Gluten free products are the new norm right now. I have received a number of requests asking if I cook with Gluten free products (sauces). Moving forward I will be using Gluten Free products as soon as this Pandemic goes away.
Just to let you know I miss teaching Asian cooking Classes and miss talking to my new students, answering questions about stir frying and any other questions they have.
As a result of this Coronavirus, I'm not sure how much business may fare regarding teaching Asian cooking. My fellow friends around the country that own Chinese restaurants have taken a big hit. Whether its temporary, I cannot take a risk and specialize on just Asian. I may and with pleasure like to venture into Italian, Middle Eastern, Southern (New Orleans foods to broaden my portfolio. I'll be changing my calendar schedule to acomodate these non-asian dishes but will also have my asian dishes too.
So hang in there, we're all in this together and when its finally over we can return to a sense of normal.
By the Way, Chef Woo Can You Can Too, there is a positive meaning to my madness. What I'm trying to say, if I can do it, you can do it too whether it be cooking, or anything!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan
#glutenfreeasiansauces, #glutenfreeoystersauce, #glutenfreehoisinsauce
This Coronavirus Pandemic is hitting small business hard. These owners had dreams of success while saving their life's savings or taking business loans out to live their dream. The last thing they expected was this!. Myself included everything is on hiatus until this pandemic blows over. Now, I have to venture a guess that Asian food is not exactly favored right now or anything Asian. I might have to diversify into other areas of cuisines like European or even Southern cooking which I know. Oh, New Orleans Creole food, yum or Italian or Middle Eastern food. Yummy.
But getting back, all financial institutions MUST grant Amnesty right now to these businesses. We as customers need to support them with their limited service of drive Ins, and delivery. It's the right thing to do.
Yes, we invaded the grocery stores and supermarkets but how much Mac and Cheese can we make or offer variations of Mac & Cheese or even frozen pizza to baked beans to corn beef hash. I myself wouldn't mind a Chick Fil A or Popeye's Chicken sandwich or a 5 guys hamburger. You have to change it up a bit.
As for those that are the innocent victims of this crisis. Apply for unemployment if you qualify. If the economic Stimulus Package gets passed, there will be some relief. But for the service industry you can try to seek a job on Indeed but things are really difficult right now. Just hang in there. Everyone has been affected.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Something happened while I was watching like most of you about the Cororavirus. Yes, some may say we have to focus skipping the news because to be honest it quite depressing. My view is this on the damn Coronavirus. It's a virus that doesn't discriminate. No matter your age, geographic location or ethnic background, it doesn't care. It's a virus that can be spread based on close proximity to each other. For whatever reason, we started late planning for this mess. It's easy to blame others but what does it really accomplish. Nothing! Absolutely Nothing!. But my President and I respect the title of President and I give him the respect he deserves to be my President has labelled the Coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus" Whatever hsi agenda was about that label, we'll never know and his response to a reporter was why is it necessary to call it the Chinese Virus?, His response is it started in China. He claims it wasn't a racist remark and he went on to start that China may have accused American soldiers, but he added he has the most admiration of Chinese Americans in our country in so many words for whatever reason or whatever strategy, Chinese Americans living in the United States and damn proud of being an American in these difficult times, now myself and my family have to deal with an additional fear of being looked at weirdly or waiting to be sucker punched by someone out of fear blaming myself or my family member for bringing this virus.
The last time this happened to Asians was during World War II with the Japanese Americans. I guess we don't learn our lessons.
I am not concerned about coming in contact with the Coronavirus but if I decided to go to Target, Redners, Shop Rite or CVS, the last thing I need is to be confronted by an ignorant person expressing his anger towards me. Well, I'll know its out of fear of the unknown and whether I blame him for his actions, can I actually speak logically to that person. NO!, so what is Chef Woo Can do? Allow my blood pressure to go through the roof since I have a Type A personality, or suck it up and for that brief moment allow myself to be put down with 4 letter words. Now, if you ask my friends from New York, they have been my friends for quite along time in suburbia, Long Island. I grew up with my friends from kindergarten to high school and 40 years later reconnected with alot of my friends. The interesting thing was although I stood out from my friends, I actually thought I blended in kind of well not knowing I was different. My friends seemed to accept me and I lived a great life. Yes, there were some that thought otherwise but for the most part I was one of the guys.
