Monday, 11 November 2019


When I think back to the time I first started to cook I saw a lot of recipes in books with 20 ingredients and complicated to make. TV chefs were more into showing us how to complicate cooking than giving access in my opinion. With this tradition, the lack of real knowledge sometimes and feeling of inadequacy when it comes to knowing the quality of we present, it’s no wonder we as business owners make a lot of mistakes. We would need a huge kitchen just to house all the machines and the ingredients that might be used one or two times.
Then came the Jamie Oliver’s of the world who stopped the slicing and dicing in favor of a more natural time saving approach. Great for at home when cooking for 4 people but it goes against the grain for some who would like to present something a little more refined. Then we search for more, better deal and more complicated.
I also found Gordon Ramsey’s series Kitchen nightmare’s fascinating. Gordon’s show highlights for me that its not enough to simply cook what was mostly atrocious food in the series. In the restaurant business there is the customer service, restaurant setup and promotion to boot. Not to mention the added complication of a food delivery service if this is also offered. The thinking that many recipes that are complicated will be more attractive to the public and that by adding a takeaway service you reach more people. All the while not really thinking about business design, customer interaction and that with each recipe or earning model brought into the restaurant comes a system of thought out processes that need to be put into place.  Why is winging it in in he restaurant business not only bad customers, but put a little time into the business side and you have the opportunity to be sustainable too. In many of the basic options decisions sustainable means good business. So here are some tips to prompt movement… got some more then leave a comment at the end of the article. 

Tip 1: Recipes
Complicated recipes mean its harder under pressure to deliver on time and with quality. Staff need more training time to get it right and the customers usually have to wait longer for food that might or might not be up to standard. It takes a great kitchen to handle this. 
Simple recipes with fewer ingredients means more likely that everything is fresh with less effort form your staff to deliver this. Think about whats in season locally for greater sustainability. Source products from locals who can deliver year round different products that come into season at a discounted price for a loyal customer, you.
Tip 2: Menus
A 20 item menu of dishes not designed to go together might seem like a good idea from your customers perspective, they get more choice. With good number of fresh ingredients needed to sustain such a menu, that best case are thrown away on time and worst case reused to save money but hazard the quality of the dishes that are presented on table. This means you are dealing with an extended preparation time, more space is needed in cooling and the preparation area. More waste if this is truly regulated and all because some pre-thought wasn’t put into the composition of your menu.
Using a maximum of 15 fresh ingredients (10 if you can at all help it) and a cross over so all fresh ingredients are used in at least 5 recipes with a big menu and 3 in a small one means less preparation, less complexity of procedures to make the food and less waste if it’s not used by the end of the day. Smaller menu’s made up of simple recipes enable your staff to cook them to a high standard, learn this in less time and have more experience cooking them so they become more efficient. Simply spoken less personnel hours, less waste and more quality. 
Tip 3: Type of service
Many small startup restaurant and cafe business’s use a common service type without thinking through the implications of this for the personnel, location they rent, the size and setup of the space and the numbers of staff they have to meet the customers needs. Some service setups mean more drinks sales, or less formal while others a more sophisticated form of dining.
Best thing is to think through your concept. Are you a take away service, or 5 course high brow restaurant. Where do you make your money, food or drinks? Whats the possibility of your kitchen in the preparation of food if you have one? How many customers can sit at one time? Are more sittings possible in one evening with a change to your service. Customer service or attention and thought when dealing with clients is one of the biggest factors for them to return or not. A successful client relationship means them going away with a smile even though not everything might have gone according to plan. Good design of a location can also easily include recycling processes, cleaning and HACCP regulations with products that don’t affect the environment. One small step for your business can mean a great step for mankind. 
Tip 4: Design and practice what you preach so your staff can get some satisfaction.
No design means a stress on staff. But importantly with staff no design in setup means we as managers and business owners are setting up our staff to fail. They leave the premises feeling like they failed, it was hard or the ugly feeling of dealing with various degrees of unhappy customers just because the setup intrinsically doesn’t work. Staff are expensive, good staff are hard to find and maybe there are some sustainable solutions.
Staff are one of the most expensive costs of the business, and when seem as people are vital to the success. Their job satisfaction means not training new people and their smiles warm up rooms of customers. In all aspects we are dealing with people. There are many who find it hard to get into a job after illness or big life event. Consider the first P and bring in a touch of social entrepreneurial spirit to the mix. These people once in are usually longer stayers than those who got the job easily.
Tip 5: Pricing & branding
In the last years the restaurant business has become more and more competitive. With new establishments and concepts being opened up all the time, not to mention franchise chains that can support new locations with that more publicity and knowledge that a new business owner succeeds far better than the lone starter often can. It can be difficult to resist the temptation to under price your products which inevitably means you have to go for less quality food options to keep costs down. This is in relation to smaller numbers of restaurant visitors while you are finding your feet which can create even more temptation to cut costs. Starting a restaurant business is certainly an investment and i have heard quotes of up to around 3 years before a restaurant really becomes a financial success.

