Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Have all The Chefs Gone

I read this article about a year ago in the New York Times that pointed out a growing problem. There are not enough Cooks for all the kitchens. There are similar articles in most major newspapers. They discuss the dire hiring environment Chefs are currently facing as they are looking to fill positions. Where have all the good cooks gone? What has happened to the industry?


Being a refugee of the food industry myself I can give some insight into this strange phenomenon. The culinary field is one that requires long hours, passion, and dedication. Some kitchens still act very much like the classic brigade. Some kitchens are like the ones you see on TV, with flying frying pans and angry chefs. The cooks that work in these places, and really any fine dining establishment love food. They wouldn't deal with the long hours, belittling and lack of compensation otherwise.  However, this has been status quo for a while now. That is not what has changed.


What has changed is cost of living in most big cities, due to rising incomes for those in specific fields. An increase in restaurant saturation as the glitz and glamour of being a chef continues to grow and an increase in options outside the typical cook to chef route.


The Income

Major cities around the US have been seeing a drastic increase in the cost of living. You know what I mean if you live in Seattle or San Fransisco. This seems to correlate heavily with the increase in tech jobs in these large cities. Of course, this is great for people with technical backgrounds. Suddenly a 25 year old with 2 years experience is being offered a 6 figure salary with full benefits. (Good for them, seriously!). In contrast, this weighs heavily on those who don't have the tech background. When a studio is going 1700$-2000$ in some neighborhoods, where do you expect someone who barely makes above minimum wage to live? 


I recall one of my friends telling me how they finally got a raise at one of their jobs. The only reason they got that raise is because minimum wage went up...they worked at one of the top 5 restaurants in Seattle for over a year and didn't get a raise until then. Sure, they weren't working on the line, but they were getting paid just as much as someone at a fast food restaurant even with their 3 years of experience.


When bosses are only paying minimum wage to experienced cooks. It is silently stating that "they would pay you less if it were legal". I quoted this from a pretty good thread from the chefit reddit. Yes, Chefs are being forced to use reddit as a form of searching for new cooks. Check out this thread, and it goes even deeper! Where are you finding cooks from?



I have also seen twitter be used as a medium to find cooks. Check out this ad for the highly praised New Bay Area Restaurant The Morris. These places use to be able to use Craigslist and get a solid list of candidates. Now, Chefs have to work their networks, create databases of possible candidates, hire culinary agents or just hire less skilled workers in general.


This goes beyond just passion. Cooks have always had to deal with making ends meet. If you haven't read Kitchen Confidential, take a peek. Anthony Bourdain discusses how he went the money route. For cooks who decide to work at top notch places, it means low pay, long hours and slow but great pay offs(Trust me, you as a consumer want that!). You want your Chefs and cooks yearning to push the envelope and learn at places where money isn't the goal.



I was lucky, I worked as a cook in Seattle (not New York) when it was much cheaper. Even then, I couldn't spend more than 450$ on rent and had to pray I would have no catastrophic events. Nevertheless, it was much better than other cities.

Now, if you look at places like San Fransisco, it is near impossible to get away with even 15$/hr. I have a friend working at a fine dining establishment (which I won't name). He is only making 12$/hr. He does work 70 hours a week...of which only gets paid for 40 of them. Another concept that is normalized in kitchens. That is not even the nail in the coffin. He gets off so late, that all forms of public transportation are not running. Instead, he has to take a 12$+ Uber ride home. He spends more than 2+ hours of his labor, just so he can afford to drive home!


What if a programmer suddenly had to spend 100$+ just to get to home? You would have a lot of people up in arms. Rightfully so!


Saturation and Poaching


Let's talk about the next problem, the pure saturation of restaurants. With all the glamour and fame that have been shown on TV for Chef lives, suddenly more and more people are trying there luck. Even those that don't have the restaurant experience required. Causing a large influx in new restaurants. Below is the Saturation count from the Eater article located here.

This is per 10,000 households

1: San Francisco, CA, 39.3

4: New York, NY-NJ, 25.3

5: Seattle, WA, 24.9


Forbes, Paula. "Here Are the Most Restaurant- and Bar-Dense US Cities." N.p., 1 Aug. 2012. Web. 

I have only picked Seattle, New York and San Fransisco for comparison. As you can see, San Fransisco is actually more restaurant heavy than both Seattle and New York. This density of restaurants in all these cities is creating a new demand for chefs and cooks. New York compensates by having a higher density of people. However, places like Seattle and San Fransisco just don't have the same size pool to pick from.


See this article

1.28,053 New York City

2.18,187 San Fransico

3. 7,962 Seattle


@genebalk. "Seattle among Top 10 Most Densely Populated Big Cities in the U.S. for First Time Ever." The Seattle Times. N.p., 09 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. 

Every one of the new restaurants require a new Chef, Sous Chef and an army of cooks to operate the BOH(Back of the House).Where will these cooks come from? If all the good ones are being hired, then it poses a challenge.

It is not uncommon for restaurants to poach the entire staff of another well-to-do establishment. If you read Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" or watch Boiling Point. Both Anthony and Gordon were able to bring entire restaurant crews where ever they went. All it requires is a few words of grandeur and a family like bond. There is a certain loyalty for cooks to chefs. Where there isn't loyalty, there is money. Take a kid with only 2 -4 years of real life experience and offer him a sous chef, or CDC(Chef De Cuisine) position at 70k a year. He will more than likely take it. A lot of these places just need all hands on deck. Any hands...so they are constantly stealing cooks and trying to retain them. This is just increasing the problem.



Where Have All the Cooks Gone


With some groups of talented cooks already leaving to get jobs as Uber drivers, Culinary Innovation Specialist, or maybe just take a job working as a cook for Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. All of which, pay way more than a 14-15$/hr gig at the hottest new restaurant.


One of my friends started working for a startup that does some pretty cool meal delivery(they actually analyze your biological markers and design a diet around you!). He not only works in culinary innovation. He also does SQL and dashboard design. Options are opening up for the most talented chefs and cooks. Hard working chefs and cooks make great employees. Sure, we can be a little fidgety, but we are used to a faster pace. We are also used to learning on the fly, and picking up skills fast without being asked.  In addition, we are practically grateful for the 9-6 hours of a start-up. We are allowed to have lives. 


There are still other options. Like development chefs, research chefs etc. That open up in companies like ChefSteps or Modernist. If you have a curious mind, and a decent pedigree, these places would love you! 


Overall, the restaurant industry is going through growing pains. They are quiet to the consumer. You may not even be able to tell. That has always been the goal of the BOH. No matter what kind of crazy stuff is going on in the back, the front must never know. So even though the BOH is constantly struggling to find new cooks due to financial and staffing problems, we the customer are barely noticing the result.


