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. CabrĂ³ne. 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, CabrĂ³ne." "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.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Everyone who's been in a kitchen knows there's a unique language between the chefs. This is the beginner's guide to the lingo thrown about. Most are totally immature. 

mustard - bastard, balsamic vinaigrette - bal sac, aioli - a hole, nuker/juke - microwave, get the glutes - gluten free thing, drop/dunk it - deep fry, jane - no sides or toppings, colour - done to order, poke - knife, all day - everything on the board, tits - chicken breasts. It's always fun to yell "bring me more bal sac" to a new waitress. Especially when things get busy on the line. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


It seemed to be his day today, as everything that could go wrong, did. Things that weren't supposed to even be on the menu yet somehow kept being ordered., the bread that we bake in house daily didn't turn out. Apparently they weren't rolled tight enough, resulting in the center rising and the base spreading. These are affectionately referred to nipple buns. Everyone in the restaurant either burned, cut, or somehow injured themselves. I burned my hand getting the buns out. Not as bad as a couple of days ago. That was a good one. I felt a light splash hit my arm as I dunked fries into the deep fryer. Oil cools fast, so I thought nothing of it. After feeling the burn a few seconds later, I looked and found a fry stuck to my arm. I brushed it off and it took the skin with it. Fun.

Lunch today: tortilla omelette with baby spinach, arugula, radicchio, beef, and cheddar.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Corn is in pretty much everything nowadays. It's a not so fun fact. And it's quickly screwing up our health and economy. I've been thinking. I've seen the local food challenge, where you eat nothing that came from more than 100km away, and this has gotten me to wonder if a corn free week is possible. The rules are simple. no corn, products, derivatives, or chemicals. No corn fed animals, grasses only. That means no pop, no jello, no yogurt, artificial sweeteners, enriched flour, all purpose flour, you can't even have worcestershire sauce.

Anything that contains: High fructose corn syrup (or just HFCS), glucose-fructose, corn starch, modified corn starch, citric acid, ascorbic acid, thiamin mononitrate, dextrose, TBHQ, BHT, protease, cellulose gum, lecithin, monoglycerides, diglycerides, maltodextrin, and a crapload of other chemicals and compounds has corn in it.

After a rummage through my cupboard, I came down to rice, oats, oat granola cereal, sea salt, and hot sauce.Everything else had corn in it. Can it be done? Yes, but I'm not trying it any time soon, that's for sure.