Prefer Beef Chicken or Pork ?

So we were chatting in the kitchen the other day and we have all walks of life working at our Melbourne Feast Kitchens, from professional chefs that have worked at high end restaurants to mothers that have perfected pasta sauces and protected secret pasta sauce recipes. Then the all mighty question came up –  what meat do you put in your bolognese?

Well, this was the start of a discussion that still continues today. Some families do a mixture of pork and beef. Some families from the North of Italy even put boiler chicken in the mince.

Some modern recipes are even putting Thai fish sauce in as a flavour enhancer. This question of what goes best in Bolognese gets more complex as we peel the layers down and explore what the best flavour is.

We have even found out that the historical Bolognese sauce contained a mixture of all the meats and hardly contained much tomato flesh at all. This most likely results in a dark brown rich almost casserole style flavour . Interesting to say the least.

One thing we all did agree on is that the best Bolognese sauces need to be cooked slow and given time to evolve into viscose and rich soft textured sauces. So no matter what the meat, the secret seems to come from the slow process.

So next time you are deciding what to put into your pasta sauce, let the experimenting start and why not explore something different and tasty !!!

Thank you for reading

Barilla Pasta Review

Barilla Pasta Review

 

 

So I’m about to tell you about a pasta my grandfather in Italy use to swear by. He said it was the reason he lived to be 95. ( I’m half that )

Barilla pasta whether you like it or not, is one of the biggest global players in the pasta making community on the planet and it is over 140 years old and growing.

My grandfather use to boil his vegetables till almost done then throw some Barilla spaghetti in the water then dress the whole lot with extra virgin olive oil and call it perfection.

He pretty much brain washed me into thinking that Barilla was the best and the rest didn’t even come anywhere near it.  I mean, he did have organic vegetables and the best local made olive oil tossed in with his pasta. To be honest, any pasta cooked perfect would have tasted perfect mixed with those condiments.

However, I want to be fair and I want to admit, that Barilla pasta for me is spot on. I’m not a fan of the tortellini like items and some of the pre made sauces they make. I am referring however to the dried pasta that pretty much sells in every major supermarket around the globe.

The cooking of the pasta in my experience has been consistent and predictable which is a good thing in my profession.

I need to also mention that in my experience, about 10 years ago, we use to use it at one of my restaurants and I did notice that the pasta did take considerably longer to cook to aldente than it does now.  Is it just me or if you are an old bastard like me and remember cooking pasta in the old days, did you notice this?

My chef step dad use to say – Spigadoro spaghetti fucks all over it Bruno – ( I was on the fence with his opinion / comment TBH)

For those chefs out there that pre cook and hold the  pasta for later use, you will also find that Barilla pasta absorbs good amounts of oil and can withstand re heating and saucing with top  consistency as well.

I have found that when cooking for large groups of people, that there are better dried pastas that hold better, but I am still happy to use the Barilla pasta and get top results as well. So my verdict is that I am super happy to use Barilla Pasta.

Some chefs complain that the pasta is way over priced, and I need to disagree here.  The overall cost of the pasta is minimal in my experience unless you are using super cheap items, and to be honest, I haven’t been happy with the consistency of the cheaper brands overall.

So, yes before you disagree with me and say, there are way better pastas out there , what my point here is that, for the money and for the availability the pasta is still one of my favourites. Let’s not forget that for a company with a high turnover of product, they actually do a fantastic job of providing consistency and quality and that is rare these days for a company that big.

This product if you haven’t already tried it, gets a thumbs up from me.

 

About Business courses

April 26nd 2016

Should I buy that course? Should I hand my visa card over ? Is this the ticket to where I want to go?

 

After watching an interview today, I heard something that made me think for a while. The essence of what the guy being interviewed was saying was, when was the last time you were on a web page or read a book or saw a speaker and the person giving the talk or providing the information was not trying to sell you something. The only thing they were trying to do was give you every bit of information they had just so they could help their audience.  No cross selling to their next book , no direction to their course. Just honest information to pass on authentic information.

