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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

“Professional Foodservice Discussions, Part II: Controlling Labor and Food Cost Discussion, #2 PLUS Chocolate Chip Cookies—one of the Best Cookie Recipes Ever!” by Chef Stinkbug



We continue offering albums by one of Britain’s greatest bands, Fleetwood Mac, a band with a long history and a much-longer list of musicians going through its ranks.  Their twelfth album, “Bare Trees,” came out in 1972 and it would be the last to feature the guitar work of Danny Kirwan.   It also marked another transition in the band’s career with the late great Bob Welch coming to the forefront and running the band.  You can buy this album at Amazon.com by using the convenient link above!

 

 

COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR

 

 

Here is the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 699 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!

 


STINKBUG 2011
 

 

 
Chef Stinkbug

END Commentary 01-13-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,926.

 

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CULINARY POLITICS

 

ELEMENTALNEWSOFTHEDAY.BLOGSPOT.COM-STINKBUG—THE HEADLINES

Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Chef Stinkbug

 

PROFESSIONAL FOODSERVICE DISCUSSIONS, PART II

Professional Foodservice Discussions, Part II: Controlling Labor and Food Cost Discussion, #2 PLUS Chocolate Chip Cookies—one of the Best Cookie Recipes Ever!” by Chef Stinkbug

Bakersfield, CA, 01-13-2011 Th: We talked about food costs the other day and one of the worst ways in which we have a high food costs is in employee theft. No one wants to talk about this nowadays but in bad economic times as we’re now in, in-house theft is driving up the cost of doing business.  One’s employees can be their worst enemies and otherwise excellent, loyal, long-serving employees can cause not only financial damage but emotional damage as well. The betrayal of trust can drive one to depression at best and cynicism at worst. I remember working at one hotel where they caught the storeroom manager, long a trusted employee, in the act of theft and terminated him on the spot.  “Bill” used to double up helping the banquet crews bring up the banquet tables from the downstairs storeroom and he also moved liquor, beer, wine, and sodas around the establishment, from the storeroom to the bars and out to the snack bars on the golf course.  Therefore, you see, it wasn’t unusual to see him with stacks of beer and soda being hand-trucked here and there around the facilities or the grounds. 

One day, Bill was hand-trucking 10-12 cases of beer from the downstairs storeroom up the ramp to the outside and instead of taking it to the company van for transport out to one of the snack bars—they saw him taking it to his personal vehicle. His helper, one of his brothers or cousins, was helping him load it into his pickup truck when the manager happened to walk by and seeing what was going on stunned him—Mr. X trusted Bill as one of his most faithful employees and couldn’t believe his eyes.  Bill and his helper acted surprised and stopped loading it onto his truck bed and began stammering in search of an explanation. Mr. X asked him what was going on and of course, Bill’s reason didn’t pan out, he tried to say that the company van wasn’t working but they easily disproved that and when the boss found out that the snack bars had already gotten theirs for the day, he terminated them and called the police.

Bill and his buddy attempted to lie their way out of it and then basically begged for mercy but Mr. X had them arrested and what was worse is that the trust of the manager was ruined forever and after his protégé’s arrest, practically no one was ever seen the same way again.  What’s clear is that the monthly inventories were off, there were anomalies that they attempted to explain in any number of ways but what was clear is that Bill’s thievery had been going on for a long time and it had affected the business. What was worse, it was clear that Bill couldn’t have been doing all of it by himself which left others open to suspicion, which is a horrible thing. For at least a year, things were exceptionally tight and of course, this irritated some of the innocent employees as no one wants to be lumped in with thieves.

The problem with food service thievery is that it’s fairly easy to cover up theft, especially in the beverage department. Literally everyone from the top on down has to be aware of what’s on hand and inventories are easy to adjust and a bottle here or a case there is not impossible to get away with.  The bar managers have to be onboard with the security programs or things won’t work and finding trustworthy bar management is not always the easiest thing to do in foodservice. It’s also easy to take small amounts of booze out the back door or to give free drinks or doubles to favored customers.

Nowadays, we initiate security by having everybody checked out at the end of the night whether it’s the cooks with their knife rolls, (lockers are wonderful!) or backpacks, the dishwashers walked out with a manager when they take the trash out, or the servers when they go out either the front or back doors. Security in the parking lots serves as the final line of defense. Meanwhile, in the storerooms, the meat lockers, the liquor rooms everything is checked in and checked out as well as the tickets in all of the kitchens, bars, and snack bars is all gone over by the chefs, bartenders, and then in the offices by clerical staff. I worked in operations where the broiler man recorded each slice of prime rib and its weight as he plated it (there was a form) and then handed this paper to the supervisor at the end of the night!  Nothing was left open to waste or theft. Smaller operations have to tailor their own individual security needs but it’s important that we maintain security and it’s better to spend money on maintaining it then in losing precious dollars through needless thefts.