Consider who your public are, what is your brand? Does your location allow for many tables or only a few? Is there a kitchen in which case food is a good earning model. If not then drinks and maybe cocktails with be your bread and butter income. In any case the marriage between what is possible in your situation and what you want to present in the way of a brand is essential. Only then is it good to look at pricing. Personally i always under priced myself until I started learning about branding. It takes a huge leap of faith to say my brand is worth it and voila, this is the price, great value ain’t it. AND…top it off with maybe you aren’t paying me enough (if all the other tips come off ;-)). Sustainable tip would be to ask a little more from your customers and deliver beautiful quality food. Don’t forget to promote the hell out of this. Done right and your customers will leave feeling they paid a little more for a delicious food experience they aren’t sure to get somewhere else. Last but not the least find your niche and deliver to it. Branding, pre-thought and delivery of what they expect from this is everything.
When I came across the idea of Sustainability and the concept of the three p’s about 6 years ago, i was impressed by how impactful this way of thinking can be on just about any business. The three P’s being People, Planet and Profit. An example would be something like the following. By cutting down waste of fresh produce in a restaurant you are not only increasing profits but doing your bit for decreasing the demand for over production of food which has some pretty serious environmental repercussions. Maybe we don’t feel these first hand, but the new generations to come certainly will. It takes a bigger man to intelligently think beyond survival and profit. Becoming sustainable is not only good for profits, its good for your brand.

We can take this a couple of steps further. Imagine that you design a menu with maximum 5 fresh ingredients (those that go bad within 2-3 days and can’t be stored in a freezer). All the waste is composted in your waste area and this compost is used to fertilize plants bearing the fresh products you need for your kitchen. Salad greens, tomato’s, chilli’s, chives, cress, lemons, small cucumbers, garlic and more can be grown in a yard or on a rooftop patio. Be a little creative and the world is your oyster of at the very least growing ground for a multitude of ingredients. These in turn remain fresher for longer and in season can be picked on demand rather than bought in. There’s no packaging in this scenario so less need for recycling that would be done on all bought in goods. Consider small local businesses over large chains and create a good relationship. Usually resulting in a long standing working relationship and importantly more of the sorts of discounts larger chain stores can offer. There are too many tips of this kind to enter here and if you are truly keen you can search out some great companies who are more than willing to help you find your sustainable roots at a reasonable price. These little but large sustainable steps make you truly sustainable even though this term is too often overused and misunderstood. Be one of the few who live up to the standard.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Milonga has a syncopated beat, consisting of 8 beats with...

The Milonga originated in the Río de la Plata area of Argentina and Uruguay. It was very popular in the 1870s. The Milonga was derived from an earlier style of singing known as the payada de contrapunto. The song was set to a lively 2/4 tempo, as are most milongas. 
"Milonga is an excited habanera." The original habanera divided into four pulses, in a standard two-four where every note was stressed. In becoming milonga, though, all four notes turned strong, as tempo was doubled. The strength of the first beat weakened the fourth giving an almost waltz-like feel to milonga: one-two-three(four), one-two-three(four). Habanera is a slower, more explicit sounding one, two, three-four. At least one modern tango pianist believes the polka influenced the speeding up of the milonga.[1] 
Milonga has a syncopated beat, consisting of 8 beats with accents on the 1st, (sometimes also 2nd) 4th, 5th, and 7th beats. 
Regular 2/4 
[1] 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 
[1] 2 3 [4] [5] 6 [7] 8, sometimes also [1] [2] 3 [4] [5] 6 [7]
[1] 2 3 [4] 5 6 [7]
Over time, dance steps and other musical influences were added, eventually giving rise to the tango

By the 1890s musicians were writing in a structured form that was something more than thinly disguised milongas or tangos andaluces, and would later become the fully developed tango.[2] 

Note to author, i am sorry this was given to me without author information. It has proved valuable to my students who got to understand a bit more of Milonga visually. If you recognize this as your work please contact me and i will either take it down or accredit it as your work. 

