A selection of the excellent Culinary and Chef related Blogs located at Harvest America Ventures reprinted with permission of Chef Paul Sourgle.  

I strongly suggest that you visit his site and spend some time enjoying his incredible work.



CoffeArticle“I don't know where my ideas come from. I will admit, however, that one key ingredient is caffeine. I get a couple cups of coffee into me and weird things just start to happen.” 
― Gary Larson
Isn’t that the case with most of us? Coffee, and the presence of caffeine has become one of those necessities in life. It is, oftentimes, the first thing we consume in the morning and the last thing before sleep. In a restaurants kitchen, coffee is the lifeblood of production. The juice that keeps use motivated to blast through that impossible list of mise en place before service and the fuel that keeps everyone’s senses dialed up to “10” on the volume scale as the printer spits out orders from the dining room.


Can Chefs Get Old and Stay Relevant

I have often caught myself saying that cooking in a professional kitchen is a young persons game. Having left the kitchen for education and then returned at the age of 55, it was obvious to me that certain jobs within a kitchen required physical stamina and mental acuity that comes with youth, however, there were still many other areas of responsibility where mental maturity and experience ruled. The dilemma of age and remaining relevant plagues nearly every profession, but my point of reference can only be what I know, thus I thought it was a topic worth investigating.
An interesting parallel might be the evolution of musical taste and how each age group perceives the other. When I was very young I can remember the impatience that the over 50 crowd had with what we were listening to. On the other hand, I, like my peers, felt that those over 50 were listening to prehistoric tunes that seemed so uninteresting to us. This disparity in preference was, is and will likely always be present. Much of today’s music seems dysfunctional to me and I am sure that the opposite is true with those who have worked with me in the kitchen and are under the age of 30. Oh, well, such is life; right?


The World Through A Chefs Eyes

We all have different ways to view the world around us. Chefs tend to work more than many other people and have difficulty decompressing when they do get a chance to have some personal time. The complexity of their position leads chefs to see the world through the eyes of the restaurant. This is a synopsis of how things line up through their eyes:

As much as chefs would like to separate vendors from the products they want and need, it is difficult to do so. Chefs realize their primary job is to buy the best possible ingredients to ensure the opportunity exists to create great dishes. In most cases, chefs would prefer to deal directly with the farmer or producer, but due to time constraints and distribution challenges they are forced to do business with vendors. There are some that are great; vendors who appreciate their role as a provider, respect the ingredients as much as the chef, understand the pressure their clients are under to be profitable and focus on service above all else. Unfortunately, experience demonstrates that many vendors do not understand their role and cannot be trusted to deliver on the promise. This drives chefs absolutely crazy.