Kid verses Chef

Most Chefs do not enjoy cooking for kids. Getting kids to enjoy food that isn’t processed has been tough in the past. Good examples would be Mac & Cheese, I’ve found that a lot of kids enjoy Kraft verses homemade. Then I think of processed chicken fingers. Kids that I’ve served in the past have expected that.

In the last few years I have noticed a shift. More parents have introduced real food to the day to day consumption of food. Kids palates are a fun challenge. It’s almost uncharted territory when serving some of them real food. On the other hand some kids have been eating real food all along. To them it’s just another good meal. Alright back to the kid who has been eating chemically sealed and engineered food. It’s like messing with yourself in some ways. Most of us eat that shit growing up. I sure did. Eating easy to be prepared food was like muscle memory for a while. Know it just tastes like plastic to me. So I’ve got that going for me which is nice.

Basically most kids do not like change. They don’t like to eat food that isn’t familiar. They also don’t like to be forced to eat anything. Trickery towards my pitch to get them to give it a shot is all I’ve got. Sometimes I surprise myself, when I can get a kid to like something most kids would otherwise scream at feels good.

Kids typically have no problem telling you that they don’t like something. I can respect that. Perhaps that’s because they are innocent, tired or even other politically incorrect words.

Spicy & bitter are no no’s.  Who would have thought.. Seasonings can work against you in a different variety verses cooking for adults. Figuring that out should a trip seeing how taste buds typically evolve. Overall the little palates can’t handle certain things. So stunt doubling my friends food and their kids food typically isn’t going to fly. But sometimes give it does work. Raw tuna. Not so much.. But offering it is always worth the facial expression.

Luckily I’ve got some kids that don’t have parents flipping the bill. (in case you were wondering). Other than that I play it safe with what I have seen work. Having a substitute snack is a good go to. kids need to eat incase the experiment doesn’t work out. Fresh fruit works. The natural sugars should do the job. A little protein will be a good go to. It’s also a good idea to pitch something that you enjoy eating. Just incase the scream fest in sues.

When I first started thinking about kids more carefully as a Chef I was working in a country club in Colorado. The owner said we were going to give kids carrots and celery sticks with ranch dressing as soon as the table sat down. It worked amazingly. The kids were occupied and the parents could relax. It was healthy. It also didn’t effect the other peoples meals by the kids running around like animals. That’s when I really noticed how important these kids are. You just have to keep them happy or they will ruin it for everyone if you let them. I remembered thinking “why isn’t everyone doing this”.

More recently I’ve been thinking about how food helps & effects kids. When a kid has balance with eating quality  ingredients that kid has a head start verses a kid who eats processed food. Yes, it seems like common sense. It would be clutch if more people could look long term as far as a kids future. Eating shit food is going to create a pattern of learning disabilities, bad health and so on. It doesn’t take a doctor or a Chef to see this, but it does take a corrupt society to discredit primitive food to benefit corporations who increase profit margins by making kids and adults sick and dumb. Wow..  I’ll wrap it up. I’ll go back to my truffle oil & raw sugar.




Executive Summary

Everyone should be able to afford a healthy meal.

My mission is to provide food and beverage that is handled properly and ethically.
The vegetables not being sprayed with chemicals is kept in mind when scouting out local and regional produce.
The beef, chicken and pork are purchased locally from North East Kingdom Processing or Libby’s Meat Market. Ham & Hot Dogs are sourced from Mckenzie.
The seafood that is sourced from the North Atlantic for peak freshness.
Condiments are carefully chosen. For instance pink salt, raw sugar & fresh cracked pepper are used to achieve the best flavor from it’s purity.
BPA free products are sought out. Water without fluoride is brought in.
The beverages are geared towards the seasonality. In the summer you will see Lemonade with local black currant juice. In the fall hot cider is featured. Those are just a couple of examples of the beverages that change throughout the season. As far as consistent beverage options sourced with a purpose I have spindrift seltzer waters. For anyone who wants to feel nostalgic Mexican Coca Cola with pure cane sugar is served up.
To go containers are green. The product served inside of it is made from scratch or sourced from a company in Vermont. Wagon made bread & pickles are a favorite.
The seasonality of the product and whether are crucial towards deciding what daily specials are going to be. GMO free is a priority. Also having various options available such as gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose free & other dietary options are a priority towards the type of customers who enjoy my food.
The most popular item sought out by the locals is the Cubano. It’s preparation is Cuban. The ingredients are Vermont. Also the Hot Dog & Burgers are served up modestly & also with eclectic flair. The grilled Cheese is served with Cabot cheddar, Swiss & American. Then truffle fries get served up as a side. Hand cut fries, dusting of pink salt, parm cheese, minced parsley then tossed & misted with truffle oil.
This mission is a lifestyle for me now. It feels great to serve up food that has the quality of what my grandparents had to work with. Unfortunately, corporations and greed have made this a task. Eating REAL food should come naturally.


