We've spent over a decade cooking in NYC fine dining restaurants under Michelin starred chefs like Jean Georges, Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud, and Daniel Humm. During the pandemic we founded Synful Eats, a dessert delivery service. We have 12 sweet treats and every month we unveil a new "cookie of the month" with a portion of proceeds distributed to nonprofits we want to support. This month we have a soft, toasted coconut cookie filled with caramelized pineapple jam. In celebration of Mother's Day, 20% of these proceeds will go to Every Mother Counts- an organization that works to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Find us on IG @synful_eats or at [Synfuleats.com](Synfuleats.com)

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/sjjl2tlc7ys81.jpg

Comments: 1479 • Responses: 96  • Date: 

CrmnalQueso542 karma

What is the one thing you would recommend a home chef do to take their skills to the next level?

SynfulEats590 karma

Practice, practice, practice. Don't be afraid to fail or try new things!

darkapao456 karma

Can you recommend a knife? And best way to keep its edge?

SynfulEats685 karma

Misono knives are excellent. The blade is made with high carbon stainless steel, and the blade’s material is what will determine how long your knife stays sharp, and how easy it is to sharpen. If you’re in NYC, Korin is the place to go for professional sharpening. I belive they also have instructional videos on youtube/social channels. Investing in a good sharpening stone and learning how to use it (without overuse) is key!

justlikesuperman411 karma

What do you think about restaurant rating systems/reviewers (e.g. Yelp, World’s 50 best, etc.)? Which ones would you say are trustworthy? Do Michelin stars still mean anything in terms of identifying restaurants that make the best food?

SynfulEats540 karma

Rating systems are just like anything else- a lot about what you do to be seen and what connections you have. They certainly have merit and are good guides, but I think you have to take it all with a grain of salt. Food is so personal and subjective!

Caitsyth375 karma

When you taste a dish in progress what are your mental checks on what to add/subtract?

Kinda curious how a pro chef works with their palate

SynfulEats678 karma

Great question, of course you have to constantly taste the food, I think something most people miss is accounting for the projected change in the soup sauce ect, as it cooks. It may need salt now, but if it continues to cook for a half hour will it still need salt then?

its important to build and understand your palate over time.

altiif239 karma

What’s your favorite fast food place and meal from there?

SynfulEats402 karma

I think we can both safely say that we’re gearing up for a short trip to North Carolina and possibly what we’re most excited about is Smithfeild’s BBQ with alllll of the extra sauce

Aimlezz215 karma

Hey, thanks for the AMA, i enjoy cooking a lot but thanks to being a student i often have to keep budgets in mind especially regarding cook ware. So 2 questions: 1) Whats a good all-around pan and how much should I expect to pay for it? My favorite pan is dying rapidly, so I’m currently looking around but finding a clear answer is hard 2) I’ve saved up for 2 good quality knifes, what can I do to keep them sharp when they start to show wear? (one’s been with me for 5 years and it’s not as sharp as it used to be). Buy a whetstone? Or invest the 20 bucks to get it professionally sharpened?

SynfulEats304 karma

I love a cast iron pan for a few reasons: very easy to clean, it builds flavor, and you really can’t go wrong with what brand you buy. You can get one that will last you years for $20. We primarily use Mauviel pots and pans, but I’ll be honest- they aren’t cheap. If you want an investment piece that will last you decades- that’s the brand I would save for.

For knives, I would shop around Korin’s website if you’re looking for quality that will last for many years to come. Some are wildly expenseive, but they also have some reasonable items. You have to be careful sometimes with professional knife sharpening. Some will get you a super sharp edge, but at the cost of wearing down more than a few cm of your knife. If you have someone repeatable that is open to offering guidance, then I would pay them for the professional service and insider tips on your specific knife. Then, I suggest buying your own stone and practicing how to use it on a knife you’re not attached to until you feel comfortable.

hellstorm102215 karma

What is your favorite food to cook and eat at home?

