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Disillusioned with my cooking after michelin dining

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by outstandingwinger, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. I love my cooking. I make everything from scratch, always make my own stocks, taste and balance all the time etc. Put a lot of effort in to make my food the tastiest possible. I fancy myself as a bloody good cook (ahem!)
    I dined at a michelin starred restaurant in the summer and it blew me away (Number 1 in Edinburgh). It was so much better than I could ever do. Ever.
    Now I feel disillusioned with my own cooking and need to get over it!
    Any tips, or anyone felt the same?
     
  2. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    You pay a Michelin starred premium for Michelin starred cooking, where a huge team of trained chefs work very hard to prepare, cook and present food that is unacheivable by the solitary home cook.
    Home cooking is home cooking. Just as valuable, just as good in its own way and damn well worth it.
    I love to eat in great restaurants, including many with stars, but I realise that these are expensive treats. I still value home cooking every bit as much as all of the fancy stuff. More in fact, as it's soulful, home-made food that keeps me going every day, rather than the 4 times a year treats at starred restaurants and other equally worthy places that haven't been given a star for ever unfathomable reasons (Michelin stars aren't the be-all-and-end-all, after all).
     
  3. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    a Michelin * chef will not to home and cook any better than you!

    Look at the hairy bikers, they often beat the chefs at the own game 1 on 1.

    I'm sure you could challenge most chefs when it comes to day to day cooking, and I'm sure which your family would rather have cooking for them. Day in day out.

     
  4. Yes thats the key isn't it. All those spots of intense flavours just aren't achievable by one person making the dinner for the family. It would take you too long but by God what a treat when you experience it. Its the first time I have been to such a good restaurant!
     
  5. Aye its just great when you cook a really good meal for your loved ones and they so appreciate it.
    That I suppose is the real joy of cooking. The top end stuff is like mozart to my right said fred but that's art for ya!
     
  6. But when I cook for my family and friends, the most important ingredient is love.
    No Michelin cook can add that to our family meals.


     
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    We live next door to a Michelin two star restaurant. Because they're our neighbours, we're friends and are always treated extra well on the rare occasions we eat there. Everyone gets treated well, though, so I'm not saying that other people don't get wonderful service.
    This kind of restaurant does things you can't do at home unless you're some kind of foodie fanatic. Nobody eats Mich 2* every day. That sort of cooking is for special occasions. It's too refined and clever for everyday use.
    Good home cooking is what everbody wants most of the time.

     
  8. It's not just the cooking.
    These restaurants use super high quality ingredients that often are just not available to the general public. A new butcher opened up at our previous shopping haunt. The meat they were selling was 'restaurant quality'. Never seen such lovely stuff. But if you wanted something particular you had to get in early or order in advance.
    Why? Because so little of it is produced from a few small specialised farms that there simply isn't enough of it for general sale.
     
  9. Yes, but that is because folk want cheap, mass-farmed meat.
    Meat used to be a rarity.
    Now folk want quality. But cheap.
    You can't have both. Either you have cheap factory meat or you have expensive quality meat.
    Or you avoid meat.
     
  10. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    I'm not sure I agree with that. My butcher supplies a few of the local high-end restaurants near me and a local organic farm supplies fruit and veg to many top-end restaurants all over the South. I can pick the same ingredients up readily. A potato is a potato is a potato.
    Most excellent restaurants wouldn't buy in butchered meat anyway (as in prime cuts of meat) - a good high-end restaurant will often pride itself on nose-to-tail cooking and buy whole animals, using it every last edible bit in their cooking. Apart from the ethical credentials and cheffy kudos this gives, it also maximises profits. A good chef will often be a good butcher as well.
     
  11. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Sounds to me like you are someone who is very clued up on their food.
    What I like to do on the very rare occasions that I go to a restaurant of this standard is look at the food I've been given and perhaps identify something that I could hadn't had before and wanted to know how to do. For example, I'd never had bone marrow before I'd eaten it in a Michelin restaurant so I went home and cooked my first bone marrow which was delicious. I've still got the memories of a wonderful meal but it inspired me to further my own cooking skills.
     