It's just another hurdle our country is going through and I believe that our President is doing the best he can. but Mr. President Trump, what you said about the so called Chinese Virus may put more Chinese or any Asian Americans in these Unites States in Harms way!
Does this mean that if any American is a carrier without knowing it as they return overseas and infect family members, who is the scapegoat? Whether things are fair or not and nothing is fair as we go through this pandemic our lack of action and slow action has made things worse. Money is not the only answer. The answer is to tackle this pandemic asap and provide the medical personnel with masks, respirators, ventilators and hazardous suits.
For all its worth about how we may feel about China, they have sent a contingency to Italy to help them with ways they observe to stem the tide of infection. They may realize that we are ALL in it together!. Jack Ma CEO of Alibaba has sent masks and other equipment to help our health care personnel.
We as citizens cannot control what our government officials do regarding action and what they say to other countries politicians. but as citizens I have to beleieve in our hearts that goodness prevails. Obviously goodness doesn't sensationalize the news but I bet that a vast majority of us is helping in our own special way towards the elderly to our neighbors or organizations.
Be safe, don't panic, don't stress out and try to be content. Our way of life has changed so we might as well go along with it then rebel!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Do you Have Passion!
Some say you need a structured education in the culinary arts to be a successful chef? I might disagree with that assessment because I believe that when you have passion for something, you'll always be successful no matter what it is. Whether it be an expert at office politics, mathematics, baking or just natural customer service. It usually come from the heart and that is the secret of having passion for whatever you do.
But sometimes we might align the restaurant industry with all other industry's. You really gotta love what your doing being a chef. The ultimate leading up to being a chef is to be reviewed for your creation of flavor and presentation which can lead to the Michelin Star hopefully.
I think there is too much hype with this culinary industry, cook for the wealthy who can afford it but forget about the little guy. What are we chop liver?
Well, to answer that question, NO we are not chop liver but we have to get over one thing. Good food doesn't necessarily have to come from a stainless steel restaurant kitchen that emphasizes good sanitary practices. I worked in those restaurants and yes, they have all the right equipment, cleanliness signs are posted everywhere and all the sanitized chemicals were all present, but none of this matters if the mentality of the workers is batting zero.
Before the Coronavirus, all over Asia and Southeast Asian, eating out for dinner is a regular occurrence. The climate is so hot and humid, so who wants to cook after a long day at work. It's easier to go to one of the stands or eating shops and eat dinner for a fairly cheap price. Variety of food is outstanding. These entrepreneurs have kept the family business in tack for over 30-40 years. It's their business so its important that they take care of their stalls or shop to be clean. The idea of eating on small plastic stools with plastic tables is a little different for Westerners to understand but if you think of it, its the food that has kept these owners in business for so long. Can you name a entrepreneur business that has been around for a very long time? In Maryland, there are quite a few, so it does happen but why aren't there more?
In Asian there owner stands are called "Hawkers" and they specialize in on average one type of food but that one type is so delicious. From stir fry snails to sandwiches to fried foods to noodle soups, the variety is unlimited.. They all money but they put the hours in. Not exactly a 9 to 5 job. All these entrepreneurs operating as Hawkers started with a dream, a talent or just trying to survive, they all have a story of what gave them the drive, what they learned from past generations but most got into it to offer a better life for their kids by putting them college or university. They always used simple sauces not much to bring out the natural flavor.
You'll see Hawkers in Flushing Queens, Sunset Park Brooklyn and in Chinatown, NYC. Taste is unique. Why be a jack of all trades when you can be a master of one!
All this came to a head with a woman in Thailand that is famous for her stir fry seafood, particularly her famous crab omelette. She is so famous in Thailand at the night market that the King Of Thailand ask for a special meal from her only. Her advertising is people that have eaten at her place and word travels for fantastic Thai seafood, well, it did, celebrities, government officials and the regular guy goes to her place. She is so famous and her food is so famous that she has received a Michelin Star. She came from humble beginnings. She was a single mom struggling to survive. She choose seafood to help make ends meet. By cooking seafood, she could charge a little bit more She buys all the fresh ingredients, she's a one woman business. She's cooking and everyone is enjoying her meals. She's always improvising for new flavors however unconventional they may be.
