The Great Hall
Chef Rizzuto's dinner at Beard House The Great Hall: Chef Rizzuto's dinner at Beard House
By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 05:00 pm: Edit

I really enjoyed the essay and photos about Chef Rizzuto's dinner at the James Beard House. The menu looked great and I appreciated the beautiful presentations of all the food from the hors d's to the desserts.
One question---
Why , in all those lovely photos, were none, I mean NONE, of the chefs or cooks wearing any kind of head covering? Wouldn't that just be the worst, if someone at a James Beard dinner found a hair in their food? All that painstaking work, and that's what a guest would remember? Seems like ordinary precaution, not to mention tradition, would dictate a toque or two.

By George (George) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 07:46 am: Edit

I really don't know. I have never seen him in a toque and never heard of a hair in the food incident in his kitchen.

The kitchen in the Beard house would be more suitable to base ball caps (the American Chef’s hat) because of the ceiling height.

The traditions he follows have more directly to do with food, everything from scratch.

I personally get a kick out of guys with beards that wear toques.


By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:33 am: Edit

This is so true Kinglear! Even in the Food network you never see a Chef wearing any hair restraint, what kind of example do these guys display and, in our schools we tell our kids that it is the law that you must wear a hair restraint of some sort! They tell us all the time; how come the Chefs on tv never wear a hat????

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 02:20 pm: Edit

I can understand why chefs doing demos on television do not wear hair restraints, it's because they market to the home cook. Also, they are just demonstating a dish or a technique and not serving the public.
The James Beard Foundation is another animal entirely. Here is a place committed to honoring the epitome of culinary achievment and discipline. If a chef and his crew disregard a fundamental food safety requirement of all 50 states--what does that say about his (or her) commitment to the "art" form, not to mention his respect for those to pay a pretty penny to attend his JBF dinner?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 03:21 pm: Edit

What a crock. Wearing a hat means someone is more dedicated to the art? Using that logic, if I wear a hair net I'm even more dedicated to the art.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 04:44 pm: Edit

It's the law...not an option!
Guys doing demos and/or tv shows may be marketing the home cook but, they are not home cooks,they are professionals that should act and dress the part.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:00 pm: Edit

It's the law...not an option!

Yeah a law brought to you by the same paranoid egg heads that say you can't serve an over easy or sunny side-up egg and at the same time allow rat feces in hot dogs.

By Flattop (Flattop) on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:28 pm: Edit

Mmmm nothing says love like hair in your food.

Wasn't this one of Escoffier's basic personal hygene rules? Yes I know it is I just got tested on it for certification.

Sorry but if a chef/food service worker doesn't take hair constraint seriously, I tend to assume that they don't care about other hygene / sanitations rules either. I won't be eating there and I won't hesitate to tell others about it. Nothing is less appealing than wondering if I'll find a hair in my food cause the chef wants to look hip with his ponytail.

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 12:27 am: Edit

I've actually been noticing this lately, not only where I work but everywhere I go that has an open kitchen. I see that everybody on the line wears a hat (like me), but whoever is expediting -- who REALLY leans over the food to get the garnish just right -- does not.

No judgement, just noticing.

- Steve

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 09:35 am: Edit

The egg thing is only in Jersey!!!!
I still eat tartare and eggs cooked soft!!!
I agree w/ Michael on this one, if he does not care about one thing he certainly may not care about the rest of his/her personal hygiene!

By George (George) on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 10:58 am: Edit

Well, I do have to agree they should have been wearing some kind of hat or the like, again probably a baseball cap.

There was no room for all for but the shortest of toques, and I don't recall seeing James Beard ever wearing a toque.


By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Escoffier's workers were coming in from a street that was ankle deep in horse manure during a time when taking a bath once a week was considered exceptional hygiene.

I didn't say don't wash your hands keep things in the proper temp zones or use sanitizer.

But to say your more dedicated to the art because you wear a toque, chafes the area my shorts are on. I laugh at any chef that wears his tailored whites,with the red, white and blue collar all the epaulets and filigrees, wanting to ever so much look the part.

If you have a beard or mustache it makes no sense to wear a hat and not a snood. Ball caps are the worst thing to wear on your head in the kitchen, talk about cross contamination. Toques just suck for anyone over 5'8".

Take a shower and wash your hair every day weather you think it is needed or not.

