Thursday, August 15, 2013


It's been over two whole years since I've touched this. I'm still alive, I'm still a chef, and you're probably not reading this or you're yelling at the monitor in some grumpy attempt to get me to write more regularly. Fuck, I make vloggers look consistent.

On to the new. Last we spoke, I was working on King street in a restaurant that has long since closed and is now an Indian joint. I've moved around a fair bit, and after hitting places on Portland, Spadina, Dufferin, I've landed on Bloor out in the west end. I seem to be having a good time. It's got an eclectic menu and I get to play around with different cultural styles.

My brain's kinda dead about interesting stories and new events, kinda because I'm on paid vacation. the upside is that I have a job nice enough to get paid vacation, which is generally unheard of in any kitchens that aren't for offices or hotels. The downside, is because someone left a bad fan on, it shorted out, and proceeded to light itself on fire. The upside is that it was right underneath a sprinkler and was put out immediately. The downside is that the sprinkler system was connected to the dining room and soaked the floors and some of the booths. So, I'm relaxing until Sunday morning when the new carpeting and flooring is finished being installed.

Recipes will start coming out again when I finish working on some.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


A couple weird ingredients came to the kitchen the other day. Now, note all the following are legal, and any other effects they may have are not recommended, and to my knowledge, have not been practiced by any of the staff present in the restaurant.

The first weird thing to pop up was chia seeds. Chia seeds are also known as spanish salvia. Now, according to a friend who has more hobbies in grey areas, the average dose of salvia is 10g per hit. We're not using it as a garnish, it's not on the menu, and we've got a little over 20kg. that's a lot more than can be dismissed as "personal use." The second ingredient takes a little more know-how, but us just as good for a buzz (pun not intended.) Bee pollen. good for gourmet breakkies. Fine, but we're a lunch and dinner joint. Apparently, if you grind it with nutmeg and snort/eat it. It smacks you like LSD. Ah, the convenience store high. This was a little more reasonable at a mere 1kg. Still don't know what's up. It's probably going to be a gourmet granola or something.

Recipe: Pulled pork with cabbage

1 pork butt (that's shoulder you immature shite)
2 heads savoy cabbage
2 cups rice cooked
4L bbq sauce (recipe later)
black peppercorns
coriander seeds
pink peppercorns
fennel seeds

toast some pepper, coriander, and fennel. Grind fine. Rub the pork shoulder. Smoke for 6 hours at 180*. Take pork and braise for 2 1/2 hours, until it flakes easily. If you can, add gravy to the braising liquid or use stock for it. boil cabbage until soft. Separate the leaves. peel the stem off the cabbage with a paring knife. Mix pulled pork with seasoning and rice. Stuff cabbage leaves and roll dolmadakia style. place in a croc or slow cooker with bbq sauce and slow cook for 2-3 hours at as low as possible.


A steel is an essential part of a kitchen. You need it to maintain the edge on your knives. There`s someone in particular that this post is going to. Yes, you. There are several types of steel for different knives and purposes. they are generally  in three categories. round, flat, and ceramic. We've got a great round and a honing flat steel at home. Now, generally, a knife will need to be steeled once in a while. not every time the knife is picked up. Once in a while. And that's in a professional kitchen, where knives are going through veg by the bushel. Over steeling is very bad for the knife. It rounds over the metal on the edge, and needs to be ground off with a stone. Poor technique does this faster. using the wrong steel does this even faster. Here are a few pointers to not bugger your knives:

  • Use a decent steel. If you're getting a new one, expect to pay around $80.
  • Keep the same angle. If someone is a lefty and steels away, match the stroke, or use a different knife.
  • Speed is not better. It's a harder metal, you don't need speed to make friction. Take your time and match your strokes.
  • If it's a round steel, it's for more coarse honing. you can do more strokes.
  • If it's a flat steel, it's for curved knives and finer honing. Don't do more than 3 or 4 strokes
  • This does not apply to diamond steels.
  • You don't need the $250 Dick brand steel.

Monday, February 14, 2011


When things slow down in the restaurant, we get creative with ingredients and scraps. Try to have some fun. The boss and I wound up confiting a bison burger, almost knocking out one cook with the frozen container of beef fat. That shit gets really hard. My favourite thing is to piss off the night crew by glassing things. Glassing is when you cut something so thin, you can see light through it. Usually done with garlic and tomatoes. I do it with chicken breasts.

Lunch: pulled pork on a house-made focaccia with coleslaw


Girlfriend was sick recently. Stomach bug hit her hard, was praying to the porcelain god for about 9 hours. This basically left me to fend on fast food so I could stay with her and so the apartment wouldn`t be filled with smells. Leave it to me to get into a fight at a subway in a university. Went for a sub and the first question asked was "yellow or white?" After working out that this was what cheese I would like, I tried to figure out what cheese was what.
"yellow or white?"
"what cheeses are they?"
"yellow cheese and white cheese"
"well, yes, but yellow what? cheddar? white what? mozzarella? swiss?" (i'm a dick when I can get away with it)
The server then tried to pass my sandwich to the next person for toppings. When asked what I wanted on my sandwich, I said "cheese." Back it went.

20 minutes later, back and forth, I end up with the yellow cheese. Turns out they are both cheddar.

lunch today: meatball sub with yellow cheese

Monday, February 7, 2011


My boss has a new nickname in the kitchen. Cabróne. I'm not sure if he knows what this means. I rather hope he doesn't find out for the sheer hilarity of it. This came about with a brainstorming session for the restaurant about new ways to attract customers. Somehow stripper Saturdays came up as an idea. The boss, who is happily married for over 2 years, mentions how you need a licence to have strippers, as well as the strippers themselves having a licence from the city. The other owners in disbelief, the boss proceeded to speed dial a stripper and lay the phone down on speaker. After a confusing conversation with a Hispanic stripper girl insisting that she "didn't know no guy," the boss then said "It's me, Cabróne." "Oh, ci, ci, how are you?" Once the laughter died down and the jokes about the boss' stage name were done, we found out that there is indeed a licence needed. That idea wasn't totally serious anyway. Good thing too, they start at $300 annually.