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cresyd's Profile

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Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

I believe you're right about their not owning Sesame Street and to be honest, exactly how money for PBS vs. PBS programming works - I don't entirely know. However, I do know that Sesame Street's production relied at least in part on federal money as well as money that PBS raised on its own. So while I don't think that PBS made money from this Sesame Street move to HBO - I do believe that this will free up money that can be spent elsewhere.

Aug 27, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

Do you use garlic powder?

I'm in this boat of rarely to never doing meat rubs and frying.

I will also add that I did find growing up that garlic powder/granulated garlic was often more likely to be a culprit in leaving a very aggressive odor to breath or body sweats than fresh garlic. This may have been largely due to having an uncle who's ideal breakfast was a toasted garlic bagel with cream cheese topped with garlic powder. Either way, I associate it with more bad breath issues than fresh garlic - which I'm sure has also impacted my attitudes.

Aug 26, 2015
cresyd in Home Cooking

Culinary Wunderkinds Take the Stage on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off | FN Dish – Food Network Blog

It is disappointing to hear that they're switching to an elimination format. I've always found that the "non-elimination" method actually allowed for there to be less time on contestants fretting about going home. Sure there was anxiety over doing well/poorly but there was no "I want so badly to stay here, please let me stay here" stuff.

Aug 25, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

27 Food Stories Nobody Needs to Write Again

I'm with you about finding 'whine' pieces far more irksome than anything else. You can add to this "You can't get real/authentic/traditional X anymore".

The problem with most of those article titles is that they're more often than not lazy. They don't involve research (of articles that have already been written, interviewing multiple sources, etc.) and often walk an iffy line between travel writing/self reflection/blog post/etc. #20 is one of those titles that could be a really interesting article, but more often than not isn't.

Aug 25, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

Restaurant staff self-grooming

My point with paid sick leave for front/back of staff is that if the issue is to truly work towards more sanitary restaurant conditions - efforts like that would need to be made. As that's not the case, then all restaurant dining comes with a degree of unsanitary risk.

And the risk of hair touching, scalp scratching falls under than "degree of unsanitary risk" to me.

Aug 24, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Restaurant staff self-grooming

My point for bringing up sick leave was to point that I don't see all unsanitary issues as equal. And that the most unsanitary issue that I see all the time (ill servers) is one that would require more than just reporting a sick server to a manager.

I've said many times on this thread how I perceive the issue of touched hair and a scratched scalp. It's just not that important to me on my list of hygiene issues.

Aug 24, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Restaurant staff self-grooming

I used to work at a children's hospital on a pediatric brain tumor study. So I worked with all sorts of medical staff working with young brain tumor patients, including many children going through chemo and radiation.

The hospital's sick policy was that all PTO was in one bucket. The result was that employees were encouraged to use PTO for as few sick days as possible in order to use that time for personal/vacation time. The system was ridiculous, but hey - at least we were required to get flu shots unless there was a significant medical reason not to!

Touching your hair and scratching your scalp are incredibly unprofessional, aesthetically icky and if it was at a level where I noticed, I'd find a way to say something. But this just comes no where close to triggering my sanitary/spread disease concern level.

Aug 24, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

Doing a take on My Grandma's Ravioli but with athletes would be really smart. Also, as I'm sure lots of pro athletes don't cook a lot themselves - taking inspiration from a web series, Cooking With Drag Queens, would work as well. On that show, sometimes the visiting drag queen brings a recipe other times the hosts pick a recipe that fits with the drag queen's story/interests/background.

It also would have the fun of perhaps cooking where athletes live - be in long standing homes, temporary apartments/condos in cities where they play, how the eat on the road, etc. It would also work with Eddie's POV which I do think is very "all over the map American".

Restaurant staff self-grooming

What's also not sanitary is that we have a restaurant industry that since it does not provide sick days is a system notorious for having employees come to work when ill and contagious. What is highly frequent in the restaurant industry is either staff who don't make enough to afford sick days and/or managers who threaten to fire staff unless they show up regardless of how sick they are. This trend is rampant in the restaurant industry.

