17
May
12

A bandanna, a bistro and beer.

There’s nothing more exciting as a chef than watching a restaurant being built, the small decisions, steps and inspirations transform a basic idea into something bigger than its parts.  Luckily I’ve been able to see a few all ready – most currently my friends at Brothers Beer Bistro set to open next week here in Ottawa. One of the owners there and I used to see each other often – being my fav bartender at my fav industry pub tends to do that – and week by week month by month we both shared my exploits with Sidedoor and mise en gear and his getting his bistro started.  When he asked me to make a bandanna for them I was flattered and excited.  I’m a bit of an old school paper scribbler for thoughts and inspirations – cheffing does that – and luckily I kept all my notes. So in homeage of my friends starting a bistro I thought I’d show   my mind making designs for bandannas – by no means is it the same – but here we go.

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day one

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day two

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day three

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day five

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day six w/ BBB custom taps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whats the final product? I’ll post after BBB soft opening. If you want to see it in the meantime I’ll be rocking it proudly on my head at Sidedoor until then. What a good time, and well done bothers!

Have a good service,

j.

the world is run by people that show up

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17
Apr
12

New order!

Needless to say a long hiatus from this blog about the life of mise en gear was needed to get together a whole bunch of new and exciting things! So here we go… mise en gear bandannas will now be available for purchase at

www.miseengear.com

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2 pages of a hundred!

It’s been a long haul to imagine what this site should look and feel like – alot of preliminary work started around this time last year – and more concrete ideas were finalized in January.  Bit by bit the site took shape with lots more pictures being taken and and still are to help shine up and polish the site further.  Big steps forward we made were getting a good chunk of my stock bandannas printed off site -aka not in my basement  – but in a pro shop using my exact designs and specs. So turnaround and general stock is going to be able to stay high and consistant and I get to sleep a little bit! I’m still dealing with a huge screen disaster – over 20 screens were demoed this Febuary due to a natural disaster in my house – again why off site is saving production/sleep!

I’m really excited to watch Top Chef Canada Season 2 this year! I am a competitor on the amazing show and so far – I’ve been rocking mise en gear every episode! An incredible experience all around and really awesome for me to see some of the competitors I was with really embrace the whole idea of what mise en gear is.  The response was a real kick start for me to solidify the website and be able to sell these bandannas to anyone who wants one.

susur notes/ draw like a chef

Whew, so where does this blog lie in all of this? Well, I’m commited to updating this guy from here on in with fun side projects and custom jobs as I go.  The website will start linking into the blog more and more – and slowly these custom jobs and other bandannas I’m printing will start to become available on the website.

 

The long haul is over, now its just pushing it all uphill.

 

 

Have a good service,

j.

on the fly or I forgot?

08
Jun
11

recipe development

bubbles!

Theres nothing better as a chef than getting an end product you want after busting your ass to make every mistake on the way there.  The sketches, the scribbles on the back of a coaster,  the late night bar rants – with some attrition – is what sparks the creative mind and fosters scientific diligence.  As a chef I had this with yeasted fried to order doughnuts – rising, proofing, holding, texture and consistency were mind boggling. As the mise en gear guy I had a few bumps coming up with the latest design – heres some behind the scenes….

 

The work was worth it though, like I said, Karate Kid (old school…) meets Ferran…. 

notes

 

I’ve done some straight black prints in yellow, teal, red, orange, pink, and purple.

 

Have a good service,

 

j.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tsst.

26
May
11

183 hours

In 2 weeks, i worked 183 hours – although there was no sawing off of my limbs like James Franco did in 127 hours, I’m not sure where the pity lies, the honour stands and the stupidity rests.

Although, suffering breeds character and creativity – to a certain degree of course – and after the madness that was, the madness that will be ensued.

Enter the spoons.

spoonwork

I had 2 hours to capture and begin to edit the next ban I wanted – and its like working with a timeline on a stick of dynamite. This is the beginning of whats going to happen, lots of props to the spoons that make the plates we create on a daily basis.   The final printed product is in a long way out, but damn, its about time  we gave respect to the spoons that enable cooks to make badass things.
Think Karate kid meets Ferran Andrea.
Then get some.
Have a good service,
                                                                                              j.
patio my ass.
23
Mar
11

uphill both ways… in snow.

