Restaurant and Cooking Tips from the Professionals

Sometimes its best to take advice from a chef.

Hey everyone, today I am posting advice from food professionals on little tricks that they use when cooking and on how to get the best deal at a restaurant.

So let’s get to it!

10 Food Tools and Tricks

The other night I was at a Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) party with some friends (a recap and pictures forthcoming). One of my friends was lamenting on how to cook something that seemed relatively simple, and my best friend (who cooks well, thus I raid his fridge often) offered some advice. My cooking challenged friend was surprised at the amount of knowledge my best friend knew and asked “how do you know all this stuff?” Well, it comes from watching television, reading books, and checking things out on the net.

For instance at the Huffington Post they have this simple slide show of little tricks people in the food industry use when cooking. I’ll do a quick run thru here and may be throw in a comment or two, but you should check out the slide show here.

  1. Using a Pedegg as a lemon or lime zester. All I can say is don’t use the one for you feet when you are making my drinks.
  2. Spice up your fries with some Old Bay Seasoning.
  3. Use mayo, in particular Hellmann’s Mayo. I’m not surprised by this tip, as mayo, like butter and bacon, makes almost everything better (well, except your arteries).
  4. Protect your cake with plastic food film, in fact, it may improve its texture.
  5. Coriander for sweet and savory dishes.
  6. Use a Vita Prep to make your sauces and vinaigrettes.
  7. Microplane, you don’t need to wish airplanes are shooting stars to save your meal with this versatile tool.
  8. Use cinnamon to add depth and flavor.
  9. Flat Spatula. Treat it like an extension of your hand, as it gives greater control in pans
  10. Use your pasta water. Don’t dump it out! It adds that starchy and salty goodness to sauces.

5 Tips How to Get Deals at Restaurants

Are you a small business owner? Have a budget to keep, but need to rope in those new clients?

Over at OPEN Forum, Jean Chatzky shares some advice on how to bring down that high price check at restaurants. While she is speaking from a small business owner trying to impress clients, but keep the costs down all the advice given from culinary professionals can be used even on a more casual/friendly basis. So here goes:

  1. Do breakfast. Luc Dimnet, the Executive Chef of Brasserie in NYC, says “A lot of restaurants that serve breakfast have good offers for business that include coffee, orange juice, and a great dish.  There’s also no risk that the guest will order an expensive bottle of wine[.]”
  2. Share. Richard Sandoval, chef and owner of more than a dozen restaurants recommends going small. Small plates are trendy right now and sharing keeps the tab down. This also allows you to try a wider range at a new restaurant without breaking the bank. I think this is a tip that Hawaii people have known for a while. Family style, the way to go!
  3. Plan ahead. David Burke, chef and owner of David Burke Restaurants, says “Arrange for a pre-set menu ahead of time, with wines included in the price.” While this may take some planning the personalized menu always looks fancy to others.
  4. Stay casual. Chef Kerry Simon of LA Market in LA says that restaurants nowadays have a high and low tier, with the lower being more casual in terms of cost and presentation. Moreover, clients probably would appreciate relaxed every now and then.
  5. Eat early. Try dining between 5 and 6pm suggests Chef David Myers, owner of Sona in Los Angeles and Comme Ça in LA and LV. During this time many restaurants have special drink and food deals.

For the full details on the aforementioned advice check it out at OPEN Forum. Oh yeah, if you are interested in business casual in downtown Honolulu read about it at the Honolulu Grub Club’s news round-up here.


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