If people were really so terrified about sanitary practices, then focusing on making sure that restaurant staff had paid sick days would be the focus. Not whether or not someone's touching their hair. Which is why I always struggle with these questions that are far more about aesthetics than true health concerns. Servers with strep throat, pneumonia, stomach flu, pink eye etc. - there are endless stories of people in the restaurant industry cooking and serving food under those conditions. My worries would start there and dealing with general policy change if health food and safety is of a real concern.

But it's just easier to complain to a manager about an individual action you've witnessed.

Aug 24, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Restaurant staff self-grooming

I'm talking about hair and skin. Not fecal matter, saliva, or mucus.

In this situation, I would feel fine with a decision to treat this as a matter of delayed discretion and professionalism. Not an immediate health care emergency.

Aug 23, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Dinner and a movie

To Be or Not to Be. Perogis, Polish food in general.

Aug 21, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Restaurant staff self-grooming

As I said before, I would mention it to management - but try to do it in a way where it wouldn't single out a specific employee. So in your case where it would have been very obvious, I would have called the restaurant the next day - say I had been there the day before (without mentioning lunch or dinner) and noticed xyz behavior by a staff member.

If the issue is brought up at a general staff meeting, hopefully the culprit will recognize themselves. If not, then hopefully management is now more aware and looking for such behavior to address it. And if it's a place where management doesn't care about that kind of stuff, then that's additional information.

And just a note about pushing glasses up the nose - as a glasses and sunglasses frequent wearer - even with all attempts in the world to just touch the glasses and not touch the face....that results in not touching your face about 50% of the time at most. But it's just rarely that obvious.

Aug 21, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Washington reco for a mixed group

Graffiato has fun pizza options and definitely has a vibe of being adult. And midday if you're seated upstairs, the volume levels are very manageable.

Restaurant staff self-grooming

Issues of scratching aside - is touching your hair really that unhygienic? Is it wildly different (from a hygiene perspective) from a server who wears glasses and occasionally pushes them up the bridge of their nose/general face touching?

I get that some things are "gross" due to issues that have nothing to do with the biology. I don't care how safe it is to drink urine in small quantities, I'd rather not have any of it near my food. To me, all of these actions - including the scratching - are signs of nerves/anxiety. And in some cases, indications of issues that need psychological treatment (scratching until you bleed, pulling out hairs to the point of bald patches).

I get that this is not behavior good around food and it's bad in any professional setting, but to me it brings more sympathy for someone who needs help and compassion rather than a server not washing their hands after using the toilet. I'm also generally curious about this perspective from men (who generally have shorter hair and nails) and women (longer hair and nails).

Aug 21, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Downtown LA

I will be staying with my mother at the LA Hotel Downtown in November while she's attending a conference. I'm looking for lunch options downtown that are cheaper and I'm particularly interested in interesting Korean, Japanese, and Mexican options. No food restrictions.

For dinner I need help with places that have good vegetarian and fish (but not shellfish) options. Price isn't a huge issue and while Asian fusion is fine, more traditional Japanese or Korean won't be appreciated.

Places that are within walking distance from the hotel are strongly preferred. Many thanks!

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Los Angeles Area

Restaurant staff self-grooming

I disagree. There are a number of athletes over the years that have been caught picking their nose (and in some cases eating the finds) on camera while on the bench. To me, I'd presume that the knowledge that a game was being televised would curb the impulse to do that - but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Restaurant staff self-grooming

Honestly - I don't think it's about knowing your wrong - but rather doing something that's a bit of a nervous tick that you do alone and then stop when anyone else is around. Now having a sewing needle leg is clearly not the same as scratching when we're talking about hygiene adjacent issues - but I'm more inclined to believe the behavior stems from the same place. With that in mind, I'd want to address it in the same way as I'd want to address a coworker if we shared a desk and their fidgeting was causing the table to shake.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Restaurant staff self-grooming

I say this as a woman with long hair - the potential to not realize how much you're touching your hair is incredibly high. And even when you don't have a food service job, it's not the greatest look professionally.

There was a period when I was just playing with my hair a lot, and to just deal with it at work, I started wearing my hair back. I guess because I have sympathy with the act, and presume that most of the women doing this are younger and it's likely a response to stress or being nervous - it would be something that I would anonymously address with management. After the meal or calling a day later, I would just say that I had recently been and felt uncomfortable with servers touching their hair very frequently.

