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Category: Dinner

Art In Cooking: How The Alchemist Makes Their Cocktails Thumbnail
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When it comes to artisanal cocktails with a twist, the Alchemist is undefeated. The chain of cocktail restaurants has made a name for itself by serving up some of the most captivating and unique drinks you will find anywhere. And you would be forgiven for thinking a lot of the whimsical mixtures are using magic to achieve such incredible effects.

But as magical as it all seems, it can all be explained by a mixture of art and science. The often unusual and cryptic world meets the logical and scientific in an extraordinary manner. And we are here to break down how it is all done. Be warned, this article will spoil some of the mystery surrounding the Alchemist cocktails so if you would rather not know, click away now.

 

The Mystical Fog

The most common sight you will see from these cocktails is the overflowing fountain of fog. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a bartender pour a small mixture into your drink and watching it explode into a volcano of froth. But how is this done?

The main component is a weaker version of dry ice. They have to manually make ice with an ice maker that is specifically designed to react with the alcoholic mixtures to suddenly expand and melt into this foggy substance. Normal dry ice can’t be used, of course, but this substitute is absolutely harmless.

 

Flavour Changing

Another common cocktail you can experience is a flavor changing one. These are designed to start as one flavor and turn into another after a certain amount has been drunk. And it is seemingly done by magic as the liquid itself looks the same the whole time. So what is going on within the drink?

Different liquids have different consistencies. This basically means some are thicker than others. Some are lighter than others. And because of these differences, they will react differently while in contact. But, being liquid, they will all still occupy the same space.

This is the basic principle being used to create the appearance of a flavor changing drink. In reality, the different flavored liquids are all there, it is just poured in a way that means one is buried under the other until the entire mixture is disturbed enough for it to breakthrough.

 

Colour Changing Madness

These cocktails provide the greatest visual pleasure for those at the bar. They start off as one basic color. But, after adding the rest of the drink, the liquid will start to shift through a veritable rainbow of colors. Spirals of glitter cascade up through the glass and the drink seemingly take on a life of its own.

This is a mixture of the previous idea of liquid consistency mixed with some simple color mixing. It is often just as simple as two liquids of opposing colors will turn the drink into a new one. But the effects are created by the bartender knowing how much of a certain liquid to add, and where to pour it as well. This lets them create the illusion of the color spewing out from a point within the drink.

The glitter effects are simply edible glitter or gold flakes added in and given a stir to create a whirlpool effect. Not the most incredible scientifically, but still a fantastic sight to behold.

 

All of this seems quite simple when said in these terms. But you have to keep in mind this is all mixed with a lot of creative thinking and planning. The way they utilize these simple techniques is incredibly complex. So we will keep some secrets hidden away from now.

 

Why You Need These Gadgets in your Kitchen Right Now! Thumbnail
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These days we are spending more time than ever indoors, which has given us all the opportunity to try our hand at the world of culinary adventure. Trying to cook new and exciting dishes may mean that you need some new gadgets. Here are our top picks of must-have kitchen gadgets that will make your cooking experience way easier, as verified by the guys over at nononsenseninja.

 

Four slot toaster

If you haven’t got a four-slot toaster then you have been missing out. Though this may seem like basic tech, using a four-slot toaster will make your everyday cooking experience way easier. This is especially the case if you are someone with a large family, as you will be able to make lots of your morning toast at the same time. It will save you a lot of time and also means that making the rest of your meal will be much more efficient.

 

Smart fridge freezer

How many times have you had to deal with the following scenario? Unforeseeably your fridge freezer temperature has been far too cold and you have had to deal with your perishable goods housed in your fridge being frozen and then unfrozen, leaving your food items soggy and unusable. Having a smart fridge allows you to keep track of your freezer’s temperatures and means that you don’t have to deal with wasting money on rebuying foods.

 

Fusion food processor

Everybody needs to invest in a good food processor. A good food processor will allow you to complete a long line of never attempted foods and can be extremely useful if you are someone who is often left with a lot of waste product after cooking as you can blend what you have left and create an entirely new dish.

These World Renowned Chefs Reveal Their Secrets For Creating The Perfect Menu Thumbnail
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Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or struggling to put together the right menu for your business deciding on what food you are going to serve can be a monumental task. There are lots of factors to consider such as food allergies and any other food preferences your guests may have. It is vital you offer options for people who may be vegetarian or vegan so they feel included in your menu, if you are planning on hosting some kind of food event I would recommend you plan your menu well in advance and inform your guests of the options you have available, this allows plenty of time for your guests to decide what they want to eat and puts you in a position where you know exactly what you need to make.