I will mention, that is not 100% true. I have begun to notice slow price hikes of dishes. General Porpoise charges 4$ for a doughnut. If that is not going for the staff, then Renee is not doing it right...Prices will begin to equalize. It is part of economics. Eventually, either incomes for techies will drop as will the cost of living or the price of going out will continue to increase and fairly so! Yes, how can you expect to make a 6 figure salary at 25 and not have to pay the inflation rate for going out? Do you expect the cooks to continue to work for scraps? Nope, you want good talent in kitchens, then pay your bills or don't go out.


Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts. Where do you think all the cooks have gone? Are you a cook who changed jobs? What are you doing now?


<< Who gets James Beard Awards                                                         Top 5 Books For Bakers>>

I haven't really done anything where I had actual sources. My previous posts were based on my own knowledge. However, this one relied on a lot of other articles, and sources. Here are some!



NY Times

Washington Post

Chicago Tribune

Tags: Why should I become a cook, Kitchen Confidential, After Hours, A cooks mind, Tech bros, Economics, 15$/hr

Monday, November 28, 2016

5 Bread Books Every Baker Should Own

While working at the Herbfarm I was placed in charge of the bread program. At any time I was feeding 4-5 different starters (including a gluten free starter). We made everything from Epi, to Pan De Campagne(even a very good rye sourdough!). We used rye, barely, spelt, red winter wheat, and everything in between. It was one of my favorite tasks. It is funny, because a couple years prior I recall trying to make some loaves at another establishment and failing miserably. Luckily, I worked side by side with the sous Chef until he left and handed off bread baking. I even upgraded the gluten free options(oh goodness...gluten free). There is just something relaxing about making bread. Taking the time to shape it, weigh it and fold it is therapeutic. Bread has its own time, you can't rush it, you have to wait. 

The sourdough starters need to be taken care of, they are living breathing organisms. Colonies of lactobacillusand other forms of bacterium that I am sure I am not aware of. As long as they are fed they can ward off fungus and other intruders in the starter. When placed in the dough, they create a harmony between the flour and yeast. Most importantly, the flavor that comes from each sour starter is unique and adds depth to each loaf. However, making a starter is an elusive skill. How does one start a starter? What type of flour do you use? There are a lot of questions when you try to make a sourdough starter (I know I had a lot of questions)

The one problem with bread, is there are so many recipe books and blogs devoted to bread. There are rustic bread books, 50 easy no knead bread books, some touting gluten free recipes, others just putting bad recipes into peoples hands. This makes it a challenge when trying to buy a decent bread cook book.


 Over the course of my training I was exposed to several books I would say are worth reading. This is in no particular order. I think all of them would benefit the home baker and chef. Below are my top favorite bread baking books.

 Bread Bible

I cannot give this book enough praise. It does not merely supply recipes with vague instructions. It explains every step, the reasons behind it and really gives a good understanding of what bread is. Recipes are just one aspect of cooking, what is way more important is understanding what you are cooking and why it works. If you just mindlessly follow recipes, you will never really learn to cook. You should understand how the sourdough starter works, why shaping your loaf in certain shapes, why slicing your bread in specific ways, makes a difference. Anyone can follow a recipe, but it takes true chefs and cooks to figure out how they went wrong, or how they went right. How else do you expect to improve. Is your bread too dense, too light, too tough, not tough enough? Why? Well, check out this book and you will see why. Amazon actually has a pretty cool walk through where you can actually look through the pages of the book as well.



King Arthur Flour Baking Companion


Some of you are probably looking at this book and wondering why I chose a company cookbook. King Arthur Flour, why should we buy a flour company's cookbook? I am going to say that King Arthur has done so much for flour and bread baking that, trust me, this book is worth it. Have you ever heard of the WSU Bread Lab? They grow thousands of varieties here in Washington. The Skagit Valley has 80,000 acres of farm land that just grows wheat. King Arthur, along with WSU have been breeding new varieties of wheat using the concept of local food system breeding( they try to create breeds for the local ecological system, rather than for the money). Having visited the lab, I got to see some pretty cool equipment used to test gluten levels, protein, elasticity, etc. In the famous words of Mark Watney "I am going to have to Science the s*** out of this". 



The Bread Bakers Apprentice 

What I really like about this book is it often provides variations of the same bread. I think this develops a natural understanding of how to tweak recipes. Whether you want to or not. You eventually begin to realize that even pastry and bread recipes have openings where you can change them, if you understand how they work at a lower level. This book will help get you there. Have you heard of a bakers ratio? Why is it used? How can you use it to further your own bread knowledge. It is funny, I used to know a baker who would go around and measure everything. I mean everything. Humidity, room temperature, air pressure, wind, the phase of the freaking moon and write it all down. From there, he would make slight adjustments to his bakers ratio to try to match the specific moisture levels he previewed. Then he would note the results of his bread! You may think that is crazy...but he made dam good bread.



Sourdough Recipes For Rustic Fermeted Bread 


To be honest. Everyone needs a good sourdough book. The books above all have sourdough recipes. That is great and all. However, owning one book devoted to the secret art is a must. If I were to tell you to pick two books, I would say this one and any of the others. Understanding sourdough, teaches a lot. Bread before yeast relied on so many different forms of leavening. Starters were one form! So being able to understand this mother of breads will help you further define your skills. Then you can take them and show them off to your family.



Bread Tartine


Finally, Tartine. Now you might have already seen this book on another of my lists. Tartine does great work, that is why it has ended up on this list. My favorite recipe in this book is the English muffins. We used them on one menu at the Herbfarm with foie gras and a sweet fruit of some kind. It is basically an amazing breakfast that anyone would love! Honestly, you should just keep this book in your house for a slow day. Get a nice warm cup of coffee and spend hours reading the recipes and the stories of the food Tartine puts out (Although, I wish they had more pictures!). They are beyond just "Solid Technique".  You might want to Youtube a few things before you bake away. Nevertheless. Go at it! Maybe send me a picture of your final creations!




P.S Gluten Free Artisan Bread

For those Gulten Free seekers. I do have one cook book for you. I know there is a lot of ridicule that goes around for those who are GF. There is hope. Here is the one GF cook books I would recommend. It helped me develop a few recipes at the Herbfarm. 


Having  European heritage, bread was always around. A good rustic french bread would only last a day at my house. It might not even make it home from the supermarket. We used them to soak up saucy messes, build sandwiches with headcheese or just eat with some butter and salt. However, the best way to have any bread, is fresh out of the oven. No salt, no butter, just tear into the fresh bread you just made and enjoy. The only way to experience this, is to make your own bread. Good Luck.


