Thursday, May 1, 2008

whatever happened to the four seasons?

its spring. its been spring for a while. its soon to be summer. so why are chefs still serving winter soups? at that, winter food? what happened to cooking seasonally and locally.

so what is it with butternut squash soup and braised short ribs in late spring?

it just doesnt make sense. come on!

be passionate about your produce, meats, location and their seasonality. cook for your guests, dont cook for yourself.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG- it's like summer clothes in the spring...we are not there yet, it is not officially summer!!! i understand.

rr said...

i just realized that you are refering to the actuall changing of the seasons...

i thought you were refering to the hotel! what a maroon!!!!

the "c" is silent...

Marianna said...

lol are they really still serving soup over there? Nonetheless, it is true the weather has been very messed up these last few years! Btw I gave you an E award bc I love your culinary style so much!

Plinko said...

oooooh an award!! tell me more about this E award

JK said...

"be passionate about your produce, meats, location and their seasonality. cook for your guests, dont cook for yourself."

I think that's the reason why people still are serving butternut squash soup and braised shortribs in this season, because the guests are asking for it. I could be just giving chefs more credit than they deserve and they just don't know how to cook seasonally, but working in places where butternut squash soup was served year round, it was pretty much because if it were taken off the menu, the customers would go off in a riot.

Food for thought?

And you do realize Houston only has two seasons.

Jennifer said...

just to let you know, JK was not me. it was someone else. i totally agree with you on the seasonal use of produce.

how could you think that I would act like that!?

whoever JK is is obviously seriously misunderstood as to why chef's are preparing seasonal items. JK is in it for the money. who cares if the guests are asking for braised short ribs and butternut squash soup in may. a truly passionate chef would take those items and serve them when they can be produced with the richest flavors, not just because the people want it, or rather... the people will PAY for it.

don't sell out!!! (keeping things like that on the menu when the items aren't actually in season means that they won't be to their peak of flavor. it would basically be... well... half-assed)

chef's of the world unite! take pride in your talent and skill, honor the amazing fruits of this world! use them at their peak of ripeness!!! ie: when they're in season...

jk said...

Sell out? No. I was responding to Plinio's comment about chef's needing to cook for their customers rather than themselves. Trust me, if it were up to me (or a lot of the chefs in Houston) they would cook seasonally, but the much (but not all) demands that their needs be filled. And if that's a plate of polenta with a short rib on top with a roux based sauce covering it, really, who are you to tell your customer they can't have it if they'll buy it from you? It's not like I don't understand that about 95 percent of the tomatoes in restaurant were picked green and have been gassed. No, it's not at the peak of their flavor, and hell, offering produce out of season isn't even cheap. I'm sure it kills a chef to offer a strawberry in the dead of winter that tastes like water when they have to pay four bucks a pint. But again, that wasn't my point. If you see what Chef Plinio wrote, he said to cook for your customers?

My question is what if customer want a plate of food that's dreadfully out of season?

Given it's also your choice to have it there in the first place.

I would love for the chefs of the world to all use seasonal, properly grown, delicious produce.

But in the end, if the customers don't get what they want, then they can get it somewhere else that will serve it to them. And no customers = no money = no business.

I know you know this, but as you feel that I misunderstood what he was trying to say, I think you misunderstand me.

JK said...

After re-reading my couple comments, I figured that I've come on as being overly negative. I was just hoping to give another point to what Plinio said. Either way, I hope it's just conversation rather than arguments.

That's about it.

Plinko said...

blogs are an open medium to share ideas and opinions.

i am ecstatic to have people, colleagues and friends post comments.

i really enjoy all your comments positive and negative.

but you must understand, passion is a mf.

as my good friend says, "sometimes you have to stand your ground. the customer isnt always right"

Jennifer said...

I like that quote alot. "sometimes you have to stand your ground. the customer isn't always right." I feel that sums up what I was trying to say.

anyway, the chef should know better than the customer...

so when butternut squast isn't in season, offer the guest something else amazing in it's place that is in season!! and if they want soup from someone else, let them go. the customers that are excited about menu changes will keep coming back to you, as long as you keep making the best possible food.

Marianna said...

Hey I am commenting on this again post again, your reaction reminds me of Gordon Ramsay recently argueing that restaurants should be fined for not using local + seasonal ingredients. He said "I don't want to see asparagus in the middle of December, I don't want to see strawberries from Kenya in the middle of March"

Jennifer said...

That's pretty awesome. I totally respect Gordon Ramsey! I used to think he was just a big jerk, then i read his book. He's worked very hard to get where he is today. He has every right to be an ass if he wants to!