 

However, a pre-planned menu is not always suitable as diners visiting a restaurant may not want to decide on what they are going to eat until they visit. This is where an innovative and well thought out menu is required to ensure every dietary requirement is met, here is some advice from a select few of the world’s most renowned chefs as well as some helpful tips on how catering companies in Brisbane select their menu.

 

Think about what you would enjoy eating

As a chef it is important that you have a level of interest and passion behind the food that you serve, this not only ensures a delicious meal is created but also reflects your flair and style of cooking to your dinner guests. The best chefs around the world are all known for a signature style of cooking and their food is instantly recognizable, it is important you find your own style in terms of flavor combinations, cooking methods and presentation as this will be the type of food you not only enjoy cooking the most but also what tastes the best.

 

Cater to every dietary requirement

It goes without saying how crucial it is you have food options for every single dietary issue there is, all it takes is for one person to come into your restaurant with a dietary requirement you haven’t properly prepared for and your professional reputation can seriously be hindered. It would be advisable to take the time and do thorough research into any food deficiency there is and come up with ways in which your menu could be adapted to suit your guest’s needs. Like any business you are going to have a huge variety of customers each in need of a different service, in this case, you need to ensure your menu has a solid meal option they can enjoy.

 

Consider the event and venue

Deciding on the perfect menu can totally depend on the event and venue your food is being served at, if the event is more social with guests standing and interacting with each other then it would be much more suitable to serve easy to eat buffet style food. If your guests want a luxury style service then a seated meal with different courses would be required, a good idea would be to meet with your customers prior to the event and discuss the kind of atmosphere their event will have. Meeting with your customers not only displays a high level of customer service but also ensures you know exactly what they want to eat and allows you to deliver the perfect menu as they have had involvement. Communication is also a key factor when it comes to finding out any potential dietary requirements and allows you to deal with them to the very best standard.

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Fishing Thumbnail
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Fishing is quickly rising to be a popular sport among people once again due to its relaxing yet competitive nature. But it’s not as easy as just casting a line into a body of water and hoping for the best, fishing requires the right equipment and knowledge, as well as a lot of patience. Here are some handy tips on how to successfully fish for absolute beginners.

License

If you’re really serious about starting your fishing hobby then it is important that you get a license. Not many people know that in many towns it’s actually illegal to fish without a license, this law is put in place in order to conserve local wildlife. It also means that people can’t just begin fishing whenever and wherever they please. You can get a licence online for a very reasonable price.

Equipment

Arguably the most important tool of a successful fishing trip is using the correct equipment. If you are just starting out and a little hesitant on whether or not you should sink a lot of money into something you may not enjoy, there are many options out there. For example, if you decide to take a class or instructional course, they will provide you with all of the right equipment- meaning that you don’t have to spend your own money. If you decide that you enjoy fishing but are a little hesitant of spending so much money on gear, there is always the option to buy it second hand. You can easily find second-hand gear on local selling sites, but it’s important to request to see the gear before purchasing it as you want to make sure that it is good quality and not damaged at all. Your goal should be to find a rod with a spinning wheel as your main tool, this will probably be your most expensive initial item but it’s important that you invest in a quality rod as a good rod will last you a long time. If you get a combination rod, it’ll be easier to set up and use as you only really have to focus on the reel. Basic things like fishing rope and hooks are easy to acquire for a small price, you can get them online or at any local fishing store.  If you want to make the fishing experience slightly easier for yourself it would be recommended to get some bobbers as these will help tell you whether or not a fish has hooked on to your line.

Comfort

When it comes to fishing you’re going to be sitting out for many hours on potentially freezing days and so making sure you’re comfortable is something you should prioritise. Invest in some thick jackets, socks and boots as that will make sitting out for hours far more bearable. It wouldn’t hurt investing in a fishing chair either as you don’t want to be sat upon the cold floor for hours. Don’t skimp out when it comes to this as this is something you’ll use for a long time and will make fishing more enjoyable. There’s also no harm in getting a small pop up fishing tent to protect yourself from any cold breeze or rain. Once again, this is quite an inexpensive purchase and will not break your bank, but will make fishing feel more comfortable. Make sure you have the basics too, like a hat and scarf. Many people forget about the importance of basic warmth, especially when you’re so close to sea breezes, this will make it easier to stay out for longer.

Picking the right spots

Unfortunately, you can’t just start fishing in whatever body of water you fancy. There are a number of things to consider before you set up your fishing station. For example, check if the water is privately owned. Most privately owned lakes do not permit you to fish in them for the safety of its ecosystem.  This can be easily checked online. Also check if whatever body of water you choose actually had fish in it as surprisingly,  a lot of manmade water sources don’t have any fish in them at all so you would be completely wasting your time. Look at local fishing forums to really find out the most popular fishing areas near you. This is also a good opportunity to find some fishing groups to share your picks and find out where the most densely populated areas to fish in are. If you are allowed to fish in some areas, check any rules that they may have as surprisingly most fishing areas don’t let you take the fish home with you after catching them whereas some may.