It's an issue that doesn't raise any massive hygiene flags for me but more so an issue of women being professional. And I would hope to convey my concerns in a way that would avoid anyone getting too singled out.

At what point would you not pay?

I will also say about leaving money - in the situations where these circumstances happen (long periods of neglect by staff), leaving money may not necessarily feel as though it will end up with the business anyways.

In Israel specifically - lots of restaurants have outside seating, and leaving money on a table on a sidewalk, patio, or beach table that is fairly accessible to street traffic ends risks it still not going to the restaurant. While the good faith effort of the patron may be different, the act of paying the bill may end up with the same result.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Cheap, good, and weird in Tel Aviv

Nanuchka (Lilienblum St 30) in Tel Aviv used to be my go-to for Georgian food. It's now vegan since I was last there, so while I'm not as able to comment on the food - it still appears to be quite popular. Also in the Yeminite quarter, the Minzar (Gedera St 19) is a good bar that also has a nice mix of small plate food. Also in that area, I used to love Hamitbachon (Rabbi Akiva St 18) for a fun mix of Sephardi and Ashkenazi dishes.

As you're going to Istanbul after the wedding....if it were me I might skip the grilled meat places entirely. The difference between Tel Aviv grilled meat with salads and Turkish grilled meat with salads isn't going to be wildly different. Not that they're bad, but it does set you up for repetition.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Middle East & Africa

You Can Eat Carbs

I think that when talking about weight loss the problem with a lab study is that it's an utterly artificial way of measuring how people live. And even while people may fudge with their self reporting, long term weight studies of adults - at the very least their actual weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, heart health, etc - they can't fake that. So it forces the studies to adapt to how people function in the real world, which produces more realistic results (even if specific data on what people are eating may be more debatable).

I actually think a fascinating study would be to look at real life ways on how people have their food controlled for them. Look at those who have private chef/house keeper services, those who rely on prepackaged meals or food boxes, those who cook for themselves, etc. Obviously there's a financial component to this in regards to how much money people have - but I think that would be of value to know.

Regardless, the problem with weight issues is that it's very lifestyle based. It's based on your home life, work life, income level, access to healthcare, access to recreation etc. So by placing a study in a lab and removing all of those factors just isn't realistic.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News
1

You Can Eat Carbs

I do believe that different diets work well for different people - so I'm not saying there ever needs to be a case of one size fits all. But the idea of testing any diet in a closed laboratory for only two weeks is absurd.

Our perception of "authenticity"

The fact that you won't enter a debate about Jewish food is very indicative of the problems regarding the notion of authentic food. It's easy to talk about what we know, but the problem with authentic is that it ends up being used as a stamp of approval that denies the very real flexibility of culture.

I highly disagree that feta has received PDO/PGI/AOC - whichever one it got. In no way do I believe that a part of Greece as anything approaching an authentic core to the origination of feta. Now, I understand the debate originally started in regards to 'feta' being made in France and I believe Denmark - but I'm talking about the feta made in Bulgaria and other parts of the Mediterranean.

Being able to place events and culture to a singular time and place is comforting. And in some cases that works. But more often than not it's not the case, and the numerous examples of where it doesn't work is why using the term 'authentic' becomes problematic.

Aug 20, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

Similar to the phrase "knowledge is power" - who decides what knowledge is important is also power. What's on a standardized state test happens at a seat of power (government). And the decision to educate a child outside such parameters - then governments can choose whether or not that alternative education 'counts'. And university's additionally can decide whether that counts.

Similarly - who's an expert about food? An elderly home cook who's lived through food's evolution? A historian who's studied food trends? A chef who's a long-time industry professional? And if the answer is all three - then what happens if they disagree?

And now that you've decided to dismiss my point of Jewish food, are you saying that Jewish food is exempt from questions of authenticity? Are other kinds of food that have a religious influence - such as Halal Middle Eastern or Hindi Indian - also exempt? A community like the Chinese that's had a far more extensive diaspora than the Jews - are they exempt from questions of authenticity due to that?

