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The movie ‘Burnt’ and the real life inside a Kitchen

A couple of weeks back, I finally saw the movie Burnt. Released in the year 2015, Burnt is about the life of a two-star Michelin chef Adam Jones (played by Bradley Cooper) who is trying to get a 3rd Michelin star to become, as they say in the movie Yoda of the kitchen world.

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Image copyright: https://www.foodism.co.uk/features/marcus-wareing-burnt-cook-like-chefs/

The events in the movie inspired me to write this article today to tell you about my piece of heart, which always stays inside the kitchen. Commercially and critically, this movie did not get that kind of praises what Chef (2014) got. However, from a different angle, I enjoyed the movie more than the Chef. Those who have not seen Chef yet, this movie is about another chef (played by Jon Favreau) who quits his job to start his food truck and eventually comes back to success.

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Chef movie poster

Lot of you would debate on why I think Burnt was better than the Chef. To explain that let me give you the example of the two great boxing movies of my time. Rocky V/S Raging Bull. Now rocky is an inspirational story of an Italian boxer, who despite everything he does is an idealistic husband, a friend, and a gentleman. The crowd loves those idealistic types. On the other hand, the Raging Bull is the story of Jake La Motta who is a great boxer but will never be a heavyweight champion because of his bone structure. The anger he has inside the ring passes on to his social life making him against his girlfriend or best friend. In one of the sequences, he enjoys hitting his best friend, solely, because he throws a better punch. The movie explores the underbelly of boxing similar to what Burnt does for the kitchen.

In simple words, Kitchen means Chaos. Have you ever wondered why they put a ‘do not enter’ sign on the soundproof kitchen doors in every restaurant? Not because the guest might wander inside, but the reason they make those heavy soundproof doors in every restaurant is to stop those beasts with knives coming out. There is nothing charming to the life inside a kitchen. There’s shouting, howling, and swearing and somehow it just becomes part of your life.

Sometimes I do ask myself, why do I do 17 hours shift every day, for 26 days a month, to put food for people I will probably never see in my life? The answer to is that I am not doing this at all for the person who is eating the food. I do this for the person who is standing left or right to me who is somehow showing similar craziness as I am.

I mean, we Kitchen people are seriously crazy. Why would anyone in his right sense of mind do what we do every day?

Why we have to buy meat from the butcher when frozen meat is available? Why we have to peel potatoes the same way since the 1920s?  Why do we have to marinate the meat for exact 12 hours and follow the original recipe, which was created in the 18th century when there was no zip pouch available? There is no reason for all of the madness. The kitchen is full of these stories. These mad people who get cussed by people day in and out and still show their faces the next day. I believe this madness pushes us towards greatness.

I loved the movie Burnt because of the madness portrayed in the script. Minus the food wastage, of course. Throwing food is a cardinal sin. Period. There’s no escape to it. If you screwed the recipe, you have to eat it yourself. There’s no second way out of it. After all, there’s no ‘Sandwich approach’ to feedback inside the Kitchen. I learned this word from my brother who works for a corporate. The sandwich approach means putting a negative feedback between layers of positive feedback. Nope, simply doesn’t work in the Kitchen.

The kitchen works like an Army, and why shouldn’t it be? After all, the kitchen hierarchy was created by a retired French army personal Chef Auguste Escoffier who called it as Brigade de Cuisine for organizing hierarchy in the Kitchen. And boy, he created something. Ever since the inception in the 14th century, every commercial kitchen follows the rule. Respect the Chef is the underlying code of the kitchen. You have to follow his lead and bring justice to his ideas, that’s teamwork for us. This was clearly evident in the film Burnt. Adam Jones, our protagonist, was clearly on a warpath and his comrades were fearlessly following him.

Well, the movie ended with Adam realizing there are bigger things to do than getting a 3rd Michelin star. Becoming a good human being for one. A better leader maybe. As I conclude this article, I look back at my career which started in the year 2007 when I was told to chop 20 Kilos of onion on day 1 for reasons unknown. It was some crazy times and I loved every second of it. I miss those moments dearly and I would do anything to go back to that times again. I would urge each one of you to get to know the chef from your favorite restaurant. Talk to him for once to understand what he goes through every day to do his job and to bring some happy memories for you. Burnt, in my book, is all aces. To conclude, all I would say that to become a great chef in our lives, each one of us in the kitchen did the same struggle Bruce Wayne did when he left his castle to become Batman.