I was thinking then about people that come into our lives and become our mentors. I believe that when you find the right mentor, that person is authentically showing you their skills and brain stores for the reason that they just want you to get to the next level.

Or in other words – they want to offer help, for no other reason other than it is what they want to do and they feel right doing it.

So what is the moral of the story here? Well I just wanted to say that in this day and age of fast paced courses and people that claim that they can make you a superstar after you hand over your credit card. Sometimes you need to just get more authentic with the way we search and find real information about our journey ahead and passions .

 

Did that even make any sense?

I hope so – I believe it is time to search for authenticity as a qualification when evaluating whether or not to jump into courses and web pages and all round advice from everyone

 

 

 

 

Slow cooked lamb

I like to think of cooking in I general similar to building an amazing structure, building or house, call it what you will.

You need to plan the process, then source the best components that you can afford. Then gracefully exploit all the ingredients and evolve the process to producing something that is of quality and that you are proud of.

 

 

Slow cooked lamb –

 

Lamb shoulder 2 kilo

Onion chopped

Oregano

Rosemary

Olive oil

 

 

This recipe is perfect for highlighting as the main show case of the meal, or it can be used as a component as a part of a quality meal course.

Think about slow cooked Moroccan style lamb with Cous Cous – or think about hand made pita topped in shredded lamb shoulder with greens and feta.

Anyway – here is my basic foundation for producing a beautiful lamb dish that can actually take your cooking skills to a new level.

 

To sear or not to sear – that is the question!!

 

Ok – you need to go back to the planning here when deciding whether to sear or not.

So if the lamb is to be served sliced or as the ‘hero of the dish ‘ ( fuck I am over the way everyone says that ) then – yes I would sear it at this point .

If suvee method is being applied then you can sear at the end . ( this is another whole world here, so for today I am assuming you are Ol school and cooking the old fashioned way)

 

 

So let’s rub the lamb shoulder with olive oil and your selected herbs .

 

Then tie the lamb into a neat log.

 

Sear with some fat( if you have some rendered lamb fat from the last roast , this will add to the flavour.

 

Sear till golden brown and then place aside .

 

In deep dish, fry all the vegetables and then when golden, place the lamb deep within the vegetables.

 

If the end dish is meant to be saucy then I do like to place some peeled tomato( not much though )

If it is to be used as a component to another dish, then water and a splash of white wine is the way to go here. Cover the meat with liquid and then poach in oven or on stove till tender when pierced . I cook at temperatures below 90 degrees .

 

This can take up to 2-3 hours . Do not let the liquid boil .

 

Once the meat is cooked then take out of the poaching liquid and let rest and cool.

 

Place the poaching liquid on stove and reduce ¾. .

Season the meat partially. The meat will need further seasoning when being served .

 

 

Keep some of the thicker poaching liquid so that you can use it to moisten the meat when reheating . The rest of the liquid can be reduced even more. Till you get a saucy consistency.

 

Once the lamb is cold – portion control the meat into desires sizes and keep airtight .

Vacuum is the optimum system here. Place some of the poaching liquid in the vacuum bag and then store till required

 

 

When re heating . Keep in mind that the slower the reheat the better the texture will be.

Slow moist heating .

I have seen chefs stir fry meats straight out of the fridge and flaming up pans with stock.

This method is inconsistent in the result and in my opinion is fucked !!

 

 

 

Is the food bizz for me?

Food business success

 

So why am I setting on this journey of telling you how to become a success in the food business? To be honest, this how to book is more a story based on my journey in hospitality over the last 25 years. I am going to give you all my funny stories and then follow it up with a ‘ the moral of the story is ‘

 

Another thing to remember is that we all have a different journey and what is right for me may or may not be right for you. Maybe your approach is to serve low numbers and super complex items and my style is to maximise covers executed each day because that challenge makes me want to wake up and get out of bed every day. We all have the common goal here.

 

We are all serving customers and hoping to show them value and exceed their expectations.