My point is not anti-education and anti-learning, but rather the position of encouraging consumption of materials with a critical eye. Challenging sources and thinking about practical application of theories. I think it's great that my opinions about food come from multiple sources. I know the mainstream views contrary to mine (i.e. no cheese with seafood) and know why I sometimes challenge that (if you're cooking with fish that isn't super fresh, the addition of parmesan is hardly a food crime to me). Being critical and challenging of sources - that to me is a sign of being educated rather than being overly deferential to a few experts.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

Your kimchi story reminds me of a recent experience I've had with falafel.

I lived in the Middle East for years, and falafel has never been my favorite dish, but I've definitely had it more than a few times. In the Middle East, I've had falafel ranging from the miserable to wonderful as can often be the case with any fried food.

In DC, I currently work with a few people born in the Middle East we discuss good/bad falafel occasionally. I recently had the falafel by a women who I think is from Lebanon at a pop-up. And it's easily some of the best falafel I've ever had, without geographic caveat. Well - I bring this point up at work, and all of a sudden I've become an American idiot who clearly doesn't know what I'm talking about. To them, there's no way "the best" falafel can be had in DC.

So for many people I do think geography ends up being important in how people relate to dishes, and I totally understand that. But I think it's also important to remember that those emotions color how we judge food.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

That's always the problem with authenticity - at someone point someone stands up and says "I decided that it needs to meet XYZ criteria". It's really easy to point fingers at Pizza Hut or Olive Garden, but the narrowing process....how often on CH are there posts where someone asks for an authentic French bistro/Jewish deli/Chinese restaurant and half of the posts are "I wouldn't call ABC spot authentic"?

I mean, when does tzatziki stop being tzatziki and start being raita? Or is that really the relevant question, and discussion about the history of yogurt and the movement of peoples become more interesting.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

I think much like the discussion about using the phrase "ethnic food" - authentic is more valuable as shorthand among certain communities than it is in terms of genuine meaning.

If I write on Chowhound I want 'authentic Chinese' - that helps narrow down responses. It still doesn't entirely work - especially depending on what cuisine - but it will provide a more curated list for a poster to choose from.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Our perception of "authenticity"

It's easy to bring up the Olive Garden - but say a restaurant like Red Lobster - is that an authentic representation of New England seafood? And if it's not, why? Because it doesn't taste good? Then why aren't we just talking about the taste of food rather than getting bogged down with its authenticity.

At some point the discussion of authenticity always ends up being about who decides what "counts". Restaurant chefs telling home cooks that their versions are inauthentic? Urban centers telling rural communities that their versions are inauthentic as more people live in cities and thus have more 'votes'? Rural areas telling urban centers that they're wrong as their perceptions have been diluted more by migration and diversity?

If you can't talk about what is or isn't good food without asserting authority and correctness over another, then I think that says more about someone's style of discussion than anything about food.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

At what point would you not pay?

Israeli restaurant service boggles the mind in many ways....

At what point would you not pay?

Oh, it's completely normal. I lived in Jerusalem for 5 years, and unless you're going to one of the expensive restaurants - service across the board is dubious. So in a sit-down restaurant having no service staff speak to you (or ignore you while walking by you) after your entre was served for 30-60 minutes, I can't even count how frequent. Or bars that you had planned on being at for a few rounds of drink and end up leaving after only one because getting any kind of service attention was such a struggle.

As I said above, I've never not paid at a sit down restaurant (or a bar), but the second I read that post - even if I didn't necessarily agree with the action, I empathized with the poster. Because as with so many situations, experiencing one irritating situation is one thing - but having so many of your restaurant experiences come with negative service...frustration over time can build.

In my sandwich situation, that was when I had been living there for about 4 or so years, it was a chain restaurant in a busy bar neighborhood, and I definitely wasn't overpaying for food as it was going cold. It was also a place where I knew that had happened to other people and they all would go there again and neither get in trouble nor expect free food.

I think the general result is that this is fairly widespread. So it's not like I could easily say "I'm no longer going to this $20 per entrée place because of service, and going there instead" - because the chances of it being far better were pretty small. So diners make choices about the food they like, and endure the service.

Aug 19, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food