Tørst stage

Tørst is a beer Bar. Tørst is also known for its Scandinavian tasting menu, Luksus. Sadly Luksus is no longer a thing, and the Chef that brought Luksus to light, Daniel Burns no longer works there, and the Michelin-starred Luksus is no longer a thing. They closed at the end of 2016.

Fret not, because, under Chef Jesus Cervantes, Tørst is still awesome.

Torst Bar.jpg

(The bar at torst)

First off, the crew is tiny. We’re talking four people run the whole BOH. Although they do have a small space, maybe twenty seats including the bar, everything on their menu is made from scratch, with few exceptions. and everything is made well, there’s no slacking in this kitchen, no cutting corners and everyone has similar goals and gets along incredibly well. They are the epitome of a family in the industry.

There are a lot of interesting people at Tørst. Including Tae from Korea, Max who is from San Fransisco region, Mike who was off that day (I’m sure I’ll catch him later) and Chef Cervantes, who is much better known as Chuy (pronounced Chewy, Which is an awesome nickname), from Al Paso.

Torst Nori Bun.jpg

(Delicious little nori parker house buns)

These are incredible guys who really care about what they do. They are all into it, and Chuy gives them an incredible amount of space to make the place theirs. Just to give a few examples Max runs the bread program, Tae created the incredible Kimchi dog and the entire time I was there Chuy was asking everyone what they wanted to do for the new menu.

This kitchen runs the way I dream of kitchens running. There is no yelling, everyone is there to learn and they keep each other honest without being giant dicks. Everything is clean and the stress level is manageable. There is a lot of prep, but they don’t rush through it because they are prepared. This is a great kitchen just to be in, it feels nice.

Torst Char dish.jpg

(Char, spicy and acidic)

The menu is delicious. I think they are still trying to figure out who they are as a restaurant, especially after Luksus closed, but they are moving in a great direction. They still hold on to the Danish a little bit, but honestly, I hope that turns into accents and they can just make what they want because that food is strong. I want that food in my mouth.

The line is very small, but they are doing what they can with what they have. It’s not incredibly efficient, there is a lot of grabbing things out of the lowboy, but I think it works for them. After a second you get the feel for it and it works. I’m also impressed with just how much diversity of food they push out of that little kitchen.

They make their bread out of their Combi Oven. Which to me is amazing. This is a perfect example of deciding you want to make something and then working with what you have. For anyone that doesn’t know a Combi oven is a Combination oven, it bakes, and steams or does both. They are not made for bread, and it is very hard to make bread in one without a good amount of practice and patience.

Torst Bread 2.jpg

(House made loafs)

The bread is great, It looks awesome, it’s obviously well cared for and it tastes fantastic. the nori Parker house rolls are buttery, seaweedy(sp?) and delicate, the Sourdough has a great crumb and crust and is perfect for any amount of whipped butter, and the rugbrød is just as good, if not better than the rugbrød I ate in Copenhagen.

The other food is delicious. It’s just really well thought out, seasonal and tasty. It’s the kind of place that if I lived in Brooklyn I would go every day and just grab a plate or two and hang out.  It’s just the stuff I want to eat. Between the kimchi hot dog, the burger and the Torta. Oh my god the torta. This is the best veggie sandwich ever, toasted puffy soft buttery bun, grilled Oaxaca cheese, and a healthy amount of avocado. It kills.

Everything else on the menu is delicious, and it feels super midwest to me. A lot of places in NYC I feel like have a very, we are this, kind of menu, and Tørst doesn’t do that. They are kind of like, we like it, put it on. And that’s great.  They have a dish that’s Asian pear balls, that are compressed in delicious liquid with turnips, that are also pressed in delicious liquid, and then they finish it with greens and ranch and throw it in a bowl. I mean, how can you get mad at that? That’s a great dish, it’s simple, I love it.

