c

chefbeth's Profile

Title Last Reply

Saving a piece for someone else: the ultimate chowhound sacrifice?

For the first ten year of my marriage, my former husband and I had a tradition when there was a particularly delicious, yet limited bite of something on one of our plates. One of us would take the first bite of, say, half of the sublime hors d'oeuvre, and then hand it to the other without a word. He would take a bite of half of what was left and hand it back. At that point it became a game of fractions, with each of us taking half of what was left until there were only crumbs. Eventually one of us would give in to our greed and(or for comic effect) gobble the microscopic remains. It wasn't until then that we'd discuss what we'd shared, take a small sip of wine, and kiss.

Thanks to those who started and participated in this thread. It gave me back a memory I thought I'd lost, and I'm grateful to have back that snapshot of a happy time. Cheers!

Sep 02, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Question about "regular" status, VIP, special treatment, etc

There any number of reasons why a guest may get unexpected VIP treatment or not.

First example: You're slam-full on a Saturday night. At that point the kitchen's primary responsibility is to make sure that every diner has a great experience. When you're trying to keep your line out of the weeds, you just may not have time for those little extras. On the other hand, if you're line is already out of control, it's always a good idea to send out an amuse or mid-course treat so that the guest can feel pampered while they wait a little longer for their order. A good FOH manager who knows that the kitchen is slammed when the table is seated may bring over a glass of champagne to help with the pacing of the meal and buy the line some breathing room.

Second example: A slow Tuesday evening. Pacing isn't a problem on a night like this, but these are the people you want coming back every week to make your mid-week numbers. The kitchen has a little time on their hands, so why not use it to come up with something thoughtful and spoil your guests a little?

In these cases, the VIP treatment is less about who you are than about when you show up.

Jun 09, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Do you wear an apron when you cook?

Very important addition to your list, TT:

3) While naked (especially frying!)

Jun 03, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Restaurant Alba, who is the idiot

If the restaurant has recently added a full bar, then they have had to ante up for a number of alcohol permits - local, state and federal - that they didn't have to pay before when they had just a byob policy. In addition, I can guarantee that their alcohol liability insurance premiums are through the roof, and they've probably had to have their employees attend insurance-company mandated alcohol classes. These all cost the restaurant a great deal of money, as I can personally attest to.

I get that sometimes a business has to spend money to make money -- they probably had a large number of guests request that they add a bar, so they figured out that the long term benefit will outweigh the additional yearly costs. I think it was wise of this particular restaurant to continue to allow BYOB so as not to alienate previous customers who liked that particular policy, but I don't think that a subtle hint that the restaurant would prefer that you order from the list is out of line.

My second point - and please forgive me if this sounds judgmental, as that is not my intent - four bottles of wine for four people over dinner may seem a bit much. Even at home I have two levels of glassware. One is for a meal where the food is the centerpiece and the wine is the accompaniment, perhaps a half-bottle per person. The other is for a meal when friends are gathering to drink wine, in which case the amount of alcohol is more like what you and your friends supplied. That's when the cheaper glasses come out. I don't think I'm the first one to notice that people can get a bit, um, clumsier when they've had more to drink.

So add another vote for the owner. Sorry, Deluca. Next time buy the first bottle from the restaurant and you'll get the right glassware. Problem solved.

Jun 03, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

WHY I HAVE TO COOK

This is beautiful. It's a wonderful melange of thought and emotion, technique and memory. Thank you, anina.

Apr 18, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Passing of Sam Fujisaka - Please share Memories

It was really gratifying to see how quickly the CH Team replied to this request. Thanks for realizing how important this is to all of us.

Apr 16, 2010
chefbeth in Site Talk

Speaking French in Paris restaurants?

The impression I got when talking to my well-traveled friend was that easiest way to earn an "ugly American" label was when people walked up to a counter and placed an order or asked a question without a greeting. I understand that the American may have been a normally polite person who is nervous about speaking a language that they are uncomfortable with. I also understand that the person on the other side of the transaction feels diminished by not being politely acknowledged. But I agree with you, Harters. I find that greeting some one always pays off - in France, New York or at the corner store.

Apr 16, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Speaking French in Paris restaurants?