SynfulEats588 karma

After cooking all day, esentially what is fastest and requires the least amount of effort is what we both gravitate towards. Big fans of roasting whole vegetables to really concentrate their flavors, pairing it with whatever grain we can boil quickly with a ton of aromatics, and searing whatever protein we have on hand in a cast iron pan with a generous amount of butter.

FartsOnUnicorns501 karma

What’s a chefs favorite snack? A hostess.

SynfulEats138 karma

anything I love raw vegetables esp when stress eating! also Synful Eats

Futures2004184 karma

Are drugs actually that common in the restaurant industry?

SynfulEats338 karma

yes, and alcohol, it is tragic to see it take its toll. America in general faces a large issue with drugs prescription and other wise.

decoya0159 karma

What kinds of cooking technique separates a typical home cook from a Michelin-level restaurant?

SynfulEats308 karma

You can have home cooks who are better at creating flavors than line cooks, the main difference maybe in the ingredients that the professional kitchens have access to. As far as technique braising, grilling, sautéing, roasting will always be assessable to both.

casualsax91 karma

Following up on this. When you're cooking in someone else's kitchen, what ingredients do you reach for that often aren't there?

SynfulEats156 karma

I like to just execute the fundamentals with standard ingredients, I think this is the best food. I don't need anything really salt pepper oil vinegar citrus, garlic onion, most common things, I think that's the mark of great chef is letting the ingredients show themselves and not overwhelming or diluting the natural flavors too much.

Furthermore it is the responsibility of the chef to adjust if a certain item is not there. so if its not there figure something else out and keep it moving

Sciencetist135 karma

Do you feel like the jump in food quality from 1 stars to 2 stars is larger than the jump from 2 stars to 3? Does more work go into getting your first star than your second or third?

SynfulEats214 karma

I belive there’s a bigger jump from 1 to 2 stars in terms of food. For me, the difference between 2 and 3 stars depends most on atmosphere and level of hospitality. The work that goes into running and maintaining a restaurant in general is always there, but in my experience the quality of leadership is what takes a restaurant to new heights.

SynfulEats151 karma

great questions, it has to do a lot with the dining room team, the room itself, the bar, the wine, the atmosphere, all notoriety and accolades require an immense amount of work and involve a ton of pressure and a strong team!

SgtDoughnut99 karma

So what is the best spice and why is it Garlic?

As a second more serious question, as someone who finds enjoyment in cooking where is a good place to look to get better, I dont want to be a professional but I want to expand my skills?

SynfulEats88 karma

I would have to say through consumption of content, if that's hard covered books, videos, magazines, ect it will push your thinking on food. There is no substitute for cooking everyday and trying to get even 10% better, cleaner, faster, more accurate.

salutdamour98 karma

What’s an easy yet impressive dish you’d recommend someone to cook for a dinner party?

SynfulEats123 karma

good question, I think its a great showing to have plenty of well executed options rather than one that out shines the rest, dover sole could be a show stopper though or lobster in any style

kence3582 karma

How can an average home chef improve their plating and food presentation? Are there any resources you recommend for this?

If you had to pick one dish that was your personal favorite (either to prepare, or to eat!), what is it and can you provide us with your recipe for it?

SynfulEats133 karma

Presentation starts before you start cooking, having a vision and the necessary garnishes starts before your trip to the market, then when you finally get to the plating stage make sure the kitchen is clean and decluttered take a deep breath and execute the vision.

I love everything, esp big authentic burritos, or some NC BBQ

chakalaka1372 karma

Have you ever thought of switching back to Bridgestone?

SynfulEats42 karma

man I have been through a lot of tires driving from NYC to Southampton

PresidentoftheGays68 karma

I feel like an absolute baffoon when chopping basically anything - like I'm expending way too much energy in doing so. Which foods are way way easier to prep one you know the "right way" and which game-changers should I learn first?

SynfulEats87 karma

I would recommend a honing steel or a sharp knife, making sure the cutting board is secure and stable, and just practice, each ingredient needs to be approached individually, if its bigger than your knife cut it in half, watch your thumb, and try to keep all the garnish the same size.