 

Cheese Sticks Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental Snacks

Serves : 2pax

INGREDIENTS

  • Mozzarella Cheese block 250 grams
  • Bread Crumbs 200 grams
  • Refined Flour 100 grams
  • Corn Flour 100 grams
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Refined Oil to Fry

METHOD

  1. Cut the Cheese Block into Finger Shape like French fries
  2. Marinate it with salt and pepper and keep aside
  3. Mix flour and corn flour with water, salt n pepper and make a batter
  4. Dip the Cheese fingers into the batter then coat it with Bread Crumbs
  5. Again dip it in the batter and coat again with bread crumbs
  6. Keep the sticks in the Deep Fridge for minimum 20 minutes
  7. Heat the oil in the pan and then deep fry the cheese sticks till golden brown
  8. Serve hot with tomato ketchup

CHEF TIPS

  • Before cutting the cheese make sure it is soft and not frozen
  • Double coating of bread crumbs is important because it makes it more crispy
  • In place of flour batter we can also use egg if they wanna use it
  • For Vegans they can do this with Tofu in place of Cheese
  • The oil must be hot before we start frying and make sure its golden brown not burn
  • The cheese sticks can be kept in the deep fridge for 10 days and can be used later

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Veg Cheesy Lasagna Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental

Serves : 2 Pax

INGREDIENTS:

  • Lasagna Sheets 6
  • Milk 400ml
  • Butter 40 grams
  • Refined Flour 40 grams
  • Tomato 500gms
  • Garlic chopped 4 Tbsp
  • Tomato Ketchup 4 tbsp
  • Cheese 200 grams
  • Oregano, Basil, Chilly Flakes to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Boil the Lasagna and keep aside
  • Make white sauce, Mix the Butter and Flour together to make Roux
  • Boil the milk and then mix the roux and whisk till smooth, white sauce ready.
  • Make tomato sauce, Blanche the tomatoes and de skin and de seed it
  • Chop the tomato, take a thick bottom pan, add oil, chopped garlic, sauté, then add chopped tomato into it
  • Cook for sometime then add all the spices, sauce ready
  • Now take a baking dish, put one layer on white sauce, then lasagna sheet, then cheese, then tomato sauce
  • Do it with 6 layers and then bake it for 10 minutes at 180 degree till gives golden brown colour
  • Serve hot with garnish

Chef Tips:

  • While making white sauce make sure it don’t have lumps for that use whisk
  • Lasagna sheets have to be boiled and kept putting oil, so that they don’t stick to each other
  • Tomato sauce need to be cooked nicely with flavours
  • Cheese can be Mozzarella or Parmesan
  • Serve immediately after baking

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Tawa Fish Easy Recipe (Tawa Macchi)

Cuisine : Indian Main Course

Serves : 2 pax

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fish Boneless 500gms
  • Onion medium 3 pcs
  • Tomato medium 3 pcs
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste 3Tbsp
  • Curd 100 grams
  • Salt to taste
  • Haldi to taste
  • Garam Masala to taste
  • Red Chilly Powder to taste
  • Kasoori Methi
  • Coriander Green Chopped
  • Vegetable for Grilling

METHOD:

  1. Marinate the Fish with Ginger-Garlic paste, Curd, Indian Spices and keep aside
  2. Cut the onion into Jullians and cook till golden brown
  3. Add Ginger Garlic paste then tomato Purée and cook till gravy is ready
  4. Grill the Fish till golden brown then pour the gravy into it
  5. Cook for 10 minutes then add Kasoori Methi and Chopped Coriander
  6. Serve hot with garnish and plating

CHEF TIPS:

  • While cooking the fish make sure to cook with soft hands so that pieces of fish doesn’t break
  • The Marination of fish should be kept minimum of 20min
  • It can be served with Rice or Indian Breads

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Poached Eggs Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental Breakfast

Serves : 2 pax

INGREDIENTS:

  • Eggs 4pcs
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Water for boiling

METHOD:

  1. Take a thick bottom pan, fill half it with water
  2. Make the water boil at 100 degree and then simmer it
  3. Break the Eggs into the water and start cooking it
  4. It will take 5 min for the egg to cook at medium flame
  5. With the help of ladle softly remove the egg from water and keep on the plate
  6. Slit the egg from middle and yolk will come out
  7. Serve hot adding salt and pepper

CHEF TIPS:

  • While putting the egg in hot water make sure the yolk don’t break
  • Cook the egg nicely from outside so that it doesn’t break when you take out from water
  • Use soft hands handling this recipe
  • This recipe is no oil recipe and anyone can prepare it easily

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