So, a one woman cook, in a far distant land cooking her heart out in a stall with a wok and fresh ingredients and she earned a Michelin star without even expecting it. She just cooked what she does best. She has a passion for cooking and she's still cooking in her 70"s, go figure.
So, if you have a passion, find a joint, doesn't have to fancy and cook your heart out and people will appreciate it and in no time, they will come.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#Hawkersarethebest, #gowithyourdream, ##hawkershavefabulousdeliciousfood
A Loss Of Words about the Coronavirus Craziness!
I'll be honest, I haven't been on my site for awhile because my attention was on this Coronavirus Pandemic in our country. I know you are watching prime time TV, the President's speech to the Nation, and the President's Emergency Declaration to videos of empty shelves to total chaos at Costco and Trader's Joe.
It's understandable that we are confused about what going on when the information is not consistent which leads to panic and anxiety at the highest level. Stress may be overwhelming, and our frame of mind of acting rationally is almost impractical.
All I'd like to say is your actions will impact others, our society and our country. Think of others less fortunate or needing help. We are all in in this together.
Local business are hurting, but most have an account with delivery, so try to support them.
So, this weekend, think about your actions and how it will impact individuals, your community and our country.
Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Chef Woo Can's Revolutionize The Buger King Whopper
It's time to shake things up for 2020!!!!! Since Corporate Management takes time realizing that their product line needs a little shakeup, Chef Woo Can has a simple answer. "Keep Things Simple"
The Burger King Whopper has alot going for it!. It'sa fire grilled burger, that has been a mainstay for the corporation for so many years. I definitely feel there needs an upgrade, why not? The worse that could happen is the public will reject the new creation.
You never ever want to say "what if." Success is always experimenting on ideas and continuous innovation. Unless I missed something, how has the Whopper been upgraded? It hasn't!!!!!
Burger King took a risk with the Impossible Whopper. A true success vegetarian burger. Great for anyone that want to help reduce their beef intake and eat healthier. Calories may be the same but the effort of contributing to reducing the reliance on beef. Not everyone will jump aboard but at least it was an alternative. But for the beef eaters, they deserve a change.
What is corporate thinking? You would think they need to find ways to exceed sales or introduce the next best thing. Ok, they did try, they made their version of McDonld's Big Mac. Why would anyone want the Big Mac other than McDonald's. That in my opinion was a lateral introduction of product.
Hey why not introduce a 1/2 Pound Charcoal Broiled Whopper? What is the worst thing that can happen? Test market in specific demographics and see what the results could be. You never know.
The 1/2 Charcoal Broiled Whopper. Advertising and marketing would have a field day! "Boy, that's a Whopper!.
At eh same time take lesson's from Popeye's Chicken Sandwich. I love Popeye's Chicken sandwich both regular crispy and spicy crispy. The chicken is huge, flavorful and delicious!.
I mean when you say Burger King, the name most familiar brand is the Whopper! So, why not offer a Chicken Sandwich Whopper.? I love competition, give Popeyes a run for the money. KFC is doing thei best with a chicken sandich between 2 glazed donuts? KFC introduces but fails to followup with aggressive marketing. At one time they did have a great chicken sandwich. Even the food critics said it was good, but KFC never really advertised or marketed.
I beleive Burger King has too many products that are there to appease different customers. I strongly believe they should reevaluate their product line.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#1/2poundcharcoalbroiledWhopper, #burgerkingtimeforachange, #Whoppernewidea
Family Style and Fast Food Restaurants Brick and Mortar restaurants, YOUR ANCIENT!
I was reading an article today and the topic was which famous chain restaurants were going to disappear, go bankrupt or restructure? It just seems that the exiting structure of fast food and family style establishments have outlived their usefulness. Back in the day, it was a new concept, but time changes and many have not gone with the flow. Their view is if its not broken why fix it but when your servicing food in the food industry, that approach doesn't apply. Ok maybe some corporate executives makes some sacrifices with change, a new product, a better environment or a cheaper price but the basic structure stays the same, standardization where every restaurant follows proper procedures and guidelines. The food supply is the same, the process is the same, fast and quick, the use of microwaves still applies and lots of chemicals in the food, preservatives, additives and artificial flavors.