Let’s cook something:
 

(#1554) CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

 

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?  Almost no one, these are one of the best, much-loved cookie recipes in my employ and I know it’s going to be a good one for you and your operation, too.  Easy to make, a joy to eat, this is one great recipe you are going to use for many years to come. 
 

Yield:  38 1.75-ounce Cookies / Mis-en-place: 35-50 minutes:
 

 

Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Cup
Crisco shortening
 
1
Cup
Light brown sugar
 
1
Cup
Granulated sugar
 
2
Large
AA eggs
 
2.25
Cups
All-purpose flour
 
1
Teaspoon
Baking powder
 
.5
Teaspoon
Baking soda
 
.5
Teaspoon
Vanilla extract
 
.5
Cup
Semi-sweetened chocolate chips
 
1-2
Sprinkles
Granulated sugar
 

 

Method:

1.     Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!
 
2.     Using an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, cream the shortening and the two sugars together at medium-high speed.  Stop several times during the process, scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula, and continue beating the mixture until light and creamy. 
 
3.     Turn off the mixer, add the next FIVE ingredients, and beat with a paddle attachment until combined. Then, fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
 
4.     Next, place plastic wrap on the counter, scoop the cookie dough out into it, and wrap it up in a sort of package. Refrigerate for an hour or so and then remove the dough and divide it into 24-26 balls of even size. Each should weigh between 1.75-2 ounces.
 
5.     Preheat standard oven to 375°F or a convection oven—fan “on”—to 325°F. Line a sheet pan with wax paper but do not spray it with PAM. Place the balls on it 6 x 3. Do not press the balls down—they lower once in the oven. Sprinkle each lightly with a little granulated sugar to give them that "sugary" look.
 
6.     Bake about 20-2 minutes but check IMMEDIATELY AT TWENTY minutes! The cookies will flatten out and the moment the undersides begin to brown, you need to pull them out. The sooner you remove them they will be softer and a few minutes more will make them crispy—it depends on personal choice!
 
7.     Once out, place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. As soon as you can pick the cookies up with a spatula, transfer them directly to the wire rack and complete the cooling process.
 
8.     Decoration: as usual, I favor glazes. What goes good with chocolate chips? That depends on you. Whatever you do, start with a little fruit juice and stir in powdered sugar until it is fairly stiff—then drizzle over the cookies while they are still warm using the whisk. This gives them that ribbony look just like the professional baker on the corner! Do not be afraid to experiment—make the glaze with chocolate syrup or with peanut butter or sprinkle with SPRINKLES! Do anything that turns you on!
 
9.     Once cool, store in sealed plastic containers and if summer time, refrigerate, or if winter, leave out at room temperature. Chances are; however, they will all be gone before you reach this point!
 
These are classic chocolate chip cookies; everyone who tastes them practically faints from delight at first bite.  You are going to use this recipe countless times so keep it handy somewhere. 
 
--------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that we hear the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession —join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously do not pay anything but give YOU full byline and that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so Stinky says.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Where else on the web can you get culinary politics, i.e., knowledge, advice, and opinion than here at the Elemental News of the Day?  We attempt to do all of it and do it we do! This is an important topic—employee theft—and a painful one to deal with but in tough economic times and in ANY time, one cannot lose countless dollars to either waste or theft. Yet, this is one of the reasons that many restaurants go bankrupt and they NEVER know what it was that shut the doors?  Can you afford to lose something for which you have worked so hard, put so much of your life into, to have it vanish because of untrustworthy employees? I realize that Paranoia is not a good thing and God knows that my wife accuses me of paranoia all of the time whenever I ask who she was seeing while I was at work busting my ass in order to buy her diamonds!  You have to be paranoid to a degree in order to outwit all who would thieve you blind.                               

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by Fleetwood Mac and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Stinky

Stinkbug
American Bakers’ Association, ACF, CWC

 
This is a photo of me back in the 1980's when I was the sous chef of a large foodservice operation in Bakersfield, CA. I began my cooking career in the 1960's when I apprenticed underneath a great chef, Master Chef Ulysses S. Paz.  I have lived and worked in Hawaii, Washington State, Arizona, and California.  Even though I am in my late 60’s, I am still actively involved at a hotel here in Bakersfield, CA.

Stinkbug writes from OILDALE, CA.

 

---30---

The END Commentary for Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Chef Stinkbug

 

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

The one-and-only Chef Stinkbug wrote this original essay. Stinkbug.

RECIPES created by Chef Stinkbug on July 30, 1994 Bakersfield, CA.

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The Chef’s Culinary Nightmare: the end is indeed coming soon so beware of December 21, 2012!

 

 

 

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