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Other[AMA] I am AlpraKing, former Darknet Xanax Kingpin & responsible for the xanax epidemy in America.

Feb 11th 2017 by AlpraKing • 26 Questions • 315 Points

Hey Reddit! I’m chocolatier Norman Love of Fort Myers-based Norman Love Confections.

After working for 13 years as the executive pastry chef for Ritz-Carlton, I got tired of traveling 40+ weeks out of the year and missing out on my children growing up. I started making chocolate and selling it to local chefs and restaurants in 2001, and in 2002 USA Today somehow discovered us and named us as one of the top chocolate producers in the country and our business took off!

In the 15 years since, we’ve been fortunate enough to open 4 retail locations & a gelato shop, partner with Princess Cruises to provide chocolate and custom desserts for their “Chocolate Journeys” program, and attract some of the most talented pastry chefs in the business to work for us. I love what I do and I’d love to answer any questions you might have for me. AMA!

PROOF: https://twitter.com/NormanLoveCandy/status/828746256868577284

SID PICS: https://www.facebook.com/normanloveconfections/posts/10154760698812485

EDIT 1 I mentioned this somewhere in the comments, but for the record my wife never gave me any sort of ultimatum - the "or else" was meant to be a joking summary of a series of long discussions we had about trying to find a way for me to actually be able to spend time at home with my family. I've always had her full support, and if I had wanted to, I could have continued working at the Ritz for years and she would have continued raising our kids on her own. I didn't, though. I traveled so often that my kids thought I worked at the airport and that was heartbreaking.

EDIT 2 You guys are awesome and this has been a blast. I'm old and tired so I'm going to call it a night but I'll try to answer as many questions as I can when I wake up in the morning! Thanks for joining me!

EDIT 3 People are actually interested in pastry/chocolate?! This is so cool! Sid and I are just starting our day but if it's allowed I'd like to reopen this for discussion at 9 if anyone is interested? Will try to answer all your questions then.

EDIT 4 Okay, we're back! Ask us whatever you'd like: https://twitter.com/NormanLoveCandy/status/828960200539377664

EDIT 5 Couple links if you guys want to check us out what we're up to: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

EDIT 6 My pastry team is going to kill me if I don't get back in the kitchen to help them out. Thank you all SO MUCH for your interest in our company, our products, and our 8 lb. mascot. I'll try to work my way through the rest of the comments throughout the week - we're slammed with Valentine's Day coming up but I'll do my best :) thanks again everybody, have a wonderful rest of you day & week!

Q:

How do you find people that you trust enough to bring in as employees?

A:

You should take a few minutes and explore r/personalfinance. You'll encounter countless young Americans who are clearly ill-equipped for life beyond school. Most do not understand basic budgeting, let alone tax code. Many run into financial distress before they turn 30. How does your local school district teach our tax code and budgeting to students? What sort of programs are available to the students that prepare them for managing debt and their personal finance?


Q:

Hey Gordon,

Big fan of you and your series, but I'd like to know if we'll ever see another Gordon's great escape? I really loved the insight into different cooking cultures and how you got to go along with them and learn from it.

A:

Congrats!

How did you navigate the process of taking a game from design to reality (production, art, freight, fulfillment, etc...)?


Q:

Every medic has their own strange NOPE type of injury or call. Mine was anything with fingers or toes. What's yours???

A:

Well what did your son say about randomly meeting 2 old friends that used to play games together?


Q:

I don't, I have a small core network of people who have a lot of human ressources at their disposal. I trust their judgement on who to hire. I do not ever meet them.

A:

Financial Literacy is actually an integral part of the curriculum in our schools. In fact, Menchville and Woodside high schools were named 2015-2016 W!SE blue Star Schools for their students' performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. The national certification test is given to high school students upon completion of the personal finance course. To earn the Blue Star designation, students attending the school must achieve a 75% pass rate on the test with either a majority of students at a given grade level taking the test or an average score of 80% or higher by students who take the test.


Q:

From Southeast Asia to India, and spending time in the Jungle. I was like a pig in shit, one of the happiest times of my cooking career. I've got maybe the next call for me, in terms of excitement, has to be South America. So I'm thinking of planning that next great escape across South America. Off the beaten track. No landmark, touristy, bullshitty, stadiums, just an inside to the culture that I'm trying to learn. Great escape is definitely coming back. Maybe Spring or Summer 2018

A:

The board game community was really helpful in pointing us in good directions.

We found an illustrator through a university's job board, did the graphic design using Illustrator and Photoshop, used a company in China called Panda Games to manufacture the games, and were connected to some good freight and fulfillment companies. Lots of pieces that come together!


Q:

Yea, of all the shit i've seen fingernail avulsions make my skin crawl. haha

A:

He said he already knew and that he had already talked to them? He's much better at this than I am.


Q:

Have you ever personally smelled Tranq's bars?

A:

As a 2008 grad of York High I can say, the financial and tax education then was garbage. We had one guest speaker come into our homeroom and give us a 30min lecture and that's it.


Q:

What pisses you off more than anything in the world? Doesn't have to be related to cooking.

A:

Did you have any difficulties getting used to the business side of making your own board games (e.g. accounting, procurement, insurance, shipping, etc.)?


Q:

how many crazy/stupid drivers do you have to avoid? have you, yourself, almost been in an accident with your siren on?

A:

My mom used to mail me your chocolates when I lived in Europe, but they rarely made the trip intact. How should we have packaged them? I may have some requests from the former roommates.

Thank you for making such delicious things!


Q:

No, but have received very detailed reports.

A:

Very sorry to hear that your experience was poor. In Newport News we've built up strategic partnerships with the banking community to make real-world financial experiences for our kids. For example, we have student-run credit unions at many of our schools. I hope this builds a better experience for your children.


Q:

Shortcuts. Just people taking shortcuts to undermine the value of doing it properly in any profession. It really pisses me off. There's nothing worse than coming across a young chef that wants to take shortcuts to get the job done quicker. If you have the job done quicker, you're removing the essence and the true passion to why you're a chef in the first place. But just in general, whether it's a plumber, an electrician, or even a police officer, taking shortcuts and getting it done quickly for the sake of it is not the smartest idea. Do it properly or don't do it at all.

A:

It was definitely a trial by fire - but jumping into it has been really educational. I was also a business major in college, so spreadsheets and business decisions and budgets didn't scare me too bad.


Q:

In my experience it's actually safer for us to drive with the siren and lights off. People go straight stupid when they see the lights. I've seen people pull into oncoming traffic to get out of the way.

Remember: Slow down/stop and pull to the right.

A:

Thank YOU for supporting us - the novelty seriously never wears off of hearing that people like our product!

If I had a good answer for that we'd definitely be looking to expand internationally but shipping a highly perishable product is tough. I think your best bet would be to follow our process for shipping to the geographical extremes of the US (Hawaii, Alaska, and, for us, California): get an insulated box, fill with as many freezer packs as you can afford to pay for, and ship it as quickly as possible. It won't be very cheap but after 2 days the packs start to melt, putting your chocolate in jeopardy. This is why we push every customer to select 2 day/overnight shipping - paying expensive shipping fees isn't fun, but melted chocolate is definitely worse.


Q:

How did you start?

A:

What is your response to the confirmation of Betsy Devos as Education Secretary?


Q:

Which do you prefer, waffles or pancakes?

A:

Would you attribute your business major for a reason for your success?

While I'm kicking around the idea of games, it's the actual production and procurement is the most daunting to me.


Q:

What do you do during rush hour?

A:

Hi! Executive chef here. Just curious- what were you traveling to do 40 weeks out of the year?


Q:

I pressed steroids and sold them locally, but I soon realised Xanax was much easier to manufacture, appealed to a much broader audience via the darknet, and was not much worse in term of risk, being only a schedule 4 drug in Canada.

My business really kicked off with I discovered the dark net.

A:

Secretary Devos wants the Federal Government to establish Charter Schools, which I think violates the 10th amendment US Constitution. The constitution of Virginia gives local school boards the authority to establish Charter schools. I think that authority should remain with a local body so that Charter schools can be customized to the localities they serve. In Newport News we have a great charter school because the school board worked with the community to establish a winning model. Devos is advocating an over reach by the Federal government. So I'm not excited about the new Devos administration.


Q:

Waffles on Saturday, pancakes on Sunday.

A:

I would give more credit to my exposure to start-ups and entrepreneurial minds. That atmosphere really builds some boldness.

Reach out to Panda Games for a quote on pieces you'll need for your game ideas. It's a good step in the right direction.


Q:

I'm not in that big of a city, but just lay on the siren and wait, basically.

A:

Every time a new Ritz would open up I would fly out to help open their pastry kitchen - creating menus, hiring/training the staff, and overseeing all pastry operations until everything was running smoothly, then it was rinse & repeat. Very hectic but I got to travel to some amazing places.


Q:

Hand press or was it a rotary as well?

A:

But you sound like you support state level education, which is the direction Devos is going.


Q:

Hi Gordon,

I'm planning to grow a home garden for the first time this summer. If you had to pick five essentials to grow in a garden that you could incorporate into most meals, what would you recommend?

A:

Can you make The Cones of Dunshire a reality?


Q:

I work in a big city, we just shut down the sirens and sit with our lights on until the traffic starts to move. No sense in sitting on your horn and siren while sitting behind cars with no where to go. Plus I've seen cars jump on the sidewalk before and crash into each other trying to make space where there was none.

A:

That sounds awesome! Glad you've been able to find stability and success in the chocolate business!


Q:

It was on a hand press back then.

A:

I support accountability at the local level. I think that it's great that citizens can stop me in the grocery store and ask me a policy question about the school board. Being locally accessible makes me directly accountable for decisions I make.

For example, both of my children attend the school division where I am a school board member. I have to live with every decision that I make both in the community and in my house. I think its great.

I think that local control of schools is essential to innovation, responsiveness, customized learning, and ultimately success. I don't like it when the Federal government, and State government create regulations that make it difficult for public schools to innovate and respond to the community.

I don't like interference from Washington DC or Richmond, VA.


Q:

Tomatoes, first off. Whether it's going in salads, whether you're roasting them to make soup, definitely tomatoes. And there are some great root vegetables. Parsnips. Parsnips are amazing through autumn and fall. Not just roasted, but in incredible soups. From parsnips to carrots. Again, carrots, mmm, amazing. They grow easily and it's a sort of dream vegetable. Again, great for pickling, great for salads, but incredible roasted and even better in soups. From there, brussel sprouts. Brussels sprouts, again through fall, through winter. An easy vegetable to grow, packed with flavor. Finally, the ultimate would be a great cabbage. I had a cabbage last night in a great restaurant in L.A. called "Charcoal" and it was Citrin’s restaurant and everything was cooked in charcoal. So, he blasted cabbage for like three minutes in stock, wrapped it up in foil, and then baked it inside this charcoal and the flavor was incredible. So, there would be my top five choices of vegetables.

