Kitchen Shorthand

Written by Trent on Friday, 01 February 2013. Posted in General

 MEP   Mise En Place

BTB   Bring to boil

RTS   Reduce to simmer

RTE   Ready to eat

TDZ   Temperature Danger Zone

FIFO   First in first out

FOH   Front Of House

BOH   Back Of House

Drone   Any lower level FOH staff... sometimes all FOH staff

86   Out of something, or someone for comical purposes

Fire   Finsih cooking the food required for an order, plating and serving it

EVOO   Extra virgin olive oil

S&P   Salt and Pepper

E.W.   Egg White

E.Y.   Egg Yolk

TT   To Taste

T   Tablespoon

t   teaspoon

oz   Ounce

g   Gram

c   Cup

pt   Pint

qt   Quart

gal   Gallon

#   Pound

fl   Fluid

C   Celcius

F   Farenheit

Doz   Dozen

Min   Minute

On.   Onion

P On.   Pearl Onion

R On.   Red Onion

G On.   Green Onion

Carm On.   Carmelized Onion

Scalls   Scallops

Tom.   Tomato

C Tom.   Cherry Tomato

Y Tom.   Yellow Tomato

G Tom.   Green Tomato

Gl Tom.   Globe Tomato

R Tom.   Roma Tomato

Pep.   Pepper

R Pep.   Red Pepper

G Pep.   Green Pepper

Jap.   Jalapeno

Hab.   Habanero

Carr.   Carrot

Shal.   Shallot

Gar.   Garlic

Ging.   Ginger

Cil.     Cilantro

Choc   Chocolate

W Choc   White Chocolate

Wht   Wheat

Demi Glace

on Wednesday, 06 February 2013. Posted in Sauces

The most beautiful thing that happens in a kitchen is Demi Glace.  Every ounce of of a chefs being is portrayed through with methodical and time consuming task.  The gratification gained from walking in a ktichen with a large patch of demi simmering away is instant due to the potency of the smell released.  It is like no other in that it will warm all your inards more than a shot of moonshine and at the same time send a shiver down your spine faster than seeing a ghost.  The shear cost of pulling this task off is usually more than a cooks wages for damn near a month.  The history of Demi is a hard one to grasp as it has been used in cooking for such a massive amount of time.

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Written by Trent on Wednesday, 20 February 2013. Posted in Love What You Do

Perfection is impossible to reach in any way, shape or form.  That being said, there is absolutely no excuse for neglecting to strive for perfection with all of your being in everything you do in this world.  Especially when you cook.  The best people to do anything acknowledge how far from perfection they were even at their best.  From Einstein to Keller.  They are only the best because they never lost sight of perfection at any point in time.  Working with food shows me this in the slightest ways in the every day mayhem the kitchen breeds.  I hope this picture will solidify this idea in your mind as well.

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Hahn Wine Dinner 02-20-2013

Written by Trent on Sunday, 24 February 2013. Posted in General


Hahn was the choice for this months wine dinner and so the tasting began.  Chef brought in the whole dinner crew on the tasting and some of the front office too.  As we tasted the Hahn Chardonnay (Monterey 2011)  we agreed that it would have to be a light first course which brought me straight to lobster.  The next wine was a 2011 Californian Pinot Noir, we wanted to use a meat due to the density of the Pinot but couldn't go to heavy because we were still on an app course.  Tasting, we all agreed on a bird when Dingo said quail and it stuck.  Now at the entree course I found myself up against a 2011 Central Coast Merlot and all i could think about was a coffe rubbed ostrich we did in Denver.  Unfortunately we have been shuned by patrons for serving kangaroo in this market before so we shifted down into venison.  We ran a venison Au Poivre a couple months back that didnt sell too well and I wanted to give it a go with a little more sofisticated crowd.  I dont like eating dessert and cant fathom one i would enjoy with a Deep red Meritage 2010 from the central coast.  Even when we were thinking about a deconstruced Reese's Pieces.  Until I tried the peanut butter cheese cakes with a fudge brownie crust that Paradise Cheescakes made for us.  ( I know its cheating but I have an extreme love hate relationship when it comes to dessert).


