Save Me...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kalach, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. kalach

    kalach

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    So we have a new chef at our restaurant, I made the mistake of putting something on the specials board as 'veal capaccio', being the apprentice it sounded good and no one else corrected me so I ran with it. Only to have an angry chef tell me I was way off and to learn the proper term before work tomorrow...
    Ok so far I'm gonna in with, "traditionally beef, raw, thin slices, often served with a vinnergarette on salad greens such as aragula (rocket), watercress, or similar.
    Hope you guys can help, our kitchen 'Larrouse' book had an terminal accident recently...
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    I think his problem may have been with the spelling - it's carpaccio, there's an r in there.
    Your definition is correct as far as I know, that's what they serve here in Italy as carpaccio, but as i say there is an R in the word.

    Also if you want to impress him (and if you have to write it - spelling should certainly not be a requirement for a chef and I doubt you'd have to write it, but just in case, since he seems a nitpicker) it's spelled vinaigrette not vinnergarette, and arugola is i think the american term (rughetta in italian) not aragula.

    Good luck. And remember, someone who nitpicks on this sort of thing may just feel the need to prove he's smarter. And if he needs to prove he's smarter by putting you down, he doesn't feel that smart. :)
    You probably shouldn't broadcast this last little bit of wisdom but you can think it if he gets you down.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    "Arugula," (A R U G U L A), aka "Rocket."

    BDL
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Communication is a key aspect of EVERY business.

    If I had seen the board with the spelling problems I'd have concluded that the business was shoddily run by people who don't know enough to write corrrectly or take the time to learn how to spell it correctly in their messages.

    Neither one is good for your business.

    Yes, many consider spelling insignificant, but as I said at the start, communication is key for EVERY business.

    Time to pony up the effort to spell correctly or construct a support system if you're unable to do it by ability or solo effort.

    It matters.

    Phil
     
  5. cyberdoc

    cyberdoc

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    Attention to detail is important. However, I've found that mentoring my subordinates, rather than hammering them, usually produces better results. Having said that, yep, you're going to have to conform to what the boss wants.
     
  6. siduri

    siduri

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    Oops! - here they also call it rucola, so i put the o in there. When I left the states, rocket was practically unknown, and i had never even heard it called arugula.
    Thanks bdl.
     
  7. just jim

    just jim

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    If you are writing the special board or are responsible for those that do, you need to know proper spelling. Pronunciation is also important.
    In a less formal environment, such as this forum or your own notes, not so important.
    These days, with all of the resources available (the internet, food lover's companion, etc.), there's no excuse for a customer to see anything mispelled.

    He/she is the Chef.
    You are representing him/her when you write the special.
    I don't blame the Chef for being less than happy.
    And having you learn the proper way doesn't seem heavy handed.
    If he ridiculed you that would be different.
     
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    I was not objecting to the fact that he wanted it spelled correctly, especially since it was a public menu. I hate to find misspelled words on posters, menus, signs, etc. What I object to is his way of doing it, with a tone of put-down. What if he just said, "hey, you spelled it wrong - there's an R in it" - and then if the same person posted another misspelled word on the board, he could have said "you seem to have problems with spelling so from now on can you check the spelling before you post anything for the public? thanks."

    I think people who use putdowns - whether verbally expressed or just in the tone of voice - are overcompensating their own insecurity, probably the result of others having put them down. Life is hard enough as it is, why do people like to make it harder?
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The original post did not convey to me an understanding of why it was important. More an attitude of hoop jumping for a subordinate.

    I wanted to convey the reason it was important. I did not intend it as an attack.

    I'm no fan of jumping through hoops myself.
     
  10. siduri

    siduri

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    Yeah, i understand. I didn;t think you were attacking.

    I think the fact that the original post didn't see why it was important is that the Big Chef didn't even bother to say what was wrong with it - and Kalach was left with the idea that he didn;t know what a carpaccio was, not that it might have been misspelled. Which tells me the Big Chef doesn't much care about the spelling himself!
     
  11. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Spelling aside.....

    I could be wrong---wouldn't be the first time---but my understanding was that carpaccio is traditionally made with veal, rather than beef.

    Shouldn't matter so much on a modern American menu. But, if we're having a test (as apparently the OP is), we should make an extra effort to get it right.
     
  12. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    KYH - I agree.

    A menu will say either "Carpaccio" meaning veal, or it will state "Beef Carpaccio" to specify that it is beef and not veal. Or even a "Tuna Carpaccio" or "Vension Carpaccio" for more examples.

