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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.

 

Eggplant And Cheese Parmigiana Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Continental Starter

Serves: 2pax

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant Round 1pcs
  • Cottage Cheese 6 pcs
  • Plum Tomatoes 6 pcs
  • Tomato Ketchup 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cheese 100gms
  • Garlic chopped 2-3 clove
  • Fresh basil if available 6-7leaves
  • Mint for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut the Eggplant into slice and grill it on a hot pan till get brown colour
  2. Blance the Tomatoes in hot water then remove the skin and de-seed it
  3. Fine chop the tomatoes
  4. Take a pan, add olive oil, then chopped garlic, then add all the herbs, cook for a while then add the chopped tomatoes into it
  5. Cook for 10min on a low flame then add tomato ketchup into it and all the spices, tomato sauce is ready
  6. Now take a baking tray, put one slice of eggplant then sauce then cottage cheese then another slice so on till you make 2-3 portions
  7. Keep doing it and make 3-4 portions of 4 slice of eggplant in each portion
  8. Put cheese on the top and grill it in oven for 10min at 160 degree centigrade
  9. Serve hot with garnish of mint leaf

CHEF TIPS:

  • Make sure the eggplant slices are equal
  • Cottage cheese is optional
  • Grill it till it get golden brown colour

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Deviled Egg Easy Recipe

Cuisine: Breakfast Continental

Serves: 2-3 Pax

INGREDIENTS

  • Eggs 6pcs
  • Onion Chopped Medium 1pc
  • Capsicum Chopped Medium 1pc
  • Green Chilly Chopped 1pc
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Mayonnaise 100 grams
  • Parsley Chopped 10 grams

METHOD

  1. Boiled the Eggs for 15min to make it hard boiled
  2. Peel the eggs and Cut them into two parts
  3. Take a mixing bowl and add onion, capsicum, Green Chilly, parsley along with the Yolk
  4. Add salt and pepper in the bowl, with mayonnaise and mix well
  5. Fill the mixture into the empty shells of Boiled Eggs
  6. Garnish it with parsley and serve

Chef Tips:

  • The egg must be hard boiled else it will not have a proper shape
  • The mixture must be semi solid so that it will fill the egg nicely
  • It can be serve hot or cold as salad
  • For cutting the eggs nicely use thread not knife

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Vegan Burger Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental

Serves : 2 pax

Ingredients:

  • Burger Buns 2 pcs
  • Boiled Chickpeas 300gms
  • Sesame seeds 10gms
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Tomato 1pc
  • Lattuce leaf 2
  • Cabbage small 1/2 PC
  • Carrot 2 pcs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Refined Flour 200gms

Method:

  1. First take the boiled Chickpeas 200gms and mash properly
  2. Add Salt n Pepper then bind it with Flour to make burger patty
  3. Fry till golden brown
  4. For the dip, take the remaining Chickpeas and put it in the blender
  5. Mix it adding Sesame seed, garlic, salt, pepper and oil to prepare hummus
  6. Mix Jillian’s of carrot and cabbage with hummus to make vegan coleslaw
  7. Take the Burger Buns and cut it into 2 pieces
  8. Apply the Hummus in the bottom, then place the Lattuce, then one slice tomato, then the burger patty and on the top vegan Coleslaw
  9. Then cover the burger and serve hot

Chef Notes:

  • You can also use Aaloo patty if you don’t want to use Chickpeas
  • The texture of hummus have to be thick not thin as we have to use it making coleslaw
  • You can add more veggies to give it a twist and innovate more

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Stuffed Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce Easy Recipe

Cuisine : Continental

Serves : 2pax

Health Content : Protein 40 grams, Fat 6 grams, Carbohydrate 4 grams

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chicken Breast boneless 200 grams
  • Capsicum Medium 1pc
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Mixed herbs to taste
  • Red/Yellow bell peppers
  • Beans 50 grams
  • Teryaki Sauce 100ml
  • Broccoli 1/2 pc
  • Baby corn 4-5pcs

METHOD:

  1. Wash and slice the chicken breast and stuff it with chopped veggies
  2. Marinate it with salt, pepper, olive oil
  3. Grill it on the pan for 10min from both sides
  4. Take another pan and add olive oil, chopped garlic, teriyaki sauce and cook for 2 min
  5. Add sauté veggies on the side.
  6. Pour the sauce on the grilled chicken breast and serve Hot

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