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Petroleo one of the great maestros of Tango argentino (In spanish)

This is an article i found when in my second year of dancing and learning argentine tango. It opened my eyes as a dancer and created more ability to understand something of the nature of tango. I don't pretend to have the answers and neither does Petroleo, but he certainly wasn't affraid to own new steps he thought he had discovered. Petroleo is known in these days as one of the great Milongueros and revered amongst close embrace dancers who say free leg moves have no place on the dance floor. See my other article of my own views on this topic, its not an easy question and have a multitude of angles. This article is truly writing about improvisation and understanding through trying, failing, trying and creating new beautiful movements to dance...

by Rolando Valdivia on Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 17:05


    Reportaje de Sergio Criscolo.

Bailarín (1912 - Mayo de 1995) 

Nombre real: Carlos Alberto Estévez

En el momento de este reportaje, Petróleo estaba a punto de cumplir 80 años, nacido en 1912 comenzó a bailar en 1928.
Fue bancario durante 36 años y vivía en el barrio de Villa Devoto. En 1988 dejó de bailar por una afección en sus rodillas,
desde entonces vive de sueños. Me pusieron Petróleo porque tomaba mucho vino. Era un borracho. Desde hace algún tiempo
tomo gaseosas, pero es peor, oxida. Siempre me gusto el tango sencillo. Al baile del tango lo cambié yo. Yo inventé el
giro, el contrafrente, cambiar de posturas, los boleos. Además, yo desprendí el sexo de la danza. Antes el hombre iba a buscar
una pierna no una bailarina, iba a apretar no a bailar. Yo iba a bailar. Conocer a través de los ensayos a la pareja es muy importante,
de ese modo uno conoce el manejo. A mi mejor pareja, con la que después viví, la conocí en un baile, fue en 1930, se
llamaba Esperanza Díaz. Ensayábamos mucho. Bailamos juntos hasta 1949 y un año después se fue. ¡En buena hora!. Ya no
quise tener otra. Cuando había alguna exhibición me entendía bien con la negra Martita que acostumbraba a bailar en el Agusteo,
de Sarmiento y Uruguay, también en el Unione e Benevolenza, que estaba a la vuelta del otro y el dueño era el mismo. En Villa
Devoto bailé en el Club Rosa de Abril y en Villa Urquiza en muchos: Pinocho, Sin Rumbo, etc. En el club Atlanta conocí a
Juan Carlos Copes que andaría entonces por los 20 años. En los salones estaba prohibido bailar con corte, si lo hacíamos alguien se
acercaba y nos decía: "Pase por boletería" y allí nos recomendaban e nos echaban. Nos llamaban compadritos. Hubo épocas que los
bailarines organizábamos bailes para los presos cuando salían libres. En realidad los que bailaban el tango eran todos chorros
o aspirantes a serlo. Si uno había estado un año preso poníamos diez o veinte pesos cada uno hasta juntar unos quinientos y
se lo dábamos para que empezara a caminar. Cuando a esas fiestas comenzó a asomarse la policía no las hicimos más. Allá por
1930 se hacían fiestas que duraban una semana. Para el cumpleaños de la Parda Lucia, compañera de Nicolás "El Buchón" (por la
forma de su pecho como la de los palomos) se realizó una milonga en Parque Patricios. Como siempre fueron cirujas, carteristas,
carreros y milongueros. La pista se hizo con una lona robada al ferrocarril, de esas que cubren los vagones. La estiramos en
el piso y la rayamos con vela, para encerarla y conseguir mejor deslizamiento. Todos aportaban algún peso para vino y carne
para el asado. Las minas eran coperas de cabaret, yiros, ladronas de tiendas. Cuando alguno tenía sueño se tiraba en un colchón
de los que poníamos por ahí y dormía un par de horas. El séptimo día hacíamos un torneo de tango.

Entre nosotros había mucha competencia, no nos dábamos pelota. El bailarín es ególatra, se cree el mejor. Yo me creía el mejor.
A mí me gustaba uno que se llamaba Mendieta, era un fenómeno. El vasco Orradre fue el mejor que interpretaba la orquesta de
D'Arienzo. Con las figuras se destacaba un tal Méndez que era muy ligero de abajo. El Cachafaz era bueno, pero hubo mejores.
Virulazo también era bueno, bailaba a la manera de Antonio Todaro, que es el mismo maestro que le enseñó a Miguel Ángel
Zotto, el que más me gusta de los nuevos porque tiene linda postura. A Gardel lo conocí en el teatro 25 de Mayo de Villa Urquiza,
sin dudas el mejor cantor. Era bueno porque te decía lo que sentía. Pero bailar no sabía, daba unos pasitos, era un maleta, además
de gordito.