    Good point.
     
  13. chefray

    chefray

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    It's the spelling. It's carpaccio. Also, the term "thin slices" should be replaced with "thin sliced, pounded almost transparent." Other than that, you're good.
     
  14. thegardenguru

    thegardenguru

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    Since the original poster has yet to return to clarify what the real issue is here, I'm going to assume for now that he wants a better description of "carpaccio".

    From what I know, "carpaccio" is not an Italian food or even an Italian word (it's in none of my Italian-English dictionaries).

    According to possibly anecdotal history, it was invented at Harry's Bar in Venice by the English owner Harry. It was the name of an Italian painter of many years ago.

    And according to them it's a plate of trimmed sirloin sliced-wafer-thin beef, dressed with a spray of mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice. Note beef.

    I've always had it with olive oil, pepper and the light mayonnaise but nowadays it's dressed with all manner of stuff including capers, onions, parmesan shavings, dijon mustard, and -- YUCK -- balsamic.

    "Carpaccio" is now also preceded by veal, venison, salmon or tuna.

    Could be the important thing here is what your new chef thinks it SHOULD be.

    Joe
     
  15. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Carpaccio was a renaissance era Venetian painter.

    I have no idea why gardenguru can't find the word "carpaccio," in one of his Italian dictionaries. It's pretty well established as the name of a dish.

    If carpaccio was an impromptu "invented" at Harry's -- if it's not Italian, what is it? Danish?

    An alternate creation myth for carpaccio has it served under a paitning by Carpaccio in one or another Milanese restaurants.

    Whether it was created by either of those two or some unnamed third party, as Stravinsky observed, "Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal."

    BDL
     
  16. thegardenguru

    thegardenguru

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    I don't know why I can't find it in the Italian dictionaries either. I know the alphabet -- both English and Italian -- and I still cannot find it. These are language dictionaries, by the way, not cooking dictionaries. Could that be it?

    Would it hold that if an Englishman invents a recipe in Italy and names it after an Italian painter that it is "Italian"? Or is it "English"? Or an "Italian-dish-invented-by-an-Englishman"?

    Maybe it's like "cioppino". That's an Italian seafood stew supposedly invented by Italian fisherman in San Francisco (which is a ways west of Venice) in the 60's (50's?). I grew up eating it made by my Sicilian grandmother who brought her recipe from Terrasini. There's plenty of tomato and wine and seafood stock based seafood stews over there. Still can't find the word.

    Joe
     
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    "Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal....."

    Or, as Lubenchevski, the greatest mathametician to ever get chalk dust on his jacket put it, "if you steal from one person it's plagerism. If you steal from everybody, it's research."
     
  18. chefray

    chefray

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    Here's from the English to English dictionary.:smiles:

    carpaccio–noun
    an appetizer of thinly sliced raw beef served with a vinaigrette or other piquant sauce.
     
  19. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    More FWIW:

    The original "Harry" of Harry's Bar in Venice wasn't English, he was American and a silent partner who had nothing to do with the kitchen, the menu or carpaccio. That would be the active owner/partner -- Giuseppe (aka "Joe") Cipriano.

    And yes, it's as Italian as anything else -- just not old Italian.

    Was the Cioppino reference, That's an Italian seafood stew supposedly invented by Italian fisherman in San Francisco (which is a ways west of Venice) in the 60's (50's?), conflated or garbled with carpaccio's origin? In any case it goes back a lot farther than the sixties. Cioppino probably dates back into the late 19th Century in the Monterey and SF Bay Areas. At the very least, it was on the original menu at Bernstein's Fish Grotto (used to be on Powell, closed in '81) when it opened in 1912.

    BDL
     
  20. thegardenguru

    thegardenguru

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    Good thing I'm still listening.

    Yep, the former owner of Harry's Bar in Venice (Joe) gave the dish the name "carpaccio" based on the name of the painter. "Carpaccio" is someone's name, not a "word". That was my point. Doesn't matter whether English, American or Italian. it was a marketing name. And the only definition of it was what he actually made at the time.

    The only connection that "cioppino" has with "carpaccio" is that it, too, is not a "word", American, Italian, Danish or otherwise. (although very loosely based on a Ligurian word or maybe someone's story about a cook hollering to the fishermen). In other words, "cioppino" seems to be another marketing word (yep, even in 1880 SF).

    And to add to my crypticity, my grandmother brought her "cioppino" recipe from Terrasini (via New York, St. Louis and San Diego). She'd never been to SF.

    Thanks for adding to the whole story bdl.

    Joe