Before my first trip to France, I was given some great advice by a friend. She told me to always acknowledge the shopkeeper, waiter, etc. first by saying by saying hello or good morning (in French if you can) BEFORE making a request or (as they may see it, a demand). I took her advice and always started with a greeting and a smile and found that the people I met were lovely. I was always forgiven my somewhat mangled French and treated graciously.

Apr 16, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Gray residue on aluminum sheet pans, pots, saute pans and garlic press

Does the OP cook with gas or electric? Is the residue on the exterior or the interior of the pot/pan? I cook with propane gas and have noticed a sometimes sticky residue on the exterior of my pots -- a good degreaser, a greenpad and some serious elbow grease takes care of it. I've been using Dawn and hot water to clean my pots for years, and while I've very occasionally noticed a flaky residue on the interior, I've never had a problem scrubbing it out. I always figured it was a residue from something I'd cooked before that was acidic.

Jan 13, 2010
chefbeth in Not About Food

Milk on a Grease Fire?

It's going to depend, in part, on the kind of grease fire. As some posters have mentioned, if you have a grease fire in a broiler or a grill, enough salt or baking soda will work because you are able to smother the fire.

Most liquids (including water and milk) are lighter in weight than grease -- it's going to fall to the bottom of the burning grease where the high temperatures will cause it to boil. It's the steam from the boiling that appears to explode, and that spreads the burning droplets of grease around. At that point you've got a serious problem (and I hope you've already called the fire department.)

If you've got a container of hot oil (turkey fryers, a pan with more than a half inch of fat or a deep fryer) then you need to deprive it of oxygen or use the proper fire extinguisher (AND call the fire department!) As mentioned above, you would need a large amount of non-flammable material to smother it, and you may spread the fire in the meantime. Liquids here are NOT AN OPTION.

A note on flour -- for those unbelievers who think that flour is not flammable, well, you may have to see it to believe it. And trust me, you don't want that. We've all poured flour from a bag into a storage container, and we've all seen how much flour dust starts floating around. It's the flour dust that can combust -- kinda like gas fumes.

Dec 22, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Swiss or Gruyere?

Anything with ham shouts "Gruyere!" to me -- same with mushrooms. I'd probably go goat cheese on the bacon (and add a little spinach) just for contrast.

You do realize that there are very few wrong answers to this question, right? You're off to a good start -- Enjoy!

Dec 22, 2009
chefbeth in Home Cooking

Hovering Kitchen Guest Conundrum

I'm a social cook who is used to working in both an open restaurant kitchen and my clients' large luxurious kitchens. I have no problem with people crowding in in either of those situations, as long as they don't get directly in my personal space.

My home kitchen, on the other hand, is minuscule and built for one. I'm lucky to have an opening to the living room so that I can visit with my guests. However, in any of the above situations there have been guests who get a bit too much in the way. I always give at least two polite "excuse me's" before taking more drastic action, at which point there is nothing more direct to get the point across than the well-placed "accidental" hip check (followed by a sincere apology, an offer to replace their drink and pulling up a barstool for them in an area that is a little safer for them.)

Dec 22, 2009
chefbeth in Features

Rude to Negotiate with Caterer?

Good question. I think it was the unspoken insinuation that I was trying to rip him off. This particular menu was for pick-up items only -- no staff, rentals or beverages, just the food.

This guy came to me because of my reputation in the business of using the finest quality ingredients (and although many claim this, in my case it is true). When I do an estimate, I break out the price of each line: $x for tenderloin, $y for shrimp, etc. Where there are budgetary restriction, I can often meet the clients price by changing the presentation. I can use a less expensive cut of meat, a smaller shrimp with less labor cost associated with it, or a dip that uses a lower grade of fresh crab meat. I lower my expenses so that I can lower his.

I felt this gentleman was yanking my chain to see how desperate I was for the business. And when I politely explained that I was not interested in working without making an honest profit, he agreed to the original price. So yes, in the end everything worked out -- but I was a little bit miffed that I had to bluntly explain my not-for-profit status. I assume he doesn't work for free, but he was assuming I'd be so glad for the work that I'd do it for nothing.

Dec 08, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Rude to Negotiate with Caterer?

Negotiating is not rude. Few caterers or clients are mind-readers, so without clear communication there is a need for some back-and-forth so that you understand one another.

