shuna lydon

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« Royal Blenheims and the start of stone fruit season------ | Main | Navarre. Portland, Oregon »

05 May 2005


Shuna --
Simply r-e-a-d-i-n-g this made me exhausted. Wonder how many of those rich folks (they're the ones who usually get this caliber of catered food) ever think of what went into what passes between their lips?

When I'm at a benefit or big do I try to imagine the kitchen and the cooks, wondering how they possibly manage without serving cold food or worse, poisoning us!

Out of curiosity: what is "orchard style"?

I'm glad to hear about your search for success. I frame the question as "becoming a person".

After a fit of nostalgia a comment from an old acquaintance made me think about this when he called me his "favorite personality" from the old days. Which hit it exactly. I was a personality, not a person.

It's great you've had some time to fill in at various places, to see what works for you and how that fits in or doesn't fit in with woh you are becoming.

shwew! And I thought my week was busy. It must be rewarding to create so much that people will undoubtedly enjoy. Your post made me miss working in kitchens, darn you!


Orchard style refers to how things are lined up on a pan to insure that they are all equidistantally (sp?) apart. And for convection ovens this is all the more important because the wind blowing around inside should circulate evenly. Also the wind picks up the parchment paper if the corners are not held down.
One of the things I noticed at this place was that I was the only one who knew how to load the oven so that baking would be more even. It's a trick I learned at Citizen Cake because we often loaded two full ovens worth of sheetpans. In bakeries and catering shops there are often a lot of people waiting for the ovens.

Thanks for asking great questions!

Aha. That's what I thought (I closed my eyes
and saw neat lines of trees). Thanx

I think Judith Ets-Hokin (yup, that's how she spells it) is onto something--the same thing W.E.B. DuBois called the "psychic wage" that white folk get from *not* belonging to the subordinate caste. And similarly, the rough-tough-asbestos-fingers psychology of the restaurant kitchen also functions to police the boundary against outsiders, in this case women, who--if admitted at all--are subjected to hazing and harassment and must endure this ("What's the matter, honey, cant ya take it?") if they are to have any hope of surviving in the trade.

Hmm, I don't have any great questions to ask. But your title does remind me of how I used to place my order at restaurants years ago. "Big Food please!" says Biggles. I'd ask for a whole roasted chicken and if they didn't have it, only a 1/2 chicken, I'd have them layer on some beef on top. Or maybe a slab of pork ribs. That was big food.
That was then, now it's Amaranth Flakes and lemon water.


From someone who was lucky enough to be (by coincidence) at the party where Shuna's macaroons were served. I would like to say: good job and thank you!

I must say, to be true, that those macaroons were not my recipe, although I did finish each and every one of them. It was sort of exciting to realize somewhere in that haze that, hey wait-- I think I know someone who works for this 4,000 person party giver!! And after the hours that you're pulling, you deserve all that incredible food!

I really enjoyed reading this post. I love your precise descriptions; I feel like I'm standing next to you, cutting out cookies. Having worked in a restaurant (FOH) for many years, on Friday I started my first BOH gig as pastry cook, and your writing has really inspired me to try to make everything be its very honest best.


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