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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.

chef_movie_poster
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.

 

Spaghetti Meat Balls Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental Main Course

Serves : 2-3 pax

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Pasta 150 grams
  • Minced Chicken or Mutton 200 grans
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Oregano, Chilli flakes, basil, to taate
  • Maida 100 grams
  • Corn flour 50 grams
  • Milk 500 ml
  • Butter 100 grams
  • Cheese to taste
  • Refined for frying
  • Olive oil for cooking

Method:

  1. Boil the spaghetti and keep aside brushing with oil
  2. For meal balls, take minced chicken or meat, add salt, pepper, mixed herbs, Maida and corn flour
  3. Mix and make balls of the mixture and then shallow fry them till golden brown
  4. For white sauce: add 50grams Maida and 50 grams butter in a thick bottom pan, then add 500 ml milk into it, use whisk and start mixing, mix till it’s smooth.
  5. Take a pan, add olive oil, then add chopped garlic, mixed herbs into it, then add the sauce prepared in step 4, cook adding salt and pepper
  6. Then add spaghetti and fried meat balls into it, add some water into it, cool for 5-7 min on medium flame
  7. As you see it’s cooked add grated cheese on it
  8. Serve hot with Garlic Bread

Chef Tips:

  • Never put pasta in cold water then boil, always boil the water then add the pasta into it
  • After the pasta is cooked strain the water then add oil into it, never put cold water on pasta, it have to be cooked naturally
  • The recipe of white sauce is simple, for every 1 litre of milk use 100 grams butter and 100 grams Maida. Keep changing the proportion according to the quantity
  • For meat balls you need to make the mixture soft so that the gravy goes inside the meat balls nicely

Boiled Egg Burger Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental

Serves : 2 pax

Ingredients:

  • Eggs 6
  • Onion small size 1 pc
  • Tomato small size 1 pc
  • Cheese slice 2 pcs
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Mayonnaise 3 tablespoon
  • Ketchup 2 tablespoon

Method:

  1. Boiled and peel the eggs and keep aside.
  2. Slice the onion, tomato and cheese into dice cutting.
  3. Cut the boiled eggs into 2 .
  4. Apply mayonnaise mixed with ketchup on both the side of the half cut eggs.
  5. Then put salt and pepper on it.
  6. Then put one slice each of onion, tomato and cheese.
  7. Cover it with the other half of the boil egg.
  8. Put toothpick so that it remain in position.

Chef Tips:

  • Make sure the eggs are hard boiled.
  • Use thread to cut the eggs to get the fine cutting, don’t use knife
  • You can use different stuffing whatever you like to stuff inside the eggs.
  • You can prepare this recipe in less then 15min

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Chicken Biryani Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Indian Main Course

Serves : 2-3 Pax

Ingredients:

  • Golden Seila Rice double chabi 500gms
  • Onion 500 grams
  • Tomato 100 grams
  • Chicken with Bone 500 grams
  • Dahi 200 grams
  • Mustard oil 2 tablespoon
  • Ginger-Garlic paste 2-3 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala to taste
  • Red chilly powder to taste
  • Coriander powder to taste
  • Desi ghee to brush the pan
  • Rose water for fragrance (Optional)
  • Whole spices like Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper corn, bay leaf, clove 2-3 pieces each
  • Refined Oil for Cooking
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Soak the rice for minimum 1 hour then boil it adding the whole spices and salt.
  2. Drain the water of the rice after boiling and keep aside.
  3. Cut the onion in Jullians (Long Cutting) and fry till golden brown.
  4. Marinate the chicken with all the spices, mustard oil, ginger & garlic paste and curd, keep aside for minimum 30 min.
  5. Then take a pan, put little oil the start cooking the chicken, then all the golden brown onions, then add the ginger and garlic paste and then tomato purée in it.
  6. Cook for 15 min till chicken gets tender. Cover if needed.
  7. Then Take a thick bottom pan and brush it with ghee or Oil, put first layer of rice then the cooked chicken layer and then again layer of rice.
  8. Put brown onions and coloured rice on it then Cover it with aluminium foil and cook for 10min on low flame (Also known as Dum)
  9. Open the cover garnish with mint and rose water
  10. Serve hot

Chef Tips:

  • Make sure you use Seila rice, its best for biryani and it doesn’t break so best for beginners too
  • If you using basmati rice, cook it 50% and 50% will be Cooked in Dum
  • You can use boneless chicken too but best is with bone only
  • Make sure the onion turns brown not black, cook on low flame when they are cooked 80-90%
  • The main thing is the flavour so cook with love.

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Pao Bhaji Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Indian Starter

Serves : 2-3 Pax

Ingredients:

  • Pao Bread 6 pieces
  • Butter 50 grams
  • Onion medium size 2 pieces
  • Tomato medium size 2 pieces
  • Lauki 100 grams
  • Kaddu 100 grams
  • Green Chilly 2-3 pieces
  • Potato 2 pieces
  • Green Peas 100 grams
  • Salt to taste
  • Red Chilly Powder to taste
  • Pao Bhaji Masala to taste
  • Lemon juice 2-3 tablespoon
  • Ginger & Garlic paste 2 tablespoon

Method:

  1. Roughly cut all the veggies except onion and tomato, then cook them inside the cooker.
  2. After cooling the cooked veggies, mash them with help of Masher.
  3. Take a thick bottom pan, and vegetable oil, then chopped onion and sauté till it’s golden brown in colour, then add ginger & Garlic paste into it along with all the spices.
  4. Then add chopped tomato and cook till it leaves oil on the sides. After that add the boiled mashed veggies into it.
  5. Start cooking at low/medium flame so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Keep cooking till the bhaji gets its colour and fragrance.
  7. At this point add pao bhaji Masala along with butter and lemon juice.
  8. After your bhaji is ready, cut the Pao into two from the centre and sauté till it’s golden brown.
  9. Serve hot with bhaji and salad.

Chef Tips:

  • You can use any veggies you like to add into the bhaji like cauliflower, cabbage etc.
  • Make sure the bhaji is cooked nicely so that you can mash them easily.
  • The main work in bhaji is to cook it at slow flame so that the flavour of all the spices infuse inside the bhaji
  • If you don’t have masher to mash the veggies with the help of round spatula.
  • If you also want to bake pao go to the link below

Pao Easy Recipe

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