Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Nasi Ulam Utara

The lady that I usually get my Asian herbs at the market makes 'nasi ulam' herb bundles every Friday. Each bundle consist of fifteen different herbs, half of which I am not familiar with. Of course I couldn't resist getting one, seeing how fresh and fragrant they are.

Even though I grew up eating 'nasi ulam' whenever I visit my mom's sister, it's not a dish I've made before. I am in fact more familiar with the east coast style of rice salad, the 'Nasi Kerabu', which I learned to make from my mother in law and have even taught during my classes.

So a couple of days ago I made my very first ever 'Nasi Ulam Utara' with the herb bundle I got from the market, plus about a dozen more herb and spices from my kitchen garden. We even made 'kerisek' from scratch and fire-grilled the 'ikan talang masin' before pounding it in a pestle and mortar.

Can't believe it was such a big hit, we made two huge bowls and everyone went for seconds and thirds. Personally I think I need a few more practice run to get the flavor right. Looks like we will be having this quite often now.





 




Monday, January 21, 2019

I am a home cook, not a chef

I cringe every time I am addressed as chef, and I will correct everyone who addresses me as such. I know I am not a chef.

Being a chef requires years of training and hard work plus high-level of skills, all those that you'd have to earn. I am very far from that, hence I am not a chef.

I think it's insulting to the profession when everyone working in the kitchen (especially non professional ones) get addressed as chef. Just because there's no professional body awarding the title, people should not be too liberal in handing them out. Not everyone who cooks are chef, being a cook is wonderful and such an honor too. After all, chef are cook too.

I remember the first few times I was addressed as chef, I was quite offended as I felt that I was being made fun of. It took me some time to accept that they are just very liberal in addressing people who are in the culinary world as chef. I know I am still not a chef, so I will keep correcting them.

I am not a chef, I am a home cook, and proud of it.


The Difference Between a Cook and a Chef

 • June 15, 2011 
Difference Between Cook and Chef

Do You Know The Difference Between a Professional Chef and a Cook?

To most people, a cook and a chef are the same thing. The two terms are used interchangeably to indicate someone working away in the kitchen, regardless of whether that individual is cutting vegetables or masterminding the entire menu.
For those who work in the culinary field, however, there is a big difference. Although there is no single professional organization that determines exactly who is a chef and who is a cook, most agree that the difference lies in education and experience.
If you have a culinary degree and/or trained under a notable chef and have moved up the ranks, you are typically considered a chef. If you simply dabble in the kitchen at home or are just starting out at the bottom of the restaurant totem pole, you are almost always considered a cook.
What Makes a Cook a Cook?
Most people agree that a cook is lower-ranking than a chef, and that chefs themselves vary in rank. For example, an executive chef is the top of the line, while sous chefs, chefs de partie, and other professionals might have the right training, but are still working toward their top professional goals.
If you still aren’t sure exactly what it is that makes a chef a chef, consider these qualifications:
arrow A two- or four-year culinary degree
arrow Extensive training under a chef with the goal of gaining a culinary education equal to that of a degree (also known as a culinary apprenticeship)
arrow Responsibilities that include a supervisory role
arrow The ability to create and implement menus in a restaurant setting
arrow Management roles in the kitchen
A cook, on the other hand, can expect to:
arrow Prepare food on a daily basis
arrow Perform kitchen duties, as needed and directed
arrow Clean and wash the kitchen
arrow Use recipes and follow someone else’s menu plan
arrow Still be at the learning level of his or her career
There are some culinary institutions (including the American Culinary Federation) that offer designations and titles based on testing, work experience, and education. Although many organizations and restaurants recognize these distinctions (and will boost your career accordingly), they aren’t required to be a chef or to be successful in your own culinary career.
In most cases, the cook is below the chef in terms of prestige, pay, and career development. However, there are instances in which this isn’t true. Many home cooks or amateurs have skills and experience that surpass that of their chef counterparts; they simply may not make claim to the title.

Famous Cooks vs. Famous Chefs

In fact, many of the celebrity chefs we have come to know and love as a culture aren’t really chefs at all. Rachael Ray and Nigella Lawson are two of the biggest names in the culinary and Hollywood world, but both women profess that they aren’t trained chefs…and have never pretended to be anything other than cooks. Self-trained, self-motivated, and never having worked in a long-term chef capacity (such as overseeing a restaurant), they are just two examples of cooks who have hit it big.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Mama's surprise 60th

Mama's surprise 60th birthday get together. Best part of it all, all her siblings turned up, even her sister who lives in KL!

A million thanks to all my co-conspirators. Tak sangka ramai betui turned up, sampai kena masak nasik tambah!

Happy Birthday Mama!














  


Aeyna & TokChik

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Starting the new year at this tiny school in the spice garden.

1.1.2019