Refusing to negotiate, on the other hand, IS rude. And it sounds like that's just what this caterer did -- although I freely admit that it's hard to be definitive based on the OP. $90 a head sounds like a pretty reasonable amount -- but did that include all rentals, bar and transportation charges? Did the staffing include valets, chef-attended stations, dishwasher, bartenders and massage therapists? (joking!) Without a breakdown on the bill, it's hard to say if the bill was out of line, but the caterers behavior certainly was..

I had clients come to me recently who give me an exact menu (beef tenderloin, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail among other higher-end items) and profess to have no concept of what the bill was going to be. When I came back with my estimate of , say $750, they "counter-offered" at $500. Okay, I understand budgetary limitations. I revamped the menu with lower-priced alternatives (sliced London Broil, crab dip and peel and eat shrimp). The guy said to me "No, I want the original menu, but for $500." THAT isn't negotiating -- that's attempted robbery! (overstatement for comedic effect.) I kept my cool, butI told him that I would be unable to help him out because at that price I would lose money -- and that I'd rather take that night off than spend money to get his (one-time) business. He took the $750 deal, by the way - but it made me wonder. Did he really think a 33% reduction was going to fly? I totally get the "if you don't ask, you don't get" mentality, but I had to try really, really hard not to feel insulted.

Dec 08, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Why Can We Not Reuse Freezer Bags Used for Raw Meats or Seafood?

I've read all of the posts so far a few times -- and i've got to say I'm a little dissappointed and a little bit scared. While I think it's great that so many of you re-use plastic bags, I am a little horrified that you all think it's even a little bit okay to re-use bags that have held raw meat or poultry. coll is the voice of reason here -- please listen to him/her!

Unless you are using rinse water in excess of 165 degrees or using a three-sink method of wash-diluted bleach (50 parts per million)-rinse, you can not get rid of any residual salmonella, e-coli or any number of other bacteria from a plastic bag. It's true that proper cooking will kill most bacteria, but if you take a bag that stored chicken or ground beef, wash it and then store crackers in it -- ::shiver::.

Please throw those bags out!

Nov 30, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Thanksgiving etiquette question

In answer to the OP's question, NO. It is never proper etiquette to take back what you brought as a contribution to dinner. Or rather, it is VERY RARELY proper.

The only valid exception that comes to mind is if you bring an item to a pot luck which is hosted at a neutral place -- like a picnic, or at a community center, for example. By taking your uneaten item home, your are just helping to clean up.

If a host insists that you take your leftovers home, then that's fine with me. I've got alot of foodie friends who love to overprep. In some cases the host has provided plastic bags or containers and insisted that everyone take "something" home. This happens after everyone has had their fill.

That said, I admit that I have violated my own rule -- and in my mother's house no less! A few Thanksgivings ago, I stopped at a friend's house the night before T-day while on my way to Mom's. The friend gave me a loaf of poor man's cake, a jar of her famous home made cranberry chutney and a 2-pound block of the most amazingly sharp cheddar cheese. She does this every year -- just one of the many reasons I adore her.

Fast-forward to Mom's Thanksgiving Eve celebration, which includes number of hors d'oeuvres and snacks while kids and friends file in for the weekend. I contributed my gift of cake, chutney and cheese (along with other items I'd made) and we all attacked everything in the voracious manner to which our family has become accustomed.

The cake and chutney were gone in short order, as I expected. But there was a two inch morsel of cheese left, which got wrapped up and thrown in the cheese bin. While packing up my water bottles and ice packs for the trip home later that weekend, I noticed the neglected cheese and added it to my cooler.

I was about halfway home (a four-hour drive) when my cell phone rang. It was Mom, asking if I knew where the cheese was. I copped to the repo. She teased me that she didn't raise me to do such a thing. I reminded her that she didn't raise me to re-gift, either. I still haven't heard the end of it.

Happy ending: My friend has since become thick as thieves with my mom -- and added her to the holiday "cake, chutney and cheese" list.

Nov 30, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Food waste

I used to have a friend who loved to shop the discounted meats for dinner that night. He called the area where the "brown meats" were kept the "rot rack," which I thought was hilarious. And frugal. The stuff wasn't bad -- it had just hit it's sell-by date.

Oct 28, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Overheard at next table...."Sorry, your card has been decined..."