Torst steak tartar.jpg

(Steak Tartar)

The tartar is delicious as well. It’s made with New York strip (they also have a steak dish), salted plums, and green walnuts (sometimes green almonds). Just like everything else on the menu, it just feels good, It works. That’s how the rest of the menu is as well.

I staged on a slower day, I didn’t get to see the kitchen in all of its glory, slinging a good amount of food with just two people (three at most) on that little line. But I did get a good feel for what that would look like. Chuy, and then later Tae showed me how to do a good amount of the dishes, and they were all very simple, very pretty and exceptionally well thought out.

The line is simple. a small flat top, a couple of induction (electric) Burners and a combi oven. Everything is very clean and the mise is very tight. They use a medium-sized pot with oil so they can fry. and that’s about it. This line is very bare bones. I think that makes it more fun. It means that in order for them to do a dish they really have to figure out how it’s going to work on their line.

Torst Kim Chi dog.jpg

(Kim Chi Hot Dog)

Toward the end of my stage, Tae Kicked me off the line, told me I worked enough and I needed to have a couple of beers. Then he went and got me a beer because I was being stubborn. My point is that these guys care about the people around them. If I lived in Brooklyn, I would do my best to work here. I just like the vibe. It’s the kind of place that just feels right.

This restaurant is a place that I think, with some time, is going to become somewhere very special. I think they need some time to get loose of the luksus shadow and show that their food is different and fun and that they have their own Identity.

I can’t wait to go back.

 

CHICAGO VS NYC pt.1

Everyone knows that NYC and Chicago are different cities. They look different, they feel different, They live hundreds of miles away from each other (790 actually, I googled it) and, much more importantly they are both known for their immense range of restaurants and restaurant quality.

There has always been an argument in the industry about which cities are the biggest food meccas in America. This, in my experience, boils down to three cities, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Not in that order.

Recently The Conde Nast Traveler Named Chicago the best food city in America over LA. Which is great but I haven’t been to LA so I think I would have a hard time commentating on that. But I did just take a sweet trip to NYC and I’ve got some pretty solid thoughts on what makes the two cities so different and unique.

I grew up listening to Mr. Frank Sinatra, and NYC is much like his song New York, New York.  It’s big, It’s loud, It’s tough and there are restaurants everywhere. It feels like every block has four restaurants, a couple of coffee shops and at least one bodega selling rolls, not to mention the army of food trucks and food carts that littered the sidewalk (especially in Manhattan).

Space in NYC is notoriously in short supply, so a lot of these restaurants were incredibly compact, we’re talking anywhere from four to 20 seats. It was incredible for me to see people go out of their way to use every inch of the space they have. This manifested in a really interesting style that was thrust on them due to the nature of New York.

There are also incredibly large restaurants. These are monsters that go the extra mile to make sure that space isn’t an issue. you find a lot more of these in lower Manhattan and they are made to look larger. They have huge ceilings and lower couches so the space just feels big. it’s a great way to utilize space and make people more comfortable. these also tend to be very nice places, if you get my drift.

it also made for some interesting experiences. Everywhere I went had an incredible identity to them.  Everything from the glass beer board at Torst (the o is slashed but I can’t figure out how to computer) to the shelves and shelves of preserved lemons and wine at Upland.  Restaurants in NYC have style and they need it. There are eight million people in New York City. There are only two and a half million in Chicago.Torst

(Torst’s awesome bar)

In order for any restaurant to survive in New York, they have to be special, especially the medium to high-end restaurants. If you’re going to spend a couple of hundred bucks on dinner,you’re going to go to the place that has a great space, service,and food. And to make it worse there are a lot of choices.

There’s this electricity when you walk into a restaurant here, and it jolts when you walk into a kitchen, especially the upper-mid to high-end restaurants. People who work here do not fuck around. They are crisp, clean and focused. There is no mincing words, there is a lot of direction. And if Chef talks to you, you probably fucked up. There is an intense drive and dedication to the craft. It’s lovely to be around.