What Vermont means to me.

People in Vermont that I’ve always looked up to have been the self sufficient, take no shit, independent people that enjoy the simple things in life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had family, teachers, coaches and friends who have inherited and taught me this trait.

In my travels I noticed that something was always missing. I found myself missing Vermont. I also felt like I took it for granted. I’m also well aware that if I never traveled like some of the people I know, I never would have ending up appreciating Vermont. Oh the irony..
As a Chef moving back home at the time I did became an eye opening experience. Before I knew it the food scene started to explode. The agriculture was being utilized better by the Chefs, coops and Vermonters.
Vermont hasn’t ever had a thriving economy. We’ve always been behind the curve on trends and quote on quote culture. Then something happened. All of a sudden Vermont made became sought out by people from all over. What people had clung to for generations and did time and time again was getting noticed.
So I’m proud. Proud of the hard working people in this state. A lot of like minded people contribute in many different ways to make us unique compared to the majority of the other states where people have other interests. Perhaps it’s those long tough winters. You know what I mean New England. We’re pretty much in this together, for the most part.

Online reviews

I feel lucky to have received all positive with my business so far.
My distaste of negative people who find satisfaction in blackmailing, sabotaging and manipulating people’s passion hasn’t changed. It effects people who put in long hours, who do what they love.Negative entitled people do not car about that reality. Now if you have a problem with the business and the business is rude or doesn’t fix the problem, then they won’t last. It’s as simple as that. That’s the way it’s always been. In today’s world business’s are being targeted without just cause. That’s what I have a problem with.
In a prior business venture I was sabotaged by a former employee. This employee was fired for stealing. The employee rallied up friends to slander my business with bad reviews.  Unfortunately I had to take that off the chin and hope for the best. Justice wasn’t served.
Overall reviews annoy me because I see hard working people getting torn down. A lot of good people fall victim of this. Almost every restaurant deals with this. Negative folks love to be little established businesses to make themselves feel more important about by being a wind bag.
A fun concept for the future would be a review site based on people on a personal level. Toxic people could sabotage innocent people and perhaps other toxic people. They could pander the idea of presenting matter of fact information in which encourages people to suck. Perhaps then, the right kind of people will feel the irony of online reviews. That’s my billion dollar idea. Please, someone steal it.
Pardon the sarcasm

Opening Week

Vermont Foodie Stand's food wagon has its first week of being open under its belt. It was nice to see some amazing people that have been very supportive. I can't imagine anything else more liberating than working the food wagon and interacting with like-minded individuals. The work schedule will change after foliage. I'm not sure what that will be yet. This next week will lead me in the direction I need to go. Regardless, I will continue to go strong and keep everyone up to date with my schedule and timeline. 

Income equality is an issue that warrants more attention to this inbred corporate landscape that depends on derivatives and greed.

