23 October 2014

Stop Mocking Chefs


Every so often I see, hear or witness people mocking chefs, restaurants and the food they get there. Now I don't mind legitimate complaints especially if it has to do with the quality (note: QUALITY) of food and service.

But I've seen and heard too many people mocking chefs and chef-driven or prepared food. They mock the portions (even though they order starters, mains, side dishes AND dessert AND God knows how many drinks) as being 'tiny and not filling' or they mock the presentation skills of the chef, or they claim they either make it themselves and not pay the chef or they shouldn't have paid a certain amount for that food.

Please lah. If everyone can do what chefs do, there wouldn't be shows like Masterchef (eleh korang tengok kan pastu teruja kan) or Top Chef. Celebrity chefs wouldn't exist. Good food, revolutionary food and innovation in food wouldn't exist.

Sea scallops, Bell-Pepper Sauce, Ikura, Mesclun Mix, Calamansi-Gula Melaka Vinaigrette. One of my signature dishes.

Stop mocking chefs. Of all kinds.

Like with any profession we go through years, YEARS of training and learning and fucking up and falling down and learning again to be where we are or where we want to be. Stop mocking the culinary arts profession as if it's 'lowly'. Half of you couldn't do what we could do on a daily basis. Stop questioning why the food is priced that way: reality check, you're not just paying for the food. You're paying for the experience, the skill, the service, the damn rental and overheads of the place. Ingat Chef ni tak payah untung ke? 

Let's put it this way lah: when you need to give your kid an innoculation shot, or you need to have that weird boil on your back checked out, do you go to the doctor or the drug addict on the street? When your car breaks down would you rather a trained mechanic or some hobo come and fix your car?

I am most definitely worth it. Harumph.


06 October 2014

Respect Food


If you ever get the chance, do watch first hand how an animal gets slaughtered. It doesn't matter if it was the halal method, the shechita, a commercial gun or someone shooting an animal in the heart. Watch the animal die.
Thanks for the meat.

Because when you see it, you will develop a deeper appreciation to what you eat. You will know that a living organism gave its life for you to enjoy a good meal.

Be thankful.

Respect food. 
From seed to animal, from farm to plate.


03 October 2014

Ayam Goreng or The Best Fried Animal Ever (maybe)


It comes in many forms: Southern fried, Mamak fried, nasi daun pisang fried etcetera. But of all these forms of fried chicken, the only one that makes me keep coming back for more is the Ayam Goreng Kunyit.

And all hail the Seal of Great Ayam Goreng

It is probably the simplest form too: turmeric powder, salt, maybe a touch of pepper. That is it.
I remember when I used to watch my mother fry it when I was younger. She always complains about frying chicken because it takes so long. So I used to think that frying chicken was a tedious, time consuming affair. But no more.

Learning cooking has taught me simple basics to get the best ayam goreng. It is a simple straightforward affair.

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces so it cooks evenly. Then pat it dry before mixing in the turmeric and salt.

Dried chicken will cook better and faster because energy isn't wasted evaporating excess moisture. That's why mom took a long time to cook fried chicken; because the chicken pieces were always wet.

Moisture also prevents the chicken from getting that all imporant golden brown color and the crispy skin.

Those micro bubbles indicating crispiness only comes when the chicken is fried properly.
So dry your chicken before frying (or really, any sort of recipe that asks for crispy, browned skin). And make sur ethe oil is at a correct temperature. Too cool then the chicken ends up soaking oil, turning stodgy.

Ayam Goreng Kunyit
Wings, turmeric, salt, a touch of pepper, really hot oil