I have been really in to cooking the vegetables whole, taste better and easier to cut after as well.

jzhen9460 karma

What's the cheapest Michelin star food that you can make using mostly basic and cheap ingredients?

SynfulEats103 karma


TropicalPrairie57 karma

What is the one spice everyone should have in their cupboard?

SynfulEats107 karma

fresh ginger!

Jerseysmash54 karma

Any advice for someone who can't get the hang of making a solid roux/bechamel? I've never burned a roux but I feel like it never comes out quite right.

SynfulEats89 karma

some people says its 60/40 flour to butter or half half, I just eye it out, don't be afraid to let it cook, I was taught early on to cook it in the oven as well.

Battle_for_Peace53 karma

Do you perfere pizza with or without pineapple?

SynfulEats166 karma

pineapple jalapeno, I live in NYC, I like Patsys on 117 and first.

SynfulEats57 karma

with out but if it was present I would have it with jalepeno

leanyka49 karma

What’s the best restaurant you have been at in your life?

SynfulEats77 karma

really tough to say, as enjoying fine establishments has been our focus for sometime, but we always have a great time where ever we go, I think we have probably gone to Ippudo the most. Bouley, Daniel, per se, EMP this list goes on, really cant miss too bad in nyc. There is such a high level of talent and competitiveness here.

bear687545 karma

What is one of your favorite low effort / high payoff cooking tricks that home cooks can borrow?

SynfulEats59 karma

shopping for the best ingredient at the market if you go for a specific item, make sure you choose the best option, fish meat included, will make a huge difference. Try focusing on precision and not over producing.

UncoolJ41 karma

What's your favorite quick home meal (less than 5 ingredients)?

FatherAb54 karma

I'm not OP, nor a professional chef (why am I even bothering you🥲?), but I made this last week and it had no business being as ridiculously delicious as it was!


SynfulEats54 karma


SynfulEats33 karma

rice and beans, pasta salad, eggs and bread, quinoa

KalEl123238 karma

Is Gordon Ramsay really held in that high regard? His mentor, Marco Pierre White, has taken not-so-subtle digs at him in the past by saying "I gave back my Michelin stars since I didn't want to keep them if I wasn't behind the stove," the implication being that Gordon does his TV work while not actually cooking the food nowadays.

SynfulEats89 karma

He’s certinaly held in high regard! It’s on very rare occasion that any celebrity chef is the one actually cooking in any of their restaurants. That’s where their leadership and mentorship come in. They have executive chefs for a reason and it really is all a TEAM effort.

SynfulEats31 karma

Thank you for signing in and for the questions!!

WhatChewieSmelled31 karma

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

SynfulEats60 karma

good question I think its a hot dog. lets celebrate its uniqueness

roast beef sandwich, turkey sandwich, Ruben ect. these I would say are sandwiches

conchubhair198429 karma

What does Michelin trained mean?

SynfulEats33 karma

we have spent the last 15 years managing and working in great restaurants with the worlds greatest chefs

-Vagabond-2 karma

Yeah I think they just made that up lol

SynfulEats2 karma

pretty common

feketegy27 karma

What's your favourite cooking/chef/foodie movie?

SynfulEats133 karma

ratatouille holds a special place for me!

breakfasteveryday26 karma

Married or siblings?

SynfulEats40 karma

happily married for four years together since 2011!

SteveZi25 karma

What's the worst thing a chef you worked under has done to you or a coworker?

SynfulEats87 karma

oh man

sbenzanzenwan20 karma

My wife says I never make mother sauces to have on hand to prepare meals with. I used to make chicken stock, demi-glace, and brown or espagnole (not sure which, a reduced red wine stock for red meat). What else could I make to have on hand, something that's a must-have in a well-stocked kitchen or something a bit different?

SynfulEats32 karma

wow lucky wife, your doing great, check out escoffier if these are the things you like, I love really getting in to the older works

grootdaddy19 karma

How is the free time/work-balance for chefs such as yourself?

