Staff Meal…Noma

Staff meal is the most important part of the day. Many restaurants do it different ways.

In Ryugin Tokyo we stand eating in the kitchen with in 10 min. In nobu you have to be ready every day to feed 65 personel cooking something for everyone, vegetarian, salads, muslim etc.

Having to cook for so many people on a split shift is a challenge and to also run your section which is for about 400 covers a day.

Usually most restaurants take a moment to sit all together.

Most important is to think about good food, Chefs that cook on such a leve if eating bad things dont learn about taste and the other point tis nutrition. To make food to help chefs stay in form mentally and physically.

Being a chef is like a sportsman and nutrition should be taken care of more precisely.

Eating together is key as it is truly a family meal and restaurant should be always treated as a family affair.

Cooking rotas to give different chefs the opportunity to cook something definitely psyches up chefs to cook something nice helping individuals to learn and also share new ideas and cultures.

I have learned so much from eating staff meals around the world especially about peoples cultures.

When ever I am not working in a restaurant I am at a loss as I am not very happy cooking for just myself. I am so used to cooking for everyone and big pots.

Here is a nice video by Noma were Rene explains the importance and significant elements of the chefs family meal.

Staff Meal…Noma

 

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Pastry Chef Sergio del Castillo Mora….Japanese inspirations

1,The first dessert is reflecting on the Zen Gardens in Kyoto.

 Muso Soseki, a Zen priest and poet known as the father of the Zen rock garden, was born on the west coast of Japan in 1275, and died in 1351 in a temple on the outskirts of Kyoto, where he had created one of his last rock gardens.

This inner contemplation and calm can lead to a fresh outlook and clear mind. Like a restorative balm, Zen gardening is an antidote to stresses of modern living.
The gardens are a means to discover the sources and strengths of our natural humanity which, according to Zen teaching, is poised, calm, sincere and capable of facing all matters in life with calmness and perfect composure.

2, Schichimi Macaroon

Shichimi is distinguished from ichimi tōgarashi (一味唐辛子), which is simply ground red chili pepper, and means literally “one flavor chili pepper” (ichimeaning “one”).

A typical blend may contain:

Near the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in the Northwest section of Kyoto lies Chobunya, the only shop in the city where you can get your shichimi togarashi (seven spice powder) blended just the way you like it. Shichimi togarashi may have originated from China but developed over the years into a uniquely Japanese condiment.

It dates back at least to the 17th century, when it was produced by herb dealers in Edo, current day Tokyo, and sometimes it is referred to as Yagenbori(Japanese: , from the name of the original place of production). Most shichimi sold today come from one of three kinds, sold near temples: Yagenbori (やげん堀?) sold near Sensō-ji, Shichimiya (七味家?) sold near Kiyomizu-dera, and Yawataya Isogorō (八幡屋磯五郎?) sold near Zenkō-ji.

It is more fragrant and herbal than hot and spicy, the depth of flavor comes from the seven (or more) different ingredients, typically: dried red chili pepper, roasted black and white sesame seeds, dried ground orange (citron), hemp seeds, poppy seeds, dried seaweed and my personal favorite,sansho peppercorns.

Japanese food is not typically spicy, and Kyoto cuisine is even less so. Shichimi togarashi is used as an accent to add a little kick to certain foods and is usually found at the table, in small bamboo containers, instead of in the kitchen. At home, it’s a nice condiment to have on hand: Try a sprinkling some on a steaming bowl of udon noodles, or atop a skewer of yakitori. A little of this deeply aromatic spice is all you really need.

Here you can see the blending in action. Upon walking in to these kind of shops, one is enveloped by the aroma of yuzu and pepper. The seven ingredients were contained in rectangular containers with transparent lids to show their colorful display.

There is a recommended standard mix, but customers can specify a little more sansho, red pepper or any favorite ingredient to taste. The  Kyoto’s blend is typically less spicy than togarashi found in other regions.

3, Choux Pastry with a almond and red miso crust filled with Tamagozake flavoured white bean

This dessert is inspired by Japanese Wagashi principles.

Wagashi are delicious traditional Japanese confectionaries that embody the four seasons and masterfully fashioned by artisans – a skill that has been passed on from generation to generation – to represent various motifs of nature and come in all colours and shapes and are a feast for the eyes as they are for the mouth…

The main ingredients used are beans, grains, sesame seeds, potatoes, various fruits and nuts, and sugar.  They are low in calories and high in vegetable protein and therefore very healthful.  This is principally why the Japanese have been enjoying Wagashi for centuries and the reason so many health-conscious Westerners are now progressively including them into their diets.

These flavoursome edible works of art can be eaten between meals, as a dessert and when drinking tea.  As a matter of fact, they were traditionally served during the tea ceremony, known as Chanoyu, to sweeten the palate which would counteract the bitter taste of matcha, a powdered tea whisked with hot water to make an earthy-tasting froth-like beverage.  Furthermore, it was through the popularity of the tea ceremony that a large number of Wagashi became available, and over the years, they gradually developed into the exquisite confectionaries loved by many today.

4, A new interpretation of Tart Tatin

You can read all about this in my article about the egg of Dali and the Tatin sisters