Kitchen & Housewares

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Real You

The Real You

Some say that we are like onions and that with time we pull back the layers to get to the real you. But with about fifty different varieties of onions which are we before we begin to peel back the layers? Onions very pungent vegetables in any variety and if you are a chef like myself, with the proper heat (tribulation) we become sweet. Funny, we sweat to become sweet so I guess in some ways we are like the onion but again we have:

Viladia - It is an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown.

- Yellow onions are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. The red onion, with its wonderful color, is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and char-broiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic mexican cuisine, they have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautéed.

Hawaiian - are a sweet and delicious variety of onion. Their taste is famous and is popular to use as flavoring snack foods. Some love the mild taste of the onions so much they can eat them raw like an apple.

Red - These onions tend to be medium to large in size and have a mild to sweet flavor. They are often consumed raw, grilled or lightly cooked with other foods, or added as color to salads.

Shallot - are much favored by chefs because of their firm texture and sweet, aromatic, yet pungent, flavor. a relative of the onion, and tastes a bit like an onion, but has a sweeter, milder flavor.

Scallion - the scallion also known as spring onion, the upper green portion is hollow. It lacks a fully developed root bulb. Harvested for their taste, they are milder than most onions.

Ramps - The flavor, a combination of onions and strong garlic, adaptable to almost any food style. Ramps are most commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat.
Chives - uses for chives involve shredding its leaves for use as condiment for fish, potatoes and soups. Because of this, it is a common household herb.

But with too much heat, we burn and become bitter. Sounds like some women I know lol :], so again we are like that onion.
Some of us never see heat and for the most part are eaten raw and so again, what type of onion are you? Are you bitter by nature, sweet, low key, mild, spicy, bland, and very impressionable? Taking on the characteristics of anyone else or do you stand out in a crowd? Not saying any of them are negative, just know who the real you Is. A lot of times we conform or transform into what we perceive others want us to be (a leader, when we are born follower, or vice versa). Leaders can’t lead without great followers so the second in command is just as important as the chief. A great chef is nothing without a great sous chef and strong cooks and dish and servers you can no longer call yourself a chef.
I am a leader; I know this because through my fire and heat I realized who the “Real Me” is. Some might say conceit, but I like the word “swagger” but if I was an onion I would say I have an abundance of FLAVOR.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Next Level

Going from PAL to AAU
From High School to College
From College to Professional
The next level is great but with it comes new problems, experiences, attitudes and accountability.
Next Level is rarely easy or a smooth transition, regardless of how good you are.
People like Lebron, Kobe, and Kevin are very rare being able to skip a level and have great success.
Even then there are things not acquired from skipping the prior level.
And at a different level it may take longer because you don’t have the proper training.
Don’t always be in a rush to make it to the next level.

The Next Level for me is going from triple A to the pros. Every job or sport has a level, take school for example: Pre-School to Elementary to Middle School to High School to College to Grad School or High School to College to Semi Pro to Minor League to the Pros.
What level are you on? I always tried to skip levels but for proper growth you have to go through the proper preparation for the next level. Saying “you have to crawl before you can walk” is so true. To be a great chef isn’t just being able to cook but making others around you better. Chef to me means Leader, General, Composer, Bitch, Babysitter, as much as I don’t want to be the last two sometimes in order for my kitchen to run smooth I wear many hats and those are two of them. My Next Level is Elite Chef where I am in command of one project solely. My own place no longer weighed down by someone else’s vision or lack of vision for that matter.
You have to be true to yourself, when gauging what level you are on not having formal training has afforded me to work through a lot of issues personally which in my opinion is the best way to see how to and how not to deal with business and learning on some else’s dime while collecting a check has allowed me to learn purchasing, BOH management, sales and butchering.
Every aspect of being a chef and owner and now I can take it to the next level. But the most important part of moving on and moving up is knowing “The Real You”.