SynfulEats22 karma

Brutal, but just like starting any new business, it requires full time attention! have to be dedicated,

SynfulEats18 karma

Thank you everyone for signing in and the questions!

TheShadowCat16 karma

What's the biggest bit if bullshit in the world of fine dinning? As an example, gold leaf on a dessert, or importing an expensive ingredient when the cheaper local version is just as good.

SynfulEats29 karma

great question, cold food that is supposed to be hot!

PlamZ15 karma

What's one thing that everyone should be doing to upgrade day-to-day dishes?

SynfulEats21 karma

taste the food while its cooking, try new vegetables ect cook w no fear!

jjjaaammm15 karma

2 questions, both pan related:

a) How do I convince my wife that a pan should be hot before throwing food into it?

b) how do I convince my wife that a properly seasoned pan can just be rinsed and wiped clean with a towel without using soap?

SynfulEats35 karma

Sometimes the best way to is to demonstrate. Sear a piece of meat from a cool pan vs. hot to kindly show the differences.

For cast irons and such that you want to maintain seasoning with- you don’t even need to use water. Heating the pan and scrubbing with salt is all you need to keep any bacteria away. Salt is antibacterial, and foodborne bacteria dies over 140F

DinoVaginaFeminist13 karma

What staples do you keep in your fridge/ pantry?

SynfulEats22 karma

sherry vinegar, and a fully loaded array of fresh aromatics, fresh fresh fresh buy what you need for when you need it, nice olive oil as well, simplicity is best.

mickeybuilds10 karma

What is one versatile ingredient you love that is seldom seen in home kitchens?

SynfulEats17 karma

white pepper, fresh stocks!

AlderWynn9 karma

Why can i never get my short ribs to turn out like restaurant short ribs? I’m using quality beef (like i have pet the cow I’m eating) and braised those things nice and slow, and they’re still either fatty, tough or both.

SynfulEats25 karma

lower temp cover them add red wine garlic, chicken stock aromatics, let them rest, not done if the bone doesn't come out w any resistance

energyinmotion9 karma

Starting a new job today at an upscale tapas place, and I don't know shit about Spanish food.

Know anything about Spanish food?

SynfulEats40 karma

yes, but more so about starting a new job, just be respectful polite and listen more than you talk they will unlock new doors for you and teach you all you are willing to learn.

BadassDeluxe8 karma

I am in my first role as an assistant kitchen manager. I have an employee I am responsible for who is a new line cook working part-time on our team. The front of the house and customers complain about the quality of his food and he has a poor work ethic. I have tried spending large amounts of time working very closely with him training him, answering his questions and correcting his mistakes. But his work ethic is so poor, he will disappear during a rush and I'll find him in the alleyway vaping or standing around. I asked the kitchen manager for help and he told me it was my problem. The other cooks and front of the house tell me he behaves differently the second I take my eye off him. I'm not getting any help from my head chef or GM. They just blame me for his performance. What do I do to motivate this guy since I can't fire him?

SynfulEats13 karma

tough but common situation, no easy answer, but I would try to cut ties or use write ups to separate the employ from the business.

traktorjesper6 karma

What's your most recommended frying pan for "ordinary people" and what's the key to make them last?

SynfulEats6 karma

anything will do, just treat them well if they get caked up with grease treat them with bar keepers friend, I like mauviel,nothing is for ever also not putting cold water in it when its smoking hot

gambino325xi5 karma

It seems like every time I cook with canned tomatoes (regardless of preparation; crushed, diced, etc) my dishes taste metallic and overly acidic. I've been trying to balance the acid with sugar, and have even started adding baking soda to help neutralize the excess acid, but find if I add enough of those 'balancers' to get rid of the acid, I've negatively affected the taste of my dishes.

Does the acidic tasted of canned tomatoes 'cook out'? Or am I missing something critical?

Thanks in advance!

SynfulEats7 karma

cooking in aluminum pans with highly acidic ingredients can strip the lining of the pan and you will ultimately consume these toxins, which can be harmful. stainless steel can help

brokenfl5 karma

The best trick to getting a good sear on the Protein?