Se puede aprender a bailar, pero hay que trabajar mucho y además se tiene que sentir la música. El tango no viene de golpe. A mí
me enseñó un profesional, Navarro, me entregó sus pasos, después yo saqué los míos. El tango es una emoción contenida que
después explota. No se puede decir así se baila el tango, uno lo baila como lo siente, es una creación. El tango es un sentimiento
triste, es cierto, pero a veces depende de como le encara la orquesta. Mi orquesta preferida fue la de Carlos Di Sarli y, cuando
tuvo la suya Anselmo Aieta, un músico terrible. Nunca salí de gira porque tenía mi trabajo en el banco, pero hice unas dos mil
exhibiciones. Mi sueño siempre fue bailar mejor que todos. Inventé muchas figuras, transformé el tango, pero tendría que haber
realizado más. Me faltó inspiración para crear el tango verdadero. Hoy lo haría distinto. Como cada tango dura tres minutos, lo
dividiría en prólogo, desarrollo y epílogo. Aparte del tango tuve locura por las carreras de caballos, iba un poco todos los días,
gané mucho y perdí mucho.

Cuando me jubilé del banco vendí mi casa y con esa plata seguí jugando. ¿Para qué la quería? Tangos, carreras y alguna mujer.
No hay que agarrar la vida en serio. Yo viví como quise. Se puede vivir en serio con trabajo y honestidad, pero no es tan divertido.

Uno tiene que vivir sus sueños, ahí está la verdad».

Originalmente publicado en la revista LA MAGA el 6 de mayo de 1992

What is a phrase in music, an often controversial topic in our performance group

During Compania Cielito performance group rehearsals we often came into dispute about phrasing of the music and exactly what this is. After a number of heated group discussions i felt it important to research and get to the bottom of why this question kept arising and why everyone felt so strongly about it. The article below by Bradford says it all in my opinion and expresses what i myself feel when hearing the music i dance.

Phrasing in music – what is a musical phrase?
By Bradford on July 3, 2012 in Lessons and Tips, Music Theory Lessons

Phrase group of three four bar phrases in Mozart's Piano Sonata in F, K. 332

Phrase group of three four bar phrases in Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F, K. 332

Let’s start with a definition from the Oxford’s Music Dictionary:

phrase. Short section of music of a musical composition into which the music, whether vocal
or instrumental, seems naturally to fall. Sometimes this is 4 measures, but shorter and longer
phrases occur. It is an inexact term: sometimes a phrase may be contained within one breath,
and sometimes sub-divisions may be marked. In notation, phrase-marks are the slurs placed
over or under the notes as a hint of their proper puntutation in performance. The art of phrasing
by a performer is often instinctive and is one of the features by which a supreme artist may be
distinguished from one of lesser inspiration, whether singer or instrumentalist.

I like the following from the above definition:

* “the music seems naturally to fall” – music and the human body are very connected. Vocal music
follows many physiological requirements such as phrase length not exceeding what the lungs can
 * “it is an inexact term” – music can be abstract and there is often more than one correct answer to
a phasing question. You might get different teachers telling you to phrase differently. Just remember,
you are dealing with the expression of ideas. Ideas change and are interpreted in different ways.
* “is often instinctive” – Listen to lots of music in the genre or era you are studying. Also, go to
concerts and see how the pros pull off phrasing. You need to absorb the lessons of performance.
Studying theory, history, and musicianship in a class or with a teacher can certainly help. Regardless,
you need to gain enough experience so you can understand as well as feel the phrasing.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

OPEN DAG van de Iwi creatieve ruimte in Utrecht

Iwi creatieve ruimte opend haar deuren voor de eerste keer op 1 Februari. Kom langs en deelnemen aan een creatieve workshop of gewoon kennismaken met ons project.

De ruimte zit binnen de Buurtcentrum Sterrenzicht in Utrecht. Het is bedoeld als een plek waar alles creatieve en talent ontwikkeling kunnen plaatsvinden. Samen met buurtbewoners, activiteit begeleiders en een grote insteek van de sociaal makelaars van Oost brengen we dit mogelijkheid naar jullie?

We zoeken ook vrijwilligers, nieuwe activiteiten en samenwerkingen, neem contact met ons op met interesse: of whatsapp 0649299670

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