Thanks for reading about my favorite baking books. Let me know what you think. If you have other bread books you loved fill me in! I am always looking for great new insights into what the best bread books are. 

  All of the links to products are Amazon Affiliate links. I would like to be candid that I do receive a percentage of the purchase price. That being said, all the products I reference I have either used or own. I want to help people looking for products anyway! I don’t want people buying things that won’t benefit them.

<< Oaxacan Restaurant in Seattle                                                         My Culinary Internship>>

Tags: What is the best bread cook book; How do I make Sourdough; 5 best baking books; baking books; how do i make bread; bread from scratch

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Culinary Internship

The Internship: For Normal People

Recently, I was discussing with my friend the concept of the internship. He is a computer science major who recently graduated from UW. I asked him what his internship was like.

His response sounded more like a vacation. He told me about the different "team building exercises" they did. That includes going to sports games for the entire day, having a week or two of purely events and not actual work. Don't get me wrong, I would love that too. The main reason for these internships is to entice these young bright minds to come back, which makes sense. These companies want top talent. So of course you are going to give your interns a good time for three months. In the end, it is worth it for them.

In the end, their internship was only 3 months long. That means, for at least 1/3 of the time, they weren't even working. Often times it takes 3-9 months for an employee to even be useful. Meaning these interns weren't even useful! The only reason companies are willing to really roll out the red carpet for these interns is because they want them back. Not for the "good work" they do up front.

I am not dogging on tech internships at all! The reason tech companies can pay their employees so much and pay their interns so well is because with one product they can easily sell millions of copies. Whereas a restaurant has a 1:1 ratio of work to output. It is a one dish one dollar kind of process. There is a limit to your profit margin.

The Culinary Internship

My culinary internship was very different to that of my friends tech internship. 

Unlike him, day one I was put to work. Day one I was given a flat of peas to shuck, several boxes of scallops to clean, a boat load of porcinis to clean, parsley to pick and so many other tasks that a monkey could probably do. None of which even got close to touching a knife. As a matter a fact, I don't think I did any form of knife work for the first two weeks.

Most kitchens want to first instill a level of understanding of detail before you move forward. For instance, starting out as a Japanese Sushi cook at a very high level establishment, might require you wash and cook rice for the first year or two. So you learn to appreciate the method. I got off lucky with only two weeks of none knife work.

Once you are given your first knife work task, it is often something involving finely mincing shallots. Now I don't mean any of that rapid choppity chopping you see on TV. Where the home cook quickly throws their knife haphazardly over some poor unsuspecting shallots and garlic. No, that just won't do. That leaves your shallots a poor, bruised and watery mess.

First, you must make sure you have a sharp knife. Whether that means finally spend 100$ on a knife, get yours sharpened, or learn  how to do it yourself. The end result is still a sharp knife. From there, you follow proper technique, as shown in the video below. It isn't any of that magic bullet nonsense. No you want small little cubes, way smaller than Gordon's example.

Quick side note: Looks like Gordon needs to sharpen his knife...when I do my horizontal slices, I try to do it in one motion....it is just cleaner. I hope you get the general idea though.

I hear some of you asking, wait, why go through all that trouble. Why put so much effort into a shallot. My answer is two fold, and maybe I am wrong.

First, the idea is that increasing the amount of cells you damage in onions and shallots increases the amount of sulfur and compounds released and decreases the shallots sweetness. You can feel shallots chopped with a dull knife. They are often soaked in their own juices and smell terrible.

My chef wouldn't even use day old chopped shallots for the same reason.

Second, I am going back to the sushi rice example. If you learn to take your time on the small details. You will appreciate the bigger details.

When I go into a restaurant and see some technique I know I would never put on a dish because of the sheer time it takes to do it. I am dumbfounded. Don't get me wrong, for a normal person it is amazing. For me or any other cook, it touches something deeper. We appreciate true technique. Not just mind boggling technique, but technique that we know are a labor of love. When we know some poor intern took their time to peel all the grapes on a dish, or some cook made a nine layer Black Forest Cake (like at the Fat Duck). We are just flabbergasted.

All of this starts with the perfectly fine bruionised shallots, the individually picked thyme leaf, the perfectly cleaned chanterelles. All of this disciplines the mind to make food perfect. To look for it, to yearn for it.

There are no team building exercises here, no fun days to go play. Nope, 50-55 hour weeks of standing, running around and learning your technique sucks. You learn that culinary school only got you to the point where you can hold a knife, and that is about it.

The Pay

Oh, guess what the kicker is. Most places of a certain caliber, don't even pay their interns, some do, but a good portion don't.

 Now, before you go to your closest fine dining establishment and demand they pay their interns. I would take a look at their prices. Yes, I know, they are expensive. Guess what, most fine dining places make pennies on the dollar. Oh, you don't believe me do you? You think that if they charge 30 dollars for  a 4oz piece of salmon, and a small bit of puree and vegetable, that they are just banking on you? If all that went into that dish was the salmon, and vegetable, you would be right. However, when you add in labor, overhead, high quality ingredients and just all the crap that goes wrong in a kitchen(like flooding, that happens a lot). Well, it ends up almost being a loss.

For instance, I remember one dish during my internship. There was one dessert that was rarely sold. It required a mousse that was plated using an ISI canister. It is basically a whip cream can. One night, we finally sold one. I got out all the ingredients, and began to plate it. However, for one reason or another the canister wouldn't work. So I had to load another charge of CO2. Then I accidentally released the CO2 before it was charged, twice. It was a crazy night and if you know me, I am jumpy and on edge at all times...Now I had wasted 3 charges

My Chef flipped and charged down from the hot line to where I stood. You might be wondering why. Here is the math. The dessert cost about 8$. Then you take into consideration that the two charges cost about 2-3$. She just lost money on that dessert and then next 4 that came in, if they came in that night.

Now all I could do at that point was awkwardly try to laugh off the situation as she informed me of this math, in a less than cordial manner...

I get it, to the outsider, a 30$ plate seems like it must make the owner a lot of money. Even I go places and think I am being ripped off sometimes...In the end, it is all about the numbers. If your restaurant only serves 200 plates in one night and each of those plates only makes about .20$. It is not looking so good for you. Especially if consider in food loss.

The Treatment

Now I have discussed the basics of a culinary internship. We do very little "technical work" and we do it all for free. I spent about 800 + hours working for free before I was hired at my first restaurant at 17. Often times shucking peas and cleaning mushrooms.