You can feel it when you walk in. They’re also very curt and professional. They want you to have the best time with the least amount of interaction. This is something that is common in ultra-fine, high-end restaurants, but it trickles down in New York and it shows in almost every restaurant or bar.Upland

(Upland)

The way menus are written is very different from Chicago. The restaurant tends to stick to a certain style of food (The spotted pig has a very english menu, Daniel’s menu is as french as it gets, That kind of stuff) They don’t really play outside of their style, but they do incorporate different ingredients to flare up their dishes, and technically, the food is on point.

New York also has the luxury of being able to get incredible produce and protein. There are multiple huge farmers markets throughout the city (most notably green market) and restaurants all over the city drive to stay as seasonal and local as possible. There are so many restaurants, the demand means that you can grab incredible quality ingredients for less.

So here in chicago, or most of America for that matter, if I want USDA Prime porterhouse, I’m paying a lot for it, because there aren’t a lot of restaurants that use it, so it’s special. In New York there is a large demand for USDA Prime Porterhouse. So the prices are naturally cheaper.

The prices in NYC are a lot more expensive.  Appetizers tend to be a little over ten bucks, and entrees are usually between twenty and thirty bucks. A decent amount of restaurants also have some showstopper. Really large-scale dishes for anywhere from fifty to one hundred dollars.  These are impressive and delicious ( Think Whole Bronzino, Lamb Steak, that sort of thing).

I’m completely fine with these prices and I hope that restaurants around the country follow suit. The reason that menu prices are going up is because of the rent, for one, and more importantly New York is working on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2018. So prices are still going to go up, and that’s ok by me.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get cheap eats, There are still pizza shops everywhere, you can get a slice for like $3, China town is known for cheap delicious food, food trucks have great food and are cheap as well. What I’m saying is it’s around.

eug eats dumplings

(Joe’s Shanghai- I would make this picture of Eugenio bigger if I could)

The diversity in restaurants in new york is amazing. You can wake up and grab some killer soul food, run down to china town for soup dumplings, grab some Moroccan food, and then have a some late night indian food to finish off your day. The best part is that it’s easy to find authentic, well made foreign food that hasn’t been tampered for american palette, because it doesn’t need to be. It’s made for that community that migrated and wants to be able to go and get a dish their grandma used to make.

Finaly, the bars in NYC are tops. I mostly just hit some dives. They all kind of felt a little run down, there were a lot of christmas lights and old wood with one bartender hanging out. Cheap beer, beer and shot deals, cool bartenders who chat with you and give you shit. completely my vibe. Even better, They are hidden all throughout New York, so ones always pretty close. (Booby Trap is pictured at the top)

NYC is an amazing food city. Now that we have a good idea of what I think about NYC we’re going to break down chicago in a similar way in pt.2, Then in pt.3 we’re going to throw them against each other. I’d prefer if you’d imagine the two cities transforming into city sized robots, then going all fisticuffs on each other.

Updates!

The New York trip is almost over, sorry about the lack of posts over the past week, I have been incredibly busy!

No worries though, because over the next couple of weeks I have an incredible amount of content coming!

I also have something special planned that will start hitting next week!

Thank you all for your support!

Intro to New York

I flew into NYC recently, for anyone who hadn’t been, NYC is about eight times bigger than Chicago, which makes it absolutely enormous,

I went to school in upstate New York, so I’ve been to the city before, I used to cater on the weekends and we would take weekend trips to check out green city market or go eat.

I’ve never spent any significant amount of time in the city, running around and enjoying the culture, and that’s a lot of what this trip is about.

I’m doing a couple of stages but, possibly, more importantly, I’m really getting a feel for the city. It’s downright impressive how things move here. How many clean parks there are and giant playgrounds for kids. I love that when you walk through a park all of the benches are taken, and it makes you want to sit and just enjoy where you are, even for a minute.

It’s been said before, but this place is so interesting. There are so many people And all of the neighborhoods are intimately different, and beautiful but there’s a flavor that’s strung throughout this city.

