The WebSite Devoted to all things Gastronomical and the Study of the Effects of said Cuisine in tandem with the Universe, Humanity and the Lord Almighty. *Quantum Physics are the stuff ,dreams are made of. * JB *We should all look to our roots for the knowledge to grow from.* JB

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's been one year since you looked at me.

Hello members, what up with all the time lapse. See yo soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A month ran through it. Splendid Summer

Well the month of July has come and now, as the end of my year draws to a close, I realize that Roasting Jack is an underfed blog.
I have been busy at work and play this last month and I am happy to be living in Portland ME. Just a great little town and close enough to Freeport to travel to the inn and have some monet lef6t over after gas.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Work, Work , Work. Rain, Rain,Rain

Today i have found 30 min. to type. I have made it to the library. Well the best part of growing up is having to run araound like crazy, it makes you appreciate the moments where you just get to sit for a bit. It's been a while since my last blog and I am cruising now that Alan is back from Vay Cay. Sweet lights up my days not to feel like everything is on my shoulders. That's sometimes is nice but it can get old and that means that you will get cranky. Having two jobs in the industry made me feel like I was going , In sane .Managing the tavern and moving two weeks ago with learning the new menu at 555. Well for not the first time I bit off two much and really went way into overdrive. Not the end of the world but I stopped working at 555 for the meanwhile.
And When the day that June finally showed up and brougt some nice weather. About time I say It has rained for some month and a half now straight. Nice

Blah , blah,blah LAter

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Monday's Are Just as Fun as Saturday's...

Just yesterday, I set up the Wood oven station at the Tavern and I wrote out some specials for the restuarant and while I was not really sure how busy we were going to be, I was just as happy to see the restuarant lull for an hour into service.
This let us make sure we were all set up and could be ready when the dinner rush came. It did.

During the night a number of things happened. First off my 1st line cook burned his hand, trying to pan sear a steak black and blue. Very charred on the outside and cold in the middle. So when my friend ignited the pan into flame and then tryed to put it out he scorched his right hand's knuckles. I filled out the accident report later after finshing the push without him. Fun Fun. I did give him first aid before filling out the report form and after closer inspection. I found only very minor burns. To the dissapointment of the Restuarant manager, who had been running around getting in the way and shrieking , excitedly" He's got second and maybe third degree burns" and " He will have to go to the hospital for sure."

Shut Up I remember thinking, that behavior only adds to the chaotic confusion already stemming from the now short staffed entree line. So i whittled away at orders until my line cook came back out to service and said he was fine to continue.
"Good" I said. Although I made sure he was fine before letting him continue.

So I told him I would finish working his shift as a nice 11 hour day always appeals to me write after a dinner rush.

Standing in the second lull of the night I was approached by two men in dark suits.
They said that the meal was superb, no , better than that, and the were very impressed, but as I dislike allowing myself to casually talk to guests when service is still operating. "Thank You gentlemen. Iam glad you enjoyed dinner." I said quickly, getting myself ready to make sure that my dinner station was still all right and I wouldn't be running out of anything, in case of the next rush.

The two men stayed where they were and said that thanks again , That as representatives from the State Restuarant association and the National restuarant association.

I was really trying not to smile to much , but instead i sort of felt awkward and stammered out another thank you. Later i found a note at the front desk saying how much The two gentlemen had been impressed , that they had written the Tavern a compliment, and given it to the front desk , to be passed on to the owners.

Now things were really getting into full swing as the next rush came through the restuarant . I had persuaded my linecook to stay on till 9pm and he said sure. I don't think he was really hurt as bad as he wanted to hang out at his house with his roommate. During the next rush the dinners went out quietly enough with no problems and I was getting ready to let 1st linecook go, as my pantry chef had just come back from break. He looked crushed and when I approached him he said that he just had news that a good friend of his had been killedin Iraq. I took him asideand talked to him for a minute, He seemed like he was out of it but he was O.K.

Strange what you think about in the span of a few hours, concern for my cooks. Pride at the dinners, compassion and devotion are a really stunning pair that never fail to unlock my innermost emotions. I felt charged for the rest of the night and was feeling very out of my skin.

Just at 10pm/ I had sent my burnt linecook home. I had sent my pantry chef downstairs to put gear away for the night. I was cleaning my counters when, the Dining Room manager asked me if I was able To prepare Halibut for two regular guests, who had come in too late to eat at the formal dining room. But they had requested halibut and it seemed that these people where so regular that the Dining room manager had rushed to tell them that Chef James was a fantastic cook, who would be able to take care of them.