Nothing in this country or even, the better part of the world is more mishandled than money and food. We have a banking cartel that prints money out of thin air. People get crippled financially while the 1% profits. It’s a Ponzi scheme, that has affected just about every aspect of day to day life in this country. This scheme is based on control. Just like Monsanto is trying to control the food supply. The global elite are doing a grander scale with social injustice. It’s about control. The 1% has over 90% of the worlds’ wealth. A family called the Rothchilds have an estimated 500 trillion dollars. This affects how we eat. Yes, shit’s deep. It’s about power. Food is power for the people. Food is medicinal. Other cultures who do not subscribe to our chemically-sealed and engineered, GMO-contaminated food with a nice tall glass of fluoride-spiked aqua, do not have the problems with obesity and illness. Lets face it, corporations are treating us like foie gras while getting wealthy and controlling politicians by buying them off with lobbyists. It’s pretty evil stuff.

Most people are sick and often unaware of what they are putting in their bodies. Affordable alternatives are not provided to families and the vast majority of the population. This isn’t the restaurants fault. They get squeezed. It’s the buying power of big businesses associated and regulated by important people. This all works out great for the for the pharmaceutical industry, by the way. Off course they are going to help fund this concept.

This is my reality of the state of affairs. If it offends someone because they want to justify shoving a bacon triple MC slammer cheeseburger from TGI MC Factory farms. That’s okay. You do you. Do you.

My solution to this madness is to make REAL food affordable. Perhaps I’m trying to justify my rant. My food wagon is going to provide affordable food. Like I mentioned in my rant, restaurants have far to much overhead to be affordable with REAL food. My goal is to have everyone enjoy our basic right of having something wholesome. Hopefully more of these options pop up in the future. Food trucks are often a good avenue for quality and affordability. We need that if we are going to turn the tide. Who knows. Perhaps people will actually embrace it. Stranger things have happened.

A slightly bipolar chef is the best chef.

To have the same emotion in the kitchen all the time is not good for the business.

Being the chef, you are responsible for the quality of the food, the food costs, and sanitation. A lot can go wrong with those responsibilities. It also comes with plenty of derivatives. If the chef fails to do his job, the end result can be unhappy customers, a failing business, and even food poisoning. This is a heavy burden and it should be taken seriously.

People often wonder why chefs have such a strong personalities. It has to do with what I mentioned. Plus any job that has demanding time lines and hot temperatures can make a chef wear thin on patience.

All that stress doesn’t mean that good times are not to be had. Joking and laughing can be pretty common in most kitchens. Moods can run very high and also turn very low. It’s nice to have a happy medium. But it’s not likely in a industry that is pretty straight forward with customer feed back. The customer often determines the chefs’ mood.

Music in the kitchen is a good thing. If the stress is crazy, classical music works every time. That’s a random example, but yet an effective mood stabilizer.

This theory depends on the chef. A lot of chefs are assholes. I’ve worked for plenty of them. The chefs’ mood typically determines the mood of the kitchen and the servers.

In the past decade, chefs have lightened up a little bit. More people do not put up with verbal abuse. The work force is stretched pretty thin; it demands that chefs lighten up.

Television has also given the customer a distorted version of reality. The reality cooking shows are not accurate. Screaming chefs are a thing of the past. TV packaged that concept from years ago and added some post ironic bullshit to acquire ratings. A lot of drama gives these shows ratings. It’s easier to feature fantasy drama rather than cooking ability. Some cooks from a couple decades ago, myself included can remember ducking saute pans being chucked across the kitchen. That was some real stuff. It’s not like that anymore.

Alright. Back to my point. A chef can’t have the patience of a normal person with a laid back job. It’s not a laid back job. Don’t piss off the chef. It’s not worth everyone’s time.

Hopefully I contradicted myself at least a couple times in this blog. Bipolar express baby. What are you talking about!

Walking the tight rope of overkill with preparing a meal for a chef is essential to stand out.

In the past few years, simple is more has been the motto. It is true to a certain extent, but little touches make that thought process thrive.

