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PANTRY RAT FORUM

MANSIONS & ESTATES – MAINTAINING THEM EFFICIENTLY

Written by Nanette Hebdige Trying to break into the personal service arena? Do you think you have the mental quotient, moxie, distinction and gumption to become an efficient and accomplished EM? There’s a good reason many of these careers fly below radar – it takes a special breed to care for the homes and lifestyles of the very wealthy. The management of sprawling estates is not a task for the meek. In an industry spotlighting Downton Abbey, UHNW folks want butlers, majordomos,…

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ARE YOU A DINOSAUR?

Written by Nanette Hebdige With vast numbers looking for their next opportunity, overwhelmed recruiters sort through hundreds of applicants like combat linemen. And candidates wonder why there’s a lack of response, no matter how qualified they’re for the role. Even when various interviews have taken place for a job, candidates are still being ghosted. Indeed, many positions come with detailed hire instructions, demanding specific skillsets as well as cognitive and IQ tests to measure your mental quotient as well as…

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PERSONAL VS PRIVATE CHEF – TWO VASTLY DIFFERENT ROLES

PRIVATE CHEF

Written by Nanette Hebdige If the culinary world is not your bailiwick and you’re not deeply entrenched in the food arena, there’s a chance that many will think these two roles are one and the same. The positions are vastly dissimilar and particularly for recruiters, the demarcation line between the two has to be clearly defined, so there’s no confusion on the job title for the hire. Personal Chef  – Culinary guru managing their own business and hiring themselves out…

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HOW TO MANAGE A WINE CELLAR OF DISTINCTION

WINE CELLAR

By Nanette Hebdige – June 2020 “Wine is the only artwork you can drink – so manage it well” Luis Fernando Olaverri   As a rule, discerning foodies are also customarily wine enthusiasts. So, it’s quite possible your employer could be an avid collector and one your key responsibilities as the EM/HM, will include being the purveyor and cataloger of a reasonably extensive wine collection. Even if you’re not taking care of a cellar the likes of Downton Abbey, most…

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SHRIMP IS KING

By Nanette Hebdige SHRIMP IS KING  This crustacean has been subtly strutting along, gaining notoriety with every cuisine piling it high. It’s got its very own star on the culinary walk of fame due to its global obsession! Resonating in every culture – shrimp is king. In Italy, Fra Diavolo is served at almost every locale and the Americanized-Italian version of shrimp scampi is prepared in many households. Spanish Gambas al Ajillo marries shrimp with a boat load of garlic,…

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ROCK-STAR YOUR PA JOB

personal assistant

Written by Nanette Hebdige Do you rock-star your PA job? Ever wondered how a PA to the uber wealthy keep their principals’ happy and is successful at it? The term personal assistant has become part of everyone’s vocabulary. Many believe that being a PA is effortless and a task that can be performed by practically anyone. It’s important to know that a PA is vastly different from an admin or an EA, which are roles mostly based out of corporate…

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UNLEASH YOUR TOMATILLO

shrimp street tacos

UNLEASH YOUR TOMATILLO We’ve been catapulted into 2022 after plowing through the holidays. You’re done wrestling with that turkey, and you can’t possibly think of any more ways of making leftovers sexy. Many of us are now revising the a-typical new year’s resolutions, which probably include shedding a few unwanted pounds and welcoming back a svelte figure. We’re always looking for new recipes incorporating freshness, where we can inject umami flavors into healthy dishes and food preparation should never be…

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CHIMICHURRI – THE AVENGER OF SAUCES

Anyone that has dallied in chimichurri, knows that it’s a green, herbaceous tangy sauce with Argentinian roots that typically is an accompaniment to grilled meats. In Argentina, chimichurri is copiously consumed in restaurants and households alike, as it’s presented with cubes of crunchy baguette as a dipping sauce awaiting the main meal. Much as aioli is showcased in Spain and in Italy, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is showcased with splashes of Balsamic vinegar with focaccia as a starter. In…

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10 KILLER BEEF STEWS

BEEF BOURGUIGNON

It’s stew season for a reason!  Fall has finally made its much-awaited appearance with its vibrant color palette and cooler temperatures prevailing, where stews are the quintessential comfort food and a ubiquitous sensation.  There aren’t enough words to eulogize and offer the homage that stews rightfully deserve. Because a good stew is like a fine wine, savored, devoured and anticipated worldwide.  Even the dog salivates smelling the aroma while it’s cooking. From a historical standpoint, records written by Apicus in Journals…

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CEVICHE, CRUDO, POKE, CARPACCIO – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

HAMACHI CRUDO

There’s a colossal assortment of raw fish being presented as a wealth of spectacular options.  From sea to shining sea, as every ocean yields a bounty of variety.  But it can get rather intimidating trying to differentiate the terminology. For any dish that calls for raw fish, ensure you are buying the freshest fish available.  Preferably purchase it the day of preparation, so make friends with the fish monger at the market and let them know you are going to…

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CHIVES GLORIOUS CHIVES

CREME OF ASPARAGUS

Chives are somewhat misunderstood as most people believe they’re the finishing touch when presenting any dish. However, they are the kissing cousins to leeks, scallions and onions (belonging to the lily family), and their flavor is subtle, unlike the sharp onions and scallions.  Leeks are more delicate and less pungent, however, chives with their green flavor and subtle oniony undertone are utterly incomparable. A last-minute sprinkling of savory chives intensifies the taste of any dish, taking it from good to umami…

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CANNED TUNA? GOURMET ALL THE WAY

TUNA SALAD

We all partake of tuna – it’s the lunch of champions because let’s face it, you can add pretty much the kitchen sink.  Yeah, we know the customary participants – mayo, celery, boiled eggs, pickles.  Boring! TUNA.  We all know is one the most remarkable proteins around. We’re not just referring to the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids (canned sardines and salmon comprise even more), but it contains amino acids and it’s bio-available (which means it’s absorbed into your system quickly). …

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BURGERS REIGN SUPREME

DOUBLE WHAMMY

MacDonald’s may have pioneered the Big Mac, but there is nothing fast food related when it comes to recreating an unctuous, gastropub, tavern burger at home. In an ever-evolving restaurant arena where the burger has made some radical improvements and now reigns supreme, it’s no wonder that forward chefs are going to any lengths to moniker unequaled and unique renditions for this goliath.  Gone are the days of the thin, anemic dried-out patty, slapped in a bun with ketchup and…

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RESTAURANT BURGERS AT HOME

4th of JULY BURGER

Considering that burger joints and gastropubs are sprouting like weeds with new contenders all over the globe, chefs take their burgers as seriously as their patrons. Achieving glamburger excellence at home, however is far from textbook as there are a multitude of factors to consider for presenting a burger that’s packed with flavor and kicks serious ass every time. You’re wondering how hard can it be?  Because you’re already a pro at slapping a burger on the barbie.  Well, kids,…

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