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Why as chefs arent we using more ungraded veg, and shouting about it.

message posted 28-Nov-11 22:47:45
Heres my thoughts, un-graded veg tastes the same, sometimes better, but because its not your stereo tpical 'super market or supplier' shape, no one uses it, its generally wasted, but if we all started using it, and shouting about it, then people will know and use it, therefore driving the price of veg right down, because lets be fair, ver and fruit prices are tracking meat infaltion, and our food margins or spend per head suffers in the process. lets SHOUT about ungraded veg.
message posted 01-Dec-11 09:31:52
Very true !!

I have for a couple of years got ungraded veg from my suppliers for : soups, stocks, puree's , pretty much anything where they are not presented on the plate in their "natural" state, there we have to use graded.

I also de bone most of our meats and great for training. I have shouted for years that when you for example buy something boned and rolled, the price you pay includes, bone in weight, so where are the bones ?

All these little things go a long way to making a profit and keeping the place in business and your team in a job.

Well done Ogden, keep shouting about it. !
message posted 01-Dec-11 21:16:31
kman, nice one agreeing chef.

And your spot on with the meats, all meat prices are getting ridiculous, so de-boning them and usein the bones for stocks/sauces is old school, sensilble and i love it, its the way it should be done.

I have many train of thoughts os to why supplier prices are through the roof, an all time high, and why cheffing is a dying skill!...........heres the one that gets me, is that we are churning out kids that do 2 years of opening maggi products to make stock, because in 70% of kitchens, they actually do that, and because of labor constarints, we need to find cheaper staff,so, cheaper unskilled staff, plus rising base prices and higher expected food margins, multi site restaurants are looking more at bought in products........yes they serve a purpose, but only for branded, and these young kids in kitchens think its great...this is having a knock on effect on eveything.

its just that im passionate about cheffing man, and i think its getting ruined.

And dont get me started on my idea to drop meat prices.......thats another one thats doing my head in.

nice to chet to you chef
message posted 01-Dec-11 21:58:35
Couldn't agree more!!!! Have been cooking for 40 years, showing kids how to fillet fish bone meat & use odd shaped veg maybe now is the time we should start shouting about it
message posted 02-Dec-11 09:13:42
Could not agree more with all !!

However... it only seems to be in this country and america. I just dont get it.

In Europe they still have apprenticeships for chefs, their catering schools, start from the basics and you will be hard pushed to find a single packet in them. In fact there is a class in the 3rd year that deals with convenience products and how to use them if confronted by one..... !!!

I think it is also the British public, because so many have forgotten how to cook and what food tastes like.

I did a relief gig about 4 yrs ago at one of these shopping centre pub chains, everything came in packets, the only thing that did not was the cucumber. Anyway after serving 200 for lunch, I got a waitress come back to the pass with this shocked look on her face, ... a customer complained that the mash tasted like it came out of a packet !!

I jumped for joy and bought the guy a pint !

1 in 200 actually tasted the food.

Catering colleges should be ashamed of themselves................. !!!!

message posted 04-Dec-11 23:44:32
hello chefs,,,,,,,,,,,,,right so heres the next do we get all chefs using and shouting about ungraded veg, and how do we get the same with chefs in sites useing meats, old school cuts, cheaper cuts, the cuts that take a bit of prep, and maybe a slow cook.........but are so woeth it in the end reuslt....?

If we can get just 1 or 2 on board, then 3 and 4, we could make something of this, and as we as chefs are currently paying through the roof for our products, and we cant pass that increase on to the customer, then our bottom lines are taking a hit, but if we can start something, then suppliers will eventually have to listen and lower their prices, then we all win..........we just need to educate people and the chefs!

Id love it.........start the new revolution, with us normal everyday chefs, not the tv satrs!
message posted 08-Dec-11 16:13:44
Can I join the bandwagon?

Years ago some guy I was doing work for told me 'we are not in the business of educating people.' Because I was reluctant to cook to well-done the bought in burgers that dried out to a rusk, like animal feed, after the fat had drained off them....
If that is the mentality....our work is cut out!!!!

Everything is as is, because the employers want consistent(low cost!) product and are loathe to pay for the skill that will achieve said results. Thus, you are always short staffed. And pay over the odds for plastic, perfect veg(!). In all probability, your punters have a problem paying over thirty quid for a three course meal. It was the same in the eighties, nineties...and the new millenium now! Don't even get me started on organic veg-a right proper con!
All these constraints lead to one thing-low wages for the chefs-because you are using a lot less skill!
Maybe the regular chefs need to do their own cookery shows and books, lauding the wonderful, unrecognised gift of nature and the unsung talent that harnesses it? Don't limit can be done, alongside your job, earn you more kudos and the due recognition too!!!! There's more to life than telly chefs...not taking away from them....but you do understand.....

This other place I was at, the Sous had no clue about boning out deer....much less an inkling on how to clean out ducks, pheasants, heart bleeds for the new knorr brigade! The boss man was convinced it was a waste of time. Bones and mirepoix and large pots of stock meant wasted gas and too much storage space requirement. All this input into the boss' head from a supposed leading local chef! Flour, cornstarch, fecule, black spinach and grey asparagus all in to boot were his stock in trademarks on the stove!!

My bird went mental when she once found me in the skip room of our local greengrocer. She bitched I was feeding her veg from the bin....I replied it was veg and fruit to be binned...just cos it was not perfectly shaped. She left...bloody hell-good riddance anyway....and then came back! She went more crazy when it was obvious she was living off fruit and veg from out back....and left.....for good! Phew....I am not tight....I just don't see the point in all that waste!

If from within our very own ranks......

You try going to your local Tesco or Supermarket bin room....SAS style security!

We pay good money for shit!

There's always another way, a better way

Big love
message posted 08-Dec-11 20:44:35
Here's how I see the future of our business:

Big branded corporations (mitchells and butler, green king etc), buying up small one/multi site businesses, all run by accountants, wanting more for less, with no understanding of how kitchens run, or what it takes to actauly run a good kitchen serving quality food, is undoubtably going to be end of skilled chefs.

Instead, we will end up with low cost, high volume microwave chefs, working in a world of 2 4 1's or 2 for 10 quid places, I dont even think that your local country pub, run by good managemnt, with a chef that cares is safe............businesses such as brake bros etc will rocket because they can produce a cook from frozen lamb shank (to name one in an ever growing catalogue of brought in products) for cheaper than we can source it, prep it, slow cook it, plate it, and make a small profit on it, and there is no stopping this horrible cenario, absolutely none.

Gone will be the days of stocks and sauces constantly on the go, instead stocks are powdered, sauces are in packets, and everything is held in a baine marie, where the only tool you need in a kitchen is a pair of scissors to open packets.

So instead of high quality passionate chefs, getting paid a half decent wage, for whats lets be fair, is a tough old business, we will end up with micro chefs, that can turn out 150+ covers an getting paid pennies, serving micro food, and crap quality cuts of meat, to guests that dont really care because they are getting a massive plate full of food for a few

It sucks ass, but its true.

Dont get me wrong, there are some independants doing well, and fair play to them, but if a corporation rocked up, and offered them decent money to hand over their business, then most people would sell.

Good old accountants eh, we need them, but are driving are business down the pan.
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