Maybe that is already making you decide to keep your job in CS rather than come to the culinary field(I say that because I know a lot of people who want to go from programming to cooking and I think they are crazy). If that isn't enough, lets talk about how you are treated. This depends kitchen to kitchen of course.

Some places are probably really nice. The W hotel can't yell at you and tell you "You are worthless". Of course not, they would be sued instantly, and it would be all over the TV.

It may not happen at the W, but it has happened to me! Yup, I have had several bad nights. My worst was actually not my internship but the first week when I was getting paid at the place I interned. It was an exciting week. Me, a young cook, getting offered a position at a very nice restaurant. How exciting?

All those thoughts exited my head as I was frantically f****** one night. To put some context to the situation. This particular Saturday, we had a 30 top downstairs from PCC or Whole foods. I don't quite recall. My duty that night was to plate the desserts. A peach Crostata and Olive Oil Gelato with some other garnishes. Along with my typical duties. I was also responsible for helping out everyone else. This is normal in any job I have been at. The new guy always has to help everyone else.

That is all fine and dandy if you don't have a one track mind like mine. Dessert comes around and guess what. Guess what I forgot to do(you might not even know you have to do it). I forgot to temper the olive oil gelato...

Due to the fat content of Olive oil, the gelato becomes rock hard when frozen. Now, most places I have worked demand you do a Quennelle or Rocher. Whatever you want to call it...on every dessert. This was one of those places

That means a football shaped ice cream scoop. It requires a quick wrist movement and soft ice cream. Not rock hard ice cream. Like in the video below. As you can see, with soft ice cream, it works great and is really easy.

Well, here I am, 30 tarts out of the oven and just pulling out my gelato. There is no way to quennelle this puppy. Similar to the story above. My chef comes barrelling down the line. She never really yelled or screamed. Nope, she always just needed to elevate her voice just slightly and then fire her missile.

Tonight, she decided to go deep. All she needed to say was "Why am I even paying you".

Bang, direct hit. My first week of being paid, after almost 1000 hours of free labor. She questioned my value, my worth, my skill.  She didn't stop for the rest of the night. She questioned the Chef de Cuisine why she hired me, and if I was worth it, while I was in ear shot. She never stopped. That was who she was. Once you made a mistake, she wouldn't let it lie for the rest of the night.

I am actually, oddly, thankful. I have never had a hard job since that job. No matter how hard any of my jobs were, they were never that bad. I was never berated to a point that exceeded that.

So sure, it stung my 16 year old self esteem. I also think it strengthened my resolve. I now fight harder because of the tongue lashings I got. Maybe some day I will find someone harder on me than her. But I grew at that place more than most people would know.

The End Result

 It is actually really funny. Two of the last three jobs I have had, I got because of this internship. I am talking about years later. One of them was a cooking job and another was a job as a developer. That might sound like a weird combo. Both the chef at the restaurant I worked at and the director of the department knew the prestige and rigor that my first internship came with. They knew it wasn't easy.

Both of them hired me with the same one liner. "We figured if you could work there, you could work here". Never in a million years would I have thought I would be hired to a developer job because of my culinary experience. Why, what is the correlation?

All I ever was there was a prep cook/pantry(kind of), I only went from being an intern to prep cookish person. That means I never touched a hot pan. I only ever plated desserts and some starters. So maybe you read this whole piece and feel as if all internships should be banned, or that chefs should be nicer. I don't think you are wrong. However, I do think there is an aspect of discipline necessary in kitchens. It is how you get your Marco Pier Whites, your Renee Redzepis, your Grant Achatz.

It takes a little bit of fire, a little bit of grit, some perseverance to become the best. I never got there personally. I chickened out, I finished my degree and decided for a bigger paycheck. Now I am stuck writing a blog that no one reads. I yearn for the day I get to go back. Back to the fire, the creativity. Until then, I will become the master of my current craft. I love it for its own reasons, but it is hard to separate yourself from the original job you were passionate about.

<< 20 Bits of Advice for Young Cooks                                                        Black Sesame Gelato>>

Tags: What is a culinary Internship like, culinary internship, paid internships, staging, free labor

Stop Going To Molly Moons! Check Out Sweet Alchemy

Alright, you don't have to completely stop going to Molly Moons. They do pretty decent ice cream. I don't think they do line worthy Ice Cream.  However, the place I am about to tell you currently doesn't have a line...yet!!! So you better hurry and try a small place in the U-District called Sweet Alchemy. This small ice cream shop is on the corner of 43rd and University Way. You would almost miss it if you didn't know it sat there on the corner. It really doesn't look like much from the outside. The sign doesn't really scream Sweet Alchemy and it really doesn't scream "The best Ice Cream you have ever had".

Inside there is a rustic, and old school ambiance created by the white brick behind the counter and the classy lights hanging from the ceiling. 



The floor is oddly a mosaic of pennies. It can be a little bit mesmerizing. All that copper in one place. The ice cream freezer seems to be the same one from the previous business (Haagen Dazs). In fact, the Owner's merely changed the name to Sweet Alchemy. However, it seems as if they just changed products, not owners!


This combats the modern, and contemporary feel I get from Molly Moons. Molly Moons feels like a website that uses way too much Bootstrap CSS. Looking inside Molly Moons you can tell they had a pre decided color palette. There just isn't any character or love in that contemporary feel. Somehow, it feels like the decorum weaknesses pours into the ice cream. Of course, at the end of the day, who cares about the decorum? as long as the Ice Cream is good?


I must come across as someone that hates popular places. First I have a few words to put against Bakery Nouveau and now Molly Moons. Let me just add in that Molly Moons isn't a bad place, but when I see lines going around corners I go in with certain expectations. Maybe, that alone destroys my personal experience. Perhaps...maybe I really just am a Hipster(Oh goodness, I hope not. Otherwise, I would join the things Anthony Bourdain Hates). I don't find myself that picky and really will eat just about anything.

Truthfully, there is one main reason I don't think Molly Moons is the best Ice Cream place in Seattle. The final product they produce is way too sweet and rich. Now, even this is very much a personal preference. Unlike me, maybe there is a greater desire for other people to have a sweeter ice cream. Maybe people like the overly cloying and fatty ice cream that I find unpleasant. I feel sick after only finishing half a small serving from Molly Moons.

Besides this, Molly Moons does a good job at making good flavor combinations.Their Strawberry Balsamic is great, and their salted caramel has that bitter note that cuts the overly sweetness that their ice cream base has.