Finally if you think your more dedicated to the art than me your as full as the streets of Esocoffer's time.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 08:57 am: Edit

dang Tim... "I laugh at any chef that wears his tailored whites,with the red, white and blue collar all the epaulets and filigrees, wanting to ever so much look the part."

I'd think that it would be an honor to wear these things. Maybe not after you've worn them as long as you have i guess, but still. To be able to wear these things in the kitchen, is like wearing a badge for cops... I'd think

There should always be some sorta hair covering, not that it's going to stop everything, but there's nothing worse than having to pull a hair out of your mouth!
I once found a bandaide in my pizza! talk about nasty!!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 09:02 am: Edit

Tim, I think you just got called "OLD"
Touche Snuffy!!!!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 11:54 am: Edit

I think the whole thing is..... there are those who do the work, and those who want others to think they do the work. (Substitute "have the knowledge", "have the experience" or "deserve the honor" for "do the work" and it stills works the same.) Some cooks know their business, some don't.

If you know your business and practice it, the laws that have been put in place for the many unwashed who find their way into our livihood only give you a little more protection. For those great unwashed, no amount of protection is enough.

Speaking from experience; I have tried long hair tied or pinned up, medium length hair restrained, hats, toques, nets, gels and hairsprays, and very short hair. The only effective way to really restrain my hair is to wear it long enough to braid and gel it to death. Unfortunately, I have a life and choose not to look like a throwback 1970's nature girl away from work. And the struggle goes on.

Just my 2 cents.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 12:24 pm: Edit

At a school I won't mention because a buddy of mine works there and he was on the interview comitte that saw this happen.
A person was interviewed for a teaching position, a J & W grad (no less), as part of the interview he had to prepare a few items to show his practical skills, one of the items was a hollandaise, he broke it, the committee told him, no problem, fix it!
The guy actually said, (remember he applied for a teaching job) "They didn't show me how to do that at school!!!!!!!!!!!

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 01:25 pm: Edit

I have long hair, mustache, beard, and don't like to wear a hat. But then again I think wearing a hat cooks your brain from the heat, I don't like putting a razor to my throat every morning and don't have time to go to the barber because I'm too busy cooking. And after 27 years of restaurant biz I don't think anyone else would give me a job! Snuff! What should I do?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 02:11 pm: Edit

Are you a man or a woman? Just to know which to prescribe, hormone therapy, testosterone or estrogen!!!!!!
Just kidding Thomas...I hope you're a male!!!

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 03:24 pm: Edit

Ooh! Ooh! Manny, I know!! You whisk the broken sauce into fresh yolks. A J&W grad taught me that. This guy probably was asleep that day.

- Steve

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, May 22, 2003 - 06:27 pm: Edit

Peachcreek, I thought you were a girl! Haha ha ha ha!!! I guess I should have read the little info thing before I assumed anything.

Do you want my advice? Put a net on your face and forget the hat (Ah hahaha)

Pocatello sounds pretty good right about now, it was supposed to be 93 degrees here today and it felt like it made it. Hello up there in the great state of Idaho!

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 08:45 am: Edit

"I have long hair, mustache, beard, and don't like to wear a hat. But then again I think wearing a hat cooks your brain from the heat, I don't like putting a razor to my throat every morning and don't have time to go to the barber because I'm too busy cooking. And after 27 years of restaurant biz I don't think anyone else would give me a job! Snuff! What should I do?"

why pickin' on me? lol I had a beard at one time too. I still wear a go-T(not long though). I have plenty of hair up top. I never said that covering up would stop the falling out of hair into food, I just say at least try. Someone that doesn't even attempt to be clean/sanitary is just asking for it.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 08:45 am: Edit

what would happen if an inspector came into the kitchen and say no hair covering?

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 10:53 am: Edit

In the county where I work, the health inspectors actually call and make an appointment three weeks in advance. No joke.

- Steve

By Cindyscatering (Cindyscatering) on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 12:36 am: Edit

I have very thick shoulder length hair. I hate wearing hats of any kind. Like Ladycake I've tried everything. The best solution so far is those ugly green surgical hats for those of us hiding in the back. They fit loosely enough to not give you hat head so you can take it off and go out front to meet and greet. Otherwise I just wear my hair pulled back. Our Health Dept. deducted a point from my score because an employee was loading the van with wrapped sandwich trays without her hat.