There are many ways that the server could have been more tactful. In my restaurant, we always avoid using the word "declined". Instead, we'll say something like, " I apologize, but for some reason we are unable to get this card to go through. Is there any other form of payment you have available?" It's basically saying the same thing, but without the connotation of "you're declined, you pathetic loser." It's important to smile and be as pleasant as possible -- to act like it's no big deal -- becuase ego's are fragile and I've never felt the need to kick some one when they're vulnerable.

Now, when other forms of payment are unavailable, I would move the conversation away from the table and ask for the kid's name and phone number and ask him to sign an IOU. Everyone I've done this for has been appreciative and I've never been burned.

Oct 28, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Perturbed at Le Bernardin

You guys are cracking me up! I'm not sure the "gtfo"-bomb is one that the public should even be aware of, but since we're sharing secrets here . . .

- The "gtfo" tactic should only be used when you're at least 30 minutes past closing and any remaining guests have finished their meals.

- At 35 minutes after closing, the music is turned up two clicks.

- At 40 minutes (no sooner!), the music is turned up another two clicks.

- Repeat, as necessary, every five minutes until the guests decamp.

- At 60 minutes past closing, switch tracks to some really LOUD symphony (anything with lots of kettle drums will do - I've got a specific playlist, but it's only got three pieces on it, as I've never needed more than that). Classical music is perceived as more respectful than rap or dance tunes, but the message is clear -- It inspires you to march!

Disclaimer: I do kind of like it when my guests are so comfortable that they don't want to leave. That's why the "gtfo" plan, when implemented, is incremental.

May 09, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

glossary of restaurant terms

Rustic = burnt

May 06, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Potluck Wedding Reception?

As a chef who makes a living out of catering, I have to admit that I hate the idea of potluck weddings.

With that caveat out of the way, I can tell you that some of the best receptions I've ever been to as a guest have been pot luck, at least in some part. (Please don't let that get out, Chow-friends -- the economy is being particularly hard on those of us in the upscale catering sector of the food biz.!)

You can't go wrong with a pasta salad. It's fairly inexpensive, easy to make in large quantities, doesn't have to be heated up when you get there, and you can get crazy creative with it. Think nationalities, if that helps. Greek (farfalle pasta, kalamata olives, diced cucumbers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese and a lemon-rosemary dressing), Thai (skinny egg noodles with flash-sauteed shoe-string-cut carrots, zucchini and red peppers with sliced green onions, crushed peanuts and a bottled peanut sauce cut with orange juice and a squeeze of lime juice), Mexican (elbow mac, grated cheddar, pico de gallo, cumin, lime juice and sour cream) or New-Age Southron (orrechiete pasta, sweet corn, chunks of fried green tomatoes, country ham and pimiento cheese with a sprinkling of fresh chives and -- if you want to really splurge -- jumbo lump crab meat).

When you get to the reception, put the pasta salad in a pretty bowl with a sticker on the bottom that says something like "To the Happy Couple, From Caffeaulait. May we all share a meal from this bowl again that was prepared by one of your grandchildren."

One really important note about transporting food in coolers:

No matter what the quality of cooler you decide to invest in, the most important aspect of transporting chilled food safely is THE WAY YOU PACK THE COOLER.

The cardinal rule of cooler packing is this: Cold air is heavier than hot air. In other words, the ice on the bottom of the cooler is only going to keep the bottom of the cooler cold (which does little good for the food sitting above it). Put your ice packs, frozen water bottles, bags of cubes, etc., ABOVE whatever you're trying to keep cold. As the temperature in the cooler rises, it rises from the top down. If your cooling source at the top of cooler is still semi-frozen, your food will be fine.

Some additional rules (not guidelines, actual RULES):

Don't try to cool food down in transport. Make sure the food is below 45 degrees before it goes in the cooler.

Pack all food in watertight containers. That way it won't be contaminated by any ice-melt. (or cross-contamination by other foods in the cooler).

Don't open the cooler until the last possible moment. If you're travelling and want to bring drinks, snacks, whatever -- put them in a separate, smaller cooler.

Don't bother with a cheap styrofoam cooler if you're travelling with dogs. You're going to have to invest in (or borrow) a good Igloo cooler that they can't scratch through (heck, I could get through a styrofoam cooler without every chipping my manicure if I had one). Marine-rated Igloos are best, and worth the money.

