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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.

 

Chettinad Chicken Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Indian Main Course

Serves: 2-3 Pax

Ingredients:

  • Chicken with Bone or Boneless 500 grams
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric to taste
  • Grated Coconut 200 grams
  • Clove 2-3pcs, Cinnamon 1-2pcs, Cardamom 1-2pcs, Black pepper whole 4-5pcs, Star Anise 1pc
  • Jeera whole 1 tsp, Sauff (Funnel seeds) 1 tsp, Coriander whole 1tsp, Dry Red Chilly 3-4 pcs
  • Ginger and Garlic paste 2 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice 4 tablespoon
  • Curry Leaf 7-8pcs
  • Mustard whole 1 teaspoon
  • Onion 2 medium size
  • Tomato 1 medium size

Method:

  1. Take a pan and dry roast Jeera, Sauff, coriander whole, clove, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, dry red chilli and roast for 2 minutes on low flame.
  2. Then add grated coconut into it, cook till the coconut is light brown in colour.
  3. Keep aside to cool it then make a dry paste of it, your Chettinad Masala is ready to use.
  4. Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric and lemon juice.
  5. Take a thick bottom pan or kadai, add oil then add curry leaves and mustard into it, after few seconds add chopped onion into it
  6. Start to sauté the onion till golden brown, then add ginger and garlic paste, salt, dhaniya powder, red chilly powder together
  7. After that add chopped tomatoes into it, cook till the gravy is cooked
  8. Add marinated chicken in the gravy and start cooking on medium flame.
  9. Keep cooking till the chicken is soft, then add the Chettinad Masala on it.
  10. Sauté for some more time then add hot water so that the chicken is dipped in water
  11. Cover it for 20 min and cook till it becomes semi gravy
  12. Serve hot with garnish of grated coconut and curry leaves

Chef Tips:

  • Cooking of Chettinad Masala is most important so don’t burn it, cook it on low flame only
  • Chilies you can increase according to your taste too
  • Cover the chicken till it’s tender, if you feel it’s sticking in the bottom of the kadai add more water and keep mixing it.
  • The Chettinad Masala can be kept in refrigerator for 1 week.

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Sweet Pao Buns Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Baking

Serves: 2-3 pax

Ingredients:

  • Maida (Refined Flour) 200 grams
  • Milk 150 ml
  • Yeast 2 teaspoon
  • Milk powder 1 tablespoon
  • Salt 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon
  • Melted Butter 25 grams

Method:

  1. Warm the milk in a pan and then add Yeast and Sugar into it and leave for 10 min to active the yeast.
  2. Take a Big Bowl and add Maida, salt and milk powder into it.
  3. Make a well inside the Maida then add the milk and yeast mixture into it.
  4. Start mixing, after adding the melted butter, the dough might get sticky but keep mixing it don’t add flour.
  5. Then kneed the dough for 15 min non stop, to make it smooth.
  6. Keep the dough for fermentation covering with clean foil for at-least 1 hour.
  7. After one hour when the dough is double the size punch down again to release the air then make small balls of the dough.
  8. Keep them in a dish, milk wash them and add some sesame seeds on it. Leave for second fermentation to happen.
  9. After the second fermentation for 40-45 min, Pre-heat the oven for 200°C for 15 min.
  10. Bake the buns for 25 min at 220°C
  11. Check them by pressing the buns, the fully cooked buns comes back to its shape after pressing.
  12. Serve hot with butter or Jam.

Chef Tips:

  • Quantity is crucial in baking so use measuring spoons or weight machine.
  • Kneading of dough is important that will make it soft and smooth.
  • Fermentation is also important so have patience and leave the dough for an hour at-least.
  • The mould in which you are planning to bake grease it with oil before adding the dough balls.
  • The weight of each ball of dough have to me 20-25 grams not more then that.
  • Bake till it get colour what is required because every oven acts differently. Keep checking in between the baking.
  • Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container or clean wrap it before keeping.

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FOR REFERENCE USE THE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS BELOW 👇

Mixing of dough with Milk and yeast (Step 4) 👆
After the dough is fully kneaded for 15min (Step 5) 👆
Keeping of Dough (Step 6) 👆
After one hour of Fermentation (Step 7) 👆
Make rounds of the dough (Step 8) 👆
After Second Fermentation (Step 9) 👆
After baking (Step 11) 👆
Final Presentation (Step 12) 👆

Stuffed Moong Dal Chila Rolls Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Indian Starters

Serves: 2-3 pax

INGREDIENTS:

  • Green Moong Dal whole/ Green Lentil 100 GMs
  • Paneer/Cottage Cheese 120 GMs
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala to taste
  • Red Chilli Powder to taste
  • Green Peas 50 grams
  • Green Chilli 1-2 pcs
  • Onion medium size 1 pc
  • Capsicum medium size 1pc
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

METHOD:

  1. Take a thick bottom pan or cooker, add oil, then chopped onion, green chilly and capsicum into it
  2. Sauté for 2 min then add green peas, all the spices, then grated cottage cheese into it
  3. Cook well and dry all the water from it
  4. Take it out, cool it your stuffing is ready.
  5. Soak the Moong Dal for at-least 6-7 hours then make a fine paste of it.
  6. Take a flat pan or tawa, brush with little oil then pour the mixture. When the mixture is cooked stuff it with paneer and make rolls of it
  7. Serve hot with salad and mint chitney

CHEF TIPS:

  • Soaking of Moong Dal is important, while making the paste don’t add water into it. Add water later if needed.
  • The stuffing can be of paneer or anything you like to fill inside.
  • If you find it difficult to roll the Crêpe (Cheela) cook properly on medium flame so that it can be rolled
  • This recipe we haven’t used any flour or besan, if you want you can add into it

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Tutti-Futti Tea Time Cake Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Continental Baking

Serves: 2-3pax

INGREDIENTS:

  • Maida (Refined Flour) 125 gms
  • Sugar Powder 100 gms
  • Butter 100 gms
  • Baking Soda 1 tsp
  • Baking Powder 1 tsp
  • Oil for brushing
  • Tuti-Futti 70 gms
  • Yellow Colour pinch
  • Vanilla Essence 1 tsp
  • Milk 100 ml
  • Eggs 3 (Optional) Read Chef Tips for more information

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven for 20 min at 160-170°C
  2. Take a bowl and mix soft butter with sugar powder
  3. Then add 3 eggs, vanilla essence in it and start beating with the electric beater (For Eggless Don’t do this step)
  4. Beat till we get peak consistency
  5. Then add Flour in the mixture with baking powder and baking soda
  6. Keep mixing with the whisk, beater not required, add yellow colour at this point
  7. Beat till the mixture become smooth
  8. Brush the baking pan with oil and pour the mixture into it
  9. Add Tutti-Futti into the mixture before baking dusting Maida on it
  10. Bake for 20 min for some delicious tea time cake

CHEF TIPS:

  • The butter must be kept out of refrigerator before to be used for baking to make it soft
  • If you want to make egg less cake then minus the eggs add increase baking powder and baking soda 3 tsp in total and while mixing the mixture use warm water and milk
  • The mixture must be of ribbon consistency and smooth like a ribbon
  • Use measuring spoons or cups for perfect results
  • While baking for checking use toothpick to prick the cake
  • Keep it in an airtight container.

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