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Thread: do u doubt your dishes?

  1. #11
    I wasn't trying to say you need to be cocky. You need to be confident. It is when that confidence is combined with ignorance that it becomes a detriment and leads to cocky behavior that hinders your ability to create quality food and lead a quality staff.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    I wasn't trying to say you need to be cocky. You need to be confident. It is when that confidence is combined with ignorance that it becomes a detriment and leads to cocky behavior that hinders your ability to create quality food and lead a quality staff.
    Nicely put

  3. #13
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    I am a home cook and I have a very critical group to cook for, 5 females. They are very demanding. In addition my wife has several unusual allergies, and many dislikes. We all like comfort food, but I try to serve a healthy menu for as many nights as possible, I usually try for 5 healthy meals out of 7. I have a few recipes I have perfected that all agree are delicious. This is a rarity, I usually have 1 dissenter. Or I'll only have 1 agree that its good, most often its my oldest daughter, she seems to have similar tastes to my own. Recent example; I made french onion soup. It turned out really good, but ony my oldest agreed. I try new recipies every month or so, and I am lucky to get one recipe out of 5 that passes.
    I worked in fast food for 14 years, and my home audience is a tougher crowd than I ever encountered there.

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  4. #14
    Home cook here

    I'm just wondering, hardly anyone enjoys criticism, yet all of us say we crave it. So how often do we accept our own criticisms, but weigh the opinions of the people that comment depending on how well they cook?

    I'm ok taking criticism from anyone who I think cooks better/equal to me - or in fact of anyone that cooks regularly at all and takes pride/joy in doing it, or if it is the first few times I am trying out a new dish... but I resent the remarks of people that don't cook much or at all. I'm struggling to decide if this is immaturity, or a case of "walk a mile in my shoes first"...

  5. #15
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    This is a surprisingly interesting thread. In my world, criticism = respect and by criticism. I don't mean complaining. It's more like feedback. If you don't comment or ask a question it means you don't give a crap and yes, it really has to come from someone who knows something about food because the sorts of feedback you get from non-cooks generally means nothing, as in they aren't sure what they mean themselves. That said, 99% of the people I cook for that are over the age of 3 give me nothing more than praise even when I know I've f'ed up in some way.

  6. #16
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    I feel fortunate that I have learned from great cooks and chefs. I believe there's definitely a window or a range of good food. I don't believe that there is one absolute, one correct way to do make something delicious. I often think about a street vendor that's made his/her one dish for their entire career. Then some "chef" comes by and makes his or her fancy version. Both versions can be good. But it also means you can learn something from the dishwasher as well as the executive chef.

    I listen to everyone's feedback, but there are a few people whose palates I trust - their comments get a lot more consideration than those from other people. Even then, ultimately, you gotta just trust your own palate and "vision" for the dish.

    Mostly I work on twisting dishes that are recognizable from cuisines that people may or may not be familiar with. But at least there's a template. I can see how it would be much much harder as one tries to be more original.

    Just my humble opinion,

    ~Tad

  7. #17
    I typically make dishes to satisfy cravings or to focus on certain flavor combinations. I don't like complicated food, and I like food that tastes real and distinct. I don't have flavors that I ban as evil--bitterness, gaminess, even "burned". I don't feed people with any kind of taste refinement, so I can testify to exactly what you were talking about. Often my customers are people who have never had better chicken than KFC. I make tomato soup from scratch, and they turn it down. Give them Campbell's from a can and they LOVE IT. I fight this institutional food addiction every day. I never doubt when my food is good, I eat it for lunch. But I often am not making my food--people love the crap that comes from freezer to oven to plate, drowned in ketchup and mayonnaise.

    When I make food at home, I often don't think it's as good as it gets until every aspect of it has been considered and utilized to it's fullest. I had a cup of coffee the other day, Freshly roasted Organic Brazilian Blue beans, water filtered through a great system, heavy whipping cream, unrefined cane sugar, and Weller bourbon. If anyone's got a problem with a drink like that, they can make their own!

  8. #18
    I tend to be my own worst enemy at times whenever I make a dish. I conceptualize the dish in my mind all the way up to the plate up and once I put it out and when the first fork/spoon/chopstick hits the food, I'm consistently going over the things I could have changed and would have done differently. But that's just me being a perfectionist. I love creative criticism and I think that you can't be a great cook without an open mind.

  9. #19
    I'm only a home cook and know virtually nothing about restaurant life, but I do think I can say one thing about criticism. I think that as long as it has some elements of being well-intended (not some mean remark), clear enough to understand, and honest, it is useful criticism. I mean seriously, are you just cooking for people who are food experts? I know that I like to cook for my family and ordinary people who aren't as crazy about food as I can be, and their criticism can be helpful for me to understand what they like even if it's not what I like or what I want to make. I guess all I'm saying is that you don't need to have years of culinary experience, tons of dollars invested in food/food knowledge, and hours of research into food in order to have the right to have your perspective validated. If you don't like fresh tuna and like the canned stuff way more, fine. I'll disagree with you, and I can make the decision to try to push you to try new things or to just give you canned tuna, but I'm not going to be a snob about writing off your perspective. There is no objectively good food, and that's why I figure everyone has a right to their perspective/criticism (as long as it has some of those elements I already mentioned) without having me write them off. If you're an immigrant, have visited other countries, or know people from very different backgrounds from yours, I'm sure you already know this, because some of the foods you or the people you know/have met love is completely disgusting to other people.

  10. #20
    lots of great responses in this thread....glad i started it...ryan

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