I welcome sous chef Sean Munshaw to discuss Thanksgiving tips, the launch of our fine dining concept "Pips Pass," and industry talk in general. Sean has been working with me for a little over a year and a half, and has been an integral player in our culinary program's growth.
Paul Lebeau travels around the world, studying and spreading the gospel of freshly milled grains. He joins us on this episode to discuss what top chefs and bakers around the world are doing with freshly milled grains.
You can call the show and leave a voicemail: 775-204-8389
In this episode, more listener questions and voicemails answered. Some sample questions include:
Crispy Skin question from Philip
"OK, it’s time to squash this once and for all one way or the other. The question is: ‘Does salt draw out moisture from a protein product’? I always hear people saying to rub salt on the skin of a protein product to draw out moisture in order to crisp up the skin. The most recent example was yesterday when I watched a video of a chef cooking pork belly. The skin on pork was quite thick and I began to wonder how exactly the salt can draw out moisture from within the skin. I could see how it would absorb moisture that was already on the surface because the salt would be making contact with it but how could it be possible to draw moisture from within the skin? Is this just a myth (which is widely believed even by some of the best chefs in the world) or is there some truth to is. Unless the salt is acting like some kind of magnet on the water and pulling it out of the skin I really can’t see how it could work. Are there any science food geeks that can explain exactly how the salt works please? Also, I would love to hear your opinion on this Chef Jacob, Thanks"
Creative Flavors from Vicky
"i’d like to know how chefs come up with (especially unusual/modern) flavour combinations… like, i’d never have thought of combining chilies and chocolate, wouldn’t ever even imagine those would go together, if i hadn’t tried chocolate bar with chilies. or, like, the dishes in fancy restaurants (e.g. fat duck, noma) or on tv cooking competition shows (e.g. uk master chef) have like 19 thousand elements (like 5 dots of whatever reduction and half a teaspoon of whatever foam)… how the hell do they come up with the idea of putting all those seemingly unrelated things on the same plate?
My question to you:
in the video i watched, you mentioned that almost all dishes need a bit of acid. and when i think about all the recipes i’ve seen/read, it’s true that a lot of them call for just a tad of vinegar or lemon juice, in such a small amount that one wouldn’t actually taste it when eating the finished product. it’s something i’ve never thought of doing. what does a tiny amount of acid do to the overall taste of a dish? why is it important? what sort of dishes wouldn’t need acid and what sort of dishes benefit the most from it (besides obviously sour tasting dishes)?"
We also answer voicemail questions from Eric, Robert, Andrew, Juan, Shmilie, Leslie & Melva. Thanks to everyone for calling in.
I'm back with two in-depth questions regarding the F-STEP Curriculum to answer.
The first one from Dave:
"I’ve been through your book, and I love the idea that I might be able to learn to cook without using recipes, something I hate doing and something that stresses me out in the kitchen. I had already decided that recipes don’t work for me, and I realized I am still missing steps, but I had only added the prep stage to my process, not the F-STEP steps, so your book has expanded my thinking, which is good.
However, everything I’ve read is all theory and as you know, its not possible to learn anything from just theory. I am wondering why there are no practical examples, or run-throughs to demonstrate how the entire process works in stages, and in particular how your worksheet is supposed to function. It looks like something you would give your in-class students along with an explanation, you’ve included it in your book, but I couldn’t find the explanation.
Is this some sort of homework? Do I have to figure this out for myself? It’s like my old math teacher telling me there is a great formula to calculate something, but then not showing me how it works using real numbers.
It would be good to have some real examples of these “childhood” favorites, and other popular dishes, what their flavor profiles are and then run them through your F-STEP stages of technique, execution etc…, following your worksheet, to show how they are completed, the whole process beginning to end but in practical demo mode.
To be honest I’m slightly disappointed and not sure what to do next. I can see its the answer to my cooking problems, but how do I implement it?
By the way, I understand that I am not in your normal group of people who already love cooking and are looking for a different approach. I hate cooking, I think recipes are the most illogical thing ever invented, which is why I am looking for an alternative. There are many people like me, but all my friends who love cooking, and love reading recipe books don’t understand the problem, so as a professional chef I might be a new breed you’ve yet to meet. To let you know how much research and thinking I’ve done, I am halfway through building an AI driven voice chatbot to talk to me, as a guide, step by step as I am cooking. I can see that I have missed some vital steps as I mentioned before. So one of the reasons I would like to understand your worksheet better, is because I am wondering if I could include the theme of it in my chatbot, and make the process more complete. Let me know if you are interested, because right now it is a personal project, but who knows. I am a professional chatbot developer, so this is not a hobby :-)"
Second question is from Cher:
"I've now watched and read the sections of flavour + sauces. I have question regarding to how it might improve a sauce I make frequently- it's a lentil tomato sauce. In my opinion it's a reduction type sauce, according to your description of modern sauces.