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Ethnic foods you're supposed to like (but hate) - Page 18

post #256 of 287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
Sfield, name some places where you eaten for less $20. The places you named are to put it plainly "damn expensive". These places are for most people a verrrrrry special occasion place at best or at worst, once in a lifetime place. I don't think the average person would frequent these places on a regular basis because of the $$$$ price tag.

Also, let everyone know on a given ordinary day, what you eat? Also name a junk food that you crave!

On ordinary days I eat mostly meditarranean food. I love something simple like some good hummus and baba ganouj and tabouleh. I tend to eat Greek food often as well.

Obviously I cook for myself a lot of the time, and it's quite possible to eat for under $20. I'm health conscious so I in fact prefer somewhat lighter cooking, which is thankfully a growing trend now in haute cuisine. Most of my proteins consist of lean beef, bison, turkey, chicken, leaner pork etc... I like clean flavors, well balanced... I've posted here several times when people have asked how to create good, healthy food for not much money. I don't think I spend more than $20 per person when I cook unless I get some Wagyu from Loebls or something.

I mention those restaurants because I worked in one of them and several like them, some as a sous chef. I am not saying nor have I ever said that people need or should eat like that every day. For anyone eating in a place like that is a special occasion and in fact you'd spoil yourself in several ways by eating there every day. I don't know of anyone who eats at places like this literally all the time. Also, every great chef I know usually comes from a family where there was a great cook, and their favorite food is a comfort food their mom makes.

My great comfort foods would be eggs benedict, a chicken curry like my auntie makes or a nice bruschetta which really anyone could make.

VKK - what you're saying isn't news to anyone. Do you know how a typical french kitchen is structured? The people you are refering to are probably the commis chefs, and they are tasked with doing a lot of bitch work and perfect repetition of an ideal. I don't know who is saying that these people are great artists? Who are you saying this to? Just remember that every single Robuchon or Blumenthal or Adria started as a commis, but not every commis will become like them. Creative decisions are left up to the chef de cuisine or exec chef. I thought this was common knowledge?
post #257 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
Sfield, name some places where you eaten for less $20. The places you named are to put it plainly "damn expensive". These places are for most people a verrrrrry special occasion place at best or at worst, once in a lifetime place. I don't think the average person would frequent these places on a regular basis because of the $$$$ price tag. Also, let everyone know on a given ordinary day, what you eat? Also name a junk food that you crave!
I don't understand this introspective projecting. People don't need to defend themselves against accusations of snobbery. It's not like foods require truffles and foie gras top be delicious -- a simple, well-made omelette costs a whopping 30 cents and can be had every day. People that rely on price or reputation as determinents of quality do not understand the quality they're seeking to begin with. In short, the taste is lost on them. People that don't set standards for themselves or others generally stoop to the lowest level at all possible opportunities let alone at times of weakness. That's why America pantries are filled with shit like blueberry muffin mix, waffle mix, biscuit mix, Shake and Bake, croutons, liquid pancakes and other garbage and often times devoid of the five or so ingredients common among them. Breakfast is Folgers and Eggo's, lunch is at the food court, dinner out of a box and frozen steamer bag and all of a sudden Applebee's becomes some kind of special night. Believe it or not, some people don't eat 'junk food'. It's junk -- why should someone crave something they already know is utter crap? Asking SField those questions seems to me like you're projecting your own habits onto him -- that is, you're hoping he becomes more agreeable with your own tastes. A better method would be to raise your own taste, appreciation, and ultimately satisfaction. (My omelette's worth.)
post #258 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
On this continent; Bernardin, Alinea, Trotter's, Jean-Jorges, Essex House when it existed...

So do you think that you'd never find something subpar at one of those places? Ok maybe not subpar but something that utterly fails to impress or delight.
post #259 of 287
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Originally Posted by imatlas View Post

What I truly dislike are the "Church of Food" types of places like those you have listed here. It's the obsessing that gets to me - chefs and food critics obsessed with perfect technique, foodies obsessed with going to the "must-go" places. I find it all both baffling and boring.

Do I have my own obsessions? Of course. Do others find my obsessions baffling and/or dull? Of course.


That's exactly what I'm saying. For me this stuff matters. But at the same time, I don't care nearly as much about drape and buttons and canvassing as many here do, nor do I care about hi-fi like a lot of people do. It looks ridiculous to everyone but those who care about it. For most people a Boss wave radio or an I-home is perfectly good, and they'd get violently frustrated with anyone who says that those things are shit. I never said at any point that people must agree with me. I state my opinions strongly and people state theirs strongly back.
post #260 of 287
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Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
So do you think that you'd never find something subpar at one of those places? Ok maybe not subpar but something that utterly fails to impress or delight.

O my god that's the most dissapointing thing ever. When you are paying several hundred dollars for a meal it is extremely off putting when you get something bad. On my last visit to Alinea I had some rubbery scallops. I do remember there being consistency problems at Essex house, and if you ever visit London Grill in New York you might wonder on a bad service how the fuck that is Gordon Ramsay's restaurant.