May 02, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Potluck Wedding Reception?

I'm with you, chef chicklet: I Like lemons!

Atta girl!

May 02, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

Has anyone reduced going out because of the flu? [Moved from General Chowhounding Topics]

As the chef/owner of an establishement that serves food, I have ALWAYS been a big proponent of hand-washing. My place has an open kitchen, so customers can see everything when they're standing at the front counter. When we get busy, I'm more of a front-of-the-house person: taking orders, pouring drinks and settling bills, so I don't do a great deal of food-handling in front of the guests, but normally when I go from one task to the next (taking money to opening a bottle of wine or working on the computer to delivering food, for example) I stop and wash my hands. The kitchen handsink is about ten feet from the front desk, so I often spend the time while the water is running greeting, or answering questions or some other verbal back-and-forth with the guest (it's kind of a casual place: we serve everybody, but we only serve friends sort of vibe). What I've noticed over the past week is that more and more guests get a sort of big smile on their face when they see me back away from them to get to the handsink. This simple precaution/ritual that I've been following for years is registering with people like never before.

But the previous posts have made me think -- should I also install a sink in the customer area so that they can wash their hands before their meal? It never occurred to me before, but it might be a nice touch. Obviously, we've got sinks available in the rest rooms, but if the handwashing amenities were more public it might encourage folks to wash their hands before dinner.

I'm not calling the plumber yet -- just musing on a Saturday afternoon. But I haven't yet come up with a reason why it would be a bad idea.

May 02, 2009
chefbeth in Not About Food

One more tea rant.

I'm BOH too, dude -- and most tea orders won't be in the heat of service anyway. That said, a butate burner takes up less that a square foot in a wait station or on the cold side.

Apr 30, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

One more tea rant.

Or maybe there isn’t really any advantage to the bottom line for restaurants to produce palatable tea service
-----------
I once took my Mom to lunch at Jean-Georges in NYC (very special occassion) and we ordered tea after our meal. They gave me a tea menu to choose from -- with prices. I chose a simple Ceylon tea and they brought it properly brewed in a pot with a cup and saucer, honey, sugar, lemon and milk. It was the best cup of tea I've ever had (perhaps because it was the only time I've ever had really good tea in a restaurant). The $7 charge was expected (because of the menu) and it was worth every penny. I'm sure J-G made money on it.

Apr 30, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

"Egg in a 2 foot tube" for salad bars: does the resto industry still use them?

Yikes! I remember these! I too was both repelled and fascinated with them. I'll have to check with one of my food reps to see it they're still sold. ::shiver:: I hope not!

I have noticed that on the few remaining salad bars where they have hard boiled eggs, they either quarter them or chop them -- which leads me to believe that the "tube eggs" have been replaced with the 20# bucket of hard boiled, shelled eggs.

I've got to admite that the "tube egg" could lead to the devilled egg to end all devilled eggs -- but I'm sure I wouldn't be able to eat it!

Apr 30, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

What gives some red meats that horrific "smell/aftertaste"??

I adore good beef, any cut of lamb AND brussells sprouts. I can also appreciate calve's liver from time to time if I'm in the mood for it, but I rarely am.

I recently purchased beef from a national chain supermarket (I was in the mood for a steak, but didn't have the time or energy to drive an extra twenty miles to a supermarket with a quality meat market - blame PMS) and I've purchased a cut of beef that supermarket calls a "tender." Not tenderloin, mind you. Just "tender" which is close enough to be entirely deceptive. It was the most expensive cut in this cut-rate market, and it was marked "grill quality" but it just wasn't. It tasted overwhelmingly like liver, and I just couldn't eat it. I should have known better, but I got taken.

This is what I took from that experience: Don't buy cheap beef. If it's cut-rate, chances are it's from played-out dairy cows who haven't spent a whole lot of time outdoors. Tastes like desperation.

I prefer grass-fed beef, and yes, it is "gamier" or stronger-tasting. It tastes like, well, beef! No BGH, no antibiotics, free-range, no feed lot. The Australian stuff is my favorite.

(And - as a friendly bit of advice - you might want to lay off the fart comparison. Some might take it wrong. You can buy me off for a few lamb chops, though!)