The people who live here all say the same thing, New York City is hard. It’s hard to live here, rent is incredibly high and when you move here unless you are incredibly lucky, you are soul-crushingly alone.

Then they say, “and I love it”. It’s all about the experience here, and people take care of each other. Even small gestures like letting someone jump on the train when their pass just expired or giving out a cigarette without being asked.

People take care of each other here. Everyone shares the same struggle, and everyone knows it sucks. It’s awesome to watch and be a small part of it, even for a week.

At first, I was a little put-off, being completely out of your element is jarring. Then I got my feet under me and everything felt better, good even. I’ve grown to love the kiosks on every corner, the slightly dodgy Mom and pop shops that seat four. The trap doors to basements every five feet. and the vastness of it all.

There are also so many parks here and so many trees. It’s amazing to walk down a street and feel like you’re in a compacted Small town. This city is devilishly green. But then you pop off a train and it’s incredibly city and barren.

The contrast is amazing, one block you’ll feel like everything is incredibly compacted, then on the next block, it’s wide open and spacious. with a huge view of the city and sprawling city blocks. It is breathtaking.

Over the next couple of days, we’re going to reflect on New York. Talk about the good and the bad, how restaurants differ from other places and what they have to do to survive in a place with an insane amount of food, and how people in the industry move and live around the city.

I can not wait to show you what I’ve found.FFCA5C32-3DF4-4833-8D1F-F079CF26876C

I would never rant about food-o-vision.

I love watching people cook.
I don’t care if you are an amateur or a pro. I wanna see it. I love how people deal with the problems that cooking inherently has. Everything from how do I get the shell out of my eggs, I cut myself, “Aaaaaahhhhhh”, It’s fun to watch.

I find cooking is really honest. You can’t lie about not knowing how to scramble eggs, you can’t fake knowing how to make a soufflé. It’s the great humbler.

I don’t want to see someone green on tv. I want Julia, I want James. They taught people.

When someone knows what they’re doing, it’s poetry. The way every move has a purpose and the goal is so obviously clear.  It’s amazing to watch the difference in the subtle nuances in everything. It’s one of the things that makes cooking so cool.

It’s the differences that make it cool. I know how to butcher a fish. But watching Morimoto butcher a fish is different. The speed and precision is out of this world and shows you what hundreds of thousands of thoughtful butchering get you.

In a different respect, my great grandmother had the same kind of flow to her, obviously not like Morimoto but the sheer confidence of 70 years of cooking for her family made her so… She would bake without measuring cups, she cooked everything in a cast iron wood fired stove and her food was always, always, on point.

It was stunning to watch. I want that, I want grandma from the old country cementing secrets.

I can hear the kids in the back, “so what’s wrong with food NASCAR(sp?)?”  I have an answer, it’s too fast, you don’t learn anything. How could you? It’s imprecise and full of shortcuts. Just buy the cake? Isn’t that like, the point?

Great chefs don’t walk into a catering event with five pounds of pre-packed hash browns. Mediocre chefs don’t walk into small catering events with 20 pounds of pre-batched egg mix (probably not eggs), why are you making this ok?

I grew up watching food with the stars. Just like so many of my peers, I was smitten with Iron Chef, I loved Emeril and Mario. For anyone that doesn’t know, these guys are chefs. They worked with the best, they developed entire cuisines or brought them here with pride, and they are juggernauts in the industry. If you watch them, you can see it.

I want to watch that. I love that.

I don’t care about your skittle rainbow Butterfinger shit show of an Ice cream cake covered with melted chocolate. seriously. What the fuck are you doing? No one wants that. Seriously, what the fuck?

When they started grabbing people that could barely cook, I was shocked. I felt betrayed. I’m all for stay at home parents, but shouldn’t we get some that used to cook? Someone who knows the basics and can convey them in a way that people can learn?

