Food Talk – Goodbye UK Menu
So if you check the menu by region, which serves as a gallery for all the dishes that I’ve made thus far (or just the good ones), you’ll noticed that I removed the section which showcased the dishes of UK origin. It has been replaced by a Western section which showcases dishes of both UK and American origin, since I’ve decided it no longer made sense to have an entire section of a menu showcasing dishes which I no longer have any interest in.
“W-what do you mean Treble-kun? You used to love pub-style English food~!!” Yeah, I also used to like McDonalds, when I was 12.
As I’m writing this, I think back to what happened last night; I decided to head out to a pub for the first time in a very long time. And it wasn’t only the first time in a very long time that I went to a pub, but the first time in a very long time that I went out to eat food which I hadn’t prepared myself.
Maybe a year ago I would’ve been excited to have a thick burger with onion rings, hot banana peppers, with a side of sweet potato fries drizzled in mayonnaise placed before me. But a year ago I was 18; young, stupid, overweight, with no understanding of food, and now I’m 19; old, somewhat intelligent, underweight, with ridiculously high standards for food quality and as Remy from Ratatouille would put it; “If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.” I hadn’t realised that just by cooking my own meals for an entire year my standards for food quality had increased beyond the quality of pub food. This first started to become apparent following the deep frying incident.
The burger was 3/10; they put ketchup in it, and I hadn’t liked ketchup since I was 8. If there was cheese in it I don’t remember, so the cheese must’ve been really cheap. They put onion rings in it; I had a difficult time trying to keep them inside the burger. The meat was soggy, probably fried in vegetable oil, and they likely didn’t dry the onion rings after frying them so a lot of the oil dripped down and was absorbed by the burger. For vegetables, there was a leaf of lettuce and hot banana peppers. There may have been tomatoes, but if there were they must’ve been devoured by the ketchup because I couldn’t find any. The banana peppers I liked, but that leaf was just depressing to look at since it pretty much resembled a bloody rag at a murder scene because of the ketchup. As for the fries, those were fine. 5/10, pretty much what I expected from a pub. I ate the entire thing with a fork and knife, cutting the burger into bite-sized pieces trying to enjoy every moment, but I was simply not enjoying myself all that much. I didn’t tip a penny.
Of course, having one bad experience at a pub shouldn’t dictate whether or not pub food in general is terrible. However, I can easily state that I would never eat a meal like that again even if it was free. I’d rather have starved that night. If I am to ever eat at a pub ever again, it’d have to be a pretty damn good pub.
So how exactly does this anecdote tie in with the removal of the UK section of my menu?
Because about a month ago when I was showing someone I had met online my website, he asked “So I take it your specialty is comfort food?” At the time I didn’t even know what “comfort food” meant. Looking it up, I confirmed that that was pretty much what I did. I wasn’t necessarily offended (yes I was), the guy was simply pointing out the truth, however the question did bother me a little. What kind of chef specializes in comfort food? If I am to be taken seriously in the culinary world, I have to step up my game.
This is pretty much why I stopped doing British dishes. British food, like Hungarian food, is mostly just comfort food; unhealthy, cheap, and easy to prepare. At this moment I specialize in Hungarian food, Greek & Mediterranean food, Japanese food, and up until now I’ve also been looking at a lot of British dishes, but I’ve decided to put that on a semi-permanent halt. “Just because it’s comfort food?! But Hungarian food is comfort food too, but you still do it!” True, but I have a reason for doing it: I’m Hungarian, and Hungarian food makes me think of Hungary, of my mother, and most importantly it makes me feel at home. I grew up outside of Hungary in a household that cooked Hungarian food. It’s part of who I am. It might not necessarily be the healthiest regional cuisine due to its generally low usage of nutritious vegetables and heavy use of bread and sugar, but it’s infinitely healthier than the crap you’d get served at pubs. Mediterranean food I cook because I heard it was healthy, and it also happens to be delicious. Japanese food I cook because I grew up loving Japanese culture, and also the Japanese have the highest life expectancy in the world so it must be healthy too. And now British food… well, I don’t need to tell you that it’s not exactly healthy. It was tasty, but now things have changed and my standards have increased. Thus, I have no reason to do it anymore.
However, there are a few recipes which I have on my TODO list which I still plan to go through with. Right now I have Bangers and Mash in queue; all its missing is a well-written blogpost and a better picture because the current one doesn’t meet my new standards for pictures. After that, I have “Full English” and “Beef Wellington” still on my list, and that’s pretty much all I have left for British food. Full English is there because I started out as a breakfast cook, so it would make sense that I’d one day attempt a full English breakfast, and Beef Wellington is there because well… I’ve kind of been obsessing over it for awhile. A $100 tenderloin? Cooking one of those for a Christmas eve’s dinner party is any chef’s dream.
So what’ll I do when all the Hungarian recipes are done and posted? Well, I’ll just continue to post my own creations. I don’t feel qualified to give out true Japanese recipes, so for those I recommend either Cooking with Dog or Japanese Cooking 101. The latter really helped me in getting started with Japanese cooking, while the former is better for those who are little more acquainted with Japanese food than a beginner. And speaking of my own creations…
Introducing the Treble-style section of the menu, showcasing my own creations which may have been semi-inspired by similar dishes, but for the most part it’s just me experimenting with whatever’s in my fridge and pantry and seeing what works. The idea of not following a recipe is, to be honest, a little new to me at the moment, but every great chef has to start somewhere. I’ve even started applying to restaurants to see if I can get started on this dream of mine to become the executive chef of my own restaurant in either Paris, Geneva, or maybe even Singapore. I’m particularly interested in Asian fusion. So in the meantime, please help promote my website and get me popular. Any type of promotion is greatly appreciated, I really really want to make it in the food business…
And for my many British friends who may be reading this, don’t worry! I still love your countries and your cultures~!!! Here’s a video of me happily munching on some homemade crumpets with marmite and washing that down with a delicious cup of tea, earl grey, hot! (´･ω･`)
(I also plan to eventually start video recipes… There’s only so much I can teach you via text.)