I’ve taken a journey the past few weeks, the restaurant I’ve been cheffing at is now at full swing and I’ve tackled a great gig with savour Ottawa http://www.savourottawa.ca/ .

The president of Savour Ottawa contacted me to create the most badass gift in a goodie bag the Canadian Media and Tourism conference has ever seen –  mise en gear.

Through a long chat about Savour Ottawa’s commitment to opening the eyes of our nations capital to what our local purveyors have to offer in food – I came to an idea of the kind of representation needed to show off what we have to offer.

make peace with food.

Enter the Parliament peace tower with the best footing food here has to offer.

Not to forget the other guys I put together stamps next to a revised <savour savourez Ottawa> logo –

….cheese, more animals, veg, grains, even an egg.

I was invited to the opening gala of a weeks worth of events for this conference – of which I had a small cocktail table dressed in my kitchen gear and accompanied with an old cook friend of mine.

After the cocktails kicked in – and a mention from the organizers’ opening speech about who I was –  the questions surrounding my little table that could began.

“who are you?” “what is mise en gear?” “why are you doing this?” “what are you doing, and for who?”

…  what I like to call cooking culture.

There is no other way to describe the sweaty, bloody,fiery, rawness, angry, happy, mad, beautiful, tired, sad and happy way that cooks are while they make dinners best memories.

without sacrifice....

Thats what I tried to convey at least – and the response was surprising.

They loved it.

Enough so that I feel that it was a  success – not just for what I wanted to show but for how it was perceived.

On top of it I had the guys working the food stations begging their sous chef to buy some bandannas for them ( and make them part of the uniform…) .

The lifestyle that chefs and cooks live are something different, I’m not in the place to judge anything about it due to my bias, but I do think that what it is that we do was shown to the people that might be able to show the rest of the country.

Another small victory for the bandannas that can.

Have a good service,

j.

Satiate your heart.

04
Feb
11

madeline

Chinese new year really hit me for the first time this year.

I found myself on sommerset here in Ottawa which is our spadina – and low and behold I got myself a hold of something…. Chicken feet. I’ve eaten much stranger things in my travels – but have enjoyed them all with friends. Tonight I had the treat to eat some traditional chinese food with some friends – exactly what I wanted.

But thats never enough I guess.

As 3 am slowly rolls its lazy eyes I finished a design I wanted to share – something I guess I needed to do…

Have a good service,

 

j.

 

Matters of great importance can easily be solved on a barstool

 

 

03
Feb
11

whats up – whats up?

Us Canadian chefs have a different type of fun come the winter months.  We get squirrely. We try to bang on the things that are well out season in our own country – as well on the things that are.  But to be honest the Ontario winter menu mostly speaks of how much chefs yearn to be with their families – preserves, braises and stews.

This time of year for chefs is vacation time – few patrons want to go out for dinner after the Armageddon of Xmas – let alone new years -the ones that do I give my utmost respect as I garner them as the diehards.

I’m talking Bruce Willis in his 20’s – yippee kai yae kinda diehard – not the wanna bees.

I wish that us as chefs had backing as strong as this everywhere… http://foodsearchottawa.wordpress.com/home-grown/

The point being – as deranged as it could be it refines in the art of the soup.

Soup and stew has been around in every culture around the world at every part of their dominance. Either a proper consumme for a prince or – in my corner – a braise/stew mashed up of the “leftover bits” for the peasant folk.

At the heart of cooking culture is the cooks who are living under the poverty line that eat better soup than you’ve ever had outside of 1700’s Paris.

The difference being we’re not oppressed, the similarities being we’re slaves, but we live the same goodness as badness – we eat amazing food, but barely pay the rent.

The outcome – hopefully triumphant – sits dirty on a satin throne.

The best thing’s I’ve ever eaten have been during  staff meals in a Canadian winter.  Hands down the availability of seasonal ingredients combined with the want to feel warm creates the best feel good bowls of nourishment a chef can offer a chef.

Damn it feels good to be a Canadian.

Have a good service,

j.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kiss a Chinese person today and wish them happy new year!