Get to know your fish

Not every fish is the same so you should really get to know what fish are in your area and what are the best ways to catch these fish. If you are looking for advice on how to catch these fish then you should visit the pursuingoutdoors site as they give you lots of useful information on how to attract individual fish. You should look at investing in a variety of bait to attract a number of fish, bait can easily be acquired at local fishing shops as well as local pet shops as key baits like mealworms are actually very popular reptile foods. All this information can also be found in fishing books.

How to Cook the Perfect Fillet Steak Thumbnail
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Fillet steaks are a favorite among steak connoisseurs as they are the most tender, although they are usually the most expensive. However, they aren’t too difficult to cook, they don’t have much fat and can be served as rare as you want. Consequently, you don’t have to be a professional chef to cook the perfect fillet steak, all you need is a bit of guidance and some patience.

The Pan

If you are cooking your steak indoors, it’s probably best to fry your steak or grill it by using a tabletop indoor grill. You don’t need the worlds best frying pan to cook a great steak, but you do need one that is heavy-duty and thick based if you want to get the best results, although a cost iron skillet or a heavy griddle pan can also be used and you’ll still cook a great steak. This is because these pans will give you that tasty charred finish to the outer layer of your steak due to the fact that they get really fast and retain heat really well.

When cooking you should leave a lot of room in your pan – don’t try and squeeze them all in at the same time!

Seasoning

While some people only like a bit of salt and some pepper to enrich the flavor of their steak, there are some more inventive seasonings that may be closer to your liking. For instance, adding some marinade will add flavor and tenderize your steak. Other options are balsamic vinegar or honey and mustard, as these flavorings will reduce down to a sweet glaze. If you want to be adventurous, some miso or teriyaki marinade will give the steak a lovely Asian aroma. If you are just adding some salt and vinegar, sprinkle a generous amount of cracked black pepper and salt on to a plate and press the steak into the season right before you put it in the pan.

Some cooks also add garlic and herbs like rosemary and thyme while the steak is cooking to give it some subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the steak itself.

How Long to Cook the Fillet Steak (3.5 cm)

Blue: 1:30 mins on each side

Rare: 2:15 mins on each side

Medium-rare: 3:15 mins on each side

Medium: 4:14 mins on each side

To check if the steak is cooked to your liking, simply prod it with your fingers. A rare steak will feel soft, while medium-rare will be a little bit bouncy and a well-done steak will feel firm.

Resting the Steak

After you’ve finished cooking, leaving the steak to rest at room temperature for a minimum of 5 minutes, it will keep its heat for up to 10 minutes. As it rests, the meat’s fibers will absorb much of the free running juices, giving you a moist and really tender steak. Then, simply pour whatever juices remain over the steak before serving.

Recipe: Birch Cured Coho Salmon, roast beet, fine greens, hazelnut vinaigrette – by Chef Andrew Springett Thumbnail
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Last week we were fortunate to have Chef Andrew Springett, of Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort, on hand as guest chef for one of our BC’s Best Market Dinners. Chef Springett exemplifies west coast cuisine, and treated the sold out crowd to an amazing evening. We began the multicourse feast with this starter, which we paired with a Pemberton Distillery Schramm Vodka cocktail.

Birch Cured Coho Salmon

roast beet, fine greens, hazelnut vinaigrette

Pemberton Distillery Schramm Vodka Cocktail

Salmon

  • 8# Salmon
  • 2L Water
  • 62.5g Kosher Salt
  • 500g Brown Sugar
  • 500g Birch Syrup
  • 250g Honey

Make the wet brine by adding all ingredients excluding salmon into a 12L insert, mixing and making sure every thing is dissolved

Skin and Pinbone Salmon, cut into ½ inch strips, add to wet brine, cover with cheesecloth

Let salmon sit in brine for 48 hours

Take fish out of brine and set in on wire smoker racks, take your brine and strain it. Then reduce till a syrup consistency.

Smoke salmon on low for 3-4 hours, glazing the fish with the brine syrup every 20 minutes. Fish will be “translucent” once finished

Once smoked, give it one last glaze, put it in fridge while still on the wire racks, uncovered to dry overnight

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

  • 180g Grape Seed Oil
  • 360g Hazelnut Oil
  • 120g Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 30g Sherry Vinegar
  • 30g Honey

Wisk all ingredients together, season with touch of salt