Apr 27, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

One more tea rant.

EXACTLY, Ruth! The Teavana cup-top brewers are pretty easily portable and I've got some great loose tea at home that I'd be happy to pack ,but if you can't get properly boiled water (and I prefer black tea, so it's got to be REALLY hot), then any urban camping experience you bring to the table is wasted. Not every place (check that: no place) has an electric kettle, but I know there's got to be a clean saute pan and a stove in the kitchen, so this request shouldn't be regarded as the total impossibility that it is. And yet . . .

(Sidebar: One thing I did come up against while setting up the aforesaid -- doomed -- tea service is that I couldn't find an NSF-rated electric tea kettle. Health departments can be incredibly dense when they come up against a piece of equipment that they haven't seen before, so you can loose inspection points for it. The fact that it's used to BOIL WATER won't sink in with them if they don't see that little sticker. If you've ever worked in a restaurant, then you understand. If you haven't, well, all I can say is that the NSF -- National Sanitary Foundation -- sticker, is like a mandate from a higher power to the health dept. types. But a saute pan and a butane burner can do the same job in just about the same amount of time).

Apr 27, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

Vegetarian entree ideas for formal wedding

A Portobello Stack is one of my most elegant and popular vegetarian entrees. It required a good amount of prep, but heating and serving it is a snap (it can even be held at temperature for a little while, so it's a great option for catering larger sitdown events). It looks great on the plate and it's hearty enough to satisfy most meat-eaters.

The layers can vary, but I start with a 3-1/2 to 4-inch portobello mushroom which I smoke with applewood chips (or marinate and grill). Turn that gill-side up, spread with a little bit of herbed goat cheese, and top with a slice of eggplant that's been breaded with panko and fried. Top that with a tomato concasse, then some sauteed spinach, roasted yellow pepper, asparagus tips, etc. Somewhere in the middle or on top, put some fresh mozzarella cheese. To serve, bake until the cheese melts and serve in a puddle of tomato-basil sauce, madeira mushroom sauce or whatever vegetarian sauce floats your boat.

When choosing which layers to use, I pay attention to differences in color and texture. Serve with something whole-grainy (I've done a wheatberry or barley risotto that non-vegetarians seem to love, and which also holds up for large crowds).

Apr 27, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics

One more tea rant.

I too have been in the restaurant business for over 15 years, both front of the house and back of the house, but I don't understand how a restaurant of any size can not have enough space for decent tea service.

A number of years ago I was in charge of the coffee and tea service for an aspiring upscale restaurant with about 200 seats. The owners approved the purchase of a number of very large espresso makers, coffee makers and even ice-tea makers along with all of the cups, pots, creamers, sugar and so forth -- all of it top notch. When I proposed a tea-service, I was told that we could "get away" with an off-brand wooden box with fifteen different varieties of mediocre bags (which was rarely replenished, so diners ended up with a choice of Cinnamon Apple, Lemon or a really low-grade green tea -- the least popular bags, with any half-way decent black tea rarely making an appearance). I tried to demonstrate that a couple of teapots, strainers, one hot water kettle and five kinds of loose tea might take up approximately two square feet, while the coffee and ice-tea service took up at least twenty (I swear that espresso maker was the size of a small car) at one-hundredth of the initial investment and they looked at me like I was out of my mind.

As for the time involved, it's actually quicker to make a pot of tea than to make a cappuccino as far as the actuall hands-on time. Set the kettle to boil, come back in a few minutes, fill the pot with hot water (you can make your coffee drinks now and come back to it in ten seconds or so), dump water out, add tea, add water, put on the lid and go. Steeping can be done at table -- tea drinkers don't mind pouring their own, and they'll be so delighted at having it done right!

Obviously, I lost that battle, kids. (And the restaurant eventually went under -- admittedly, for reasons that had very little to do with tea.)

As a tea-drinker myself, I'd be happy with a PG Tips tea bag with freshly boiled hot water (which has never seen the inside of a coffee maker of any kind) poured directly over it into a decent cup. I know, I know, my standards have slipped dramatically -- and yet I don't ever seem to have ordered tea in any kind of establishment which has exceeded these somewhat reasonable requirements.

Apr 27, 2009
chefbeth in General Topics