My pet peeve is gloves. I hate to see people wearing gloves. For some reason they think cross contamination is not a problem because their hands are clean. Never mind that the gloves have touched everything but the toilet.
It makes me NUTS!!!! My kitchen rule is that they can wear gloves if they want, but if they take a step the gloves go in the trash.

I also hate to see guys with hairy exposed arms in the kitchen.

Actually I guess my list of pet peeves could go on forever. I am such a germ nut, I get on my own nerves.


By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 08:43 am: Edit

Steve, very good!
Now for an advanced lesson, do you know how to make the hollandaise in a blender?
How about in a mixing bowl?

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 11:38 am: Edit

Cindy, When I was in school, I was asked, "When was the last time you saw anybody wearing gloves wash their hands?" We were encouraged not to wear gloves, just to wash, wash, wash! Each to his own, I guess. I tend not to wear gloves, but I demand it of my students. They never wash their hands well enough to satisfy me. My hands are always raw and chapped. Oh well, I guess it goes with the territory.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 11:52 am: Edit

Gloves give the public a FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY and that's why most food service establishments make employees wear them.
True, gloves are misused most of the times by workers, for example they will pick up something from the floor and proceed to perform another food related task with the same gloves.
Gloves should not be used as a substitute for handwashing, it should be used (if at all) as an enhancement. I personally don't like gloves!, they are itchy, you sweat, you get rashes if left on long enough...etc.
In some states they have been banned, either in N or S Carolina I believe.

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 03:02 pm: Edit

Manny, my Soups and Sauces instructor was so dead-set against making emulsion sauces in the blender she wouldn't teach it to us -- she said it was too easy to break them. In fact, every time I've tried to make hollandaise in the blender I've broken it, but it's still faster and easier to whisk the broken blender sauce into a couple of fresh yolks.

As for gloves, I can't stand them and don't wear them but most of the other guys on the line do. My station is right next to the hand sink and I wash my hands 10-15 times a shift (especially after making calimari, which I have to dredge in flour before dropping in the fryer). Our line is too narrow for the rest of the guys to efficiently wash their hands, so they wear gloves. I have to say, though, that these guys are pretty consciencious about sanitation and they change their gloves constantly.

- Steve

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 03:12 pm: Edit

Gloves are okay for working with some things like chicken IF you change gloves immediately afterward, and have clean hands before putting on the gloves. I only use them if I'll be tossing something messy with my hands, like coleslaw, etc. Rest of time, I just wash, wash, wash.

My glove use is more of a habit after working in an area where there had been a BAD hepatitis outbreak in several other restaurants (not ours thankfully). The local health department mandated glove use by food service employees, even servers.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:31 pm: Edit

Steve, the main reason sauces break in the blender is for overheating. The blender housing puts out quite a bit of heat absorbed by the blender container, you have to be very careful with how long you beat the yolks and remove the blender container if you stop the blender, don't let it sit resting on the housing.
A SS blender is worse than a plastic one for the sauces breaking.
Try it!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 10:31 am: Edit

At the restaurant where I bake, they always use the blender as they claim the sauce holds longer. It is a high end restaurant and the Hollandaise is really good. The chef doesn't seem to have trouble with it breaking either.

By Corey (Corey) on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 11:57 am: Edit

I sometimes use a hand blender and a big steel bowl. I never had heat problems either.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 11:09 am: Edit

I can see both sides of the glove thing. Personally, It doesn't matter to me wether the kitchen uses them or not, as long as sanitary conditions remain sanitary. <--- did that make sense? lol

I've always wondered, when a sauce breaks, what is that? I always hear it, but never see it, and since I don't really know anything...

By Grwall (Grwall) on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 11:36 am: Edit

Snuff, the emulsion in a hollandaise sauce is oil (butter) droplets held in suspension by egg protein chains. When a sauce breaks, the butter is no longer in suspension. In the case of hollandaise, the problem may be that the sabayon (egg mix) is over-cooked and can't keep the butter droplets separated.

In the case of mayonnaise, it's usually that the oil is added too quickly for the droplets to be separate and emulsified. This is another reason that hollandaise breaks.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Sunday, June 01, 2003 - 01:53 am: Edit

well heck. That makes sense to me.(for real)

Thanks for the explaination Grwall. *8)

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, June 19, 2003 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Spike, see what cooks do with eggs! We don't go around floating eggs!!!!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 12:00 am: Edit

well they should.
and call it islands.

By Grwall (Grwall) on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 02:12 pm: Edit

There's a dessert you don't see much anymore

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.