All that aside, Sweet Alchemy has swept me off my feet. Like prince charming in Snow White, Sweet Alchemy is giving me hope. For the longest time I had given up. The only way I would ever have good ice cream would be making it myself. I have an affinity to frozen gelatos and Ice creams. Working at Cafe Juanita, I was introduced to freshly spun (which is key to the best ice creams) gelato flavors like burnt sugar, fig and rum, fresh spear mint stracciatella (That was my favorite Gelato Flavor). Even beyond that, I was lucky enough to make the Ice Cream and Gelatos at the Herbfarm. I loved trying to figure out new combinations that actually worked. Have you ever tried Douglas Fir Gelato? how about Smoked Bourbon Vanilla Cream? Of course, I was spoiled there, I had a 5000$ Paco jet to play with. How much more spoiled can a chef be? All of this may have made me a little of an ice cream snob. I have made my fair share of bad ones, and I hope Sweet Alchemy does too! That's how I know they are trying to make the best flavors, the best textures, the best everything.



It is funny, I was just thinking, Seattle really needs a "GOOD" ice cream place. Molly Moons has been the closet contender for the past few years. It was where you took your girlfriend or boyfriend out on a sunny Seattle day(Yes, those exist, and they are amazing). There hasn't been any good competition, nothing worth writing about.

Now back to Sweet Alchemy. Who would have even guessed that this place existed? Before it was Sweet Alchemy, I believe it was Haagen Dazs. So I didn't even realize they had changed. I can't even seem to find any articles to get a date on when it was created. All I know is, I am happy it exists.

Just looking at the flavors, I knew I was in for a treat. They didn't have anything too crazy. They didn't go overboard and try to put 80 things that might not work in one ice cream. Nope, most of the flavors were pretty simple. 



 They even had Basil! These people know their stuff if they know how good basil ice cream is (I know Molly Moons occasionally has this available too). Besides Basil, they also had three different Vanillas! They were selling Tahitian, Madagascar and Mexican. You could have a flight of Vanilla Ice Creams.



I was still skeptical at first, was this just another Molly Moons, or was this place going to set itself apart?

Besides Basil, they offered other fun flavors like A tale of Twin Teas, Butter Beer, and Chai Tea (and so many more...). I had to try the chocolate, or "The Dark Side". I hope they are Star wars fans! It touts house made chocolate cookies and chocolate ganache! I find that most places I have a chocolate flavored ice cream it tastes like a fudgesicle, which doesn't taste like chocolate to me.

No, that tastes like coco powder, water and sugar. Why do I want that? No, I want real chocolate in my chocolate ice cream. This was one of the flavors I had to order! 



Now for the second flavor. I tried Sweet Alchemy's Monkey Berry Bash. It had Caramelized Bananas, strawberry and coconut base. It was like taking a hit off some genetically modified drug xxx that was only created to be addictive. One more mind blowing moment...was when I checked the fine print..It was vegan and dairy free. Wait, what, nothing vegan is good right? Well I have been put in my place, that coconut is fantastic. Honestly, if I didn't think it would clash with the "Dark Side" so much I would have ordered it. If you are a fan of chunky ice creams, you can't go wrong here. The little bits of caramelized bananas and Strawberry contrast the creamy coconut base. Thank you to whoever created this combination.

So instead, I decided to go with a classic combination, at least to me. I am sure it exists in the Flavor Bible as well. Yup, you guessed it, or maybe you didn't...

Basil. I get it, some of you only think of basil in its savory form. Paired with tomatoes, cheese, bread, oil, chicken and so on. Yet, that is only one side of this awesome herb. It really does play great with sweat flavors. Strawberries and basil is a classic. Even Molly Moons does a Basil Strawberry sorbet.



So, it really isn't strange. Then, if you consider chocolate and mint, basil isn't too far away.

This cone looks dull, maybe. But don't let it fool you. The basil flavor was so pure. It tasted like I had just walked into the local farmers market. Have you ever walked into a farmers market and seen that guy waving his basil around and just saturated yourself in the smell? Even though I ordered this on a dreary Seattle day, I was transported to summer. I could see fresh tomatoes ripening on the vine, I could smell the black berries and dry hay that hung in the air.

Now, before I tried the two in unison, I had to try the chocolate with a spoon.

I made sure to get both ice cream and a little bit of the house made chocolate cookies.

**Boom**, what train was I hit by? Look, I get it. I understand why they called it the dark side. They aren't Star War fans at all. This chocolate didn't just taste like chocolate. It tasted like dark roasted fresh cocoa beans.



There was almost a little bit of caramel flavor in the chocolate. I assume that was coming from the cookie itself.

This brought me back to one of my favorite flavors. The idea came from when I worked near Spur at Brian and Dana Toughs larger establishment called the Coterie room. They made a toasted chocolate ice cream. This flavor was mind blowing. It was so simple, such an obvious flavor.

When you toast the chocolate itself, you actually get that caramel flavor. Almost as if you had baked fresh chocolate chip cookies. I still remember the name of the Pastry Chef who made it "Matt". I wonder where Matt is. A Enough of that rabbit trail. That is the problem with food, I just reconnect so many dots of places I have worked and foods I have eaten. 


They offer the typical freshly made ice cream cones. They even offer some chocolate dipped cones. Personally, that is overkill. If it is your cup of tea though? Go for it, you only live once. Plus, the smell of fresh cones, well, I don't get sick of it.

Weirdly enough, their ice cream cone doesn't taste like other waffle cones I have had in the past. It had a much more cookie like texture rather than a crispy waffle or pancake type texture. I would describe it like a very thin biscuit. The way it crumbles is just so different. I still can't put my finger on it.

Sweet Alchemy is arguably, the best Ice Cream place I have been to in the Greater Seattle area. Now, I am still yet to try so many places. So I can only say that it is the best place I have been so far.

It actually excites me. I remember going to Dreyers and Baskin Robbins as a kid. Now, we have places like Molly Moons and Sweet Alchemy to save us from the corporate flavors. Don't get me wrong, at some point Dreyers and Baskin Robbins were the Molly Moons and Sweet Alchemy. However, if you look at the ingredients of both I am sure you will see the difference.

There is one CON to Sweet Alchemy. One irritation and maybe it just speaks to the current social standings of people in Seattle or maybe I am finally becoming that old person that complains about how things were cheaper in his day...



Similar to General Porpoise that charges 4$ per doughnut. Sweet Alchemy charges about 4$ for their smallest size. Now you do get two scoops for this cost. Also, it is probably a healthier serving size compared to Molly Moons. I could just need to change my mind set.

Price aside, you should splurge at least once here. Then you can decide if you want to go back. It would make a great place for a first date on a nice summer day after a walk around UW or Green lake.

