Salted Rice Krispies Brittle and Why I Don’t Want to Open a Restaurant

by Eden on December 18, 2011

When I tell someone that teach cooking, work as a private chef, and went to culinary school I often get told: ”You should open a restaurant!”

I don’t want to open a restaurant.

I like to cook. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it. However, I know plenty of people who own and work in restaurants. I have a lot respect for them for being able to do it as a job however I don’t think I would want to do it.

Here’s why:

1. Restaurants have don’t have a shortage of rude people

I think I’m an ok cook. But my food certainly wouldn’t stand up to close scrutiny by a restaurant critic and snobby “foodie” patrons. Cause the rules are different in a restaurant and people feel a sense of entitlement. There is a growing segment of our population who feel as though they get to demand perfection, as defined by the customers themselves, for the money they pay. I’ve worked in restaurants and my friends that currently work in restaurants pass on to me horror stories. Anyhow–I don’t deal well with rude people.

2. Restaurants require consistency.

What I love about being a private chef is getting some sort of creative freedom. I think if I had to cook a set menu, even livened up by daily specials, every day, I’d grow bored very fast, I’d start to hate the dishes I had to cook over and over and over again, and I’d get sick of my livelihood.

2. Restaurants often preclude a social life.

I like the fact that if I want to set up a dinner date with my friends. If I feel like taking a weekend off to go down to Palm Springs and go ride ponies in the desert while hitting on octogenarians, I can do that. If I owned a restaurant that served dinner, I can forget about dinner dates and pony rides.

 I’d be working until midnight at least.
3. There’s no such thing as a “mental-health day” when you own a restaurant.

I have issues. Some minor mental issues about also lots of personal shit going on. I like that I have bosses that can understand when I need to be with my dad or if I’m having a nervous breakdown over carbs.

4. Restaurants are more business than food.

It would be nice if all a chef had to worry about was making sure the food tasted great, but unfortunately, executive chefs are businesspeople by necessity. They have to wear the accounting hat (food cost), the marketing hat (menu writing), the HR hat (staff), the security hat (loss prevention), etc. I like not having don’t a staff to maintain, I don’t have worry about staff members stealing foie gras, and I don’t have to worry about ordering more foie gras.

Oh, and I suck at math.

yep, this would be common in my place.

I have lots of ideas and concepts that I think would make great restaurants, but with the American economy being in the toilet and my luck with popularity, I think I’ll stick to my day job.

Do you want to open your own restaurant? If you could, what kind would it be?

And for today’s food portion…I’m gonna stroke my own ego and say its pretty awesome.

It vegan, gluten free, and I think if you shelled out some dough, it could be organic.

But I’m a cheap Jew so mine will probably be toxic.

(note: this makes a small serving for us people that just want a little, triple it if you want to give it as a gift)

  • 1/2 cup rice krispy cerea (or any cereal you like I guess…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cup sugar (the real deal, no stevia, splenda, or other calorie-free cocaine like substance)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable oil, for coating the saucepan
  • Softened butter or oil for spatula

1.In a small bowl combine rice krispies and sea salt and set aside.

2.Brush the inside of a saucepan with vegetable oil or spray. Add the sugar and water to the saucepan, cook over high heat, (stir occasionally) with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil.

3. Once it boils top stirring, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sugar is a light amber color. If you like it darker (like me, let it get to a darker color.

4. pour mixture onto a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Using a buttered spatula, spread thin. You will have to work very quickly when pouring out and spreading the mixture in the pan.

5.  top with cereal mixture that you’ve set aside earlier. Cool completely and then break into pieces.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel December 19, 2011 at 3:50 am

I want that brittle right now. I don’t think I would ever open my own restaurant. I’ve worked enough food service (fast food & fancy-assed catering) to know that while I miss the fast pace of it, I don’t miss the stress. While I’d be fine with the paperwork aspects of it, I suck at managing people, and I don’t deal well with rude criticisms. And it would take me forever to come up with a menu. I much prefer cooking in my own home, where I can easily tell my 2 main customers that if they don’t like what I fix, they can help themselves to whatever else is in the kitchen, or they can go hungry!