 

Over the years I have heard people joke and make comparisons of our industry to the days of slavery and at some level, maybe they are connected.  However, for me my opinion is that the true human experience does involve at some point, the ability to be able to serve a fellow human with a need.  I know what some of you are thinking, tell that to me next time my customer is being a bitch about nothing.

 

I am going to set out the things that I have learned and that are important to me.

 

Maybe the road to success is similar to that of Dorothy from the wizard of Oz. We all know that in the end the Emerald city was full of shit and it is up to us to find that which gives us fulfilment and truth.

 

I congratulate you on being part of the hospitality industry.  We are like the chosen ones. You can somehow see that after all the hours of no sleep and all the days on your feet, no matter what, there is no other industry out there that makes us feel like we belong.

 

We all complain when we are on our feet and we all have days that just don’t work out, but something ( and believe me, it’s not the money) keeps attracting us back. When we aren’t at work there is like a feeling that you miss being part of the action. The feeling has its own personality.

 

I want to also let you know that this business is a marathon and it’s all about pacing yourself and searching for excellence the best we know how.

 

It’s all about being the best versions of ourselves that we can be and for me I am doing this with my food businesses.

 

Bruno Condello

 

 

 

 

Just a thought or two about how garlic gets abused

This is about garlic abuse

 

 

As someone that cooks for a living, I can safely say that I have seen a lot of fads come in and out over the years. One thing however that is not going out of fashion ( unfortunately ) is the abuse of garlic.

 

You know what I am talking about. So you go out for a pizza and the pizza arrives and all you can taste is the sad abuse of garlic. You see, I don’t have an issue with garlic, or the clever use of garlic to make what you are eating more interesting and tasty. What I do have an issue with however is the use of that pre packed crushed shit that people in restaurants call garlic.

It comes in buckets and is super cheap and convenient compared to the real thing. Well the real thing that comes in the form where you need to peel it and then cut it up.

 

Some chefs even go to the effort of getting beautiful fresh garlic and then fucking it up and making it taste like the rancid preserved concoction that bottom of the pit food handlers like to use to fuck up their food with.

 

In fact I remember being at Chef classes in the 90’s and one of the classes was about chopping the garlic cloves up and then popping them in to a jar and salting them and then , well it would keep for days in great condition. Just like the one you can buy pre crushed.

 

Let’s then go to the fry pan during service. So many chefs in my opinion are just throwing garlic in the pan during service, just for the sake of putting garlic in a dish.

 

A few years ago, I was having some time off from full time employment and decided to do some agency emergency chef work for some extra cash on the side.

 

There were so many head chefs that would instruct me to put crushed garlic in dishes, just for the sake of giving food that pre eighties Italian flavour that the customers longed for.

 

I wonder if they had any real reason of why the dish needed garlic in the first place.

Most of the time, it was because they thought that Italian food needs garlic.

This is from a head chef from a popular western suburbs RSL.

 

So when making pasta with creamy prawns.

First you under cook the diced onion. Then you add the frozen Asian prawns, followed by too much cheap cask wine, then reduce it a little bit, then follow with a cup of cream and a table spoon of crushed bulk garlic. Add the over cooked pasta and then serve it for $15.

 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a super popular dish. However, in my books, life is too short to eat shit like this.

 

Let’s start back to basics and get fresh ingredients and treat them with some respect.

 

This is one way that I love using garlic

Get your veg supplier to give you some real mother fucking garlic.

 

Peel it. ( look it up on YouTube – really? Did I need to tell you how? There are so many ways. choose which ever suit you)

 

Get a super sharp knife or even a razor blade and then slice the garlic paper thin.

 

Heat up oil gently in a pan and when the oil is starting to gain heat, then place garlic in pan and keep the temperature on a low heat. Cook the garlic slow till they are golden and there is a beautiful nutty, garlic sweetish aroma.

 

This is now ready to go to the next step.

 

I love cooking the garlic, slow and golden as opposed to frying the shit out of it till the whole street smells like Lygon bad pasta trattoria from the excessive 80’s

 

Try this out and hopefully I have made you think about taking your skill to a better level