A:

Haha, not a bad idea. It's funny - that is completely me. My office is full of random game pieces that I'll combine in fits of madness during game creation. Also, looks like someone beat me to it: https://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/cones-of-dunshire-board-game/


Q:

The way people respond is unbelievable!

A:

Thank you chef!!


Q:

Which one?

EDIT: Although it's slow AF, were you still able to achieve pretty good quality?

A:

OMG! YOU FASCIST! HAHAHA What is this Education Accountability thing of which you speak? Every once in a loooong while, some local politician (Southern California) tries to introduce a bill holding schools and teachers accountable for the students achievements (or lack thereof). Their political careers are usually very short lived after the CTA (California Teachers Association, which is one of the most powerful unions in America) gets done funding every one of their opponents.


Q:

What is a good dish that a single guy (who can't cook) should make to impress a first date?

A:

Besides money from kickstarter how much have you made selling your games, if any?


Q:

I've seen one accident. It had two kids under 16 ejected, two kids under 12 pinned, and the mother walking around. The ejected kids looked to have really bad head and neck injuries possibly paralysis, one pinned kid lost all their teeth and I think a broken back, and one was stuck under the dash somehow, and I know nothing of their injuries. The mom had a broken arm.

The mother, and maybe the kid under the dash were the only people wearing a seatbelt. They left in ambulances, everyone else left by Life Flight.

A:

Do you require heroic determination and an iron will in order to resist constantly "sampling" your own product?


Q:

Yes, i was doing fine

A:

Education Accountability is the concept of evaluating school performance based on student performance and outcomes. The concepts origin is credited to the Reagan administration of the 1980s. The most famous implementation of educational accountability is the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002. The Virginia Standards of Learning were the state's response to mandate of NCLB. Since 2002, every student has had to pass an exam to satisfy accreditation requirements for public schools.

Local control refers to the authority granted to me by Article VIII of the Constitution of Virginia to run the public schools in my locality. The Constitution guarantees that school boards have autonomy to lead the school division and answer only to the people of my community. When I say that I favor local control that means I think public schools run better when they are directly accountable at the local level.

EDIT: One more comment that I think will surprise people reading this AMA. I am now entering the last year of my term(4 years) as a school board member. It has been my experience that the legend of the all-powerful teacher's union is an urban myth. If one thing has surprised me it is that no one from the teacher's union has ever approached me to discuss a policy, demand a raise, threaten a strike, or anything. In fact, I have met with just about every community group like the Kiwanis club, PTA, Rotary, Realtors, etc... but never with the teacher's union.


Q:

Pasta is a great way to show some great flair, in a way that, whether it's dry spaghetti or even fresh made Tagliatelle pasta. I would start off with a sort of roasted shallot, garlic, chili, fresh lime juice, with flaked crab meat over it. Once you've mastered the basics and so simply done like that, using pasta as a starch is with an amazing protein. So is it a beautiful caramelized breast of chicken on that pasta, is that amazing marinated slice of tuna. So start off with pasta, and that's really exciting to show off some great skills mastering pasta. If you really want to be the ultimate single guy, looking for the most extreme date, crank a little pasta machine, sit her down, serve her the most amazing glass of champagne, and just tell her to sit and watch for five minutes while I roll the pasta. Now rolling that pasta through the machine and cranking it down into those thin layers and all of a sudden you've got this tiny bowl of pasta, 5 minutes later you've got this 10 meter incredible rivered table of pasta. I swear to god, 50 shades, shadier, trust me, this will be 50 sheets of pasta in you duvet!

A:

We make several thousand each month from sales online and in game stores.


Q:

I've certainly witnessed it being the deciding factor in life or death.

A:

After 16 years I've realized it's just not possible. I swear one of our head chocolatiers is on a mission to ruin every diet in the office. He comes in every day with a tray of some new chocolate covered something that we NEED to sample and I've yet to locate the willpower necessary to say no.


Q:

How long did it take to go from filling caps to getting a press?

A:

Constructive criticism here. My time in Virginia schools in Chesapeake (Grassfield) 2007-2011 was inundated by SOL's that rarely challenged the knowledge base of students and frequently were laughed at as jokes of the system. They were a complete downplay of how intelligent the students were and shaped classrooms to be less effective than previous years. I hope that now the bar has been set higher. Plenty of students coasted because the bar had been set so low.


Q:

WHERE IS THE LAMB SAUCE????

A:

Gross or profit?


Q:

You or the willow moving that fast?

A:

What is the most delicious confection you have made?


Q:

A few months, an automatic press is like 2,000 USD investment, its fairly easy to get one. As soon as the volume was high enough I bought a press.

A:

New testing standards passed by the General Assembly in 2010 were created to make the tests harder just as you describe.

2011: Va Dept of Ed released new Social Studies SOLs 2.2 million SOL tests were being taken online. The General Assembly then mandated that all SOL tests be administered online by spring 2013, except in cases where a student’s disability necessitated a paper-and-pencil test. The new online assessments included technology-enhanced items that required students to apply their content knowledge and employ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

2012: Va Dept of Ed released new Mathematics SOLs

2013: Va Dept of Ed released new Reading, Writing, and Science SOLs

2014: 77% Virginia’s public schools were rated as fully accredited for 2013-2014, compared with 93% for 2012-2013. The number of partially accredited schools goes up from 128 in 2013 to 395 in 2014. Partially accredited means that the schools did not pass the tests.

2015: The number of partially accredited schools rose again from 395 to 545.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/reports/annual_reports/2013_appendix_a_sol_history.pdf


Q:

I promise by the last program I will find the LAMB FUCKING SAUCE

A:

Profit


Q:

Damn thing came outta no where! You shoulda seen it!

A:

My favorite individual piece is definitely our Tahitian salted caramel. As far as cakes/entremets go, any combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Can't go wrong.


Q:

Why do you flex so much?

A:

What are your views on Common Core?


Q:

Hey chef, as someone working in kitchens for the last 20 years starting as dishwasher, moved through prep and ending up in NYC as a two star Michelin fish roast I have some questions I hope you can shed some light on. Here in the city in some of the most prestigious places I made what worked out to be around $3 an hour. On paper it was 10-12 but a lot of work was required of me off the clock in order to pull my weight and really give my entire life to these places. As a mid 20's cook with stars in my eyes this wasn't anything to complain about and because I could afford it I actually wore it as a badge of honor. All this changed when my daughter came into the world 2 years ago, I've since left food entirely for a stay at home dad role which is very rewarding. My first question to you is how do you manage to have such seemingly well adjusted kids having obviously sacrificed so much quality time with them in exchange for success?
Personally having never made more than 30k a year cooking I couldn't even consider hiring a nanny at the 50k/year they want and be able to sleep at night knowing I missed so much time in my kids life and lost money doing it. Now I'm faced with the daunting realization that I'll reenter the culinary scene at 39 as a line cook when my son (who is due to be born this summer) turns 5 years old and is able to be in school. My second question is do you think at some point cooks in the highest tier of food will ever be compensated for their work like people in traditional jobs? Also how do you think the new minimum wage laws will effect restauranteurs? Based on what I've seen many places just barely scrape by paying their cooks $10/hour here due to astronomical rent, do you think someone in my position will be more valuable due to decreased demand for cooks or should I consider a new career path. I know this post comes off like I only care about being paid, if it were up to me I'd still be working and losing money to be where I belong but I'm part of a family I love and respect and they come before my aspirations. I've followed your career for a long time and you are a true inspiration to myself and I'm sure many other cooks, I've adopted your compassionate yet no nonsense approach when in sous positions and I attribute 100% of my success to you. Thank you for every thing you have done for the industry.

A:

How did you get that many people to see your kickstarter?

It's one thing having a great product, but it's another thing getting people to your kickstart page.


Q:

What is the worst thing that someone "accidentally" got stuck in their butt?

A:

is willy wonka an accurate depiction of the candy industry?


Q:

Why not?

A:

Common Core is about creating a single standard for the entire nation. Defenders of common core often cite a need to have consistent learning standards across all of the states. What the defenders often fail to acknowledge is that we already have national standards in multiple areas. For example, the SAT, ASVAB, and a host of other standardized tests already measure proficiency for the entire country. Why do we need another set of tests for students to take?

Further, I think Common Core undermines the natural competition that we need to spur on innovation and growth in Education. According to the US Dept of Ed, Viriginia is ranked 12th in the nation for education. Should Virginia now adopt the learning standards for North Carolina, ranked 37th in the nation?

I ultimately believe its better for North Carolina to copy Virginia's standards today. Then tomorrow if North Carolina surpasses Virginia then Virginia should copy North Carolina. In this manner, innovation continues in the national education system. On the other hand, if we adopted Common Core and find ourselves failing then whose standards would we adopt? And how do we know that the standards of a foreign power fit our children and our culture?

Of course, this is just my opinion as the decision to adopt Common Core rests in the hands of the Virginia General Assembly. Local school boards do not presently have the authority to set learning standards.


Q:

That's a personal question. I've never had any problems answering that. I've never been at home seven night a week cooking for the kids. What I've instilled in the kids, from day one, is a work ethic. So, the time we spend together is limited, but it's quality. But, I made a conscious decision eighteen years ago when I opened the restaurant Gordon Ramsay, to strive to earn my third Michelin Star, I never wanted to open it weekends, so we closed Saturday and Sunday. So, they wouldn't see me eighteen hours a day Monday through Friday and they'd see me absolutely fucked on Saturday morning. But, we got to spend the quality time together. How does that resonate today? I only took them there for the first time two years ago. Because there was no way on earth that I was ever going to introduce to them that level of food and be served by twenty waiters and waited hand and foot on because it was their daddy's restaurant. I need to protect them and respect the restaurant and team in my restaurant. I made them as normal as possible, like I said, from the beginning they had a work ethic. They've all got jobs, they've all taken care of animals, they've all got housework. There's a rotor. They get pocket money, but they have to earn that pocket money. The well-respected Megan is at Oxford Brookes studying, she's doing a degree in Philosophy. Jack wants to be a marine. Holly was to go into fashion. And Tilly, Matilda, is the chef of the family. She has her own show on CBVCs on the BBC in the UK. They're all hard-working, passionate individuals that have respect for others and respect for life. And, more importantly, understand that if you want something in life, it's not passed over, a hand-me-down. They got to work for it. That's really important for me.

