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Best HK style baked porkchop on rice?

Didn't know Moon Cafe offered the things it used to offer in its previous incarnation, I stopped going after they started to emphasize their mix and match noodle soup combos since I'm not big into noodle soups.

Duck experts: How to braise duck breast

Roasting duck breast mid-rare is great, but a very Western-centric approach. Lots of cuisines cook ducks whole, leaving the breast well done. Admittedly, the texture is never the same as a pink duck breast but it can be just as satisfying. I recommending digging up a recipe for fesenjan, a Persian duck stew with pomegranates and walnuts

Mar 09, 2015
Blueicus in Home Cooking
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Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

Sorry it was my error to direct that post in your direction, but it certainly concerns other people on the panel. just my opinion, but I think some of the suburban chinese places are still going strong, even if their clientele is very neighborhood chinese

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

There's an inherent bias in most of our top list, we don't give high-end Chinese its due. Oh sure, we'll nominate sort-of Chinese places like Bao Bei and call ourselves ethnically diverse but I don't for one minute think the food there and where I work better than the more traditional dishes served at places like Chef Tony or Sea Harbour, etc. and that's not including the high end Toronto Chinese restaurants

Canada's Top 100?

It's not a matter of integrity, it's a matter of exposure. Let's use me as an example: I'm a fairly typical blue-collar chef, I work at a moderately priced restaurant in YVR. I have one (real) day off a week and in the past year I've eaten out at maybe 15 unique restaurants in the country that weren't ramen, inexpensive sushi or otherwise 'serviceable food' (and I'm sadly a Chowhound). Out of those 15 how many of those could I have truly said to myself were 'better' than the ones on the top 100 list? Frankly almost none. So given that exposure if I were asked what I feel are the top restaurants in Canada were, how would I reply?

The Toronto board has the top 10 poll each year, if there was a top 10 YVR poll based on where I've eaten in the last 18 months my list would look sort of strange and insular indeed.

Canada's Top 100?

That sounds sorta like the Michelin Guide. As a chef I'm frankly skeptical of having other chefs form any significant part of the judging panel: firstly, when a well-known chef visits a particular restaurant (especially one where they're known in the city or nationally) they hardly ever get the 'standard treatment'. Secondly, chefs working at that level are incredibly cliquey, they spend most of their waking hours working anyways, and if they have time to travel they're usually doing events and hanging out with chefs they know or have met, which reinforces the insularity of the group. Of course these chefs are going to vote for each other, who else would they vote for?

Canada's Top 100?

The industry would be better served with something like a James beard award style thing nationally than a pithy list. Admittedly the selection committee may not be too different between the two but it would be better recognition for the less heavy names

Foodie take note: Great news! Michelin Star Chef backed restaurant opening up in April!!

Oh lord, Bo Innovation actually has three stars? Didn't even notice that

Yaletown lunch on a Sunday in March with gluten free options?

Good Wolfe is no longer in operation.

On Being a Chef, Nobody Gets Out Alive

Agreed, though for a lot of chefs the first act can stretch much longer and may never end... which is not necessarily a bad thing. The thing about advice such as this is that although it's always appreciated to be well informed about the challenges of a particular field of work (long hours! little respect! you'll have to pay your dues!) I think it's a huge disservice to be actively recruiting people away from it. Like other sectors the culinary industry faces challenges in terms of attrition, changing demands for skill sets, etc. If we suddenly dissuade all these people from working these jobs (much like farming), then we continue down the path of industrialized, mass produced mediocrity.

And if everybody takes up a 9-5 job, who will do the rest of the jobs that apparently nobody else wants to do? That phenomenon is already alive and kicking in 21st century North America, and this sort of attitude only makes the situation worse.

I for one don't regret going into the industry and if eventually I have difficulties doing it due to my physical state then so be it. A lot of people take several tries to find a career that suits them and some end up doing sometime their entire life only for the paycheque and waiting for the weekend/end of the shift. I for one find that incredibly sad.

Feb 23, 2015
Blueicus in Not About Food

2015 RESTAURANT Closings in Toronto? To June 30...

They're speed holes, they make the burger go faster

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

agreed, a pressure cooker should reduce most meats to falling apart tenderness by 1 hour. With the added time of searing and bringing the stock up to a boil it brings the cook time up another 20 minutes. The only real challenge is that you can't casually open it up and poke the meat to check, which a lot of chefs like to do, though if you are smart about it you can quickly depressurize, check, put the lid back on then pressurize in about five minutes

Jan 09, 2015
Blueicus in Food Media & News

Vancouver’s top new restaurants of 2014

And when she hates something she has a habit of continually kicking them long after she's reviewed the place

Vancouver’s top new restaurants of 2014

Let's just say she's capable of holding a grudge.

Sodium Citrate -- First Attempt

I don't know if there's any science behind it or if I'm crazy but the muting of flavours has happened to me too. Made a fonduta out of taleggio and once I added the sodium citrate, boom, the distinct aroma of that cheese faded away. If it isn't the ph change doing something perhaps the emulsion causes flavours to be more difficult to perceive, such as the difference between a very stiff mayo and a runny mayo

Dec 08, 2014
Blueicus in Home Cooking

Dumpling disaster, any ideas?

Making gyoza-style dumplings that don't contain wheat or wheat starch is, unfortunately, practically impossible. It would probably be better to make a cooked crepe with your flour, wrap it around your filling then cook it again. Glutinous rice dumplings (tang yuen in Chinese) are made with the glutinous rice flour and cold water, a bit of hot water can be used to gelatinized some of the starch but you can't do that to all of the starches or you will get the sticky mess you referred to.