Do you disagree with me? Are you a Molly Moons fan, maybe Full Tilt is your cup of tea? Let me know why? Or maybe just leave me your favorite flavors below.

As always, I found Sweet Alchemy by recommendation. I was serious about not even knowing it existed. If my friend hadn't told me it existed, I wouldn't have even gone. Please feel free the share the next place I should visit!


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Tags: Where is Seattle's Best Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Sweet Alchemy, Forget about Molly Moons, What is better than Molly Moons;Gelato, How do I make Good Ice Cream

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Cooking Blogs and Websites

Great Blogs! Better than this one!

 The online world is filled with thousands...maybe millions of food blogs, and websites. These blogs vary from how to blogs, to recipe blogs, chef blogs, reference blogs and so on. Their quality is all over the board. Some are reliable, some are merely trying to get traffic(not sure where this blog fits in). It can make it difficult when you are trying to research a new dish, or understand some technique that only 5 people in the world know.

That doesn't mean it is impossible to find good food blogs and websites.

 I know I had a lot of questions. How do you find the food blogs that can actually help you? How do you know which ones have recipes that are reliable? As a cook I was constantly looking through sites, books and every resource possible to learn about food. There are many great ones, but these are my favorite websites and blogs. They all do a wonderful job pouring new light into food and adding more information into the culinary field. They answer some of the most obscure questions about food, if you are willing to look and find it.

So without further ado, a list of my favorite food blogs and websites!

Modernist Cuisine  


 For those who haven't yet heard of Modernist Cusine(It also has a$500 price tag..). Here is a short background. Modernist Cuisine was a development kitchen started by a company called Intellectual Ventures. One of the co-founders is Nathan Myhrvold. He used to be the CTO of Microsoft and now owns a large portion of Intellectual Ventures.

Why is this important to chefs and cooks you may ask? In 2011 Intellectual ventures put out an in depth series of books called Modernist Cuisine that looks at food, cooking techniques, cooking equipment, etc on a very granule scale. They analyzed molecular structure, specific molecules, heat, custards, eggs, foams and 5 more books worth of information. These books are a combination of beautiful pictures, engineer like diagrams and descriptions and loads of scientific words and explanations. The series has some similar traits with Escoffier "A Guide to Modern Cooking". It is a collection of several chefs, scientist and writers work. There are years behind this book of research and cooking. Each of the books on its own are as thick as a college text book and there are 5 of them. Intellectual Ventures contributed a very big chunk of knowledge to the food industry. Some of the places I worked actually relied on some of the recipes. I worked places that used the book to make fancy version of Kraft singles with white chedder and black truffles, that recipe comes fromt he best burger recipe in Modernist. Still other places merely use it for inspiration and understanding food better!

Overall, Modernist is pretty amazing. There blog is awesome too! They keep you up to date with wha they are working on. Most recently, they have been keeping readers updated on their book "Modernist Bread". As of now, it is still on pre-order. The book will discuss concepts like, How to make the best bread, starters, what oven should you use to bake bread, yeast and so on. Similar to the previous modernist, this series also has about 5-6 books. I know I am speculating...but I am sure it will be amazing! If you have ever watched the Harvard food talks, you can see a lot of Intellectual Ventures ideas play through out. They have done some pretty amazing work.

Chef Steps

Have you ever wanted to cook restaurant quality dishes in your own home? Maybe, you want to use some of the modern techniques you saw at your favorite gastro pub. Chefsteps is a pretty amazing site that has artfully crafted demos and how-tos for both advanced and simple cooking techniques. They have made videos that are easy to follow and paired them with a modern website that makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

Not only do they demonstrate techniques. Chefsteps also does a great job at showing how to combine all those techniques into dishes to entertain guests. Often, these dishes really look like they could be served at a 5 star restaurant. Not only does Chefsteps demo good technique, they are great teachers. They show how to really start understanding food, flavors, techniques and how to combine them all together. From a cooks perspective, this is awesome. You should really check out the site!


I started my culinary career around the tail end of Alton Brown's career on Good Eats. The last show was around 2011 and I started cooking around 2009-2010 ish. He was one of the first people to really go in depth in food on TV. Sure there were amazing books like Harold Mcgee's On Food And Cooking and plenty of classic modulirized specialty books. However, there is nothing quite like visual aids. Alton Brown was amazing with his visuals and anecdotal explanations. Every one of his shows was a combination of comedy, education, and food. I think you could liken him to Bill Nye, in sense of food science(Yes, I get it, engineers think they are the greatest science, you guys can have the  title ).  Similar to Bill Nye, Alton Brown wanted to create a show that explored food and educated the populace of America (At that time, food shows were poor and limited). He challenged the norm.

If you aren't sure of who I am talking about, you might also know him as the commentator of Iron Chef America. With his knowledge of food, Alton makes a great News like pundit who comments on all the Chefs doings and ingredient choices. Whether the food is foreign or familiar, he always some odd fact to share and help the viewers at home learn.

His website is no different! He has a boat load of videos and other resources to help the home cook learn about food! Not just food though. Alton is famous for helping home cooks understand equipment, and is a little bit of a Macgyver. I have seen a show where he built a smoke out of a cardboard box and a small gel fire thing. My second favorite thing about Alton Brown, is his method of exposing the uselessness of unitaskers. Tools in the kitchen that only serve one purpose (besides a fire extinguisher, that only has one purpose...unless in a zombie apocalypse). If you don't know what the first reason is, it is because he does a great job making food science easy to understand.

Ideas In Food

Let's go back to 2004, back when the blogs were really taking off and the internet really began to take off(e.g. Facebook was started). A blog called Ideas in Food was started by Aki Kamozawa & H. Alexander Talbot. Their goal was to track their work in restaurant kitchens as they worked through dishes, books and so forth. It became a place for chefs to learn, gain insight and well, get some ideas about food! Ideas In Food is a great combination of recipes, failed and successful recipes, and just notes on preparing food better. Personally, I have mostly read the bookIdeas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work and I loved it. It is not the $500 modernist cuisine. However, it really does an amazing job analyzing recipes, ingredients, and techniques. If you just need a good hand book/notebook style blog. Ideas in Food is great! They have great pictures, great walk throughs and solid experience. They really try to teach cooks and chefs and help inspire both he home cook and culinary expert.

Nordic Food Lab 

When I worked at the Herbfarm. This was one of my favorite blogs to read. Not just because Nordic Food was in (is it still hip?).  Nope, but because they really went at food. Unlike all the other restaurants at the time, that were relying on Modernist Cuisine to be their inspiration and innovation source. This team of Chefs and scientist were actually researching old foods and techniques to develop new ideas! They came up with some crazy concepts.

