As a general question, which is the question why I usually quit blogging because it’s upsetting that most bloggers are using the internet for an outlet to display their own works. I have a small reputation in the food industry — I have to say it that way; this is all of the same of what I say about consulting work; and it is. As I always say, I have been blessed with being in the company of many great chefs, who have been introduced to me as not being professionals, so this is in my own estimation; but I believe myself. And this has allowed me to understand a great deal about the food industry, but not really to expand my interests in food to the kitchen for cooking anything. I keep it well-known that I am not a source or consultant for cooking in process hands on in any way.
So people are wondering, how I get this reputation. This is something I would prefer to keep to myself. I will show a short example, and not a very good one, of a project. It isn’t going to be interesting or very enlightening or useful to anyone, but maybe it will shed some light on the problem of why I don’t prefer to address any requests concerning cooking.
I am beginning with the example of a short dinner menu — and by short I mean a one plate dinner menu. The link here to the Food & Wine recipe is the objective of my project.
If you will look at this recipe, it is puritanical, complete, worth every minute of the effort and needs no more review or attention by other chefs. The request was for a steak with vegetables on the plate. (I didn’t make this request to Food & Wine of course, I googled my request and chose my favorite group, Food & Wine, among others of course, but them.) So this would be the fait accompli.
Suppose, for some reason, whatever it might be, this fait accompli will satisfy the entire request to plate steak and vegetables. So we have to make an investigation of whatever should be happening to plate the meal (dinner, late lunch, whatever it is). What kind of steak are we speaking about? This serves 4 with one steak. I prefer to plate lean strip 8 oz. typically and this is for my own short-coming with lowering my standards to diner venue for a dinner party menu. Then vegetables. I usually have a request for potatoes of any kind. I like to promote the same kind of garden vegetables that they feature here, but since I’m not really excellent in mixing my types together and I have a preference for meat as the side entree of a vegetable buffet and also since there are few persons who like that same thing which I do, I will investigate a list of possible subject vegetables that might be happy to side the meat itself.
My basically grilled lean 8 oz. strip is standing there alone and I send it over with a bottle of ketchup to any takers while I happily review my vegetables. Should I do a butternut squash & rice side with some sauteed cabbage and onions? Should I be less than happy with myself & do something trendy like a zucchini, onion and mushroom saute? Should I get the mashed potatoes on? What should I do? Should I include peas & carrots for the younger crowd in a light onion bacon butter sauce? I’m already too late — I have all those people at the table and my menu is finished?
Now, the tough part. Who is going to cook this and how can I get my words on the seasonings and oil treatments and appliance treatments together? By the time I’m done with the minor treatise — my participation is already sold and I am only there for the few minutes it takes to respond to questions and answers on the seasons and methods, which I have no ability on my own. I am always amazed how people begin with ingredients such as these, prep them and end up with a meal. My attempts at the same, seem to say that it is an insane judgment to believe in any cooking appliance methods besides frozen from the microwave.
I leave you now, to henceforth reject this question forever.
Afterward: My general consultants relate that I haven’t been specific enough. This is for four and even though I would consult with them on measurements, I thought it was obvious I mean 4 – 8 oz lean strip steaks for the table — about an inch thick, fat trimmed if there’s any. And then we are going to add some baked green beans to the menu to partner the zucchini saute. Garlic infusion will be in most of the dishes and we are going to drop in crumbled bacon & cheese in most of it with splinters of white onions where necessary throughout the plates. I am not adverse to adding a classic baked onion and baked potato in lieu of the cheddar bacon potato au gratin. And there’s not a lot else to add besides that we’re also going to use tarragon and paprika in places. Canola oil is going to be the oil I think, unless some people are opting — we’re still discussing whether it’s safflower, canola or part vegetable and part olive depending on the dish. I cannot treat meat without partnering it to a vegetable buffet.
As you see there’s no pasta on this menu and by the time the consult is done drawing up the instructions for the kitchen, they will have to add sunflower dried angel hair pasta on the evening’s menu. Someone else has to do the drinks and the breads.