To Grow More is to Learn More

People are amazed to see how much food related material and kitchen equipment we have in our place. As I said several times before, I love what I do and therefore I take my job seriously. People ask me why I have so much stuff. The answer is simple, I am constantly in search of ways to grow and expand my knowledge. Here are some methods that have broadened my mind.

Cookbooks

I have an addiction to cookbooks. Place me in any bookstore in any city and you know where to find me; the cookbook aisle. Checking out for new releases has become a weekly routine. Currently I have over 100 cookbooks which I have tabbed and made recipe notes. Cookbooks are like novels to me. I read, review and study them.

What is the latest cookbook you purchased? Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver

Dining out

Dining out is ultimately what I enjoy most. I am in search for the latest restaurant, the next upcoming celebrity chef, the coolest décor and the most creative appetizing dishes across the country. Dining out is a good way to keep up to date with current trends. Dining out is no doubt expensive, so knowing your budget is wise. Select more expensive restaurants for special occasions.

Which restaurant do you wish you could go to? Charlie Trotters in Chicago

Food Markets and Supermarket

Exploring and trying new and exotic ingredients is part of learning what goes well with other ingredients. My cooking inspiration comes from going to the food market searching for the next ingredient to try. How far will I go? I have sat outside at 3:00AM at the doors of one of the largest food markets as I watched trucks unload the catch of the day and the freshest farmer’s vegetables.

What is your favorite Asian supermarket? T&T Supermarket

Kitchen Stores

Generally, I hate shopping! But if it has something to do with food then that’s a different story. Shopping for kitchen stuff is like shopping for a restaurant but just on a small scale. There is so many brands and quality to choose from that you begin to learn what is best. You don’t have to buy, you can always browse.

What is your favorite brand of cookware? Calphalon Nonstick

Magazine and Online Subscriptions

Subscriptions are one of my favorite ways of keeping up to date on restaurant reviews, kitchen gadgets, recipes and current trends. Currently I subscribe to three food based magazines and three industry based magazines. In addition I have signed on with five online subscriptions for industry news and I am also a member of Restaurant Owner, an online association providing tools for restaurant owners.

Food magazines include:

Industry magazines include:

Online Subscriptions include:

What other magazines do you purchase? Food Arts and Food & Wine

Tradeshows

Tradeshows are ideal for any serious individual planning to work in the restaurant industry. It is a great place to network with some of the most respected industry leaders. Other benefits include meeting various suppliers from every sector of the industry and having the opportunity to sample products and test equipment. For the last eight years I have attended every food and beverage show in the city including a wine event at least once a year. I have even traveled to New York just for the sole purpose of attending a seminar given by well known chef author, Anthony Bourdain. At this same event, I had the privilege to personally speak to some of most acclaimed chefs in the country including New York’s renowned chef, David Chang of Momofuko Noodle Bar.

Which tradeshow do you want to attend? Northwest Foodservice Show, April 27-28 in Seattle www.nwfoodserviceshow.com

Food Literature

Food novels have been increasingly popular ever since the release of the very comical book, “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain. Food novels are no longer just for foodies. Some of the very best books that I highly recommend for anyone to read include:

  • Lessons in Service by Charlie Trotter
  • The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
  • Don’t Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs by Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman
  • The Starbucks Experience by Joseph A. Michelli

What am I reading now? Setting the Table by Danny Meyer.

The Internet

With the power of the Internet, information can be searched and found instantly. From books to recently reviewed restaurants to restaurant industry news, the Internet is part of my daily source of information.

What are some of my favorite bookmarked sites?

Wine

Working in the restaurant industry is not just about the food but what complements the food. I have always had an interest in wines and at one point in my career I had contemplated studying to become a wine sommelier. Collecting wines is something I like to do. Once upon a time the golden rule was “red wine goes with meat and white wine with seafood.” Yes, this holds some truth, but it shouldn’t be etched in stone. Choose wines that you enjoy and explore others that will complement your next meal. Visiting wineries is something anyone interested in wines should try at least once. You learn to appreciate wine more. If you ever have an opportunity, I highly recommend visiting Napa Valley in California.

Can you recommend an excellent well balanced value wine? 2006 La Vieille Ferme Cotes Du Ventoux, Rhone, France

What I do works for me and I enjoy every aspect of it. This is not a guideline that you must follow to be a successful restauranteur. I only can share what I know and believe. I do know that for anyone to grow and to further excel in any career you must want it and you must continue to learn from others.

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One Response to “To Grow More is to Learn More”

  1. Sherxr Says:

    I seem to share all your above interests too! Not a restaurateur. Perhaps someday. Have a good holiday!

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