Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Answer!

Success! I have the answer to the question I asked in this previous post. If you didn’t read it, here’s an expert, talking about a recent experience I had while cooking in a restaurant kitchen:

"At one point, Chef Ian was walking with me, grabbed a round silver tin 'bucket', and he told me the name of it. He repeated it, looked me in the eye, and told me, "Now, next time I ask for this, you'll know what I want." Yay! He had said the magic words. NEXT TIME. I had to do everything I could to stop from smiling at the thought of a next time. With all of my energy focused on that, I managed to forget the name of the ‘bucket’. Damn it!"

So. Since then, I’ve been trying to find out the name of this tool! The other night, I was recapping some of my kitchen stories to a group of friends at dinner, and as I started telling this story, I realized, I was sitting next to a chef! He would know in a SECOND what I was talking about. I didn’t even finish telling my story, I turned to my other side, grabbed Chef John’s hand, interrupted his conversation, and told him I needed help. He gave me a strange look, I’m sure wondering what I could possibly need help with in the middle of our dinner, and I started telling him the story. Within seconds, he knew. He said “Oh, a bain marie.’ YES! That was it! A bain marie! That’s what Chef Ian had wanted.

For those of you that still don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a photo:

Thank god for industry friends that can help bail me out of these dilemmas. Ok Chef Ian. I’m ready. Bring it on!


  1. So now I'm wondering what you DO with a bain marie...

  2. I think traditionally it's similar to a double boiler. Used for melting chocolate, making custards and cheescakes.

    But I think in terms of practical every day kitchen purposes, we used it to store liquids (tons of plastic wrap later, you can put something in the walk-in), it's also used to cool liquids (I think the reason we needed it was for the ice cream--we placed the caramel in a bain marie and then placed it in an ice bath in a larger pot)...and what else? Guess I'll have to pay more attention