I don’t want anyone to be confused, there is good content on food radio(that can’t be right…). Alton brown had one of the most intellectual, fun food shows on television! And I wouldn’t call him an amateur, he’s a scientist. Bobby, Tyler, Jamie, they all have worked at killer restaurants and started some of their own!

But, when you call yourself food potato (wait.) shouldn’t it be about the food and learning? Shouldn’t you be running after the big chefs, trying to see how their process is and showing off what is possible, and with time easy, as long as people learn the basics!

Shouldn’t we be more like Julia? She had a show that taught you important food things, and she showed you want you can do in a small amount of time! For anyone who doesn’t know, Julia did all of her shows in the time it took to film the show. That means there wasn’t any editing, or cutting corners, just you and her.

Shouldn’t we have had chefs table and mind of a chef when I was younger? You missed trotter! You missed Keller!YOU MISSED BOCUSE. They named the biggest culinary competition in the world after him and you’re playing with fish sticks and custard!

How do you call yourself food telegram and miss Michelin?! MICHELIN.

We have a big beautiful world full of endless content and opportunities, and you sold out. food channel (so close) you leaned into housewives, you should have leaned into the industry!

One of the worst parts about this is that there is amazing food programming out there! but they are coming out on Stars, Netflix and PBS. They make shows that want to teach you and make you better!

Even Twitch.tv, a streaming website for gamers, now has a channel dedicated to old classic PBS food shows. Mostly starring Pepin and Julia. It’s awesome!

(https://www.twitch.tv/food) Treat yoself.

Now you have a prince with frosted tips and an army of people without the basics. You let me down, food, bath and beyond.

How the do you feel about yourself?

The Order/fire system and the rail.

There’s a good chance most of you have no idea what this means. Let’s break it down.

Order/fire system is pretty simple. A ticket comes in, fire the stuff that needs to go now, order items that need to come out later.

Here’s an example, salad is the appetizer so it goes out first, so you fire the salad and thecooks make it, it goes out to the table. On the same order, there is a steak, the steak is ordered so it can be ready when the table needs it, preferably after the salad is finished.

The rail lives at the front of the line. It’s pretty much a big rail of metal that holds marbles so it can hold tickets. I’ve also seen tape placed so the tickets stick to it. Really anything that helps you keep your tickets in order.

In most kitchens, the rail is a station. It’s called expo, this is usually manned by the Chef to make sure the quality of the food is on point and service flows well. It’s point for the restaurant and it dictates if the nights going to go well.

So that’s that. But there are a lot of ways to work this system. You can have a fire system, where you fire everything when it’s called. Think Burger King. You want this? Here it is.

There are also a lot of places that have to order things way in advance. Some restaurants make you call in days in advance to get something really special. These are more large scale items like whole lamb legs or suckling pigs.

Some restaurants are split into a couple of different lines, so there are two expediters, usually one for hot line and one for appetizers.  And they both work off of different systems, hotline (entrees and sides) would work on a mostly order system, while appetizers (cold and hot) would work on a strict fire system. Just to make things a little more complicated, the raw bar has its own tickets.

There is a second point on the line, he keeps the line running smoothly and makes sure that tickets aren’t dropped (lost in the shuffle) this guy is usually a Sous chef or a long-standing cook and he is also vital. He makes sure things are getting dropped (food is getting started) by the people around him while working a station.

This is the usual structure for a medium to high-end kitchen.  Sometimes expo turns into point on the line; this usually happens if you are short cooks or if you don’t have someone to rely on.

This fucking sucks.

It’s a mess, and it can work but it is way less efficient. The kitchen is made to be mindless. If you are working veg station all you need to do during service is make veg. 

The chef controls what you do and corrects you if you lose focus.  Think of it as the expo is the brain and everything else are the appendages. Everything should be done in unison, that’s how you make a good product.

One more thing, all of the dishes that are fired together need to come up together.no pressure.

Culinary School.

There is a big debate about culinary school in the service industry. On one hand, it is an education. On the other hand, you can get the same education working and honing your craft. Both ways are completely acceptable. Let’s pro/con it out.