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Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty December 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

i’ve served in restaurants/bars for the past 10 years. I do sometimes dream of owning my own – but it’s kinda like women who fantasize about getting married. i want the party, not the marriage. you’re absolutely right, if we owned restaurants we’d be there 24/7 keeping books, managing staff, worrying about finances, dealing with bitch-ass guests who think a hair in their food is the end of the world (hello – do you have any idea how much the chef just manhandled everything you are eating right now?? oh,and he sneezed just before he plated it)….

i want the glory of owning a restaurant – not the guts. so instead i’ll keep dreaming.

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Lucas December 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

but it’s kinda like women who fantasize about getting married. i want the party, not the marriage.

Thank you for saying this.

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Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry December 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hell no I do not want to open my own restaurant, and you listed all my reasons! Rude people, never being home for dinner, no social life…no thanks. And I don’t know if all chef’s are as mean as Ramsay, but if someone yelled at me like that I’d either kick them in the balls or cry in a ball in a corner. Hard to say how I’d react, but I would definitely not be able to deal with it.
I am so intrigued by that crispy brittle – I am definitely trying it!

I have a question for you my young Jewish friend, if you are invited to a Christmas party, can you go? Just for the party purpose? I am asking because I have a friend who is Jehovah’s Witness and does not celebrate anything, and can definitely not attend any type of festive party.
And I’d take donuts for Hanukkah. I’d also take a Bat Mitzvah, I have always wanted to go to one!

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lindsay December 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

i used to want to open a cafe/bakery but after helping my friend with hers, i realized it was way too much work and $$. I think i will stick to craft fairs, markets, etc. Which i think you should do!
And yes i am commenting even after your FB call out. You spurred me on!
;)

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

Cayenne in the brittle? hmmm…
I’ve never wanted to open my own business. I train at a gym and not on my own because I don’t want to worry about liability insurance and cold calls.

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Nagore December 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

I dont want to be my own boss and have my business either, I respect and admire people that do that but not my thing, specially if I was a cook!!! rudeness, complaints… people thinking they are in the moral position to demand whatever… no thanks!

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Sara December 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

The only restaurant I’d ever want to open would be a Mexican place in Ecuador, because no one in that entire country knows how to cook good Mexican food :)

Or…. a restaurant where every day you serve food from a different holiday. i.e. Thanksgiving on Mondays, Christmas on Tuesday, some other funky holiday on Wednesday etc… For those people who don’t want to cook a holiday meal, or want some good comfort food!

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Asian Bitch December 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

My dad always wanted a restaurant. Or any business, for that matter. We had a dry cleaner business, a corner shop, almost had a buffet restaurant, had a bakery, another corner shop, and now…another corner shop. And from what I observed, you got everything right. My parents don’t have any social life and my dad never takes a day off. Asians are crazy.

I laughed at your ”don’t use Stevia/Splenda!”…I mean, was it necessary to mention it? Because I don’t know anyone (with a minimum of knowledge in the kitchen) who thinks you can make caramel out of stevia. Or maybe I’m wrong?

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Asian Bitch December 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

Oh yeah, forgot to answer your Q. I think I already said it but I would open a bakery. To sell space cakes and space muffins and space cookies.

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning December 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I think that being a restaurant owner/manager/anyone in charge has got to be one of the most stressful jobs ever. People can really be assholes when it comes to their food, and tend to forget that you are a human being. I was a waitress one summer when I was in between my junior and senior year in college and could never even do THAT again. To be the one in charge that has to deal with all the BS would be hell to me! Often, if you love something and make it your business, you never have time to really “enjoy” it anymore. My good friend has loved mountain biking his whole life and opened a very successful bike shop, but never ever has time to go ride anymore. I guess only the lucky few actually find balance in it all.
PS- the recipe looks rockin’. Or amazeballz, even.

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Sarah December 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I would totally be that jerk that stole the foie gras. LOVE that fatty liver!

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) December 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I would never want to open a restaurant for many reasons … one being that I would not want to work evenings or weekends. I suppose a breakfast or lunch place would be okay … but I wouldn’t want to deal with staffing, etc..

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