  12. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter


    I have fresh, local, organic fruit and veg - bought through the Veg Box scheme. I live on the East Coast and there is a shop that sells amazing fresh fish/seafood - they can tell you not only whe it was caught (usually 'this morning' but what part of the coast and which boat it came from). And a butcher who offers good quality meat - again he knows the farmers - and who gets game from the local estate when they have a shoot. Eggs are from a local farm - free range (naturally!) and so fresh that on a couple of occassions I have asked for six eggs only for the assistant to state she only has 5 eggs at the moment, but she'll go and check if the hens have laid any more.......I'd defy any professional restaurant to get much better quality ingredients.
    (And yes.....I also go to Morrisons and Lidls and occassionally to M/S too!...and buy tinned goods, the occassional bit of processed meat...and shock horror, a ready meal once in a while!)
    If I could overcome my social phobic issues then I'd love to go to a Michelin-star restaurant...one of the Gordon Ramsay ones perhaps...and I would just love to eat at Rick Stein's....
    But if I was to make a list of my all time top 100 favourite/dream meals, most of them would not be posh 'swanky' restaurant meals...I refuse to believe that any chef, however many stars and awards they have, can make a better Shepherd's Pie than my Mum can!...Omi's mustard rabbit with a pile of red cabbage would be on my Henkersmahlzeit list!...I do slow cooked pigs-trotters with split peas and sauerkraut that is just amazing....and when I lived above a woolshop and one day cooked a rabbit casserole, some of the customers tried inviting themselves for supper!....Great food doesn't have to come from a Michelin restaurant.
    When I read the 'what are you having for dinner....' thread, I sometimes think that if we got together, and sorted out a rota, each of us doing our own 'signature' dishes - we could open a pretty good restaurant and give Gordon, Hester, Jamie et al a run for their money!

     
  13. Isn't that the point?
     
  14. But many people can't afford that type of food.
    I feel similarly depressed when I go to Italy. It doesn't matter how good your cooking skills are, we will never be able to buy the same quality of ingredients, at least without spending lots of time and money sourcing them.
     
  15. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Some of the food isn't that expensive...the veg box for example - can work out cheaper than the supermarket!
    Meat and fish is more expensive. I'm lucky in that some of the seafood can be cheaper on the coast - especially if I get taken to the 'big' fish shop. And game is relatively inexpensive - especially as I use every last scrap.
    Some cuts of meat can be relatively affordable - pigs trotters (a personal favourite of mine!) are reasonably priced, and appear on top menus too! ...and cheaper cuts can be slow-cooked to mouth-watering perfection (Hey...I had to bring in my beloved slowcooker!)
    I am not negating the issue of poverty. Believe me. I fully appreciate the problems of not being able to afford quality food. I live on benefits - and times were particularly hard a few years ago.
    However, poverty is not restricted to being unable to afford the ingredients. I lived for some years with little/no cooking facilites. (Basically a hob with just a couple of rings working - sometimes and a microwave that sometimes got soaked by the bathroom falling onto it!) No storage - a shelf in a shared fridge that didn't always work.
    Then there is the sad fact that many people don't know how to make a meal of fresh veggies. And if they did, then their kids won't eat it!

     
  16. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Agree with Bethannie - it really isn't expensive to eat good meat, fish, veg and fruit.
    Shop seasonally and great fruit and veg, in the peak of its condition, is cheap, especially if you are lucky to live near a farm shop or take advantage of a box scheme.
    Cheap cuts of meat are more available than ever (you can get a rolled breast of lamb in Tesco's now for £3), meaning that even if you go to a fantastic butcher selling premium quality meat, it will still be very affordable. Many of the high-end restaurants we're talking about on this thread prode themselves on turning cheap cuts of meat into a fanatastic meal; it's not all about fillet steaks and best-ends of lamb any more. If, of course, you are deranged enough to want to eat fillet steaks all of the time, then you deserve to pay a daft premium.
    Fish is more expensive, but again, shop seasonably and sensibly and you can get cheap fish. Mussels, mackerel and pollack, rather than oysters, turbot and cod.
    It's not expensive to eat Michelin quality ingredients. Shown a bit of love and careful treatment, and cooked simply, they can be every bit as enjoyable.
     
  17. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Sashh, on the subject of Michelin starred restaurants - did you ever go to the Indian restaurant in Wolves with a star (I don't think it has one any more)...I think it's/it was behind Yates's, overlooking St Peter's Church and the Civic Centre....
    Never got round to trying it out.

     
  18. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Great posts Beth and Nick!
     
  19. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    £3!!! I used to pay 50p for a breast of lamb and can still get them for £1.25.
     
  20. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I have just bought some incredible belly pork from Donald Russell, £9 each and they are big, easily big enough to cut in2 and make 2 meals for 2 people. Excellent meat fpr £1.12.5 per portion.
     

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