I quickly put together a Pan seared Halibut, Basil Rissoto , Asparagus Ragout.
With Slow Cooked Red Onion Confit.

I served them through the front waiter and instructed him to carefully explain what the where eating as they would not get to see it on a menu, at least not one that had been written yet.

As I was dropping off my paperwork that night. The front desk clerk told me that she had been instructed by a guest to write another positive review for me. I smiled and asked what about. It seems that the two "Halibut " guests had enjoyed their meal so much that they wanted the Owners to know that "Chef James had cooked them the best meals that they had while ever staying at the Inn. "

Sweet I thought that so many different emotions could come out in one night.
Saturday's may be busy , but Monday's more personal and that's a good thing too.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Prep Kitchen has allure as well.

I spent most of the day yesterday, manufacturing sauces, vegetables, stocks, roasting pancetta, working out the finer points for the Tavern kitchen before it even goes up the Tavern.

I was working in the Downstairs basement prep kitchen at the Inn. It was nice and I really liked the slightly less demanding (and stressfull) pace of not cooking orders for waiting guests.

I love the line don't get me wrong, it was a nice change of view though.

The Beef Stock itself was the largest and nicest batch I have ever personally made, Some 35# of beef bones and trim were roasted in the oven and the added to about 15# of caramelized mirepoix, other various flavors were blended to this and then covered in water. This I set up at 11:30 am and will simmer lazily until about 11:00 the next morning when the prep cook will strain the stock into containers and cool it. Then under the fat cap of congealed beef fat will be a stock made with all natural ingriedients. Very Nice, and my personal favorite for the day.

With stock the options you have are more varied than with boullion,which I have never at the Inn by the way.

When you make a traditional, demi -glace. You take about two gallons of beef stock and reduce it into a cup of liquid. When the concentrated liquid cools it's as hard as a superball. That's demiglace. The flavor is intense and cannot be duplicated in any other way. For instance if you reduce boullion ,what do have ,boullion.
Stock is very cool, what a cool day I had yesterday while exploring the natural wonders of basic cooking.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Portland Publishing Powered by Blogger

Well Thanks to the South Portland Public Library, I am able to keep on the blog and with the blogger being a free service; the only cost to publish is my time and the ablity to pump out a blog update in less than one hout(timed sessions @ library).

The Move online is as lucrative a learning tool as most anything else that I have been doing. Hopefully I can get some insight into media transposition. I would like to be able too make this website into a fully interactive tool. Maybe offering BflickrB or weblinks. As I get into the swing, I'll be happy to expand on the project. But for now, I'm glad to be blogging, and keeping anyone out there abreast of news from the great state of Maine.

Friday, March 10, 2006

PSO Benefit Dinner

Last Monday night I was presented with a real treat.
Portland Symphony Orchestra hosted a benefit dinner for it's patrons.
The catering was done by course from a selection of the finer restuarants in Maine.

The Harraseeket Inn was present and I went as part of the delagation.
With The Maine Dining Room's chef Matt Duly, Broad Arrow Tavern Chef, Alan McGrath, and Executive Chef Lyden from the Inn

Also present were owner/chefs, executive chefs, sous chefs,pastry chefs & line cooks
from Hugo's , Cinque Terra, Five Fifty Five and Fore Street.

The army of talent in the kitchen was amazing and I was glad to meet and talk to all the talent that was present that night. I was able to find a few connections for part time work. Also a few places where I may shadow for a few hous and then eat at one the finer restuarants for my time at work. So I would get to work and learn new things and then, eat a great *(usually expensive meal) for free.

cool that would be like washing dishes , before dinner. (Not really)

More later.

South Portland Ahoy!

Wee, I 've slid into my new digs in South Portland. In frequent trips to South Portland Library will help me to maintain this log.

The area's very nice and I like it a lot , It has been a long time since I've lived in a city. I mean a reputable city anyway. It's a very cool town and It's beautiful to see it in person.

The new apartment will cost me enough, so that I will cut out drinking and smoking, as well as any dining out that might tempt me in this culinary haven of Portland.

The move is great because is allows Rob & Cat the option to do what they would like to my old space before they sell the house and maybe that will help them find a buyer..

Much thanks to the Jordans for their help in geting set up in Maine. They really put me back on my feet. Wish Good Luck to your hero as his new quest for economic solidarity begins.