SynfulEats14 karma

room temperature and a bit of salt while it tempers, high heat then lowering the temp, not too much oil

shitted_on_em5 karma

Do you think it's weird for a tire company to rate restaurants?

SynfulEats4 karma

yes it started as a travel guide, for weary travelers a long time before the inter webs, could be found at service stations etcs.

Oceanswave4 karma

First I’ve heard of ‘Michelin trained’ - I’ve heard of classically trained but is the intent of Michelin trained to obtain a Michelin star?

SynfulEats6 karma

just the level of restaurants we have spent our time in

Browncoat864 karma

Should people wash their chicken?

SynfulEats26 karma

no it splashes harmful bacteria through the kitchen

ipohan4 karma

Do chef ever get fed up with the long hours? What kind of satisfaction helps you to stay motivated?

SynfulEats6 karma

sure, we all have limits. the love of my beautiful wife and family, also bills

durgadas3 karma

How good a chef is that tire anyway?

SynfulEats6 karma

It keeps rotating

el_miguel423 karma

Any advice for risotto? Trying to get the texture right, and the creaminess right is just a pain, even when I get close, the whole thing just seems... bland.

SynfulEats5 karma

cook with boiling stock until its all gone add in small increments, parmesan and butter helps at the end season as you go, I love white pepper as well a bit of preserved lemon perhaps

chewbangis3 karma

When you're buying/making dessert for yourselves what is your go to?

SynfulEats4 karma

As you might be able to imagine I’m a big fan of cookies. I always have some dough in the freezer to pop in the oven and have with a scoop of ice cream. If buying- I’m going with a doughnut or pretty much any viennoiserie!

Essexal2 karma

Would you get annoyed if I put ketchup over something you’ve cooked for me?

SynfulEats2 karma

not at all, chase your dreams!

mydoglikesbroccoli1 karma

Any recommendations on timing, or where to find out more about it? Most of what I make are soups and stews, where you throw everything in and forget about it for a few hours. The taste there is good, but but it seems like for visual appeal and getting spices to behave well one would need to use shorter or more controlled time periods for their dishes. Thank you for the AMA!

SynfulEats3 karma

its all based on the individual recipe or desired purpose, if its just for you focus on nutrition over presentation, if your making for others its ok to focus on presentation uniformity is a easy way to make things look great. can always add spice later in the process or just less to not overwhelm to whole project

lirio2u1 karma

What’s your go to meal to make when you are exhausted?

SynfulEats2 karma

Take out, or braised chicken thighs with any vegetables, grains on hand. sear the kitchen add the veg and grain add water throw in the oven

code_art1 karma

I am depressed . What should I eat?

SynfulEats2 karma

im sorry!! take a walk and try somewhere new even if its a new market. not medical advise!

CuppaTeaThreesome1 karma

Are you from the scream at subordinates like a deranged imbecile method of culinary?

If so (or not) what is it about cooking that makes that acceptable?

SynfulEats3 karma

nothing, learnt behavior but it has made great strides with the general awareness of the issue

ecp81 karma

How can the restaurant industry cope with the rising cost of basic ingredients?

SynfulEats1 karma

its a good question one that not only effects restaurants, they usually have a price break buying in bulk but def still a problem, charge more cut the staff unfortunately

El_Dentistador1 karma

Any specific steps that a home cook take to improve themselves?

SynfulEats2 karma

Practice, don't be afraid to try new recipes, and get a little better every time, focus on a weakness or area of improvement and work on it for a week, track progress force your self to be disciplined in every aspect! no short cuts

ShawarmaOrigins0 karma

Alot of recipes will include wine as an ingredient. Regardless of how much is cooked off, it's an ingredient I don't want to use.

What do you suggest to replace red wine that'll still give the dish a similar (it'll never be the same of course) profile?

Thank you, Chefs.

SynfulEats2 karma

a splash or red wine vinegar!