I have never, or will never say that paying a lot for food will guarantee a good experience. I don't understand where someone would get that from my argument. I have had some really big let downs at places I was excited to eat at and ended up paying a whole lot for a lot of nothing.
post #261 of 287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post
I don't understand this introspective projecting. People don't need to defend themselves against accusations of snobbery. It's not like foods require truffles and foie gras top be delicious -- a simple, well-made omelette costs a whopping 30 cents and can be had every day.

Actually one of the great tests of any chef is how well they can cook an egg. Some of the biggest technical challenges are the things that are quite simple.

I was also saying to Kwilk how I cannot stand chefs, some of them my friends, and their obsession with putting truffles (and even worse, truffle 'essence') on fucking well everything. Foie has now become some ubiquitous and overused that it is maddening... the same with Wagyu and scallops.

In general I don't really like junk food. I do like a few of those really greasy fries you'd find at a fair ground, and a really good chicken wing can taste great. Unfortunately most of the time it just tastes like shit and makes you feel terrible afterwards. If I want fast food I'm likely to eat something middle eastern. I don't like food that's been engineered. I'm not even the biggest fan of "molecular gastronomy". I do love eating at Fat Duck or Alinea or Gagnaire, but honestly this isn't the type of food I cook, and it isn't always my favorite. I like simpler fare by people like Ripert, Ramsay, Robuchon and Ducasse (although the sauces get quite involved).
post #262 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Actually one of the great tests of any chef is how well they can cook an egg. Some of the biggest technical challenges are the things that are quite simple.
Yep, and most of them are French emulsions. My pet peeve is American restaurants fucking up pasta. If a cook can't make pasta correctly, he should've never gotten past the burger station at McDonald's. As for truffles: nine times out of ten I feel like I'm being bought whenever I have them.
post #263 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post
Yep, and most of them are French emulsions.

My pet peeve is American restaurants fucking up pasta. If a cook can't make pasta correctly, he should've never gotten past the burger station at McDonald's.

As for truffles: nine times out of ten I feel like I'm being bought whenever I have them.

You don't know what you are talking about. Ever. You probably haven't spent enough time outside of a suburb to know what a good truffle tastes like. Now go and babble on about your Italian relatives, and your in depth knowledge of international cuisine attempting to pepper your inanity, and insanity, with delicious morsels of misused foreign words, putz.
post #264 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
VKK - what you're saying isn't news to anyone. Do you know how a typical french kitchen is structured? The people you are refering to are probably the commis chefs, and they are tasked with doing a lot of bitch work and perfect repetition of an ideal. I don't know who is saying that these people are great artists? Who are you saying this to? Just remember that every single Robuchon or Blumenthal or Adria started as a commis, but not every commis will become like them. Creative decisions are left up to the chef de cuisine or exec chef. I thought this was common knowledge?

I'm familiar with the brigade system thanks

As I said in my post, it was partially general commentary. I find that many chefs hold themselves up as authorities on food when in reality there are many food enthusiasts who probably know more about food than they do. This does not only apply at the commis level.

K
post #265 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

Asking SField those questions seems to me like you're projecting your own habits onto him -- that is, you're hoping he becomes more agreeable with your own tastes. A better method would be to raise your own taste, appreciation, and ultimately satisfaction.

(My omelette's worth.)


My taste is not as high as SField but I have a deep appreciation for food. I rarely go out to eat when I do, it's gonna be a good restaurant. At home, I tend to cook light and appreciate clean and undoctored flavors. Hence my love for steaming and using the oven. Or a nice tomato salad in the summer with just some tomatos, slices of red onion and a light dressing.... Simple but absolutely delicious. In the morning.... over easy eggs and a piece of bread to mop up the yolk... comfort food at it's simplest and best. Now, I mean I don't buy all organic but do so as often as I can. I also dunno anyone that doesn't have a craving for something that is not the healthiest. There is nothing like properly prepared french fries. Say I make french fries which is rare but I do. I use peanut oil which is not only the best but the peanut oil is a very healthy oil. A person has to live a little.

This is not projecting..... SField mentioned those restaurants that are top of the top. First of all, those are not restaurants most people would frequent often so I wanted to know on any given day, what someone that talks so highly of food would eat.
post #266 of 287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VKK3450 View Post
I’m familiar with the brigade system thanks

As I said in my post, it was partially general commentary. I find that many chefs hold themselves up as authorities on food when in reality there are many food enthusiasts who probably know more about food than they do. This does not only apply at the commis level.

