.

The word "confit" is now used as a verb, and you can confit other things besides duck legs however you want.  There are no rules.  Words have no meanings.  It's all cool.  Just remember, "'Big, bold, flavors;' 'Tuscan,' and 'Friends and family,'" and you'll be just fine on the Food Network. Ready for my closeup Mr. Brown.

Book:

Pellaprat's French Culinary Art aka L'Arte Culinaire; one of the sixties or early seventies editions with all the great photographs and without all the editing -- especially Jeremiah Towers'. 

Sorry dude,   

BDL
 
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leeniak, when is your contest, and do you get to decide what to cook, or does someone tell you what you must do? gordan 'ram it' ramsey...thats worth the price of a ticket, just for the fodder!...i just can't stand that guy..i know its all about ratings and money and perhaps its just his tv personality that is so obnoxious and not the real person, but anyone that makes money deliberately belittling the most pathetic, is 'scum on the ole bum shoe', in my book..i know we've had this discussion before, so won't belabor it.....

as for your coworker...man, what if he gets dizzy and falls down and hits his head on the way to the floor...worse case scenario is that he seriously injures himself( think brain), then sues...the workmen's comp lawyers will be like maggots on a dead horse......does your  medical insurance allow for some sort of medical leave or compensation? don't you have socialized medicine up there? you're a smart cookie, leeniak..and no one wants to cut a good coworkers hours/pay, but i think it could be a potentially dangerous,potentially costly situation...just my 5 cents(inflation, go figure!)

okay, on a lighter note...if you had but one cookbook to keep out of your whole 100+ book collection, which one would you choose?...good day all, hope you are all well.....one more night before my 'fetal monday', which i have missed for the past several weeks due to extra caterings...i am truly toast!....hope i did not offend anyone with my rantings, truly not my intent..ciao

joey

p.s....whats a leeniak?
I think that Ramsay sets the menu and the winners get to cook it alongisde famous chefs kind of like in a top chef  competition.  It's a fundraiser for women's cancers and the money made will be donated to Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto for cancer research.  He's done these sort of events before and from what I gathered from the website is that you have to raise a serious amount of money.  I know the people my husband works with and for very well, and well.. they're not going to raise enough so at least I won't be subject to the R-man's tirades.  And knowing me, I would give it right back to him instead of cowering in fear!   I don't mind Kitchen Nightmares where he actually goes in and tries to help them but I'm not a fan of Hell's Kitchen.  How some of those people ended up on the show is beyond me. 

Well the KM came in on Saturday like I knew his stubborn self would.  He stayed to the back of the kitchen and did prep.  Sunday he had to call board and I had a talk with the egg guy before the KM got in.  I had a difficult time with that cook on Saturday so I told him straight up that he needed to curb the chit chat with the servers because we have a brand new guy on meats and that is going to be hard on the KM and he's still not 100% so he needs to pick up the pace.  I don't think he liked being told about it but he did keep it to a minimum.  The KM seems to be ok and he knows what he should not do and he is careful.  He has vertigo and it is one of those things that has to work itself out.  When I worked at the cafe one of the owners had vertigo and it lasted for a couple of months before it went away.  During that time we did not let her do anything but take orders and cash people out.  I'd do all of her hot drinks and take them out and I ran the food as well depending on what it was.  Soup and chili, I ran but if it was just a few sandwiches in baskets I let her run those.   My husband had it a few years ago and I think for him it lasted three weeks. 

I hear you on being toast, joey!  I'm on day six of an unexpected seven day run.  One of our new hires lost her father on the weekend and she has been off since Saturday morning when she got the call at work.  She knew it was coming (he had stage 4 cancer) but still even when you know about someting like that it's not easy at all.  So the KM did her open shift today and I went in to cover him, and tomorrow I'm doing her open shift.  She'll be in on Wednesday and I'm going to have a much deserved day off.  I'm not upset or angry that I have to do seven days in a row because this is an emergency and she needs to be with her family. 

