Monday, 9 March 2009

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was thge taste being filmed Rita as i noticed a cameraman in one of the photos?

Rita said...

Anon - that was a cameraman who was filming Matthew Evans for a documentary for SBS. I gather it will be shown later this year, and cameras have been following Matthew round for a while.

earmuffs said...

I'm glad those youngsters had the bottle to cook infront of a crowd Rita & they should be commended for it.
However if your polaroids are anything to judge the standard of dishes by-I am worried quite frankly, looks like pub grub to me.
Surely tthe organizers could have looked beyond salmon as the 'hero' of the dish, then again maybe Huon Aquaculture wanted something back for their considerable involemnet in this event?

Anonymous said...

Well if no one else is going to state the obvious I shall. That food looks horrible. No imagination no flare no style and most importantly little if no respect/care. If this is the food from the best and brightest of tasmanias next league of chefs we are in a whole world of trouble. I very much support the live cooking mystery box style competition from a training perspective because it makes the competitor think on the spot and use techniques and flavour combinations they know in different ways. looking at those few pictured dishes you have to wonder wat is really happening at our training institutes and wat type of thinking is being taught.

Squash.

Anonymous said...

I agree with squash the food shows no style or imagination and i bet the judges were pushing it to find good things to say about it but i think you have to blame the chefs where they work for not teahcing the apprentices different things as well as the training places.

Anonymous said...

very true chefs should be the main tutorial role for apprentices which is again looking at those pictures is probably an even scarier thought

squash.

Anonymous said...

You cant honestly expect to level the blame at the chefs who are in charge of the apprentices who were competing?
I blame the dining public who are so miserly & will not pay for top quality foods. When they do, the standards will rise & so will the skill levels of these students.

Anonymous said...

The dining public just dine on whats on the menu, so don't blame them. They might complain about the cost of it but they can only order what the chef tells them they can order, through the menu. If all that was on the menu was top quality goods of course they'd order them, or not go there.
The chef is with the apprentices most of the time so naturally the burden of training falls on them, so they're responsible for how much or little their apprentice learns. Drysdale or Kuzina only spend a relatively small amount of time with the apprentices. Chefs need to own up to the responsibility of the future chefs they produce from there own kitchens. a dud chef produces a dud apprentice, and future chef. Logical.

Anonymous said...

Its exactly that kind of attitude out there anon that makes people think twice about hiring apprentices in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Try and run your kitchen without the apprentice then anon and see how you go.

Anonymous said...

Well anon 4.51, if they're going to serve up the shite I was in them photos, we'll do just fine without them thanks

Anonymous said...

Suppose there is no point in saying that these were apprentices, not qualified chefs with years of experience under their belts.
No point saying that they were perhaps suprised at the ingredients thrown at them.
No point mentioning that they were in an un-familier environment being watched and judged, something new to them.
No point suggesting that the usual guiding hand of their employer was their to help them.
No point explaining the frigging obvious then...

These dishes may not be perfect in their presentation, a few look a little over cooked. Did they taste good? Maybe they did. But as far as your concerned they don't look good, so game over.

Give these kids a break. And before you go laying into chefs about training, try serving some sort of trades training without rose tinted spectacle nostalgia.

Most trades people get left on the job and thrown in at the deep end quite often. When you do something often enough you get good at it. There is no substitute for experience.
And before anybody says it, the guys on Iron chef are told two weeks before hand what to expect.

Jeez, give the kids a break.

Cartouche

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Are you honestly saying serving a bad meal is fine if your a little bit stressed or in a new location. Bullshit these are industry apprentices that cook for there living. It's not like they've never used salmon before. they work in Tasmanian it's on 90% of menus. Maybe it's not shite training or uninterested uninspired chefs that are the problem maybe it's the wanker "foodies" who are to scared to question the mediocre stall warts of hobart dining scene but are more than happy to slander something new and intelligent. If we continue to let people get away with shit boring outdated food we r only going to breed more of the same and the talented apprentices that do work there way through will have no choice but to leave if they want to continue there career. I myself am leaving for fairer shores as soon as my certificate arrives because as far as I'm concernd there is no step up from where I am available in this state.

Squash

Rita said...

Can I throw this observation into the mix?

Working as I did for 6 years in an Apprenticeship Centre here in Hobart, and having a background and interest in hospitality, I was usually the one who signed up most apprentice chefs into their apprenticeships.
Over the course of this sign-up process (because I was genuinely interested and actually cared) I would usually ask the apprentice I was signing up what their favourite food to cook was. "I dunno" would be the standard response. Trying again, I would then rephrase the question and ask, "Well, what's your favourite food to eat when you go out?" Again, "Dunno" or maybe "I only go to the pub".

From that, over many hundreds of sign-ups for apprentice chefs, I concluded that the cookery vocation was, for many, not a vocation of passion but maybe just a vocation they fell into accidentally, and for lack of anything else coming up on their own personal horizons, just kept working in that field because it was a job.

If you look at someone like Maggie Beer, who has no cooking qualifications but has the passion, you must conclude that passion will get you everywhere, no matter what is (or isn't) written on that bit of paper.

Anonymous said...

Squash, are you waiting for your non-swearing certificate to arrive?

Anonymous said...

A very valid point rita.
Squash

Anonymous said...

As a qualified chef with 25 years experience in the hospitality industry I have seen many changes and much progression in the industry. Times change. When I first started as an apprentice just about everything was made from scratch. We were taught and knew how to make a stock we were shown how to fillet a fish, and so on. I was shown and taught by passionate and excellent chefs, who took pride in their food and menus. Everything these days can be bought, whether it is sliced, diced, filleted portioned and even precooked, it’s more consistent and probably cheaper. The apprentices these days don’t get to prep and cook as we did years ago. Yes the industry is loosing its skill and knowledge base.

So I pose this question “What is the answer?” Who is too blame? Is it the training organisations? They get to teach the apprentices new skills and knowledge, yes!!!! But where do they practice these skills. If a skill and knowledge is not continuously used it can be lost. Is it the chef or cook who supervises the apprentice? Any passionate chef worth his salt would love to pass on any skills and knowledge to his/her apprentice. Is it the apprentice? Do they have the passion or is it just a job? Is it the employer? Or does the employer mostly think about the bottom line. It is the employer’s livelihood after all and they are there to make a living.

Rather than pointing the finger, passing the buck and laying blame, let’s come together and use our energy and come up with some answers to continuously improve the skills and knowledge within the Hospitality Industry.

Convenience

Anonymous said...

How can we come together when you are anonymous?

Rita said...

Rita can help you out there Anon 1.30 if you are genuine, as I suspect I know who this Anon is.