K

Again, depends on the chef and on the enthusiast. There are a lot of critics who probably can't cook that well who are enormously knowledgeable. I definitely think Jeffrey Steingardten is an example of someone who knows an awful lot. However I also know a lot of chefs who do know a lot as well, so if this is some kind of veiled insult in which you're saying that I or maybe some of my colleagues are clueless about food, and you with your food magazine subscriptions know something we don't, then think what you want but I think you'd mistake a lot of good, talented chefs with that kind of belief. Believe it or not, most good cooks really love food and do all that they can to find out more about it. Just like any lawyer or engineer or teacher can be totally passionate about what they do, or conversely, just do it for a paycheque... but, it seems like you're going down the road of the similar "O, all the people I know who went to Ivy leagues are stupid, whereas my most successful friends went to community college".
post #267 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Again, depends on the chef and on the enthusiast. There are a lot of critics who probably can't cook that well who are enormously knowledgeable. I definitely think Jeffrey Steingardten is an example of someone who knows an awful lot. However I also know a lot of chefs who do know a lot as well, so if this is some kind of veiled insult in which you're saying that I or maybe some of my colleagues are clueless about food, and you with your food magazine subscriptions know something we don't, then think what you want but I think you'd mistake a lot of good, talented chefs with that kind of belief. Believe it or not, most good cooks really love food and do all that they can to find out more about it. Just like any lawyer or engineer or teacher can be totally passionate about what they do, or conversely, just do it for a paycheque... but, it seems like you're going down the road of the similar "O, all the people I know who went to Ivy leagues are stupid, whereas my most successful friends went to community college".

Read into it what you will. You are putting some words in my mouth there though.

I'm not an enthusiast, and I’ve never said that I know a lot (or anything) about food. I have done my bit in the industry though.

I also don’t discount good chefs, but there is a lot of noise out there...

K
post #268 of 287
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VKK3450 View Post
Read into it what you will. You are putting some words in my mouth there though.

I'm not an enthusiast, and I've never said that I know a lot (or anything) about food. I have done my bit in the industry though.

I also don't discount good chefs, but there is a lot of noise out there...

K

It's curious that the real adulation does in fact come from writers and critics who do know a lot. I mean, I'm not the idiot who made Wolfgang Puck famous. It isn't the fault of a great chef that he receives more attention that he probably deserves, and as a reaction to that on the part of the layman, he is now derided because some truly underserving chefs are deemed to be shit.

I'm not reading anything into your comment, but I'm just detecting the same kind of bit that often happens on this forum whenever there is something to do with high achievement and pedigree (although, this is curiously absent when just about everyone here discusses clothes. Hugo Boss and Armani are terrible. There are established temples here, but woah woah woah, if you try to apply that same philosophy to any other area it's immediately derided as elitism and an emperor with no clothes paradigm)...
post #269 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
It's curious that the real adulation does in fact come from writers and critics who do know a lot. I mean, I'm not the idiot who made Wolfgang Puck famous. It isn't the fault of a great chef that he receives more attention that he probably deserves, and as a reaction to that on the part of the layman, he is now derided because some truly underserving chefs are deemed to be shit.

I'm not reading anything into your comment, but I'm just detecting the same kind of bit that often happens on this forum whenever there is something to do with high achievement and pedigree (although, this is curiously absent when just about everyone here discusses clothes. Hugo Boss and Armani are terrible. There are established temples here, but woah woah woah, if you try to apply that same philosophy to any other area it's immediately derided as elitism and an emperor with no clothes paradigm)...

I'm hardly one to downplay high achievement and pedigree, and I've made that clear on this board. You are barking up the wrong tree there.

I also don't deny / begrudge popular chefs their success. Not sure where you picked that up from.

K
post #270 of 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post
I never realized how much I missed SField until now. As a side note, what's with the Chinese cuisine apologists? 'My step-father is Chinese and I can't even make what he makes so that means Chinese food is amazing' was
Uh, no I never said that. I was referring specifically to my old thought that Chinese food was just stuff thrown together which was debunked a) when I visited China, and b) when I got down to cooking it myself with aid from the step-father and realizing that everything needed to be diced just so. It was specifically in response to a remark about knife skills being non existent. That was just one note among many that I made wrt to SField's post. Also, SField, I have no problem with people not liking something when it's simply a matter of personal preferences based in reality. I don't like the taste of dill and and I don't like snow peas. If someone lambasted me for being some kind of idiot for these personal preferences, well, I mean it'd be pretty silly. My entire point in all the posts was re: your statement that 99% of Chinese food is slop in oil with no regard paid to ingredients and technique and the other 1% that is tolerable was prepared by French-trained chefs--well that is just a) a totally insular, condescending statement, and b) patently false. I mean I can't argue for it if you're talking about Chinese food cooked in North America (and in all my posts I made note of my distaste of North American Chinese food), but Chinese food in China is another matter as exemplified by that sampling of photos from all ends of the spectrum. And then to further patronize me and assume I am some kind of ignorant fool with a horrible palate? Yeah, sorry, not going to stand for it. Anyway, your last post was much better explained... and further if your top restaurant choices are those extremely high end, and as another poster remarked 'church of food' places listed, then yeah, I can see where 99% of Chinese food you've had would disappoint. That is just not the style of Chinese cooking as it has evolved though I'm sure as everything moves to that haute end of the spectrum, we will see such places pop up in Asia. Still, I contend your original statement as being totally disingenuous.
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