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q & a with chef jay

October 13, 2017 - Uncategorized -

by Chef Jay Kill | photo courtesy of The Art Institute Nashville

 What’s the best method to cook fried chicken so the breading doesn’t come off?

I feel the biggest mistake most people make when frying chicken is wanting to prepare it too quickly.

First, make sure your chicken pieces are not frozen and have been dried with a paper towel. Then prepare three separate bowls for the following items: all-purpose flour, one egg beaten, and all-purpose flour or cornmeal.  

Second, dredge the chicken pieces in the first bowl of flour, then coat them with egg wash, and finally, roll them in the cornmeal/more flour.

Third, let the chicken rest on a side plate until the coating is very sticky. This could take up to 10 minutes.

Be patient. This is where we get in a hurry, which makes the breading fall off.

What is a good Labor Day barbeque drink?  

An adult milkshake is a great way to finish off the summer. I love the new Loco Nut from Captain Morgan, which is a cream of coconut-style liquor. I love to make this milkshake with a French vanilla ice cream. But don’t buy the cheap ice cream. You want the high butterfat content.

To make it, add 3 large scoops of ice cream, ¾ cup of whole milk and ¼ cup of Loco Coco in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more milk if needed for smoothness.

Serve with whipping cream and a rum-marinated cherry.

When your guests drinks this milk shake, they will say…. “b**ch, please.”

How to determine how many beverages you will need for an event/party?

As a rule of thumb, I use the following formula.

Guests tend to drink two beverages in the first hour of the event but only one drink every hour thereafter.  

This breaks down to:

1-hour event: 2 drinks per guest

2-hour event: 3 drinks per guest

3-hour event: 4 drinks per guest

And so on.


As for what they will drink, I use the 50 percent rule. This means that 50 percent of your guests will drink your most popular drink, like mixed drinks, wine, beer or non-alcoholic drinks. Now take the remaining 50 percent and split it among the other three categories. Then I will look at my liquor list and apply the 50 percent rule again. I have determined that most of my guests drink vodka. This means, half of my guests will drink a mixed drink.

At a party of 50 guests, 25 will drink mixed drinks. Out of those 25 guests, I will need enough vodka to make 13 vodka drinks.

Do this for all types of drinks offered: liquor, wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

You shouldn’t ever run out of your guests favorite type of drink. I have used this rule on parties of 10,000 down to 50 guests.  

Should I inform management of bad service or food, or just reduce my tip amount?   

You should always inform management when you encounter an unsatisfactory experience. When you short a server’s tips, all you are doing is hurting the server’s income.

Without an explanation on your dissatisfaction, how can the employee/restaurant improve? Most of the time, a couple of things happen when a low or zero tip is left at the table. The server doesn’t understand the true reason for the dissatisfaction. They have to guess what happened and tend to blame others like the kitchen for not preparing the meal as requested or management for not staffing properly.

Another outcome is that the server never shares the information to management. The server does not want to get in trouble or lose shifts. Therefore, nothing ever improves.

By giving honest, well-thought-out comments to management, the information can now be used in training and correct operational procedures.

Note: Getting mad or rude with anyone never improves the situation. Express your disappointment and then decide if you want to come back to this restaurant.

Have questions about anything and everything Food+Drink related? Email them to QAChefJay@focusmidtenn.com.

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