Have you ever thought to use pig blood instead of egg whites in macrons? I haven't...until I read the Nordic Food blog. They might not have been the first person to try them...but it is where I ran into the idea. Their analysis of shared flavor compounds is spectacular! Not only do they do a great job discussing the subject of what foods share what compounds and possibly how that plays a role in flavors that work together. They also have great info-graphics. Being that I also work int he realm of data science and data analytics, I was very please with their visualizations. I don't think you see that level of description in some top notch data science consulting companies. They really have a group of story tellers over at the Nordic Food Lab. They can really pour out a lot of science and food in one quick post. The Food Lab even has a boat where they conduct some of their experience. One example is making sour kraut 30 meters below sea level!

Seattle Food Geek


Scott Heimendinger's blog is probably the first blog I ran into as a Chef. Scott himself has a very interesting career path. He went from the software field, to being (in his own words) a terrible food blogger, then to amazing food blogger and currently is the technical director at Modernist Cuisine. You will notice that I have several Modernist Cuisine mentions here. That really is an accident. I didn't try to make a post that supported Modernist..I guess the blogs I follow have a lot of ties to Modernist.

Taking Modernist out of the picture. Scott Heimendinger's blog, Seattle Food Geek is a combination of videos, blog posts, and even a DIY immersion circulator walk through. It isn't just food, he has some talks that gives at various conferences as well. So whether you are looking for inspiration, or food. Seattle Food Geek supplies both! It is a great blog...maybe I am just partial because it is the first blog I started following.

Cooks Illustrated

Cooks Illustrated is an all around amazing resource. Whether you are online, or reading their magazine. I think they were the first set of magazines that did recipes well and maybe the only. Sure, you could buy Food and Wine, but the recipes share more similarities with newspaper recipes scraped together to meet some quota of space vs. real, tested, and true recipes. On top of that, they really do a great job of going into detail about food and how it works. Another pattern you might have noticed about me. I love it when blogs go in depth about anything. You can't just understand the top level of food. You have to immerse yourself it in, dig deeply into it.

All of the blogs and websites above do a great job of getting into food. They really get into the weeds. They offer a beautiful amount of insight and inspiration. Check it out and feel free to share you favorite blogs below!

Side note:

On top of these awesome food websites, I would also recommend looking up the Harvard Food Talks! Those don't have a site, but they are all on Youtube, and they are great. They usually have about 15 minutes of science and 45 minutes of food demos that involve the science earlier explained. They are filled with amazing speakers, food concepts and new dish ideas!

All of the links to products are Amazon Affiliate links. I would like to be candid that I do receive a percentage of the purchase price. That being said, all the products I reference I have either used or own. I want to help people looking for products anyway! I don’t want people buying things that won’t benefit them.
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Tags: Best Food Blogs, Blogs, How to write a food blog, Food, Chef life, Chefs, Ideas in Food, Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Bread; chef steps

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ice Cream Makers

Are you looking for an Ice Cream Maker?

**I can't guarantee Amazon won't change the prices, I am not fancy enough to automate that stuff**


Look, don't lie. You probably like some form of frozen dessert. On a hot day, whether it be dairy based or not. Of course, if you live in Seattle, you might be inclined to get ice cream when it is 40 degrees and raining. Places like Sweet Alchemy would go out of business if we weren't willing to break some norms up here.


Gelato and Ice Cream are some of my favorite desserts to make! Making your own flavors. Coming up with your own ideas like toasted chocolate, cardamom, smoked bourbon (if you want ideas, I have more than a few) o.O. I really loved cooking the custard, tasting it and making sure there was plenty of salt. Yeah, salt in the ice cream. Important note!


It really isn't very hard to make ice cream base! Plus, if you have ever gone to the store, and not seen a flavor you think might taste good. Guess what, you can make it! So why not make a fun project on a sunny day!


The problem of course is how do you take a creamy liquid base and freeze it?

Ice cream machines vary anywhere from a 50$ Cuisine art standard freeze core to a 5,500$ Paco Jet. With such vastly varying prices, it can be a little confusing as an end-user to what the quality of the product will be after the work is said and done.

Now I have used all sorts of Ice Cream machines. Classic gelato machines, frozen cores, paco jets and a few others. Each of these had their own benefits and flaws. Sometimes it just happened to be price, other times final product. Now if you have never made ice cream before, perhaps it would not be wise to buy the 5000$ dollar paco jet. Don't get me wrong, I love it. It may just be better to start out with 200$ cuisineart first.

 Hey, then when you do a pop up you won't have to be like me and being forced to use dry ice instead of a good ice cream maker to make Black Sesame Gelato.(Actually, that works pretty well!)

Buried Black Sesame Gelato made using Dry Ice

 Ice Cream Makers

1. Cuisineart ICE 50-70$

Let's start with one of the cheapest options. There are still cheaper, but this ice cream maker is around 50$ and does alright. It is the standard Cuisine Art ICE. I personally bought this one when I was about 18. It requires you freeze the core over night before spinning and hold about 1-1.5 quarts of ice cream.

It doesn't do a very good job with gelato based products. Gelato should be made almost entirely of milk, vs. ice cream which often is half cream and half milk or some combination of the two. The lower fat content requires a lower freezing temperature for a longer period of time in order to avoid the formation of ice crystals. However, the Cuisine art freeze too fast per rotation. The cheap plastic blades of the cuisine art can't sheer the ice crystals. So if you are making a lower fat content product, it is obvious. However, if you are making peanut butter, Nutella, or olive oil gelato. It works great! I actually remember being in Culinary School and using this for my final product showing. I had to make enough for the whole school and there weren't enough Ice cream makers in the school. So I had to add in this puppy. Luckily, I had used it before, so I only used this for my Nutella and Peanut butter ice creams. Of course, the product came out amazing.


2.Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome-90-120$


 I didn't want this to feel like a Cuisine Art commercial, but they are often the cheaper options..... Similar to the previous Cuisine Ice cream maker. This one relies on a frozen core. These can be pains. So the reduced price tag comes with a lot of extra work. However, this model is better at handling lower fat products like gelato. It has a better blade and a stronger spin. Really, those are the best added features. Personally, I would buy the Gourmia GSI if I had to choose again. If you really just want to do this once, and then never plan to use this tool again. Then pick either of the cuisine arts. It touts an LCD display. I don't really know why. It really doesn't add that much to the user experience. A mechanical timer works just as well. I guess the LCD was break through technology for them.

