“It’s common during the height of spring to see one whole salmon cost $400. A few pounds of morels and ramps cost the same. The simplest dish of Copper River salmon with morels and ramps could easily cost me $17, not including labor or fixed expense. Standard restaurant formula would have me charge $51 for that. In a city like Atlanta, that’s bad business. So I’ll knock the formula around and eat some cost, all for the glory of spring. I’ll charge $36 maybe and bury my food cost. It’s only for a couple of weeks! It’s celebratory.”—
The cost of cooking a fancy meal at home is negligible, your labor is free. When you purchase Wagyu beef, duck eggs, micro greens and foie, you find value in it. That’s all you pay for.
In a restaurant, figuring out labor costs can take a whole afternoon. Do I want Cook #1 to debone these chickens and save the scraps for stock, or should I pay the extra few cents per pound to just get thighs? I do I want to pay someone “X” dollars an hour to cut / preserve lemons, or should I purchase them from a source that does them right every single time?
It’s difficult to say, but it’s almost about the balance of flavors as much as the balance sheet… that is, if you want to stay operational for more than one month. :P
“POTRERO HILL - Nopa sous chef, Richie Nakano and bartender, Kitty Gallisa, have a handmade, organic ramen business, Hapa Ramen, in the works. On May 8th from 6-9 p.m., they’re doing a little preview at Potrero Hill’s Coffee Bar by setting up a “walk in/no reservation restaurant.” If all goes well, mid-June may see them open a Ferry Building stand on Thursdays. Follow them on twitter for other updates. [EaterWire]”—via Eater.
“Lowering the pH of protein retards Maillard browning. So meat that has been marinated in an acidic marinade takes longer to brown thus causing the meat to take longer to look “cooked” Because it takes longer to look cooked (browned) it cooks too long, dries out and becomes tough.”—Bob del Grosso on Acidic-based meat marinades via A Hunger Artist