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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Friday, June 30, 2017

EGOS OF CHEFS CAN SPELL DISASTER

Today as I sit in the THE CALIFORNIA HOTEL & CASINO cooling off in my room. I just wanted to share some thoughts on the food service industry, and (the chef), why? I'll tell you why, how many times have you gone out to eat at a restaurant that markets (the chef), he may have been on a food show, or hailed by an airline magazine, and your social media friends are all over this (chef). OK let's go to (whatever name the restaurant is), and have a go at it shall we?

Now before I rant like an old geezer hear me out. Media sensationalism preys on the less informed. CNN rants on Trump's presidency, "He's a bigot!" But Fox News will counter, "He is making America great again!" Well, have you ever met Trump? You get my point. My point is we all have our own opinions, however the social media and mainstream media kind of plugs all this crap into our heads, and if we are not careful we will sound exactly like them without voicing our own opinions.

Take sports, my team is the L. A. Dodgers, but I really don't have much time following every at bat, every foul ball, every strikeout the players rack up. All I'm concerned about is the wins, "Are we heading towards the World Series?" OK let's talk about the chef. Until I taste his stuff, I can't really say he or she is good for me. After all it is I that will be eating the food, and I really don't care what you think of the dish. Let me offer my opinion. But with the standards and brain washing going on these days, if I don't vote yes on a dish like the rest of the Facebook crowd, "Hey there must be something wrong with Ron, what is his trip man!" No, if I don't like the way some chef made the béarnaise sauce that he smothered over a thick sirloin, I'll be the first to say, "Maybe next time he should really put that sauce in a ramekin because it didn't jive with that steak. I'd be better off just with the salt and pepper to be honest."

Here's the thing I wish chefs would do, be more humble. OK I get it, they are trained, and we have to say, "Oh well we need to give him or her a shot tonight, let's see if it's really that good." So let's say the chef has a five course going on. And the first is an appetizer that's deep fried, like a Filipino lumpia. But the chef goes overboard and claims, "I have a filling that consists of ground pork, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, peanuts, olives, with a mint sauce inside, with some dried shrimp, and it will be topped off with a sauce made of reduced red wine with duck intestines." Sounds interesting, but also sounds like there's too many people at this party don't you think? So when the lumpia comes to table, it looks interesting. You take a bite, and it's not bad, you don't vomit it out, you eat the whole plate, but interesting. It's good, but- you won't order that again. You'll stick to your simple good lumpia your mom makes or the ones you get at your local Filipino market. It was interesting, not bad, but you won't bother paying $25 dollars for that, because at chef's place if you ordered that by itself it would be $25.

And the other four dishes were interesting, again you ate it all but will not bother seeking that out again to pay for it. Don't get me wrong guys, I believe chefs need to be creative, but I'm over it. Call me a grouchy old geezer that's OK. But if I go out, I really hate sitting down and a waiter will go, "The chef traveled to Malaysia, and he has a Malaysian inspired sauce that he tops over the prime rib." I'll be the fist to cut this guy off and tell him no need for that, if he wants just put his art work in a ramekin thank you.

As far as steaks, beef, or even fish or chicken, all of those proteins have a flavor when you cook them, the juices render out, the fats drip, the skin gets crispy, there is flavor, there is an aroma. And really, that's the beautiful side of proteins, it is unique. Salt and pepper can enhance it, maybe wine and butter and a few chopped herbs. But when chef goes overboard with sauces, drizzles and that. Too much sometimes.

Or take for example a good vanilla ice cream is ruined when chef takes a strawberry compote and adds too much stuff to it, you can't taste the strawberries, and then for the love of Jesus, smothers the vanilla ice cream and you can't even taste that!

OK I gotta go now. Have a nice day as this old geezer goes for a walk in 100 plus degrees heat.

© 2017