Listen, I was there. At his age at 39 and 29 and 19 behind the line. You have to make sacrifices. There's no fast-track to becoming successful. Yes, you can make it. 39 is not old and more importantly, be selective on what restaurant you're going to work in. If you're gonna go and spend eight to ten to twelve hours in a restaurant as a line cook then make sure it's a fucking great restaurant. Make sure they deserve your time and make sure every six months, you're climbing the ladder. Because if you're not then you're not working correctly and you're not playing to your strengths. Set aside that fact that your son is only five and don't look at the current situation and dictate that for the rest of your life. Climb the ladder, but make sure you're in a great restaurant. Don't try to climb the ladder in an average restaurant because you're not going anywhere. So, get yourself into a good restaurant.

Very kind. Thank you. But there's one thing I learned as a young chef growing up and working my ass off in these restaurants. The sacrifice I was making was coming back tenfold in experience. There's nothing wrong with being behind the line, but being behind the line in a great place because at the end of that shift or that service, you're going back a much better person than you started the day with and that's what cooking is all about. And you've got to instill that, so make sure you don't waste time in the wrong restaurants.

A:

I would argue that a really great product has a way of getting found, especially on Kickstarter. Kickstarter users tend to browse the site pretty thoroughly, and if people like the product then they'll put money towards it, and then it starts to float up at the top of the Kickstarter page.

But we definitely did some of our own marketing as well - emailing our company subscribers, emailing backers of our first game, social media posts and ads, reaching out to websites to publish stories about us, etc.


Q:

One of those battery operated toothbrushes?

Gets properly securable items for your butt play, people.

A:

100%, down to the chocolate rivers and oompah loompahs. It might as well have been a documentary.


Q:

How many wife's do you have and with the most lavish thing you bought them?

A:

I'm interested in running for school board in a Virginia county. What tips do you have for a SB campaign? Thank you!


Q:

For the american version of the F-word, are you going to continue the style and format that made it so well received? I know a big problem a lot of younger Americans like myself and many other redditors have is the barrage of sound effects and over-the-top music that detracts from so much of the TV we consume over here.

A:

Is that the same kind of marketing you did for your first game?


Q:

So the brush part was all the way in? Was it in brush side up? How deep did it go?

A:

Why do you think there's a variation of Labrador retrievers we call "chocolate"? Isn't that just a bit sadistic to name an animal after something that will kill them?


Q:

I bought my girlfriend flowers, once.

A:

Get ready to have a lot of doors slammed in your face. :)

I found the most effective strategy was to go door to door and talk to people. Unfortunately, many people are not happy to hear from candidates. Campaigning is actually a very ironic experience. You often hear people say they want to hear from politicians but when the politician shows up they don't want to talk. Still there are people that will engage with you and ask you questions. Those experiences will keep you energized. Good luck!


Q:

The 'F' Word, for me, is quite frankly one of the biggest shows I'll ever launch. We’re live. So, we've got some really exciting things in the pipeline. I think it's going to be bigger and better than what we did in the UK. Why? There's a couple of stunts in there. In terms of we've got some really exciting VIPs. We have families that are competing against each other to find the best family across America. We have an amazing restaurant that you'll come to live in the middle of service and then there's some secret challenges that I'm up against to put myself into jeopardy. I love pressure, so this is not about me standing in a suit on a stage presenting, all that bullshit's gone and I've never been into that. So, this is something quite unique in a way that high octane, fun, we are gonna go up and gonna go down, and more importantly, live. My big question is are Fox mad to give me a live, 60-minute show?

I've come up with great alternatives to cursing words. So, as opposed to saying "shit", I'm going to go "shiiit-ake mushrooms". As opposed to saying the word "fuck", I'm going to go "fffruuuctose".

A:

Yes, very similar.


Q:

Brush side down and it had apparently worked it way up past finger reach. I didn't go hunting for it. :)

A:

So much more than a bit. These are the types of questions that keep me up at night.


Q:

How much money have you laundered so far?

A:

What are you doing to prepare the school system for district shrinkage due to erosion?


Q:

Hi Chef, just want to thank you for all the hard work you out into your shows, it's inspiring to see someone after so many years so passionate about what they do. I notice you use wusthof knives when you cook, what knife would you recommend specifically for people to use? Looking and buying one and who better to get advice from then you. (I'm sure this will be covered in your live class but would like to get it sooner).

A:

Any advice for marketing your first game? I am still debating if I should crowdfund myself or pitch to an existing game company.


Q:

Has anyone died because you couldn't get to them fast enough because of bad traffic? I think about that on my ride home, that if I had a heart attack at 5pm in the heaviest parts, I'd die because an ambulance couldn't get near me.

A:

Whats your favourite commercial store bought sweet?


Q:

Can't answer that accurately unfortunately. but north of 6 figues.

A:

I assume the source of erosion you are referring to is SB1283. This bill would allow the Virginia Board of Ed to establish regional charter school divisions, consisting of up to 3 underlying local school divisions. The regional charter school division would be governed by a separate board of eight members appointed by Virginia Board of Ed and one member appointed from each underlying locality (not the school board). The regional charter school would get the per pupil state funding associated with the jurisdiction in which each student resides.

Our best defense against erosion is a better school division. I hope that the public gets behind the initiatives that I have posted on my facebook page. I know that these ideas will make our schools more competitive.


Q:

I think one of the most practical knives I've been working with throughout is Henckles knives. Henckles knives, incredible. I'll tell you why. The secret of a great knife is in the handle. Because if you've got a firm grip and you feel comfortable and secure with the handle, you chop, you slice, much better. So, Henckles knives, for me, are one of the most versatile and definitely one of the most rounded, but the elaborate handle makes for such a more comfortable chop, slice. It's like driving a car. A steering wheel. It's like putting a pair of gloves on. You need to feel tight and smooth and in control of it. So, it's all about the handle and Henckles knives, by far, are one of the most practical.

A:

For our Kickstarters we do several things for marketing: ads on boardgamegeek.com, social posts, facebook ads, instagram ads, reaching out to sites to write about us, etc. However, most traffic and sales comes from internal traffic on Kickstarter itself. Focus on making a great product and a lot of the marketing will take care of itself when people share your project!


Q:

Oh yea. More often than I think anyone realizes.

I don't think people realize that the call they are blocking us from getting to could be someone they love.

A:

Not exactly a "store," but I'll take a Dairy Queen cheesecake blizzard over just about anything


Q:

What's something you regret?

A:

Actually I meant the erosion on the beaches. How soon until the effects the Navy is currently fighting hit the school district land?


Q:

Hello Gordon! I am so excited to be taking your Masterclass and learn from someone who is so passionate about cooking. What was your favorite thing about creating this class?

A:

Are you hiring people without 6-10 years of experience?


Q:

My sister has numerous deathly allergies, gets hospitalized at least once a year unfortunately. People comment on how I move over and get the heck out of the way so quickly, I tell them "that could be my sister in there, I want them to get where they're going."

A:

I want the most decadent piece of chocolate in the world. Where does it come from?


Q:

Hiring some people that ended up being way more trouble than contribution to the business.

A:

Ah, thank you for clarifying. This issue looks to have the greatest impact in Virginia Beach: http://www.beachapedia.org/State_of_the_Beach/State_Reports/VA/Beach_Erosion. I will have to defer to the Virginia Beach School Board for specific answers to this issue. Here is some general contact info for them: http://www.vbschools.com/root/contactUs.asp

If you do have trouble reaching someone please let me know and I try to assist.


Q:

The favorite thing for me about hosting this class was the level of depth and intuition I could go into. Which is very hard to get it done in a restaurant based on literally a fully-booked restaurant, you can't cook like this in a restaurant. So to have the chance to cook like this at home, to give that proper breadth and depth of insight to every ounce of knowledge that I've got in my arsenal was important because it was uninterrupted. Uninterrupted cooking at the highest level. I would finish the day after a twelve, thirteen-hour shoot, I'd go this is incredible. It's very rare on a personal front that I ever get a chance to spend that amount of time doing nothing but just cooking. Coupled with the idea of talking about the journey, from the beginning to where we are now. Then self-processing that incredible life-long journey of getting to where I am today and that's the first time somebody's ever opened up and sort of got that close to me. That took a few days to warm up to the director and understand what he was doing and where he was going. So, that's never happened to me before in my career because I've never had the time to delegate to it. When I got asked to do this, to launch this, you know, it was important to me to do it properly. Without two-hour shoots and then move on to the next thing. I could properly cook, uninterrupted and that was the important part.

A:

We're not hiring people right now. I've found that there are enough resources out there to hire contractors for design, marketing, video-making, etc that it makes much more sense to not bring on employees.

Plus, when you don't have employees your overhead is super low and profit is much quicker to come by.


Q:

For sure. People are incredibly selfish though.

A:

Us!

Unbiased answer: Jacques Torres in NYC. Amazing talented chef and his product is insanely good.


Q:

Thanks for replying! Would it be okay if you gave an instance?

A:

Any advice for parents getting their 3 year old assessed for First Step this coming Tuesday?


Q:

Where is your go to place to eat in San Francisco?

A:

Employees are the #1 overhead in a business.


Q:

If I'm by myself at home and I break my wrist, is calling 911 appropriate? Or is that a "get your friend to drive you to the emergency room" kinda thing....

I've just always been curious about things that are kind of an emergency but not really

A:

What is the toughest part about opening a shoppe/market?


Q:

Shared information with people who eventually used it against me after becoming competitors of mine.

A:

First Step is a fantastic program we offer in Newport News. Literacy instruction builds on the child’s need to communicate through meaningful and authentic activities in oral language, reading, and writing. First Step learners gain mathematics concepts through questioning, problem solving, persistence, and communication. Units of study based on science and social studies concepts provide opportunities for students to understand themselves, friends, families, communities, and the larger world in which they live through inquiry and daily experiences. Students have daily art, music, and physical activities to develop the whole child.

I'm really glad you are looking to enroll your child in First Step. First Step provides an advantage for your child backed up by a longitudinal study done in 2007. The only problem with our First Step program is that the number of slots are limited. I hope you and other parents tell the school board that you would like to expand the program so we can have slots available for all of the children.

To get ready for your assessment I suggest you take a look at the brochure on the school division website. Here is the link: http://www.nnschools.org/academic/documents/firststepfacts.pdf


Q:

This country's spoiled. From East Coast to West Coast to Central to Seattle to San Fran. I took a bunch of mates on my 50th birthday last November, and I was up to my eyeballs in pressure. Launching a new restaurant in Vegas, Master Chef Junior taped at the same time. But on my actual 50th birthday, I share the same day as my daughter, Matilda, so it's her 15th. I took a plane out of Van Nuys. Flew half a dozen of my friends over, my best mates. I finished work at lunchtime, flew to San Francisco, had a table of ten booked at Saison, had the most exceptional ten-course dinner finished and then flew back to LA and started work the next day. And that for me has been one of the best dinners I've ever experienced. And that was my second time there. In order to confirm how good a restaurant is, first time experience is important, but to confirm how good it really is, is to go back and check it out again. And it was even better the second time round. That's quite rare.