Written by Trent on Wednesday, 13 March 2013. Posted in General

The Knife is the most useful tool in a chefs collection.  It is also his most prized.  That isnt just some macho B.S. either.  Even in medieval times people carried a knife on their hips as a eating utensil and mode of self defense.  Much later in history we find an increase of sophistication in table manners and industrialization which brought about a much more accesible and safer set of knives that were left at the table for anyone that sat in that place rather than everyone carrying their own utensils.  There was, until recently, only one knife used by the chinese for many jobs which emplyed the mini-maxi approach to selecting the arsenal.  A French chef in modern times will carry several knives specific to the job at hand.  There is also a vast amount of cuts made in French cooking where as the chinese usually have already cut the food into bite sized pieces.  This is definitive at the table in that the French need more table ware in order to make the food more accesible to the mouth whereas the Chinese only need chopsticks to get the job done.  Unison cuts make it easier to cook in a wok as well,  not a method of cooking in French cuisine. 

The French knife cuts consist of:

Mince - Herbs, garlic, etc.

Rough Chop - Mirepoix, etc.












Zesting -

Oblique or Roll cut

Lozenge(diamond) -




Gaufrette - a waffle cut made by a mandoline

Fanning - Self explainitory


Breaking Down Tuna

Martin Yan Breaking down a Chicken

1/2 Moon-  Usually done with cucumbers and squash.

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Julienne- Matchstick sized,  My favorite knife cut

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Brunoise- Dice of a Julienne. Dingo did this while talking on the phone.

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Lardons- I wish I would have taken a photo of these before I cooked them.  They were sliding right off the Glestain so perfectly.

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Chiffonade-  Usually rolled herbs sliced super thin.  My other favorite knife cut.  This is mint used in the candied orange zest and mint tangle for the orange semifreddo.

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Instagram   Trent Johnson

Create Your Badge

Kendall Jackson Wine Dinner 3-20-2013

on Thursday, 28 March 2013. Posted in General

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"They won't see our wine but they will see our food."  I told Dingo this very thing while we tasted the wine and created the menu.  (the wine was lacking in, well, everything).  This wine dinner was to be presented to 13 business owners from around town, Premier beverages way of wooing them into buying their new cheap wine.  We cranked out this menu one night while we were slow, tasting it then dropping food walkin in.  The tiradito dish I picked up in Miami.  The Kimchi Mash we ran through Denver Restaurant Week when I first got there.  The Smores is OG Azure.

Brigade System

Written by Trent on Saturday, 26 January 2013. Posted in Kitchen Management

Ever since the days of Escoffier there had been an extreme break down of the BOH responsibilities among the kitchen. Now a days there is a far more loosely represented brigade of cooks that widely varies from kitchen to kitchen… this is due to the fact that you cannot reproduce the same exact kitchen in every establishment. Unless you are Darden then you can build the same exact building and buy the same exact model of the same equipment every single time you open a new place.  Just as easily realized is the fact that not all cooks have the same skills.  This my not affect wether or not a job is possible but how well it is done.  When designing a menu or a brigade system you will be limited as to what can be done due to your location and equipment.  You cant serve salmon on a cedar plank without the cedar plank.  A classical brigade system consists of the following:

Executive Chef

Chef De Cuisine

Sous Chef

Chef De Parties:

Saucier/ Saute

Poissonier/ Fish

Grillardin/ Grill

Friturier/ Fry

Rotisseur/ Roast

Entremetier/ Vegetable

Tournant/ Swing chef

Boucher/ Butcher

Communard/ Family meal chef

Aboyuer/ Expeditor

Garde Manger/ Cold foods & Pantry

Patissier/ Pastries

-Confiseur/ Candies

-Glacier/ Cold Desserts

-Decorateur/ Cake decorator

-Boulanger/ Baker

Cuisiner/ Line Cook

Commis/ Apprentice

Garcon de Cuisine/ "Kitchen Boy" & Prep Cook

Plonguer/ Dishwasher

The Rules of Food

Written by Trent on Sunday, 27 January 2013. Posted in General

Push Dont Grind.

Work Smarter Not Harder.

When designing a menu never limit dishes to the ability of the cooks on the crew.  Always think "will it sell" and "will it stay fresh"?

When your Chef asks you a question there are only three responses that you should ever be able to say: "yes chef" "no chef" "i dont know chef".  Any thing else and you have fallen short of perfection in either extreme.

Never do anything without knowing exactly why and how... ask a question if need be.  I have worked with too many cooks that i have asked "why are you doing it that way," and they reply " i dont know i guess because thats how i was trained".  Which brings me to another rule:

Question EVERYTHING.  Cooks have to think, a lot, about everything that is going on around them.  If they didnt they would be drones A.K.A. FOH staff.

Write down as much as possible about what you are doing.  if you dont get the chance to do it again any time soon you will be more likely to reach the same results if you take notes the first time. 

Everyday is a school day.  LEARN.

Assume everything is hot...

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