(Been thinking about planning a European food trip? Meet my friend & food blogger, Jackie, from Jersey City and let her recent trip there be your guide!)
Hi folks! I’m back to reality after spending two amazing weeks touring the UK, Malta and Ireland. I tend to travel where my stomach takes me, however, for this trip believe it or not the food was secondary. But since this is a food blog…to the food we go first!
My first stop in Europe was London. Having visited the UK over 10 times (to Scotland) but always bypassing London (long story for another post), I felt I had to go just to see what it’s all about.
The first place I went for dinner which I found on the top 10 list of Young and Foodish was Goodman Mayfair where a burger and chips goes for a mere 14 pounds; which is no extraordinary feat for a city known for being expensive. I topped my burger with cheddar and bacon both which provided texture and taste that enhanced the juiciness of the beef patty. Surprisingly, it was the pickle that I thought made the burger. It was slightly acidic enough to cut through the rest of the burger and slightly sweet to provide contrast. Overall, it was one of the better burgers I’ve had on other side of the pond in awhile. One thing to note is that, reservations are recommended. The staff indulged two nice American girls wanting a burger in London so my new friend and I were lucky enough to sit at the bar without having to wait at all but this steakhouse looks like the call-ahead-and-make-a-reservation type of place. Read More @ LoveEveryByte.com
I’ve opened two restaurants as part of management in my culinary career. I know what it’s like to work 14-16 hours a day for months on straight with no day off. This comes with the package when you sign on to opening a restaurant. We have read about restaurant openings, heck, they are happening every day in some part of this world. Many of us love going to grand openings [I admit I'm one of them] because it’s exciting to see, say the beautiful decor, furniture, brand new kitchen, happy and very highly attentive service, and so on. But there are many of us who do not know nor understand what the chef has been through the months before.
The day before a grand opening, the chef possibly just had two nights off from working months straight testing out recipes, putting the final touches on the menu, educating his cooks, making sure every stove and other equipment is working properly, hiring and firing staff [yes, this even happens right before a restaurant opens], all of these things and more, over and over each day. I remember that my only fuel was caffeine and metal music for 4 months straight. It was an exciting experience for me. I didn’t care about the pain to my knees or the feeling of fatigue anymore because this is what being a chef was all about.
As a diner, you have to keep in mind that for a grand opening there will be mistakes. For example, the server might not have the menu memorized completely, or the food might come out a little delayed, whatever it is DON’T FUZZ about it! If it’s a big restaurant and as soon as you walk-in you find that it is partly filled with other customers don’t expect to be seated right away; actually expect to wait at least an hour or more. The reason for this is that the chef wants to still test out each dish that comes out of the kitchen and correct anything that he sees wrong coming from the hands of the person who cooked it, but most importantly, DOESN’T WANT TO GET SLAMMED! Imagine if everyone waiting were to be seated all at once [even groups of ten at 15 min apart] it would be a complete disaster.
Red Rooster in Harlem, NY was the last grand opening restaurant I visited. There were minor errors in the service and food, but I understood and didn’t talk about it in my review. These minor errors come with any grand opening’s territory. I was actually surprised on how minor the errors were. In my opinion, the entire staff handled themselves extremely well. As I glimpsed over at the open kitchen, I can see what the executive chef, Andrea Bergquist, has been through. For anyone who’s lived through an opening, It’s one of those things that you can see in their eyes.
The next time you attend a grand opening of any restaurant, don’t pick at the small stuff. Minor errors will be there, you just have to accept it. That’s why a restaurant has to work out its “kinks” and this only takes time. So when you find yourself soaking in all the beautiful decor, furniture, brand new kitchen, happy and very highly attentive service take a minute to acknowledge the chef behind your food.
It’s New Year’s Eve, when people from around the world get their hands on their favorite bottle of bubbly and get ready to toast to the good life! But drinking it is the EASY part. Opening…not so much! Chuonfood scouted YouTube searching for The Best Champagne Opening FAILS we could find, and boy, it was astonishingly fun! From champagne sabering gone wrong to [Ouch!] fast-flying corks to the face, this compilation should teach us a lesson! And, please, don’t attempt any of these things at home and if you do then have someone record it so I can use it on my next FAIL video. Enjoy!
What Chuonfood dot com is all about! An introduction video and a quick summary of what Will Chu’s road has been with food and where he is taking it next! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Viddler, and more!
Food and I have been at it for as long as I can remember. We’ve had our share up and downs together. Many times we didn’t agree with each other, but it was around the year 2000 when I took Food seriously. It was around this time when I decided to really give Food a chance and get to know it. I knew I found something I couldn’t let go, no matter how many things got in our way. I knew I chose something that was going to be with me for the longest time.
So how has your food relationship been? Exciting journey or a bit on the dull side and looking to spice things up again? Leave me a comment, I’d like to hear from you all!
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EL AGUILA – Passaic, NJ May 07, 2012 For 2012 Cinco de Mayo, we headed to the heart of little Mexico in Passaic, NJ and