A:

So true. It's nice not having them!


Q:

If you feel you can drive yourself or can easily find someone to drive you then it's up to you. You may get some pain medicine, and youll get it splinted, but depending on where you are it's sometimes faster to drive yourself.

When in doubt give us a call. I'd rather someone call us and not need us than need us and not call.

A:

For me it was making the jump from having chocolate as a side project to my actual career. When it was a small scale operation I could run it pretty much from the comfort of my home (and later a tiny medical building turned kitchen); when things took off and I'd outgrown that, getting all the infrastructure in place was really daunting. Securing a production facility, outfitting it with all the necessary equipment, finding qualified staff to help me, and getting big time suppliers to take me seriously was tough. I was lucky to have made a lot of connections during my time at the Ritz that helped me immensely along the way, but making that transition was still incredibly difficult, especially with no guarantee of success.


Q:
  1. How was your opsec in the very beginning? It's a learning process, and you must have made mistakes.

  2. If you made mistakes, are you afraid of it coming to light as LE becomes more competent and the technology they use to uncover you becomes better?

  3. Where do you tumble your coins? Helix?

  4. Have you paid taxes on what you've laundered or do you keep it hidden away?

A:

I was just recently elected to a municipal school board in North Jersey. I'm feeling my way gingerly since I'm getting a crash course on policy, finance and Robert's Rules over these last few weeks.

What was the best thing you have read that has better prepared you for your position?


Q:

Hi Gordon,

I know you must be busy these days, do you have time to cook your own food at home? If you do, do you prefer quick and easy recipes or those that take longer time to prepare but last a couple of days, so you don't have to cook every day?

A:

You shouldn't talk badly about employees, they might see this


Q:

This is your best comment.

A:

Sid, who's a good dog? Who's a good dog?


Q:
  1. bad, very

  2. Thats why I'm retired. Too many doubts for the future.

  3. Cant answer

  4. By definition, if it is laundered, taxes are paid.

A:

Here is a book I read last year that I found highly informative. Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools by William H. Parrett and Kathleen M. Budge. This book contains research-based practices that school boards and school administrators can use to bring meaningful change to a school division. My main take-away is that school leaders must seek to understand all of the manifestations of poverty in student outcomes. Once you understand how poverty is affecting students in your community then you can create meaningful policy to disrupt the effects.


Q:

Great question! That depends on schedule. Let’s take a day in the restaurant for instance, we'll do a tasting where we'll put 6 dishes up to nominate 2 to go forward to go onto the lunch menu. I don't get back and open my fridge start cooking. I clock my day from 8 in the morning to 10 at night with food at my fingertips. So I'm the world's worst person to go back and cook. Because I’ve been eating all day and last thing I do when I get home is literally cooking. If I had to go downstairs now and open my fridge, I'd open up the fridge, you'd find a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose, I'd have a glass of that and maybe nibble on some cheese. So chef's graze like cows, all freaking day, small bits, 10-11 times a day and that does me perfectly.

A:

Haha, well none of them exist to see it, so I think we'll be fine :)


Q:

Well thanks!

A:

tail wagging intensifies


Q:

one of your favorite memory from the whole adventure?

A:

Chef Ramsay, I want to take your Master Class course but I don't have any nice knives or pans. Will I be able to make everything in the course with just regular cookware?

EDIT: I RECEIVED THE KNIVES TODAY! Goint to post pics tomorrow! :D
EDIT: Here they are! Fair warning, my pictures suck. They are Henckels knives!

THANK YOU SO MUCH /u/_Gordon_Ramsay You are amazing!


Q:

How did you go about getting designers? Unless you're the graphical genius.

A:

My sister had the same job North of Cincinnati. She told me about picking up people OD on heroin and hear a clunking sound. Then she looks down and ice cubes on the ground. She says people believe shoving ice up their butts will save them from an OD.

So any odd "home" remedies you come across?


Q:

What is your Alma Matter and how big of a role has it played in your success? Also as someone who wants to own a restaurant one day, what advice would you give to me or anyone looking to enter into the hospitality/ foodservice industry?

A:

Back in 2014 when we were working a single punch tablet press. I had left my two buddies to work on the machine while i was gathering groceries. When I came back home several hours later, they were sleeping on the couch with the machine still pressing pills, obviously they passed out from the machine's emanations. I was unable to wake one of them to get back to work. It was funny as hell!


Q:

Yes, I mean it's about cooking, there is an equipment segment in there but listen, you know provided you've got a great cropping board, a pot and a pan, a basic knife. You'll still be allowed to to continue and enjoy that course. I meant put it out for your friends and family. Birthday, Christmases, get them to buy you a Le Creuset, a cast iron pan. It starts with putting your whiskers together. The next 18 months put it to your friends start buying you presents to help get that kitchen up to speed.

I want to send you a pack of knives, I’ll message you for your address so I can send them. A first set.

A:

We found our illustrator from a university's job board. My wife does the graphic design.


Q:

I've never seen ice in the butt, but ive had people shoved in ice baths.

The stuff people put on burns... Butter etc... No, no, no.

A:

I only made it through about a week of community college before realizing it wasn't for me, but I owe all my professional success to the years I spent studying pastry in Paris prior to working at the Ritz. I would never have grown as a chef if I hadn't had that opportunity to learn from some of the most talented pastry chefs in world.


Q:

Emanations? Xanax doesn't get absorbed through the skin, does it?

A:

I'm a scientist, not a chef, but your work ethic is what I try to aim for. How do you keep a balance between striving for perfection in your work and not letting that drive take over your entire life? I love what I've chosen to do with my life, but I'm not overly fond of the control freak that grad school turned me into.


Q:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/travishancock/tortuga-1667-a-pirate-game-of-mutiny-plunder-and-d/

Who does your videos/marketing for you (if you are willing to share over PM)?

A:

Was there any moment that made you think, ok I quit?


Q:

How did you figure out initially what to charge for your chocolates? I have been making chocolates as a hobby for years, and this year I had people approach me to ask how much I'd charge for them. I was stumped as to how to price them. Congratulations on 15 years of working for yourself!

A:

you can breath the powdered mix


Q:

First of all, pressure is healthy, it only becomes stressful when you can't handle that. How did I find that balance in my life? Honestly, I'd say about 12 years ago, I was struggling under immense pressure and I was finding it very difficult to switch off, so I started running. I ran like a sack of shit for the first 18 months, I was terrible. I remember my first match, someone shouted by the bridge halfway, "Ramsey, where's your sports bra?" So, apart from taking abuse on my first ever match and finishing in the dark, I started running. That gave me more time to myself and I could sort of process the pressure and recharge my battery. It sounded a bit weird because I was in the kitchen since 7:30 in the morning breaking at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, in the gym for an hour, and then back at 5:30 or 6, and stay until around 11 or midnight. That one hour in the gym a day completely distressed me. I couldn't run every day. Every other day, I could run. After marathon, I took up triathalon because that gave me a little bit more time to myself. Weather it was swim in the morning. A long bike ride on the weekends. Triathlons saved my life. That put things in perspective in a way I could claw back, valuable, independent time that took me away from the hustle of running production companies to major networks, to the pressure of the Michelin Guide. I found that balance and that release, and that's really important. The busier I got, the fitter I got. I think it's the same in science, in the way that you need to be disciplined to take that time out, spend 90 minutes every other day processing what you got and what you're doing. I think a lot of the bike, I think a lot on a swim, I think a lot on the run and that's really good important time for me.

A:

We do it all ourselves. I made the video on my iphone in my apartment :) I got a film minor in school.


Q:

Recently I had a string of like 8 bad calls in a week that just completely emotionally wrecked me. I couldn't quit, but it confirmed that I was making the right decision by being in school to move on from this.

A:

this year I had people approach me to ask how much I'd charge for them

Sounds like you're doing something right! It's dependent on a lot of factors- # of pieces, your relationship to the person, how much the ingredients will cost, etc. With my experience as an executive pastry chef I had a pretty good idea what "average prices" were, and I knew that I was making a better than average product and priced accordingly.


Q:

Those two buddies? Dr Xanax.

Baseless speculation but the image is funny in my mind

A:

Do you prefer thin or thick crust on your pizza?


Q:

What are the common traits of bad board games?

A:

Mine was the 600 lb patient who had been in the floor for 3 days, completely naked, shitting and pissing on himself with open sores everywhere...good times


Q:

I hate myself for missing your lecture at FSW. Will you be doing it again?

A:

Nah it was before the DrXanax era.

DrXanax kids are the ones laughing "dolla dolla dolla" in my youtube video.


Q:

Depends on the topping. So, if I was going for a sort of Italian style sort of salami, pepperoni, hot then thin. If I was going for something a little bit more classic, Mid-West style, I'd go thick, but generally, 75% of them are all thin. Thin thin thin, all the way.

A:

Here are some that bug me:

-Games with too much luck -Games with zero luck -Games that have lots of "Gotcha!" mechanics - meaning you can just skip someone really easily with a card you happened to draw -Games that are WAY too complex -Games that don't match the theme with the mechanics of the game


Q:

Aww, memories...

A:

That was a great night. I don't have anything scheduled at the moment but would certainly be interested in doing something similar in the future.


Q:

Did/do you feel any responsibility towards the users of your product?

A:

Gordan what is your go to vegan dish to impress? i will attempt to create your suggestion whilst watching kitchen nightmares reruns. Could you also please tell me what your favourite meme is whether it involves you or not. Also I'm laying in bed eating salsa from a jar and i know you wouldn't approve.


Q:

If I could add to that list it would be games where there is only really one strategy that can be used to win. Monopoly is one of these and pandemic is a little bit too. If there is no depth to the strategy then they have little replay value if I've.paid forty pounds for a game it needs a lot of replay value.

A:

Do hospital doctors think 911 medics are dumb?

Have you ever applied pressure to an otherwise fatal wound?

Is defibrilation used as often as movies make you think?

How ready is the staff for snake bites?


Q:

Well at least I can always stop by for lunch again at your shop.

A:

Users are going to use regardless, at least with me they're getting a legit, high quality product.


Q:

First of all, you shouldn't be in fucking bed this time of day. Jesus. It's midday. Secondly, salsa in bed? Jesus Christ. Chocolate dessert maybe, but salsa?

