Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting great feedback, beer kegs, cutting boards

So I really have to thank a friend of mine who just today, gave me some great feedback. It was very encouraging and actionable. It's rare to get a whole page of things that you agree with. It's even rarer to have a friend who will take the time to detail out all the possible improvements you can make.

On beer kegs, I went to the Anchor Steam Brewery on a tour the other day, and it dawned upon me that I could add significant value by always having premium beer fresh and on tap for dinner parties. I would also be able to save on alcohol costs, which would drive costs down for my guests. The thought of more value, less cost while improving quality and lowering response time gets me incredibly excited.

Think about it, the concept is so simple, have two premium beers on tap at all times. Assuming that I don't drink it all myself and never show up to work again, I'll be able to have both a medium body and full bodied beer like Anchor Steam Porter whenever guests want, at a fraction of what a bottle would cost. We would not have to worry about running out of beer, and I could guarantee high quality. For example, in the past, there would be a food charge, and then guests would bring their own bottles of wine and beer. For the last few dinner parties, I have upped the price and used the extra funds to purchase well matched sake and alcohol, like Hangar 1 vodka, and Wakatake Onikoroshi (a very fragrant sake).

Now what if I could reduce the price a little, and be able to have guests just walk over and pour themselves a fresh beer, either Anchor Steam or Porter? It would also save on the significant amount of recyclables that get generated from each party. So what do I need to execute on? Buying a keg fridge with double taps. A CO2 tank. And two 5 gal torpedo kegs. Basically the torpedo kegs will allow me to fit two kegs in the space of a standard half keg, allowing more variety, and improving turnover. Look for some execution on this over the next few weeks.

As for the food smut above, that's me carving out sashimi blocks from a Hawaiian tuna. The ruby color of that fish was amazing. It was so much fun to cut into it and prepare the sashimi. The knife sails through the fish and leaves a glossy texture on the cut surface. Now that we're talking about knives, look for a description soon on all the tools I use, so you know what I recommend...especially the knives. I am a huge fan of the Suisin brand, and I generally buy my knives from Basically you can usually tell how serious a person is about cooking if their knives are sharp, and their cutting boards solid. There is way too much crap sold out there, for example cutting boards that you can roll up. That's not possibly a work surface. It's so important, that I always bring my chef's bag, as well as a cutting board should I have to cook at someone else's house. Spend the money, get something end up being less of a consumer, and throwing things out when they fail.

So you know, I highly recommend the Epicurean line of cutting boards, with a rubber anti skid mat that sits between the board and your counter. I use one for traveling, and a rubber cutting board (Sani-tuff brand) at home. They're so important, I may upgrade to the boards we use at work, which are a few hundred $ a piece, but thats overkill for most home cooks. Point is, it's that important, it warrants the discussion and the money.


Z Lawryk said...

I want in. Ill be interesting, I promise.

Bryan Yeung said...

Should we set aside a date in April? I could squeeze in another round on a Saturday.