[Contentless] ITT you post right now [ASAP] your current thought.[Brains][Thinking][Personal][#41] (999)

706 Name: ( ´_ゝ`) : 1993-09-10165 21:48

i guess you don't know me but i'm basically the poster child for occupational burnout here, it's not a huge leap of faith for me to assume that it happens all the time in an industry with rampant wage theft, no benefits, high turnovers, and no sick days. but i still think most of those people are better cooks than me.
some advantages pro cooks have that i will never:

  • how many ways have a juiced a lime? exactly three. i own two juicers (one of those metal presser things and one of sharpened wooden stick things, which is far superior) and of course with my hands. there's nobody working next to me to learn a new trick from and any new equipment has to come directly out of my pocket, can't be borrowed.
  • practice with thousands of dollars of expensive ingredients
  • if i fuck up at home, it's not a big deal.
  • high turnover works two ways: the menu doesn't change at the restaurant, but people change restaurants.

the beef i have with famous restaurant books is, they're all implicitly a byproduct of the industrial process that is a restaurant kitchen. since i've never worked in a restaurant and never will, the fact that such and such recipe was adapted from an industrial process featuring e.g. a steam jacket kettle and how that would save time isn't necessarily obvious to me. it's more or less the same problem i have with cookbooks that feature "healthy" substitutions by default in all the recipes and don't mention it anywhere. i have to translate all that shit back myself.

for the restaurant books, i don't get the same economy of scale at home, my local supermarket ain't great, and there's nobody i can outsource procurement to. it goes beyond "but it's not ramp season, and i'm not in the northeast USA". the result (to me, after all the adaptations i have to make) is a 4-hour recipe (it'll take me 2 hours next time, but this is the first time) that leans very heavily on parm-regg, shallots, et cetera. my local supermarket doesn't even sell these things! like yeah i can make the trip to costco on occasion for the parm-reg but that shit takes all day and they don't sell shallots either. i have seen supermarkets in some cities that sell shallots for like $8/lb. chinese markets in those same cities that carry shallots have them for like $2/lb. i'm not paying $8/lb for a damn allium, so again it's an extra trip or i'm picking another recipe. like yeah i could just use onions but at that point why not just open up another book? in a restaurant the fresh shallots are delivered on a regular basis. they don't have to play this stupid game.

of course there's something i can learn from any cookbook (written by a competent cook), but i can learn it a lot faster from something less "world class", because i don't have to adapt it as much. examples of this type of book would be '660 curries' by iyer, 'food of taiwan' by erway, and 'home-style taiwanese cooking' by wan (it might be hard to find these kind of books for murikkkan food, but i happen to live with people from these countries and they appreciate my shenanigans). i can take those recipes and dress them up with my fancy techniques rather than working backwards.

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