Vegan, that's a really good question. I would do the most amazing minestrone soup in a way that I would use the best vegetables, the best vegetable stock, and then I would finish that with some of the most fragrant herbs ever on the planet. There's a purple basil herb that grows indoors and it's so fragrant and so incredible. Finishing that was extra virgin olive oil. Beautiful.

But, I'm more concerned about salsa in a bed and in this time in the afternoon. We need to get you sorted.

A:

It's true - you have to provide people with several "non-obvious" decisions or it's just going through the motions. Great point.


Q:

It depends on the DR. I have had some Drs have me hold up and go over a head CT of a stroke pt, and I've had some who think i'm a moron when they had no room to judge anyone. Usually though unless it an arrest or incredibly traumatic call we deal strictly with nursing staff in patient transition.

Yea, I had a guy put his arm through a window because he was fighting with his girlfriend. He severed his brachial artery and by the time we got to the er we were both soaked in blood.

I could count on one hand the times I've rolled on scene with a patient already hooked to a AED. I think thats more a cost related thing though.

I've actually never dealt with a snake bite call, though we have some severely venomous ones around here. There is antivenin kept pretty close though. If not in the hospital itself its a short flight away.

**Finally edited out my mistake. I got it people! lol

A:

Please do! We're obviously known for chocolate but I'm really proud of the savory dishes we do for lunch at our gelato shop.


Q:

What kind of music and tv shows do you like?

A:

Hi Gordon! What kind of cheese and toppings do you like on a philly cheesesteak?


Q:

Alot of boardgames these days dont hold up with less than 3 players. Any thoughts on how (or plans) to make something equally engaging for a party of 2?

A:

Thanks for the quick answers. Best of wishes.


Q:

What's the last thing you had wrapped in bacon?

A:

Police shows obviously :P


Q:

Every time I'm in Philly, that's the first thing that I go for. I love an extra mature cheddar on top of my Philly cheese steak, I don't want the steak over sliced, sometimes they slice it so thinly that they take all the goodness out of it, I prefer a chunkier steak inside the sandwich and an extra mature cheddar.

A:

Our current game goes from 2-9. The 2 player games are really fun because they draw a lot from chess. Each player gets 1 move at a time and has several actions to choose from. You have to think ahead 2-3 steps, etc. So yeah, chess is the most classic game for a reason!


Q:

Not a problem. Thanks!

A:

Dates at one of my favorite Fort Myers restaurants Cru. One of my favorite salty/sweet pairings.


Q:

How much of your money is in bitcoin vs cash/other assets? Not talking exacts figures obviously but ballpark ratio?

A:

Chef,

Do you predict any technology based disruptions to the dinning world?

Thanks!


Q:

Really impressed that you go as high as 9. I used to have a quite well attended gaming group night and we always struggled for games up to that kind've player count...nice one!

A:

Why not use a tourniquet? I understand there are ideas that it make cause tissue damage. But it's going to be a lot more effective than holding proximal pressure.


Q:

You're the guy who basically gets DDOS'd every time TotalBiscuit mentions your site on his stream right?

A:

A ltitle bit than half is still in bitcoin. I expect it to take value over the next years.


Q:

Everything is getting very IT-led. We're having restaurants now that you're going in and ordering off iPads, etc, etc. So, we're missing this sort of personality of what restaurants should stand for. I'm slightly nervous about technical equipment, ya know, stoves, fires, immersion blenders using to cook, if we become over-elaborate with the science and technology of a kitchen then we're missing that human connect. I'm a firm believer in understanding textures and touching and tasting and smelling. So, I've seen a little too much of the sort of iPad scenario in restaurants. And it's just we're missing that element of fun and we can't over computerize the restaurants. Recently, the idea of robot chefs, are you honestly going to fucking tell me a robot has got a palate better than Gordon Ramsay? Fucking do me a favor. The quicker the batteries run down, the better.

A:

Thanks! Yeah, I had the same issue - which is one reason why we focused on having games with high player counts. There is definitely a need for more games that accommodate so many players but still have good structure to them.


Q:

I did eventually, but tourniquet isn't first line in bleeding control. Ended up using a bp cuff to control it.

A:

TotalBiscuit has crashed our site SO many times! Is he doing okay??


Q:

What is the exact type of rotary press you used up until 2016? Did you ever change?

A:

Hi Gordon,

Will you be coming back to New Zealand anytime soon, and would you ever consider opening a restaurant here?

p.s. I've just finished watching your masterclass and loved it - I'll never work as a chef (my passion is in finance/business) but I do enjoy trying to 'elevate' my cooking. My favourite part of the class, surprisingly, wasn't to do with cooking but rather the bits where you talked about your journey. I found that extremely motivational, but the most interesting part for me was thinking about how applicable the concepts you talk about are to anything people are passionate about.


Q:

With a game of 9 do you have quick pacing for turns or do the other players have to tolerate lots of downtime?

Reason I ask is that we shy away from games higher than 4 or so, even if they go up to something like 7 or 9 because the downtime between turns can be super high, which causes people to lose focus, and become bored. There are exceptions to that, which become the go-to games for times we just can't split up into 3-4 players, so we're always on the look out for that kind of game.

With the assumption that you've carefully worked out that 9 players is not only possible, but also fun, what considerations do you take into account for designing games of that size?

A:

What's the craziest interior decorating decision you've seen in a patient's home?


Q:

His last tweet regarding his health mentioned shrinkage and upcoming surgery.

He was just off on that metal cruise also. Overall he seems much improved.

A:

Those pictures are ZP10 models. Its light and reliable.


Q:

First off, New Zealand, I fell in love with. The people remind me very much of the British. Hard working, head down, the projects that are coming out of there. I've had a chance to work with a dozen incredible talented New Zealand chefs in the group and we still have them today. There was a request literally a couple of weeks ago to do with the New Zealand tourist board to go down and spend time with the most amazing purveyors farmers. Unfortunately had to be done before the end of February. I just couldn't get the time in my diary. For the visit to pop down there. I now really missed out because I had dates that I couldn't change. My diary is planned 12-15 months in advance. To do with charitable work, dates in Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, London, South America, my diary is ramped but I got excited to go back to New Zealand but I couldn't change two of the dates in my diary. I was so close to being back in New Zealand in literally 4 weeks time. I just want to say about those key messages, in terms of the passion and discipline required to be successful in life, wasn't about money and status, it was about finding that key that unlocks that passion, that can be applied to any walk of life. That is where you get the most enjoyment. If I don't think that I have a job and I don't think I have a 9-5, I put myself in this position because of the burning desire to enjoy my passion. I think that is what I was trying to put across in master class and I think that resonates in New Zealand.

A:

In games of 9 people are still very engaged since people often have to choose who to give good cards to and who to kill with bad cards. Lots of politics and persuasion.

People have turns, but everyone stays very engaged.

Just lots of playtesting! If people get bored then we know the game needs work.


Q:

I dont know that anything intentional springs to mind. I have seen people with shit stacked up through out the house to where there was only a small path from room to room, and I was in a trailer that had a bunch of holes in the floor where cats were climbing in and out!

A:

I'm really glad to hear it. We've never met but he seems like a really nice guy. Wishing him all the best.


Q:

How did you first discover the darknet? I imagine that you were once just a user and had just started vending? Did you ever think that you would become this big?

A:

Hello Chef! Thanks for doing this again.

  1. As a young (22) American cook, what is the best way for me to stage in a European kitchen? Is it networking or should I just go kitchen to kitchen pleading with the chef to take me on and hope for the best? (Also, how did you find your job cooking on private yachts in the Caribbean? That seems like an awesome experience.)

  2. What is the best marathon that your have ran so far (in terms of course, atmosphere, etc.)?

PS - My mom got me your masterclass for Christmas! I can't wait to start it!


Q:

Got wood for sheep?

A:

That cat trailer sounds incredible.


Q:

Why does american chocolate taste so bad compared to european?

A:

I complained about distribution limitations to a friend and he introduced me to silkroad back in 2014.


Q:

That's a really good question. The best way to get a start in any top kitchen in Europe is to knock on the back door because you don't get paid, just go and spend a couple of days, it will open your eyes up tremendously. Once you got in with one chef and you show them that you are that determined and focus, that's all you need to do. Once you've got your foot in the door, ask their help for the 2nd inside and the 2nd job. Once you've done one chef a great favor, by working in their kitchen, use him to get you into the 2nd and the 3rd restaurant. That's the way you look after talent, what we do in our kitchen.

Regarding the job on the boat, I'd recommend any young chef, once they've chocked up some great knowledge and insight, to understand another culture, a different language. The only way I got to work on a boat, in the south of France, I went down there and I was very fortunate, I knew a couple of friends and customers. Go, literally, up to the boats, ask to speak to the captain. The best time in the south of France is March, April right through to September. For the Caribbean it's around November to March. Literally, walk up to the dock, ask to speak to the captain, show them your resume and tell him how hungry you are, in terms of drive and commitment, and that's the best way to get a job.

Best marathon I ever did, my 4th of 5th London marathon, I've done 12, but #4 was my best time, at 3:30. My dream was to get under 3:30 but I missed it by 14 seconds. I came running down the strand, running past Buckingham Palace, and they stopped me! The BBC stopped me for an interview! I spent 35 seconds on an interview, knowing full well that I had broken my time, had I done my PB. I was coming down with like 100 meters to go, and I could see the clock turning like 3:29:55, I thought "Oh shit!," "Shiitake!" So, I missed it by 14 seconds. Our eldest daughter, we have a foundation for the Great Ormond Children's Hospital. Megan, who is 18, she's got her first London marathon this April. I’ve ruptured my achilles but I'm going to try and run the last K with her to get her over the line. It's quite a busy household at the moment with everyone training. Especially for Megan.

A:

Nobody wants your sheep...


Q:

The smell was what was really incredible!

A:

It's all about the ingredients used. A lot like wine production. You can't get good wine out of bad grapes just like you can't get good chocolate out of bad cacao. There's a lot of great American chocolatiers who get this right, but I'm assuming the chocolate you're referring to comes from the ones who only care about their bottom line and chock their product full of excess sugar/artificial ingredients/etc.


Q:

Why do you think you're inclined to lead a criminal life? Do you think you're just a thrill-seeker or was there a series of events leading up to your big show that put your life on that road?

A:

Hey Gordon, I have a question about this online class: Will you scream at us online like you do in real life? If not, sadly I will not be taking it, as I want an authentic experience. Thanks for the AMA!


Q:

Hey, don't you knock sheep. I always usually aim for double sheep and the sheep port and I do alright.

