Wednesday, January 24, 2007

August 2004

Thursday, August 05, 2004


Looking back, I just started to work at Cascades at the beginning of May. Not a lot mind you. Once a week on Tuesdays for six to eight hours. I guess that is the equivalent of about ten working days. I am amazed, not at myself, but the confidence that some of the staff have in me.

Towards the end of the night it was a little slow and a ticket with three items came in. The sous says, "Can you handle this?" I looked at him dumbfounded. I looked at the items; a couple of salads a crabcake for an appetizer.

I said, "sure".

"There you go, I will be in the back in you need anything."

Mind you, if I was at home I would have no problem doing this, but work seems like there is so much more at stake. For me its like checking your first ever prescription as a pharmacist. You know it can be done, but you double, triple check everything and are meticulous with it. I finished the ticket without incident.

It felt good, exhilirating and cathartic all at the same time. With the other craziness that is going on in my life, this was a step in the right direction.

Hopefully more to come.

Carpe DM

Monday, August 09, 2004


So I think I have finally decided on a pair of shoes. I have been vigorously test driving the Doc Martens 7A12, Shoes for Crews steel toe defender, and Dansko's Professional Clog. Overall it looks like the Shoe for Crews shoe is pulling ahead. I should know in another week or so for sure. Then I will do an in-depth review of each shoe.

Carpe DM

Man I am T.I.R.E.D. Things are going well, but some days I feel so burntout already. My day usually goes like this:

5:50 AM Wake up
6:25 AM go to school
7-12 PM School
12:30-2:15 PM: relax and take a nap
2:30-7:45 PM: Work
8:30-9:30 PM: Study homework, etc
11:00 PM: Sleep

Only like 5.5 more months to go!

Carpe DM

Friday, August 13, 2004

Julia Child R.I.P.

The Associated Press

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I got this rant from

Thank you for applying, you want to be a cook huh?

No you say, a chef?

Ok then, here's the MINIMUM BASICS I expect you to know. Each of these skills you will be required to perform rapidly, under pressure, within a set time frame, in a team enviornment with minimal supervision. You must work in a safe, organized, clean and sanitary fashion with little to no waste. These skills I expect you to perform with complete competence and understanding of proper technique and procedure.

Ability to dice, slice, chop, julienne, carve, brunoise, peel and turn standard fruits, vegetables and proteins.

Knowledge of grading, butchery and cooking techniques of beef, pork, poultry, fish and shellfish.

Ability to bake, broil, boil, saute, braise, blanch, grill, steam, stir fry and roast primary cuts of beef, fish, shellfish, pork, poultry and vegetables.

Know what can be baked, broiled, boiled, sauteed, braised, blanched, grilled, steamed, stir fried or roasted...and what can't.

Know when a food is cooked enough.

Know when a food is cooked too much.

Know how long a food is to be cooked.

Knowledge of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pastas.

Stocks, demi's, remi's, fumes and glace. The how's and why's.

The 5 mother sauces and those that aren't; purees, coulis's, jus's, essences, foams, ect.

Sanitation and hygiene: Safe temperature zones, holding times, cross contamination, basic foodborne illnesses, receiving and storage applications, pest control.

Knowledge of nutrition.

Full service, working experience of ala carte pantry, grill, saute and expedition.

Knowledge of salads.

Knowledge of salad dressings - vinaigrettes and emulsions.

Ability to prepare steaks and roasts to desired doneness by internal temperature, time or feel.

Service of hot food hot, cold food cold, and all that implies.

Strong garde manger skills to include but not limited to hot and cold buffet/platter presentaions, center piece art work and hors d'oeuvres.

Basic baking and pastry skills.

Write, execute and delegate mise en place and prep lists.

Menu development, costing, testing, training, set up and execution.

Read, create, write, calculate, adjust and tweek recipes.

Knowledge of basic first aid.

Safely operate and maintain slicers, mixers, robot coups, buffalo choppers, convection and conventional ovens, tilt kettles, flat tops and steamers.

Interview, hire, train, evaluate, organize, lead, discipline and motivate a staff of your peers.

Understanding of food costs, inventories, scheduling, payroll, P&L statements, marketing, ordering and receiving.

Understanding of labor laws to include equal opportunity employment, workmans comp, sexual harassment, employee discipline and termination procedures.

Let me ask you, did a book give you this knowledge? Yes, some you say.

Did your 2 year AOS give you this knowledge? Yes, some you say.

Great, please go over in detail your experience and expertise in each area I've listed that qualifies you for the chef's position.....

I thought so.

So endth the rant. lol.

Not to be taken too (cough) seriously.

LOS ANGELES -- Julia Child, whose warbling, encouraging voice and able hands brought the intricacies of French cuisine to American home cooks through her television series and books, died in her sleep three days before what would have been her 92nd birthday.

Friday, August 27, 2004

New Module:

Baking is finally over. Our class and I did very well. We covered hopefully most of the basics. Our final day we made eclairs and strawberry and chocolate chiffon pies. They turned out pretty well.

I thought baking was kinda cool, I might even get a Kitchen-Aid mixer. The thing I hate about baking is that everything is HIGH CARB and HIGH SUGAR. I think I gained 5-6 lbs during the five weeks of class. If I did not have a sweet tooth, being pastry chef would be kinda cool.

While I was at the restaurant I was talking with the Sous and asked him for evaluation. He basically said I was doing well, except for my smack talking ability?!? I was like what?!?

I have plenty of smack talking ability as illustrated by my nickname RTS. "Rander Talking Shit" Since I am the lowest on the totem, I was just doing as I told no questions asked. I guess now I will have to shift it into first to gain a little more respect.

Now that we have our first skills class, the chef said. "Good, now you can do all the family meals" I was like ?!?!?!? Well at least I will get some practice cooking what I learn in school.

Carpe DM