Culinary School is an investment. It takes time and a lot of money. There are also a ton of schools that are just made to take your money. You’ll learn the mother sauces but you’ll never crawl out of debt. You need to watch out for these. Do your research, you don’t want to throw away your future to learn something that is in all of the old french books.

Trust me working off culinary dept is incredibly hard. I still have mine and I’ve been paying hundreds of dollars for it every month, and I went to the non-profit school.  The Culinary Institute of America, which, is possibly the best culinary school in the world, right next to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Please take note the in Paris, That is very important.

I  know people who have graduated my culinary school with over 100k in debt. I also know people who have gone to different schools and acquired about the same. Be careful, and again, do your research.

Culinary School gives you a lot of things. It makes you incredibly adept at a lot of different types of cooking. We had everything from banquets to Asian cooking at CIA. and everything in between. The curriculum was intense, three-week classes, the hours varied wildly. our start times were anywhere from 1 a.m to 4 p.m. and our homework was intense and due tomorrow.

We learned everything from wine to food, to history. We also had almost a year off in the middle to go on our internship, where we went to a restaurant somewhere in America and worked. Honestly, for me, it was worth every penny. I struggled, but I also got through it with a pretty decent g.p.a.  Just so you know how big of a deal this was for me, I almost failed out of high school.

Culinary school was a good thing for me. I was trapped in Northern Michigan and I felt like there was no other way out. I had also been cooking for ten years before going, so I had a base and I had an idea of what I was doing.  Some good friends pushed me toward it and I never looked back.

 

There is another way. Something that I’ve experienced as well, the school of hard knocks. Working your way up the industry by being in the industry. This is an excellent way to go about your schooling. It is also incredibly important to find the right person that trains you. You need to do just as much homework for this.

When I was a young cook all I wanted was to work the line. I dreamt about it. I read about it and I watched entirely too much food network. It just felt right. The people on the line were monsters. They felt no pain, they worked ruthlessly and precisely. I wanted to be that. I also was a very angry kid, and I wanted somewhere I could vent my anger and have it seen as a positive, as passion.

I learned quickly that this wasn’t exactly what cooking was. It is less brutal and more dancing, more memory and skill than grit and fire. It feels good to be a cook. It feels good to be on top of a rush, to utterly crush it. The rush feels like a wave, you can either ride it and dominate or else it eats you alive and throws you toward the rocks. Once you fall it’s almost impossible to get back up without help or a lull.

I learned about mise en place, about being prepared and clean. I learned so much from cooking in kitchens, and I was pushed to learn by my Chef’s. It is incredible how fast you have to learn to not be a shit head, to not be green. It’s addicting, there comes a point where everything else is just background noise. Everything that you know or want to know is cooking and being prepared.

There are downsides to learning in the industry. You do make money, but it isn’t a lot of money. Most cooks I know are poor. I once worked at a place where I made 700$ every two weeks, for over 80 hours of work. Most of the really nice places you want to work at will cut your overtime. They will just take it away, this is a common practice. You will work through holidays and important dates.

The one thing I’ll always regret is that I worked through one of my best friends wakes. I couldn’t get the time off, I was a Sous Chef and my CDC couldn’t keep people. You become a slave to this industry. I will never forgive myself for that.

Having a degree makes things a little bit easier, you become more well-rounded, you have more options. most culinary schools make you learn how to serve, and make pastries, even bread. They help you find a job that you want. When you work in the industry you meet people. You’re network explodes. After a while you just know everyone. If you don’t know them, then you’ve definitely worked with shared people.

The important thing that you take from this is that both ways are important and have their merits. There is no wrong answer if you want to get into this industry. Just do your homework.

Basic Books

Reading is important. It is especially important to young cooks or anyone who wants to learn the basics in the most efficient way possible.

