Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris
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At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn't begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way. With the dramatic backdrop of restaurant life, readers will be delighted by the adventures of a bright and restless young woman looking for her place in the world.
But after, yeah. But I also think the hard-partying reputation among chefs is a cultural thing. I drank more whiskey while working at wd~50 than I had in my life up until then, but that sort of work-hard/play-hard culture didn’t exist in Vietnam or Israel, especially because the chefs went straight home at the end of their shifts. It was more of a job for them, and more of a lifestyle here,” I said. “Well, I for one am glad that you decided not to be a restaurant chef, because that means that I
chips, and Brussels sprout leaves, which they then cooked to order upstairs. When you “mise out” a specific recipe, you measure out all the ingredients exactly and place them in separate containers on a tray so that the chef doesn’t have to waste his time. Assembling one’s entire mise en place is probably the most important aspect of running a kitchen—both a professional kitchen and a home kitchen—since it ensures that you have everything you need before starting any cooking so you don’t
the duck bones in a roasting pan along with the shallots, ginger, and garlic, and roast until the bones begin to brown, about 40 minutes. Place the bones, shallots, ginger, and garlic in a large stockpot along with the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pod, and peppercorns, and add the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours. Skim off the fat, then strain the stock using a paper towel–lined fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl, discarding the solids. Add the salt (if desired) to the broth and
for “sirloin,” “beef,” “grouper,” “parsley,” and “cilantro,” working at Carmella was easy and fun. Sometimes the language barrier made me feel like a fish out of water, but I was able to devote my attention to my cooking. I was holding my own when it came to kitchen skills, even though most of the plates at Carmella were simple dishes that could be made at home by a skilled cook. I liked Daniel’s market-driven philosophy behind the cuisine, and I appreciated several culinary gems sprinkled
� cup red grapes Place the sugar, water, vanilla pod, white wine, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest in a pot, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Place the figs, apricots, dates, and grapes in a bowl. Strain the syrup using a fine-meshed sieve and pour over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight and for up to a week. Serve the fruit with a few spoonfuls of syrup. HALVAH ICE CREAM My mother became a halvah convert after eating the sesame-flavored ice