When executing a dish it’s wise to think about this. Flavor: savory, spicy, sweet, bitter, salt. Whatever it is, these flavors shape the dish. It’s also important to have depth. For example, a few bay leafs go a long way. Then you have texture. It’s important to have a crunch or something crispy to lift the dish. Height. To have something edible lifting up the dish typically in the center of the plate is ideal to catch the eye. Clean. To have a well executed plate it’s important to catch any splatter or thumb prints. The flavors should also be clean. Don’t make the food submit into something else. A tomato should taste like a tomato. The dish should also not be aligned with the flow of the presentation. A good way to test this concept is to take a picture of the dish at a tilted position. Color is also something to take into careful consideration. Color can make or break a dish. We eat with our eyes. Certain colors play well with each other. Once again. A camera will show you that from another perspective.

So taking in consideration: overkill. The more experience I’ve gotten, the more I think along the line of what can I take off the dish rather than what can I add. A nicely prepared protein with a nice sauce with some carefully cut vegetables can be a beautiful thing. Doctoring up crazy garnishes or using inedible garnishes are a thing of the past.

So when you hear simple is more, remember there is a tight rope associated with that theory. Top chefs don’t get the respect from peers and publications by just putting out food that is simple.

Straight edge Punk mentality.

Call me crazy, but I would rather have a lower paying chef position and produce amazing food prepared from scratch than work for a soul-less enterprise that serves up chemically sealed and engineered garbage. For example, a lot of chef jobs pay a handsome wage for someone to come in and manage the product and staff and compromise the quality of the ingredients and finished product for some big corporations bottom line that makes it’s consumers sick. Honestly, no job could pay me enough to subscribe to that. It’s always been about the food. This is how I like to think about this topic. It’s like Taylor Swift playing at the super bowl with the Rolling Stones if that makes sense. Hopefully it does. Stranger things have happened. Basically that person is a sell out!

To be great in this industry you have to compromise your profits to offer the customer the wow factor. This is how a business or a person stands out. It’s just like anything. Sacrifice is key. It also helps if someone has the basic foundation to execute this principal. Try to make food from scratch, use your training or get some more training, eat like you give a fuck and don’t be a very small percentage on someone’s payroll, making a lot of money for some corporation that doesn’t give a shit about you.

The cliché term, money doesn’t buy happiness; it’s true. Cliché terms are cliché terms for a reason. It’s better to be a happy chef working with a strong desire to provide the best you can do, than a unhappy chef making six figures, who hates his life. Not to say all corporate chefs hate life, but that only makes me question why they don’t.

We all have our vices whether it be, a Snickers bar, bag of chips, tobacco, or a cola and so on. That’s just based on consumption. Chef vices could also be a completely different topic of reality. So, if someone is going to say hey I’m a chef, then pay attention and see if they take pride. In this instance. Don’t be a Rolling Stone. Be a Ramone. But just say no!

Tried to be rational, but that didn’t work.

In the Food and Beverage Industry, being rational and having integrity can be frustrating.

I’m glad that I’ve made the effort to work with certain people and try to put my differences aside. So this theory has a purpose. To try to do the right thing can involve people misunderstanding kindness as a weakness. Often people with the right intentions get taken advantage of. Sometimes the cry babies get taken care of. The unpleasant reality is that the cry babies have a sense of entitlement and know how to manipulate situations in there favor. Lies seem to the ammo behind this type of behavior. In this politically correct society, to point this type of behavior out brings you down to a lower level in the eyes of higher arches. Also stating the reality of someone else being toxic and bringing down the whole team makes the person with integrity feel insecure about being considered a cry baby. The powers to be often get it wrong and reward bad behavior blindly. Typically people who have a hard work ethic don’t feel the need to kiss ass, where as people who don’t do.

People need to put the focus on what’s important. That’s the customer. High School musical productions in the work place tend to have an effect on the customers’ overall experience. Go figure. Being rational with toxic individuals is a waste of the company’s time. This is why hiring people in the close proximity of a business you are trying to successfully establish doesn’t typically work. I could also state a few more facts that could offend some people, but I’ll let it marinade for another rant. Okay. Back onto the conclusion.

When circumstances become personal and blown out of proportion, rational interactions can leave even the most seasoned manager beside themselves. Be careful who you hire and ask a lot of questions. My personal favorite is, What are your strengths and weaknesses? It can be pretty rational or irrational quick.