On an unrelated to that side note - my wife does video work and I have a background in project management and marketing - if you need a contractor or two for future projects we'd love to be involved - we're huge board gamers.

A:

What's one of the nicer things you've had happen on a call?


Q:

I'm a Neapolitan, customer and huge fan Norman! Thanks for the AMA. Also, your frozen delights don't get the credit they deserve in this AMA, big ups buddy!

Butyric acid is a byproduct compound formed from the anaerobic fermentation of milk fats. Incidentally, cheap chocolates use more of milk fats by volume, that's why their waxy AND why they have that almost noticeably "off" scent to them. The name comes from butter since this is where the compound was initially isolated from.

My organic chemistry teacher synthesized this in a lab and proceeded to break the vile it was in. The human nose is incredably attuned to this smell since it's a dead giveaway to rotten milk products- that anerobic fermentation aluded to above. Parts per billion are noticable, so when he broke it in a lab he pretty much broke the lab to lol. Hope that helps.

A:

events just lead me on that road.


Q:

A. This is a fucking serious cooking class

B. It's me! On my own in my kitchen, so there is no reason to scream because I know what the fuck I'm doing. More importantly, I'm trying to get you the viewer up to speed, so sadly, no screaming.

A:

Yeah, it's true. Sheep ports can definitely win games!

Reach out to me again in a couple weeks when things slow down over here and we can chat about collaboration in the future!


Q:

After a call, we had a husband of a patient bring us some snacks and thank us for taking care of his wife. It was really nice to be remembered after the fact.

A:

Thank you so much! Glad there's some love for our gelato :)


Q:

Why Xans ?

A:

Hi Gordon

What's your favourite meal to cook for guests and why?


Q:

What is your take? How much money did you knock down in the past two years for yourself?

A:

I've been one of those people!!!! If it wasn't for the medic that saved my kid's father, and the heart wrenching story he shared with him in regards to the loss of his own son, my kids wouldnt have a dad nor would he have ever sought rehab. The next day I brought 2 baskets of baked goodies and a case of tea into the station and thanked everyone there that night and thanked the medic for convincing someone to get help when I had tried to convince him for so long. He even shed a little tear cause he was glad to see he stopped one person from going the way his son did. Thanks guys for all that you do!!!


Q:

Would you ever consider making cannabis infused chocolates?

P.S. the dark chocolate bars are my favorite affordable treat, but you create some DREAMY truffles! A perk to southwest Florida!

A:

Low dosage, low volume of importation, high margins, high popularity, and low risk


Q:

For me, duh, around my house, everyone's expecting fireworks, for obvious reasons. So, what would I do if I was treating my mate in dinner tonight? Some of the butternut squash currently out there is amazing. So, I'd do a roasted butternut squash risotto, finished with the most amazing sort of brown sage butter and then for my entree, I'd do a braised cabbage with a roasted loin of venison finished with a sort of red wine sauce that's been thickened with a dark, bitter chocolate. And then for dessert, I'd go for something absolutely stunning. I'd go for a classic lemon tart. Something that is very citrusy. Clean and delicious.

A:

Roughly half of what we make goes towards manufacturing, freight, shipping, etc. The other half is profit to sustain my family or re-invested into the company to grow and keep building new games.


Q:

We really appreciate it! Sometimes it definitely feels like we aren't noticed till we are needed.

A:

Any favorite dark bar?? I'm a really big fan of our raspberry inclusion bar myself.

And I've never really thought about it, but I know medical cannabis products have helped a lot of people deal with serious illnesses which would be the attraction for me.

If it were legal here I’d certainly consider it, although I don’t know the first thing about cooking with cannabis so I’m sure there’d have to be a lot of trial and error involved to find a ratio that tasted good and still provided all the medical benefits.


Q:

Did you know in some places like Philadelphia the abuse of these drugs are currently making people who actually need them have to jump through hoops just to relive their symptoms? Nothing against you personally cause I know either way people are going to get the product I was just curious

A:

Hi Gordon! Really excited about the new course. I am starting to teach a few basics to my kids (8yo, 2x 5yo and 2yo). We started with bread making.

At what age did you start involving your kids in the kitchen and what did you cook? Any tips on how to get them interested?


Q:

As a business owner myself, boardgames have always seemed like a really bad way to make money to me. The cost to advertise, the cut someone like Kickstarter takes, design, art, manufacturing, shipping, fulfillment, taxes, etc. seems like it would eat up most of the money really quickly.

How do the economics work out? I imagine most people see $325k and are amazed but the reality has to be that you're netting a slim percentage of that. I mean, $325k over 2-3 years is still a very small business.

Are you saying that you basically made $50k over the last two years before taxes (half of $100k from the first Kickstarter)? I mean, I know it can be rough, I had one year when I had started my company that my personal income for the year was under the poverty line.

I realize you've got the money from this new Kickstarter that will be coming in soon, but that will probably need to last you another year or two I imagine, when hopefully you have another game that rakes in big money to keep things moving. I know there are a lot of relatively big name designers who still have their day jobs - obviously they aren't doing everything from design to fulfillment.

It just seems like a lot of risk and work for a relatively small payout, even if you're fairly successful in boardgame terms. Is it more a matter of doing something you really enjoy rather than doing it for the money or do you see this as a big moneymaker in the future as things grow?

A:

What do you eat during your shifts, specifically after seeing something gross?


Q:

How is it, transiting from a chef under an employer to running your own business?

A:

Probably happening out of philadelphia as well.


Q:

About 12 years ago, we started the "The 'F' Word" on channel 4 in the UK and, whilst all their friends at school were getting Xbox's and video games, I bought the kids animals. I started off with turkeys. After turkeys, we progressed to Royal Berkshire pigs. Then I bought them lamb and from there u/Jer-o-nimo, what I taught them to do was a, look after these animals, to respect the actual product when it hits the plate, b, part-time jobs cleaning out the pens, massaging the pigs with baby oil to protect their skin in the sun. And understanding that these turkeys are raised to eat, to celebrate, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, I bought them all animals.

Now, I took a lot of criticism for it, but I set up with them going into supermarkets and understanding that food wasn't supposed to be wrapped in plastic wrap and on a shelf. They need to understand where it's from. That's what I did. It got a little bit emotional when they... ya know.. Obviously, they didn't come to the frickin slaughter. I wouldn't do that. We have the two pigs, for instance. They had a pig each. And we fed one of them a cherry beer and we could taste the difference when we came to braze that pork belly. One was, obviously pigs are vegetarian, but we fed one beer and it was just the most amazing experiment. Look at what goes on in Japan, when they're massaging the Wagyu, etc, So, I wanted them to understand the traceability of great product. And they wasted less, they respected it more, and they understood the importance of rearing animals properly and humanely. There is a big lesson. Now Tilly was only 3 when she found herself with this turkey, ya know, 12 weeks out before Christmas. Within 7 days of her landing this turkey in the back garden, 24 hours later I found the bird upstairs in the frickin bedroom.

A:

One thing that board games do have going for them is that they are very cheap to make. Its true that the retailers/Amazon/Kickstarter take big cuts, but you can still make 40% margins on what you sell if you are smart about it.

We generally profit/re-invest 40-50% of the Kickstarter total. But remember, we also make ongoing monthly sales once Kickstarter ends. We don't make all of our money just during the Kickstarter campaign.

One advantage we have is that because we are a small company (it's just me and my wife), there aren't a lot of mouths to feed or employees to pay. That really contributes bigtime to keeping the margins good.

I love board games, so if I don't become a millionaire from it, that's fine. If I can sustain my family with it, then that's my dream job right there. Make enough to live comfortably and do something I love. Also, with each game we make it creates a new revenue stream since games are very shareable. The more solid games you have out there, the higher your "salary" becomes.

Good questions!


Q:

Yea, at this point I could eat and suction a trach at the same time.

A:

It's surreal. I think everyone can relate to working a job and feeling like "I could do this myself" (not that I thought I could outdo the Ritz or anything, but that I could be successful in the chocolate/pastry world on my own merit), but actually trying to do it is a completely different beast. You don't have the stability that regular employment provides, you have only yourself to blame for any failures, and instead of just worrying about doing your job you're now chef/president/CEO/hiring manager all rolled into one. There's obviously a lot more stress involved, but there's a lot more reward too - and nothing makes you work harder than remembering it's your name on the building and no one elses.


Q:

Where you ever tempted to ingest the product you produced? Or are drugs not your thing?

A:

Hello Chef,

My name is Wolf, nice to meet you! I recently bought your cooking app and, thanks to you, my family now loves my food. They even got me a wok for Xmas!

Question: While making fried cheese sticks in a pan, what must I do to stop the cheese from melting and ending up everywhere, breaking the crust? How do YOU do it?

Thank you very much!


Q:

I'm always looking at different businesses and wondering how some of them work financially. I understand my own business, but others I just don't know enough to understand how they really work. I imagine I overestimate the cost of physically making games (printing, assembly, etc).

A:

I don't think eating the trach is going to help anyone, but good on you Dr. Lecter.


Q:

Sid, how does it feel to be surrounded by delicious chocolate all day and not be able to eat it?

A:

I use it to ease sleep sometime


Q:

u/WolfCinema, first of all, I'm very happy you got a new wok for Christmas. That's great news. Cheesesticks. I thought that it was going to be a little bit more adventurous.

The best thing to do first is put your cheese into the freezer for five minutes before you put them in the breadcrumbs. Most importantly, make sure that you flour, egg wash, and breadcrumb them totally because you need to seal the cheese to prevent it from leaking. You don't need to cook the cheese. So, the best thing to do is to cook them shallow fried very, very quickly and all you're doing is, literally, turning the breadcrumbs golden brown. But, there's a great way of doing this quickly and that is take your Panko bread crumbs and blend them in a blender, so they become finer and therefore, they cook quicker. Because if you overcook them then obviously the cheese will start melting and it will burst through there. Or you can double coat them. So, flour, egg wash, breadcrumb and then do that again. If you put a second coating on top, slightly thicker, it will protect the cheese. But, the easiest way is to put the cheese in the freezer for fives minutes to get it nice and firm before you flour, egg wash, and breadcrumb.

A:

Yeah, China can make things really cheap, and board games use wood, plastic, paper, cardboard. That helps keep margins alive and well.


A:

Ignorance is bliss. Sid spends the day basking in the sun in our office, completely unaware that we're producing thousands of chocolates next door.


Q:

Did you have a wonderful time?

A:

Hi Gordon,
I am taking your class right now and enjoying it! Do you plan to do another, more in depth class in the future?
Also, what made you decide to do a Masterclass?
Thank you, and looking forward to office hours! (side note- white truffles are very expensive!)