  3. Gourmia GSI-400 Sleek and Serve 200$-300$


I did say this was not a list of Ice Cream makers under 100$. In fact most of these ice cream makers will be more than 200$. The best ones sadly are :(. Now if you are like most people and can't afford these. Check out the previous recommendations. Most of these ice cream makers will be 200$ or more and often time, you will only find them in restaurants. This product is the first product with an actual compressor. This means it cools on its own. Unlike the Cuisine Arts that require a frozen core. It can be a little bit of a pain to clean. Any of the one piece cleaners have their difficulties because you can't really separate the pieces easily. Nevertheless, I love not having to freeze the core. Then you can easily do multiple batches. If you forget to freeze the core, no problem. This puppy just needs to spin. It can be noisy, because of the compressor. It is a small price to pay for the convenience




3.Lello Musso Pola Dessert Maker 900-1200$


Alright, now we are starting to play with some real power tools. This beauty can spin you a batch of Ice cream pretty quick. It doesn't have a cheap plastic blade, nope, it has a rotating metal blade that really helps shear through any of the ice crystal formation. Now, this puppy doesn't come cheap. It usually is well over 1000$ for an ice cream machine. However, it requires no frozen core and is a heavy duty champ. I used it a lot when I needed to spin a a separate batch. Typically, most of my gelato and ice cream was done in a Paco Jet, which is the next option.This could make a chocolate sorbet in about 7 minutes. It is very heavy though. So make sure you know where you want to put it. It does cause it to be difficult to clean. However, I have never seen this machine break. So if you don't mind it's heavy duty nature. This is a great ice cream machine.

4.Paco Jet


Finally, I would say, most chef's personal favorite, as long as they don't have to pay for it. A paco jet is amazing. Instead of spinning liquid base, you freeze the base in canisters. This step does take longer. However, it offers the advantage of being able to spin what you need, when you need it. The way a Paco Jet works is it has a very solid metal blade that it spins at XXX rpm and sheers all the ice crystals. At the same time, it is aerating the gelato or ice cream. To make it even better, you can decide how far you want the blade to go. So if you only want to spin half of your tube and leave the other half for later. Well, that is an option. If you want to spin the whole thing, go for it. Trust me, fresh ice cream is just better. So if you are border line spinning to order. Your customers are going to get their ice cream at the best it could be! The downside, a 4-5K price tag.

One final note, this is much easier to clean compare to any of the ones above. There are two parts to cleaning it. You need to clean the canisters, which can go through the dish washer. You also need to clean the actual machine. For that, you have a special insert. You just put in the insert with some water and cleaning solution(not soap). Spin it, dry, and done. Some of the ice cream makers above require you to tip the machine over, or put a frozen canister into the sink and try washing it. Way harder.


5. Dry Ice or Liquid Nitro


For this last version. You should be careful and maybe even have an expert. The last thing you want is frost bite. If you want to learn about using these products you can email me or watch the video below! I would say use a slowly spinning kitchen aid, over a whisk. Again, Safety first. I am not responsible if you freeze off your thumb :).

These were just my recommendations for good ice cream makers. I am sure some of you think differently. Please feel free to share what you prefer. Maybe your favorite ice cream to make?

Now with your new ice cream maker. You will need a solid recipe. Check out the Gelato base in the Black Sesame Gelato recipe. You can use it to make any flavor you like. If you need help mixing in other flavors, feel free to ask!

Thank you for reading. I am always trying to find good, and reliable new products. So feel free to send me your recommendation. Also, if you have your favorite restaurants, send those too! Have a great day.

All of the links to products are Amazon Affiliate links. I would like to be candid that I do receive a percentage of the purchase price. That being said, all the products I reference I have either used or own. I want to help people looking for products anyway! I don’t want people buying things that won’t benefit them.

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Tags: What Ice Cream Maker Should I buy, Ice Cream Machines, Great Ice Cream Machines, Gelato Recipes, Dry Ice, Top Chef Knives 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

13 Things Anthony Bourdain has a Distaste For

13 Things Anthony Bourdain has a Distaste For

Anthony Bourdain could be likened to the Simon Cowell of food. He always seems to have a slightly cynical point of view on the modern food industry but loves the real hidden treasures. For him, that doesn't always require a 500$ propped up chef tasting menu in New York.


I only found a few top "X" lists of things that Anthony Bourdain Hates. So I decided to create a list of things Anthony Bourdain either hates or simply has distaste for.  If there isn't a video or a picture, there is a link to the article with the said distaste..because everything on the internet is true..right???

1. Hipsters

That is right Seattle...he dislikes you and your craft beers, your man buns and your urban outfitters sweater!


2. Vegetarians 


Working in restaurants, vegetarians and vegans can truly be difficult. I totally get where Bourdain is coming from. I do think they are people too, but sometimes I feel sad when I know the seared scallop would taste better than the roasted daikon or celeriac round.


3. Guy Fieri


Now this one goes back and forth. I have found articles that state there is no beef and others that fire up an inferno of mocking words from Bourdain towards the hedgehog hair-styled celebrity chef. You would think Bourdain would have mercy after Guy Fieri's NY Times Review grilled into Fieri's American Kitchen.



4.Gluten Free Diets

Oh dear, Gluten free diets can be the worst. I used to have to do a lot of the baking at one of the places I worked. Often times, I had to make gluten free options. They tasted awful. I really just feel bad for people on gluten free diets




5.James Beard Awards

This is a great article. I remember reading this years ago and wondering how much of it was true!



 6. Dumb Craft Beer

Umm, I mean, apparently he really, really dislikes all things hipster!


7.Truffle Oil


I think most Chefs hate truffle oil...however, somehow..our customers love it. I think it would be best used to help lube the engine of my Toyota.


8.Kobe Sliders


 There is a great story at the Herbfarm. We recall one night where we had a customer come in. Look at the tasting menu. Then he asked if he could just have a plate of burgers...wait what???





10. Ketchup on a Hot dog


I am that guy that likes ketchup on a hotdog..probably because I have never had a good hotdog! I mean I am from Seattle, I guess we have "Japan Dogs"?


11. The Food Network


  "It is a measure of how seriously crack-brained, rapacious and evil the Deep Thinkers at Food Network must be that I find myself–yet again–in deep sympathy with their stable of stars." -Anthony Bourdain


12. A good other handful of Celebrity Chefs





13. Not so much Hate, just plain Fighting words!


This is a great list of times Anthony Bourdain has just said something fiery! It is a great timeline. Check it out.


So this is a little bit different than most of my posts. Most of them try to focus on advice for cooks and recommendations of restaurants. So I hope you enjoy a quick detour.


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Tags: Top Things Anthony Bourdain Hates