To add to my toasted feeling, I completely re-organized our dry storage shelves today and also the storage area for pop and other stuff.  It took me the better part of two hours but I think now that I have a system in place it will work well and make inventory for me and the KM much easier.  This is the only place I have ever worked at where when stock comes in the boxes are placed on the shelves and people take stuff from open boxes.  So I unpacked alot of stuff and organized the shelving to be a little more efficient when it comes to use of space.  It is going to be maintained as well. I'll make sure of it.  There are still full boxes of product on the shelves but they're unopened and waiting for the stuff we have to be used up first.  Our first KM was the one who set up the dry storage area when we opened and I think it just became status quo and no one thought about changing it because we all were used to doing things that way. 

A leeniek is me... my nickname is leenie and my last name starts with a k.  I came up with it one day as my msn id and well it just stuck with me! 

As for my cookbook.. it's not anything that has been published as a whole but the collection of recipes I have dating back to 1987 when I got married that I clipped out of magazines (alot of Canadian Living, Chatelaine, First, and BGH mags) and glued and taped into binders. I have three of them.  Then I added to that with recipes I downloaded from the internet.   That is the collection I have to keep.  Alot of it is sentimental.. like when I make southwestern chicken stew I remember the first time I made it and how my husband said he could smell it all the way from the elevator on our floor and he was surprised that the smell was coming from our apartment.  (gotta love apartments with the kitchen right near the entry door!)  and that is the book that means the most to me. 
 
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bdl,

have you been drinking? ducks have things? what sort of 'things'?....duck p'tcha? huh? so, do you eat confit cold? and with what? bread? preserves? anything? so, on your plate it just looks like a pile of stringy meat with fat? must be more to it than that for all the accolades it seems to garner ..... yeah, well i'm thinking maybe pulled duck spring rolls with a cabbage/carrot sambal in the mix and a coconut water/thai chile sauce on the side..we'll see how it will most probably morph.....think i asked this before, but can you just buy duck legs? guess i'll probably end up using breasts, cuz i can get them easily...we don't have any butcher shops here...just normal grocery store meat departments....any martinis left in the shaker?...make mine a double dirty please!....cheers...

joey
 
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I'm not after martinis but maybe some advil?? My feet are KILLING me and so are my arms after today.  Apparently I'm out of shape.
 
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Wow

Thank-You BDL..........long day , feet up, martini in hand ,,,,,and it's only Monday!.....and duck to boot ....I can only be so lucky to be in The Rumble Bar......now now you started it BDL!

Well ....I've read through these posts and apparently I've missed some great stuff.

Leenie are you talking about the "Eat to the Beat" down at Roy Thompson Hall?  Love to know....it's a wonderfull event....my aunt is on the board of women there....and one of the founders....it is one of the causes close to our family and I have been there for a few events.....good on you to volunteer your expertise...

Well Joey ya started something good here for the girls. It's fun.  I specially like the tarbender....oops I've had enough
 
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thing about matinis leeniak is that they work way way faster than advil, are waaay more fun and also provide a bit of arm exercise......AND you can do it in your jammies!!!!

gotta love that!!!....cheers sistah!...what happens to keisha all ay while you and hubby are working? she's a big dog with big exercise needs...gotta come back tomorrow and tell you a story about 'greta' saving a neighborhood doggie frined...very touching...if only people could be that good......ummmm...nite nite girls

joey

what does 'calling' board mean? 
 
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i'm not professional yet, no wait.. prolly not ever, at this rate, but i just gotta say this ladies.. when you have your face on there's no one i want to work with more, i DO NOT understand that anti-gurl thing in the kitchen because quite frankly the men are too frequently scared and weak and don't do their homework and I find that the gurls do.

if it's all about forearms then i give up, the men win, but i'd still rather have a woman on my 6 than a work-dodging man.

just sayin, from the scholastic-side of things so far.

(delete as necessary) 
 
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