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Do You Need a Pricey Culinary Degree to Be a Top Chef?

So the answer to the question in the title of the article is: "No!" Nor is there a map to success. One of the great masters in this country is Patrick O'Connell. Completely self taught, but a very focused and may I say, driven, genius. (That never hurts!) Started a small catering business, then bought a former gas station in an out of the way, way out of the way, location. The world now comes to him. With good reason. He's really good. So, I guess the question is to all the aspiring chefs is, as the article suggests, take a good look in the mirror.

Sep 06, 2014
gordonb810 in Features

Restaurant in Paris, wishlist

Since you are staying at a hotel near Luxembourg I would suggest checking out La Ferrandaise on the rue de Vaugirard (Google it), it's named after a rare cow... and emphasizes its beef. Also, I have to say that Allard, one of the oldest bistros in Paris is really good. I resisted going there for years, now I wish I hadn't. Eat in the room to the left as you walk in. They have a wonderful veal chop, but the specialty is duck with olives, which I have never had. Not cheap. But I think you will enjoy it. Also, since meat is it, for lunch if nothing else, you really should go to Relais de l'Entrecote on rue St. Benoit very near L'Eglise St. Germain. You don't have to do a thing except sit down and pick out a bottle of wine, any of which will do quite nicely. Then enjoy their one offering. It's really quite yummy. Sit outside. The rest of the afternoon will glow. And for my very favorite steak tartare in all of Paris, including one of the great sites to enjoy a meal, a must is Ma Bourgogne on La Place des Vosges, in the Marais. Not near Luxembourg, but, hey, you want to go over there anyway. Believe me. I have been there every trip to Paris, which would make it about 40 times. Fabulous.. actually everything on the menu is great... lots of tourists of course, but lots and lots of locals. Sit outside on the arcade and soak it all in, but just keep your eye out for what may drop from above, a gift from the little birdies. Cash only btw. Remember, steak tartare, place des Vosges, Ma Bourgogne. And some Beaujolais.... for lunch. Another excellent afternoon will evolve.

Jan 17, 2012
gordonb810 in France

Lobster, water views, Portsmouth

You should head for Barnacle Bill's in Ogunquit! Great place.

Luxardo Maraschino cherries not at all worth the price

Hi StriperGuy... Am totally impressed with your cherry recipe, so many thanks for sharing this with all of us who want to add a bit of home cookin to our manhattans etc this coming winter. Also, you are definitely keepin up with this thread! Just to note on my earlier comment: I mentioned that I thought i would add a little more habanero to the mix, now I don't think so... actually could feel the mild burn (it was mild, but definitely there) pretty much all afternoon after I sampled the cherry today, so enough is enough. Don't want to overwhelm, just add a subtle note. But I do think I might add another vanilla bean... Also, I think that the brandy works better than vodka as it adds roundness... I wonder what they would be like if you used bourbon or rye instead of vodka or brandy? And while you are at it, maybe a half cup of sweet vermouth. Why not take it in the direction of the drink you are mixing? hmmmmmm.... If I can find some more cherries in good shape, think it will be time for a third edition! Thanks for all!

Aug 04, 2010
gordonb810 in Spirits

Luxardo Maraschino cherries not at all worth the price

I've made two batches this summer. One is pretty much exactly as Striper describes in his original recipe, with vodka. Then I decided to do another batch, varying the ingredients, but adhering to the method with the salt water boil etc. but not using the tea. Here's what I added to the jar: fennel seed, cinnamon stick, whole allspice, cardamom pods, slices of fresh ginger, a vanilla bean, and slices from a habanero pepper (!) and sugar. As I say, skipped the tea, but used 1.5 Cups of cherry juice and the rest was brandy. Just tried one, and pretty darned good, gotta say... might add a bit more habanero for a bit more kick. So glad I saw this thread in cherry season!

Aug 04, 2010
gordonb810 in Spirits