Q:

Can you talk to the Stranger Things people and make a board game out of that please?

A:

Has anyone ever tried to seduce you when you were called out? If you were, what's the story?

Also, have you ever had to go to someone you know?

Edit: /u/wildfire701


Q:

Favorite movie?

A:

If I was given the choice, I would probably do it again. It was fun times. Life seems so boring now, even for a multimillionaire.


Q:

That's why you use them in small, ultra thin slices!

The emails and the amount of feedback we've had has been extraordinary. I want to wait a bit, but, yeah. I'm definitely going to do another one and second time round, I'm going to go, this is a life-changing experience, so I wanna start off climbing the ladder together. The next one, I haven't even started planning it, but it will be more in-depth. And the only reason why I use that level of truffle at the end was to show you how you can take a scrambled egg to the absolutely premier league of dishes. A humble scrambled egg. And here's the final sign off, in terms of where are we as a nation for food. Last week, was historic for American cuisine because, for the first time ever, the American team won the Bocuse d’Or. Which is like the culinary Olympics in France. Set in Lyon. It was a game-changer. So, every amateur, every professional chef in this country now, you know, you've set the bar. The French, the Spanish, the Italian, the Swedes, the Scandinavians are all looking at you now as the world champions and you need to remember that. I am going to go off and start putting together a second Master Class based on the demand and the feedback because it's caught me at a stage in my career that I'm giving it to you over a certain amount of hours, days, and weeks, but I've spent decades doing it, so I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thank you for the support.

A:

Oh my gosh yes!


Q:

I had a guy invite me back to his place after my shift to "hang out" with his two girls and him. I didn't go... lol

A:

Godfather I. Or II. Never III.


Q:

Did you throw parties with cake and pop?

A:

If you have to choose one for the rest of your life: cast iron or non-stick pans?


Q:

I don't even play many board games but I would 100% purchase a Stranger Things themed DND-influenced board game.

One person is trapped in the Upside Down, and the other people have to keep them alive with items and weapons to run/fight the Demogorgon, while trying to open up the 'portal' to bring them home.

I just want to roll for Perception and Dexterity. 'Do I see the monster, and can I react in time to stay safe?'

Aaaaah, I'm already fantasizing about it~ The guys who make that show seem really cool, I bet you could get licensing for it!

EDIT: Oh! Not to mention, the Demogorgon could switch 'sides' of the board, and pursue the 'main group' for a while, under certain circumstances.

A:

Why???


Q:

Norman! Dose the smell of chocolates make you feel sick after working with chocolate for 16 years?

A:

No, I flexed a lot in the online world (as I am right now), but in the real world I avoided attracting any attention to me.


Q:

For the rest of my life, cast iron. The longer you continue cooking in those, the more depth of flavor there is. Non-stick, after a while, at least two and a half, three years, it loses that non-stick. But, listen, the caramelization that takes place in the cast iron pan, whether it's an incredible thigh of chicken or roasting scallops or even making the most amazing caramelized apple tarte tatin. Cast iron pan will last generations. A non-stick pan will last twenty-four months.

A:

You have me intrigued. I'll reach out to them!


Q:

Why didn't I go back?

A:

Are you insane?!


Q:

Did u play Cookie Clicker?

A:

Hi Gordon! I'm a huge fan. I love food and cooking, but also have a passion for cars. What is your favourite car you own? Also, would you consider owning a Koenigsegg or Pagani in the future? Cheers!


Q:

How did you get started? What inspired you to come up with ideas for board games?

A:

Have you ever felt your life was at risk due to a patient? What's the story?


Q:

Not sure I understand this one pal. What is cookie clicker?

A:

First of all, I’m a speedfreak, so I love that level of adrenaline. 2 or 3 times a year, I'm very fortunate if I get onto a track and I race. I don't race on the normal roads. So, big car fan.

Last year, I saved up my pennies and got the ultimate car and it was a LaFerrari. They only made 499 of them, so when I got the call from Marinella, the Ferrari factory in Italy, honestly, I've never felt so happy. The happiest I felt last time was either when I received my 3rd Michelin Star or when our eldest daughter born. When I went down to the track at Marinella in Italy to pick up LaFerrari, honestly, you know what, I wouldn't leave the garage. I literally slept by this car for 2 or 3 hours. It was beautiful. It is a gunmetal gray, matte black roof, carbon fiber finish, and just the ultimate experience. Strapped myself in and when I took it for a ride, I was just like wow, this is incredible. Having gone to school in one of the shittiest cars ever imaginable. With more rust on the inside than the outside of my dad's car. I used to ask him to drop me off from school a mile away from the front gate, out of embarrassment for the car. God bless him. So, to be in that Ferrari, it was just insane. It's in storage and I get them delivered to a track to race them purely on the track. Never on the road. I have a collection of them, so every time I win a Michelin Star, I add another Ferrari to the collection.


Q:

I was in Alaska for a summer and was playing the party game of Mafia. My friend and I decided to tweak the game to make it better and eventually turned it into "Harry Potter Mafia." From there I realized that I loved designing games and started on my first project, Salem.

Life inspires my ideas. Movies, phenomenons, culture, history (this is a big one). Everything can be equated to a game, you just have to pull the right parts out of it.

A:

Yeah, Ive been unexpectedly caught in cross fire. I've found myself locked in a back room of a run down house with a self proclaimed white supremacist with a bunch of guns laying around. Several near misses from traffic working on highway. Improperly secured vehicles starting to tip while I'm in them. It a more common occurrence than I think we realize. Most of the time it's not until after the fact you realize how bad a situation was.


Q:

Visit the sub a lot, did you press your own pills? How hard is it to get a pill press up and running?

A:

Hi! I've watched your ultimate cookery course and learned a lot. My question is: how is your masterclass different to or better than your ultimate cookery course considering it is shorter in total time and is paid?


Q:

oh man, has anyone made a Harry Potter type of Mafia game? I'm generally not a fan of those 'social deduction' games, for lack of a better word; but that one sounds like it could have massive appeal; there's only that little bit of licensing to consider...

A:

Have you ever had to use your training outside of work?


Q:

Very easy actually. Many businesses sell them in canada. They are perfectly legal and un-monitored. Law enforcement tends to monitor them anyway by placing GPS bugs on them when they arrive in the country from china, but they are easily jammed.

A:

I've tackled some really key fundamentals across the MasterClass because we'd gone from, sort of, A to zed of cooking. More importantly, we've gone more in-depth in the way that, the Ultimate Cookery was not fast-tracked, but it was a very great series that was, I suppose, for beginners. The MasterClass is that we just finished taping is more in-depth because I've combined the journey because I wasn't up against any pressure from the network to create 30-minute episodes. This was sort of uncut, unedited cooking. Yeah, there's a lot of beautiful shots in there, but it got me opened up right to the very beginning. When I was on my ass in the middle of Paris at the age of 22 without a pot to piss in. I couldn't speak a work of French and it was make-or-break and I had to make it. I had to leave that city with the best knowledge that I've ever had. That's the difference. I think MasterClass is raw. I think it's brutally honest and it's uninterrupted.


Q:

Yeah, the whole licensing thing is the only thing that stopped us from making one :) Maybe I'll reach out to Warner Bros and see what it would take to make it happen.

A:

Yea, I've rolled up on some wrecks in my personal vehicle. It certainly has helped me learn to keep calm in a crisis.


Q:

That's good but I meant more like literally operate it haha. Like it's obvious you need some skill because they're are a bunch of shitty presses and very few perfect or near perfect ones. That sounds pretty suspect too placing bugs on things legal to buy

A:

What's your opinion on high end cannabis infused cooking as a business model?


Q:

So you have raised money on kickstarter... How many games have you actually sold? I am starting to see South Park accuracy.

A:

Brand new baby medic here: any advice? Ive been an emt now for 4 years.


Q:

It only requires an hour of maintenance every 5-6 hours of pressing, about 100k pills. Its something one can learn to do in a single day of training.

A:

Haha, yea, I mean, the scary thing for me is getting legalized in a different states across the country. I understand the purpose of it for medicinal use, I get that, but I'm slightly nervous that if it's legal without an issue medically, we can have a nation as high as a kite. Food wise, I get high off perfection, I don't need cannabis.


Q:

Our first game, Salem, was released at the end of last year. It has now sold around 10,000 copies.

A:

Start working on your RN? lol

Nah, well yea, but If you love it keep on. The issues with the job pushes all the decent well intentioned people out. Also, lift with your legs!


Q:

So what's up with people and garbage presses, they just don't give as I guess? Also would you recommend someone try to do the same?

A:

Wait, you made Salem? That game is incredible!


Q:

What is your favorite feature in the ambulance?

A:

People with garbage presses either don't have the correct recipe or are dumb. Thats why buying drugs in the street can be dangerous, some people have no idea what they are doing.


Q:

We did! Thank you!!

A:

The times I get to use a cot that is automatic are good days.


Q:

hey dad can tdp-0's be bugged? does the bug rely on electricity? who places the bug? is it a rogue seller? edit: nevermind i see what you said earlier. but first question

A:

I love Salem it made my family like board games and not see them as a pointless hobby


Q:

What's the promotion potential like for an EMT? Like could you get promoted to Life Flight?

A:

I doubt it.


Q:

Oh good!

A:

It isn't a promotion per se. It is just a different company to work for. To work on a helicopter you have to have 3-5 years of experience in 911.

In ems in general there is like 3 steps on the ladder. Field medic > Supervisor > Director. It's a very stagnant field in terms of advancement.


Q:

they're french

A:

I'm so glad you didn't end up like Lily's father in How I Met Your Mother! Any plans to make a 'Slap Bet' game?


Q:

Have you ever been assaulted or other wise aggressively treated by patients or bystanders? In The Netherlands this problem has garnered some attention, and I was wondering whether we're the only country that deals with this.

A:

Probably xanax


Q:

Haha that would be so legit! I'll think about that one :)

A:

The hardest i've ever been hit was by an 80 year old diabetic lady, though that was unintentional. But, yea i've been pushed around. Mostly with overdoses. Bystanders will call and the patient wakes up in the mean time and gets aggressive thinking we are going to get them arrested.


Q:

How did you learn all the right procedures to run your operation. Did you know your workers beforehand? If not how did you recruit them? How did you connect with your Chinese plug?

A:

Out of everything you could be making. Why board games?


Q:

Got any good gunshot stories?

A:

Alibaba.com connected me to my first china plug.

It has a lot evolved, much was learned by myself prior to transmitting it.


Q:

I'm a thinker, and I love coming up with the mechanics that make games fun. There's a lot of testing and thinking and creativity involved. I also love that games can bring people together, and that they can then take those groups away together to the world of the game for a little while. I view games the same way others view music or movies - they provide a really fun escape. For those reasons and more, making board games feels very fulfilling for me.