The cooking method for tang yuen is usually to steam or boil them, frying doesn't really brown rice flours much

Dec 07, 2014
Blueicus in Home Cooking

Globe Review of America in the Trump Tower

I would like to see the lunch ladies tackle the foie torchon

What's in the fluorescent red cooked smoked salmon?

If the label says pink salmon it should be of the species Oncorhynchus gorbuscha,a pacific salmon that is typically caught wild. The colour is probably just natural colouration from its diet. Salmon flesh colour does vary greatly depending on species, diet, and time of year

Nov 27, 2014
Blueicus in General Topics

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Yeah, their Facebook page mentions it. It was actually from that news I started to think...

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

Now that you brought attention to my typo it would be wrong to edit my OP. Chef changes could explain yours truly and possibly Bero (although if I recall the restaurant closed way too soon after cantor left) but the chef at The Grove is still there, right? Same with ursa.

Lots of high profile new restaurant closings, anyone know why?

I'm stuck on Vancouver so I don't get the chance to talk to the folks at Toronto, but so many of the new wave of interesting Toronto restaurants, Bero, Ursa, The Grove, Yours Truly, etc, etc. have or will be closing soon. Obviously the reason for each restaurant may vary but anyone know why exactly? Does it primarily stem from a lack of business, or does it go deeper than that? It's too bad since I don't get much time off and when I got back I'd planned on going to at least one of them

The one pastry

The lemon tart at Thierry. They could easily just discard the rest of the offerings and just stock the entire bakery with lemon tarts.

High end dim sum in the area

Ended up going to Red Star on Granville, they do have a separate menu with english and chinese that corresponds to the items on the check sheet. Luckily I'm literate enough in chinese to muddle through a menu but I use the english if I'm impatient enough.

We ordered a variety of things from the menu and found the strongest items to be the buns though found the items a bit hit and miss in terms of delicateness and refinement (some items like the har gow had overcooked skins and the fish maw with shrimp were a bit too soft while some others were fine, like the buns) and the e-fu noodles with seafood was served in a clay pot and was presented sorta messily. It was unexpectedly busy for a Monday lunch though, which is impressive. Also everyone seemed to get the roast duck which we were too full to get, seems like it was a specialty there.

Also would kill to find a really great chinese donut wrapped in rice noodle that's got crisp and light 油炸鬼. In both Toronto and Vancouver the typical dim sum places don't do it justice and I usually have to go to the congee places to get a good one in Toronto,

I'll give Jade a try next time. I've been there before for dinner and liked what we had.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

Season 2, name's Curtis

Oct 19, 2014
Blueicus in Food Media & News

High end dim sum in the area

Just to add some context I go to sea harbour somewhat regularly, and I've frequented Neptune, sun Sui wah in Vancouver, Kirin on cambie and good choice. Sea harbour is personally my favourite

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

The Canadian version of the show was produced by a different company than the American version, there was some consultation but ultimately different entities handled the day to day logistics. We weren't that tightly sequestered after elimination, though depending on the season or the circumstances of the challenges that may vary. It appears the American version may require most of the eliminated contestants to be locked up more tightly for a longer period, especially with last chance kitchen and some of the other challenges that require eliminated contestants to return.

In terms of production values I'd say TCC is closer to the first 6 seasons of the American show.

High end dim sum in the area

Looking for high end dim sum in the greater vancouver area. Cost nor location not an issue, looking for high level execution and even some creativity.

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

I managed to catch the first episode, some brief observations:

The instant feedback is interesting, one thing you don't get as a contestant is any feedback unless you are on the top or on the bottom. Even better is hearing the judges' feedback for the other competitors: It's a lot easier to figure out how strong everybody is based on both positive and negative feedback. As a contestant you usually don't have time to see or taste much of other people's stuff (especially if they work on the opposite side of the kitchen or are serving at the other end of the room) so it's good to know what other people are doing.

The relay race is interesting, there was some fast work and some precise work and then there was fast and incredibly sloppy work. Ron may have been fast, but that's fairly shameful looking butchering he did on the mackerel. I don't shuck clams much myself, but my first instinct wouldn't have been to do what Katsuji was trying to do to it. Especially since there were three other seafood options available to deal with I most certainly would've fought to do anything but the clams, which still leaves me with three options.

George made a bad decision choosing Gregory as the challenger, he let emotion override smart decision making. Too bad, he could've done fairly well. Especially since losing for Gregory bore no negative consequence apart from a bit of wounded pride.

Some contestants I like? Mei, Joy, Doug, Gregory

Addendum: No disrespect to Richard, but my least favourite modern cooking technique was demonstrated by Michael, agar pearls are the rubber bullets of the culinary world, they rarely taste like much and are better suited for crowd control than eating. I like agar, I just don't like it when they turn it into little hail stones.

Oct 18, 2014
Blueicus in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

Unfortunately I don't have cable these days and the streaming thing isn't always reliable. However, I've been reading these recaps for a while and it's almost better than watching it on TV

Oct 18, 2014
Blueicus in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

An element of chance always factors into what happens, the filming of the show just happened to coincide with the restaurant's extraordinarily busy season, if the restaurant I worked at was quiet in the summer then I would've been in luck, though this is not to downplay the skill of the other contestants since some of them clearly got further than me and one of them was the chef at the restaurant right beside mine.

As a side note, Richard Blais happened to be a guest judge on the episode I got eliminated on because my deconstructed American classic (tuna casserole) was deemed the least favourite out of all the dishes. How I could've possibly prepared for that, I have no idea. However, it's also true that at the end of the day I made something they didn't like and all the ranting and excuses in the world won't make up for that.

Oct 17, 2014
Blueicus in Food Media & News