Cookbooks are something that I’ve cherished for a long time.  They’ve taught me almost as much as working has. Working in restaurants makes you fast, clean and flexible. Books make you smart, knowledgeable and they give you a base to be creative.

Good Chef’s do not just make food, they read. They spend years honing their skills, they pour over cookbook after cookbook, pushing themselves to learn the huge history and the techniques from our incredibly old profession.

So the books. There is a metric fuck ton of books. It gets confusing, it gets weird, but I’m here to help, these are books I suggest for anyone who wants to learn how to cook and get into the industry, or who just wants to up their basics game.

Just so everyone knows if you guys decide to buy the books on this blog post it does go to helping the blog, just click the picture!

On Food and Cooking – by Harold Mcgee

We called this bad boy the bible in culinary school. It is filled with all of the science that you need to know. As you become a more knowledgeable cooker, you will slowly realize how important the science is. This book will teach you. I do have to warn you though, it is very text booky, but it is an incredible reference. Things will happen that you won’t understand and this book will show you exactly what’s going on.

What Einstein told his cook – by W.W. Norton & Co.

Think of this book as On Food and Cooking light.  It’s a great book and it’s way easier to read. If you’re not a professional or plan to be a professional, skip On Food and Cooking and pick this bad boy up.

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain

This was a big book for me. It’s a cautionary tale of Anthony Bourdain’s journey through his career. It’s big, it’s powerful and most importantly it’s honest. Anthony doesn’t pull punches and if you want a look into our lives, this is a great place to start.

The Making of a Chef – Michael Ruhlman

I went to this school. I believe it’s one of the best culinary schools in the country, if not the world. Michael Ruhlman went through the course and shares what this culinary school is like, and he nails it. This is great for anyone considering or planning to go to culinary school.

The Flavor Bible – By Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

This reference is invaluable. there are not a lot of recipes, but what it does have is an incredible amount of flavor pairings. It is essential for menu planning and it needs to be in your library if you’re doing menu planning stuff.

Ma Gastronomie – Fernand Point

Ma gastronomy is a classic. the food is very very french, But it’s not written like normal recipes there is more of fluidity to the recipes. This book is great at, make it good. When you are cooking, you need this kind of mentality. If it’s not right, you fix it. This book will teach you not only the mentality but also the hospitality that will make you so much better at your job.

Giant Pt.2

Let’s get back to Giant for a second.

There is some real pride and thought that goes into every dish at Giant. It’s more than just solid cooking, It’s years of experience with a twist. It’s fun and playful. It’s like your mom had a stroke while making dinner and it came out incredible.

The best part about the food, for me, is that it’s not afraid to be simple. There is a dish that is literally onion rings, chili salt, and grated parmesan. It’s that simple. Fuck yes.

The plating is awesome. It’s not stuffy, there are no rocks on the plate. no inedible garnish. The plates themselves were different. they look like my grandma’s old china. If I found out that the plates were Ben’s grandma’s I wouldn’t even blink, and I love that.

Giant puts quality and proper cooking above looking cool and being suave and this makes them both cool and suave. This restaurant is cool because they want to be themselves.

The plates are simple. No foam, no fluid gel, no bullshit. good for them, and if some day the decide to put those things on a plate, it will be because it needs to be there. The work a style that I love. Put it on the plate and make it look like it’s never been touched.

No dots, no layered terrines, no excessive, tedious or rigorous plating. Just let the food be pretty plating. We’re talking put a sauce down place cauliflower on it and garnish with herbs. We’re talking put a pot of baked beans down and lay the ribs next to it.

Giant does things because it tastes better. They don’t have to make their own bread, but it tastes better. They don’t need to make orzo, but it tastes better. They don’t need to make all of their pasta to order, BUT IT TASTES BETTER.

Giant feels to me like a place that cares more about the food than it does about the image.

If Giant is one thing, It’s honest. Giant feels like a place that cares more about the food than it does about the image. They know what they want and they know who they are, and they’re packed because of it.

And they fucking should be.