Ok, these multi-national companies have a lot of revenues to work with. Is it not the problem that they hav so much revenues to work with and allow money dictate what has to be done to fix the problem. Hmmm, I say not, its the food stupid, the food is the revenue generator!
Sometimes, we see small single establishments that have outlasted a generation of customers. The places are nothing special, always very clean and immaculate but what draws the customer base generation after generation. Is it an urge to go and eat there. Some of these places are a little moderate to upscale but what is the secret formula of their long success. It's the original recipe of the food, from scratch, no artificial anything, the best ingredients and taste. This formula is the golden rule of success. Customers from all over will pay top dollar. The service is impeccable, you feel welcome and comfortable. you actually feel "special." And "special" brings them back every time. No special formula, the owners have the pulse of the people.
So, I will mention that they need to innovate the business. A new way . Not a new face or more comforting atmosphere, not new products that taste the same, BUT a real effort to understand their clientele.
Let's see, these multinationals have revenues in the millions. Yes, they have to appease their stockholders. Why not bring labor back in prepping. Using higher quality products and getting back to basics rather than automation and high technology. Maybe there are areas that can do the labor and not impact the flavor. The heck with standardization.
Have you walked into a" joint" that serves a basic cheese burger with a fresh bun and simple condiments, a little greasy but definitely fresh from the kitchen?
Well, executives will only see that revenues will be smaller, profit margins smaller but in actuality, customers will be happier, and will use free advertising to tell everyone.
In the final analysis, increased patronage, good reputation, happy customers getting good value and willing to pay a little bit more and overall a win win situation. Gone are the hours from 11 am to 9 pm, Friday, Saturday night is busy after 9 pm, change it up, from 11 am tp 2 am, double to triple shifts. Grab a bigger piece of the market.
And most of all listen to you clientele, continuous innovation, microwave is no longer needed. If making fresh, why is there a need to reheat items?
Follow your clientele and you'll be successful. Maybe rather than open a brick and mortar store, maybe invest in food trucks, and go where the action is. Look how much overhead is save on renting, leasing. Give potential owners an opportunity to represent your company. They have more to lose managing their food truck, so every motivational effort to increase sales is on going! Think about it!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#brickandmortarstoresareancient, #listentoyourcustomers, #continuetoinnovate, #changeisamustforfastfoodandfamilystyle, #changewiththetimes
Bel Air, MD
I haven't been to Outback Steakhouse in years. Believe it or not, their so close but I never have been excited with Outback.
Well, tonight I went over there, had a beer and ordered a Caesar Salad, and the Surf & Turf combination lobster tail and filet mignon. Here's the problem that I have. I'm sure you will agree that when you order a Filet Mignon, I expect the complete beef tenderloin. Ok, it's very expensive, no complaints because its the most tender part of the cow and yes, the price will be huge. But to offer it as part of the menu as surf and turf at a reasonable price, Outback must compromise the serving to keep the price down and allow for a little profit. So, when I got my order, my filet mignon was cut in half. Now, honestly I'm not known as a beef eater but when I do and I order the best cut, I expect the whole piece of filet mignon , not a
1" thickness but how about at least 2-21/2" thickness. If you can't then you should take filet mignon off the menu. Outback view may say, if we give them a sampling of a goo cut of beef and add a lobster tail, then we provided the best of both worlds from a seafood and beef standpoint at a very good price. Imagine, going to Ruth Chris and getting a piece of filet mignon with an inch thickness.
So, Outback Steakhouse is in a win win situation. From a customer standpoint I'm sure some appreciate getting a piece of filet mignon but for Chef Woo Can, I feel ripped off. Now, I'm not trying to be difficult but when you order filet mignon whether its a excellent high end restaurant or average establishment, I expect a nice piece of filet mignon., not a sample piece.
I have to say from a service standpoint, our server was excellent, professional and personable.
So, my rating of Outback Steakhouse on a scale of 1-5 is a 2. If your going to incorporate a excellent piece of beef on your menu, then do so and charge accordingly. Don't offer a sampling to save money. If that's the case take filet mignon off the menu.
