The Rebel Yell: Saying "No" To Diners

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with the unapologetic Chef Norrawit “Wit” Milburn, who claims “I don’t do hospitality, I just make bomb-ass food.” Wit, as he prefers to be called, is the Chef and Co-Owner of Delaware’s Ubon Thai Cuisine, Kapow Kitchen and two food trucks, alongside his wife.

The two restaurant industry veterans share their insights on how to go about encouraging “picky eaters” about trying new foods and tips for chef and operators who are not sure what they should serve kids at restaurants.

One of the questions our host, Chef Berman, poses is “Is it our job, is it our responsibility to educate customers? Is that a fool’s errand? Is that a higher calling that maybe we just can’t answer to?”

Chef Wit eloquently responds: “As a business person? No. But, as a Chef? Yes!”

Take a listen to this fun episode to make sense of all this information and laugh alongside these two cooks as they help us understand a chef’s creative mindset!


Hosted by:

Rachel Brill

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


VIEW BIO
 
 

The Biggest Threat to Kitchen Success

The Biggest Threat to Kitchen Success

Employing a crew of trained kitchen killers means you need brain power as much as cooking firepower.

So how do you get your cooks to think, troubleshoot, and work critically? Or do you?

Asking members of the biz for their insight on how they get their cooks to think, the responses fell shockingly silent. This quiet is surprising because we ask our kitchen crews to work harder, work faster, work cleaner.

“Work smarter, not harder” is cliche and familiar. But what are we doing as leaders in the kitchen to be a catalyst for thinking?

Historically - and depending on with whom you are talking to - restaurant failure rate within five years is somewhere in the neighborhood of 80%. Poor product? Sometimes. Location? Maybe. Fiscal mismanagement? Now you are getting warmer. Off-mission? A resounding yes.

Having a mission and actually understanding how to keep the train on those tracks requires intellect. And that is where we aren’t stirring the pot.

Read More

The 'FairKitchens' Movement Addresses The Unhealthy Culture In Today's Kitchens

On this episode of The Barron Report, Paul talks with Chef Kelly Fields of Willa Jean in New Orleans, Chef Naama Tamir of Lighthouse in New York City, and Chef Einav Gefen Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions to talk about the 'FairKitchens' movement, driven by Unilever Food Solutions. 

The 'FairKitchens' movement is a response to cultural issues that we have seen spotlighted in recent months in our industry. But the truth is a lot of these issues have been around since the beginning.

The mission is to empower chefs and foodservice leaders to create a culture within their operations to facilitate a positive, sustainable workplace. 

"...to make this an attractive industry, to make it sustainable, a cultural shift needs to happen in how we run kitchens and consequently how we run restaurants in general," says Chef Gefen. 

The idea is to create kitchens that are "progressive kitchens" built upon an agreed value system.  "T.E.A.M.S." stands for; Talk openly, Excite passion, Act as one, Make time, and Say 'good job'. 

Chef Kelly Fields runs a "progressive kitchen" and says when she is building a team, "...the most important thing that I approach… is that we are all one team - My team is empowered to act as one..."

If you are part of a kitchen, you know about the pitfalls. According to Unilever Food Solutions research, young people are leaving the industry. Their research shows that 60 percent of young chefs feel that there is little opportunity for career progression, 74 percent feel sleep deprived to the point of exhaustion and one in four have experienced physical abuse. 

"...Lighthouse is a human-centric restaurant,"  Chef Tamir says. "We pay a lot of attention to the well-being and mental state of our staff." Chef Tamir makes sure to give everyone an opportunity to be heard so that they can express any issues that they may be having.   

To learn more listen to the podcast above and visit www.fairkitchens.com

SHOW NOTES

09:21 - What Is State Of The Workforce?
12:30 - Connecting The Dots. 
14:45 - The Community's Perspective. 
17:30 - T.E.A.M.S.
29:08 - What's Next?

01:25 - 'FairKitchens' Mission.
03:31 - Chef Kelly Fields' Team Building Philosophy. 
05:17 - The Research.
07:27 - Pay Attention To The Well-Being Of Your Staff.

 
 

Tequila Recipes: Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila Cocktails Revive the Spirit

Tequila Recipes: Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila Cocktails Revive the Spirit
  • Foodable Mixologist creates Premium Artisanal Tequila Cocktail Recipes

  • Embajador shares their Ultra-Premium Craft Tequila

Today, Foodable unveils our brand new Smart Bar with our Master Mixologist, Oscar Castaneda. For such a momentous occasion, what else could we christen the set with than Tequila! Oscar introduces us to Embajador Tequila in 3 ways. Ever had sipping tequila? Well my culinarians, you’ll want to try this one.

Embajador Tequila produces premium 100% Blue Agave tequilas, offering incredible value to patrons.

For his first beverage, Oscar pairs the Platinum tequila with fresh mixes to match the quality of the spirit. Using a strong beet puree, homemade cilantro syrup, and a homemade jalapeno syrup (both using coconut sugar), he balances the tequila for a sweet and savory taste. Then in true Tequila form, he adds a lemon-lime sweet and sour mix giving a beautiful layered effect.

Read More