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Do I spend money on culinary school or on starting a restaurant ( food business)?

As a current culinary student in a much cheaper program (on the west coast, at a price less than half at FCI) I wanted to note that culinary school IS heaven, but if you are already dead set on this career and have some experience/knowledge, then culinary school probably isn't worth your money. What you NEED, if you are already confident in your cooking ability, is some business know-how. Knowing how to price your menu and cover your costs is a crucial component of success in the industry. If you don't know this stuff yet, try to get some work, even if it's unpaid, in the kitchen at a restaurant you respect in NYC and get the chef/manager to teach you. If you show up at enough restaurants and offer to stage for free, you'll find a place that will take you. That would be less expensive and more worth your time than culinary school at this point in your life. Good luck!

Dec 22, 2013
jld234 in Not About Food

Running HOT Fatback Through Meat Grinder??

Calling all forcemeat experts: I am a little confused by a recipe for a terrine I want to make that is instructing me to cut up a piece of fatback, simmer it in milk and wine and seasonings, and then put it through a meat grinder while it's still hot. I have always been taught you want your grinder and ingredients to be as cold as possible, so I'm worried this might not go particularly well. The recipe suggests that this will help soften up the fatback before it goes through the grinder, but shouldn't it go through OK without being cooked?

What if I cook the fatback in the seasonings (don't want to lose the flavors there), strain, chill, and then grind?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Dec 09, 2013
jld234 in Home Cooking

Food Obsessed Home Cooks in PDX

New resident here, looking to meet other food freaks for adventures destined to make our eyes roll back into our heads. Ideally these adventures are conducted over someone's stove at home. I've found lots of "let's eat out!" or "let's have a potluck!" clubs on, but haven't hit the right groove yet. I obviously love dining out in this town, but I'm looking for a way to meet people who want to make a big ol'mess in the kitchen with me. I've already discovered Portland's Culinary Workshop, but would love to find folks who are more hardcore than this. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Time for a Chowhound-y Home Cooks Meet Up? I dunno.

Mar 26, 2013
jld234 in Metro Portland

Thanksgiving mishaps 2012

So far things have been OK here, though I'm a bit worried about a new dressing recipe turning out soggy. We'll see what wonders a night in the fridge + a blast of heat tomorrow will do.

However, a friend of mine reported that she accidentally brined her kitchen floor. (While attempting to pour her brine into the brining bag, a great deal of it ended up missing its mark.) I assured her that the floor would just be extra tender and flavorful.

Nov 21, 2012
jld234 in General Topics

seeking rec. for light, fresh, not to sweet cocktail

I'm planning to throw a dinner party for my 30th birthday and would love to serve something a little more interesting/special than just wine with dinner. I'll have a little wine around as an option but I'd like to mix up a special concoction for the evening.

I'm looking for something that is:
- not *too* alcoholic, not a martini or anything. I don't want all my guests to get wasted too early in the evening.
- fairly light-tasting, won't overpower a springtime feast (with lots of herbs, peas, greens, seafood)
- not too sweet or not sweet at all

If I could transform the ingredients into something a little sweeter to serve with dessert, all the better.

Tried searching the boards for ideas but couldn't find much, so any thoughts would be appreciated!

Mar 20, 2010
jld234 in Spirits