On a scale of 1-5 from a service standpoint, I offer a 5 to my server and service was excellent.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#chefwoocanandfiletmignon, # takefiletmignonoffmenu, #dontofferasamplingoffiletmignon
Barrett's On the Pike
Bel Air, MD, 21014
I will tell you as Chef Woo Can will be changing it up in 2020. With all my the restaurants I have reviewed and given good and bad reviews, this year I will be returning to the same establishments because sometimes in business you have good days and bad days. For those establishments that have been given good reviews and considered landmark food's, I sure they will consistently perform just as great.
Barrett's on the Pike , I consider the hidden treasure of Bel Air. One of the few restaurants that continues to provide great food, excellent atmosphere and professional service.
I went back to visit them last week during the weekday I say which is tough to be consistent during the weekday because most establishment emphasis their busy time on Friday and Saturday.
The last time I was here I had a full fledge dinner, appetizer, soup, sald nd entrée. This time I changed it up a bit and went to sort of around 4 pm, not exactly dinner. I had ordered a fantastic appetizer before called Shrimp Scargot, so I ordered it again but this time I think the dish was being cooked too long since the shrimp was not tender but rather rubberly and tough. I ordered the hamburger with lettuce, tomatoes and grilled onion in a nice brioche bun. My personal view on hamburgers, for me is that the burger MUST be juicy and tender and the bun fresh not stale. Slightly greasy! You say how gross but a little grease has the flavor and offers a different flavor dimension, HONEST. Most high end restaurants that offer hamburgers are dry, no flavor and just terrible BUT I can say that the burger I got at Barrett's was juicy, tender and flavorful. I didn't have to add ketchup. That combination of saute onions on a delicious roll was excellent.
I highly recommend this place whole heartedly.
You'll miss a great meal at Barrett's if you don't go.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent for a second time around, I rate Barrett's on the Pike a "5"
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
KFC, Are You Kidding?
When I was a kid, I loved Kentucky Fried Chicken. I loved Colonel Sanders. They were the best branded company sitting practically by themselves with little or no competition. Yes, they have evolved numerous times with various styles of frying batter. But they dominated the fried chicken market back then. They probably believed that if its not broken why change it and for many years, they stayed on a straight course.
Little competition from Churches fried chicken and Bojangles were ok but more regional. KFC senior management felt that they were the dominant fried chicken, "let's go over seas" and they did. They built up a presence in Asia. Revenues went through the roof but while they were focusing internationally, the competition took advantage of KFC's complacency. Popeyes's a regional player was in the Southeast, Chick Fil A, a regional name in the South, They already had a devoted following already established. They believed that the North and Northeast needed to be tapped, so they worked themselves slowly towards the Northeast. They knew that there would be more cynicism up there but they were willing to give it a try.
Meanwhile KFC held the line with minor changes. They tried different styles of regional fried chicken, then they came up with the chicken sandwich. which was highly reviewed and came through with flying colors. Yes, they had a chicken sandwich that was just as good as Chick Fil A. They failed to market this product with an extensive marketing campaign. Why? Well, they for the most part kept everything the same.
Then Popeye exploded with their crispy chicken Southern fried chicken with a spicy brand of fried chicken. I switched and got hooked on Popeye's fried chicken. Then Chick Fil A exploded too with their chicken sandwich. The combination of excellent customer service and a great product has made Chick Fil A #1. So, we have Popeye's chicken and chicken sandwich and Chick Fil A chicken sandwich.
So, is KFC worried? You bet? They are now so desperate now that they will do anything the revive the brand. The Marketing executive in charge of this should be fired. The new campaign features Croc shoewear with a drumstick as a bow. How the hell did this guy get paid to make this campaign. Smelly crocs? how negative for Croc to partner with KFC. I know Croc's popularity is going down the tube but to partner with KFC also a dying dinosaur and the connotation of smelly feet with chicken does a total disservice to KFC brand.
There is nothing positive about the nee campaign. 2 dying brands moving downward trying to revitalize themselves? Are you kidding? Millennial generation are not Croc buyers and if you had a choice, they would choose Chic Fil A or Popeye's.
KFC, what are you doing? Get back on track and highlight your chicken sandwich which you received rave reviews. Spend the money from your international operation for cryin out loud!!!!!!!
But I know big corporations will take years before they realize what I'm saying here.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#KFCwhatareyoudoing, #KFClatestadvertisingcampaignwithcrocs, @KFCareyoukidding