A:

I had a hooker who's legal name was sparkle get shot in the ass by her pimp.


Q:

What makes you think you're above "the law" (best term I could think of) when it comes to "balling out" on the internet, as you have? I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just curious if you know from a software or hardware perspective that none of this will get you caught (or do you know it will and don't care?)

A:

Do you think the market for board games is expanding? Do you think you can market board games outside of the usual target market?


Q:

IDK if it's too much detail but was it on the cheek or directly into the bum?

A:

None of this can be tracked back to me and all pills and associated evidence have been long sold.


Q:

I do, yes. I think with the huge explosion of technology/phones, people find comfort in the simplicity of board games.

I think with games that focus on being aesthetically pleasing and "cool", there is definitely a market outside of the "board game crowd." Our games come in faux books and I'd say about half of our players are people who wouldn't call themselves big board gamers. There's lots of room for innovation in the board game world, and that innovation catches new eyes.

A:

Haha. Couple cheek shots.


Q:

This isn't so much of a question as much as a request, could you list some of the most amusing conspiracies/stories that users have said about you? I've heard a few but I think the thread would find it funny.

A:

The thing I like best about board games is that they bring us together. When you are all sitting down together and interacting it seems to become less about the game and more about the friendship.


Q:

Just wanted to thank you for the work that you do, I ended up getting knocked off my bike by a car yesterday (I'm fine!), and the fact that there was an ambulance with 5-6 people within a few minutes was incredible. I'm happy knowing that there are people like you who are ready to respond to an incident within a moments notice.

My question is, what's the happiest experience you've had with your job?

A:

I'm not really a canadian and I operate remotely from Belize or a similar country.

Or I'm a FED.

Thats my favorite one.


Q:

It's so true. Can't beat the classic "game night" feeling.

A:

Delivering a happy healthy baby!

So rarely do I get to be on that side of the life.


Q:

What's with darknet people and Belize?It's not like it's a non-extradition country.

A:

It's funny you mention the simplicity of board games. I recently started playing board games again because my girlfriend's cousin has a huge collection and that is his thing. Every time we visit them, we always play a couple of games with their kids and then we play a more "adult" game for us.

I actually find that most video games, be it mobile or on an actual platform are very simple, where as board games tend to be more complex, require a lot more thinking and have way more replay value. One of the things I value about board games is that they aren't that simple to play. Of course, this applies to games like Settlers of Catan and Monopoly, not kid's games.


Q:

Did you know that I'm your arch nemesis?

A:

its an inside joke. When they busted Ross, they found a "dead man switch" plan which was kinda "burn house and move to Belize" and it has since become meme-level


Q:

That's a good point. There's definitely a range of simplicity going on.

I partly mean that games get us "back to the basics" before technology. You don't need a phone or fancy buttons or internet connections to play. You just need tangible pieces and a rulebook to dive in.

A:

Battling stupid every day! lol


Q:

How much pussy do you get?

A:

What's your favorite classic boardgame? Have you always had an interest in boardgames?


Q:

Do you take your work home with you? If not, how do you block the troubling stuff out?

A:

I tend to stay away from gold diggers. My girlfriend (and some of her friends with her approval) is all I get, and all I need.


Q:

Yes, I come from a family of 9 kids and growing up we always had a board game out! I felt a strong affinity for Clue and Monopoly as far as the classics go. Recent classics that I really like are Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan.

A:

The really bad stuff I do. Kids are especially rough for me. I mentioned a call somewhere else in here about having to hold the corpse of a newborn for about an hour drive and it fucked me up for probably the better part of two months.

For the most part though you desensitize yourself to it with a humor callous. I've seen stories of people in EMS getting in trouble for being caught making fun of a patient on a dash cam after a call, but what the public doesn't understand is that it isn't personal and that if we didn't do stuff like that we would all last approximately a year be fore being committed.


Q:

Does your gf know about who you are and what you've done?

A:

What's your opinion on Agricola?


Q:

A similar thing happens in hostile deployed areas. You have to find humor or else you'll go mad. People that don't understand tend to demonize. PC goes out the window. Dark humor ensues. Keep fighting the good fight. You certainly earned my respect. I'd buy you a beer if I could.

A:

No one knows the full extent.


Q:

Actually, never played it! On my to-play list.

A:

Exactly. Cheers, mate.


Q:

How you know she isn't a golddigger ?

A:

As a designer of board games, you need to put that at the top of your to-do list.


Q:

What presser do you use up there? We have to switch between dopamine, and levophed depending on the mood of the pharmacy packing or drug box that day.

A:

She was my girlfriend years before I made any money.


Q:

Righto

A:

Dopamine. Never been a fan of leavemdead. lol


Q:

ARe you going to marry her or are you a rent don't buy guy?

A:

What board games do you find yourself playing the most when you're not working/playtesting?


Q:

Since this will probably be asked eventually, what is the worst thing you've ever seen on the job? And thank you for doing this!

A:

I'd go for the latter. Marriage simply isn't an option.


Q:

Honestly, I prefer playing the games I create. Haha :) But I think that's important --- if I don't absolutely LOVE my own games then I wouldn't release them.

But I do occasionally pull out Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Monopoly Deal, and Rummikub.

A:

It involved holding a dead baby for about an hour drive. We were transporting the mother to another facility and the corpse had to come with us, but I couldn't bear just to lay it somewhere.


Q:

does she know how much money youve made?

A:

What is your main method when it comes to selling your games? I imagine selling online comes easiest and reaches a much larger number, however every time I'm tempted to buy a board game it's been from seeing the box art and holding the box in person.


Q:

Former medic here. I did CPR on a newborn with PEA during a return. (For the laypersons, that's no breathing, no pulse, but an organized heart rhythm. Very low chance of a happy ending in this case, and it yielded the expected outcome.) Definitely not an hour drive, but felt like an eternity.

There aren't many people who want to talk about this stuff. Nice to hear from someone who had a similar experience. That's all.

A:

Not exactly


Q:

We sell most of our games on Amazon. Our only released game so far is played with 4-12 players, so a lot of people play the game with friends who already own the game and are able to enjoy it and see it before buying online.

Our games really focus on looking beautiful though, so we're trying to get into more stores so people can pick up the game like you said.

A:

It's either get it out or go nuts.

The air of machismo when it comes to feelings in the profession really worries me. I'm sure it causes much more problems than it helps.


Q:

What's the weirdest sexual thing you have ever done, AK? Having a long term girlfriend and all, surely you have done some weird shit.

also your joint rolling blows lol

A:

If a grilled sandwich with melted cheese has anything other than cheese on it, would you still consider it "grilled cheese," or would you call it a "melt?"


Q:

Have you ever gone to a call that has made you question why you still do this?

Thanks for everything you do and everything you will do!

A:

Thats a strange question m8.


Q:

I definitely wouldn't call it a grilled cheese. I'd probably call it a "sandwich I stuck in the George Foreman"

A:

Do you mean due to the frivolous nature, or because of how traumatic it is on the psyche?


Q:

Answer it

A:

I missed "the" on my first read. Thought you said "I'd probably call it a sandwich I put in George Foreman." Now that's a board game, try to put things in George Foreman without getting clobbered.


Q:

Traumatic.

A:

I had a threesome with one of my [M] friends and my girlfriend. Was kinda awkward. We didn't repeat the experience.

And no, I didn't touch his dick.


Q:

Haha there we go.

A:

Yea a MVC i had recently referenced here...

https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/5t3zaj/everyone_wants_to_be_a_hero_until_its_time_to_do/?utm_content=comments&utm_medium=user&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=frontpage

I was with the patient who was close to my age for the last hour of their life. It weighed really hard on me.


Q:

What would be your best tips to not get caught when you are doing fraudulent activities in the darknet ?

A:

How did you get pass the fear of failure?


Q:

So... Why did you want to get into this profession??

Also, do you put anything extra inside your grilled cheese besides cheese?

A:

Use tails, and keep it updated. Also, your offline opsec is tenfold more important than your online opsec. You are much more likely to be busted from leaving a fingerprint on a package than by improperly tumbling your coins.


Q:

Baby steps into the unknown. Start with some smaller side endeavors and learn the ropes a bit before jumping.

A:

To be honest, I had no idea the profession really existed. I was in college working on my bachelors in biology when my girlfriend got pregnant, so I had to find a job sooner than later. She was looking in the paper one day and saw an ad and said "Hey, how about working on an ambulance?" and the rest is history...


Q:

Cool ! Is there any good ways of learning in-depth Tails ? And my question will sound veru absurd, but... if you buy BTC with cash, on a ATM... why is it very important to tumble the bitcoins ?

A:

Do you think you'll ever get ... board?


Q:

And the grilled cheese?

A:

Best is just download, run, and explore.


Q:

Haha, nice. I don't think so. The possibilities of game mechanics and themes are endless.

A:

Oh right, sorry. I am plain jane with mine.

Though I had a friend make some where he put apple in them. It was ok, but I'm not one to mix sweet and savory.


Q:

What are your hobbies? Do you work out? Read? Hockey fan?

Movie fanatic? What shows are you into?

A:

Thanks for doing this AMA and for being so responsive to everyone's questions.

A friend and I are trying to do the same thing! In our research though we've discovered a lot of potential pitfalls with going the Kickstarter route. Namely, the "pre-marketing."

Do you have any advice for people who are trying this? Could you give us your top 3 things that made your first Kickstarter successful?

Thanks!


Q:

Thank you for doing what you do.

Ninja edit: Whats the longest shift you've worked?

A:

Travelling has become my favorite hobby. Other than that I just follow the news and hang out around in bars.


Q:

Good luck with yours!

My main advice: worry less about the pre-marketing and more about the product. With our first game we did zero pre-marketing and the game raised $100K. Make a great game and the people will find you.

Also, here's an article I wrote about my takeaways from last time: http://travhancock.com/2015/06/how-i-raised-100000-on-kickstarter/

A:

When I was a young'n I worked 5 24 hour shifts in a weeks time.

All in a row 70ish hours? Not any more though. Way too old for that.


Q:

Into the music scene at all?

A:

First of all congratulations for all these great achievements. Was there ever a time when you wanted to get back to your old job?


Q:

Is it true that you drive with a pan of water in the ambulance? To make sure you drive safe enough for the patient in the back or something

A:

We investigated large techno shows as a proper way to launder funds, actually.


Q:

Thanks! And so far, nope. I guess there were a few moments of uncertainty when the risk-free environment sounded nice, but the freedom and flexibility of working for myself just feels awesome.

A:

It isnt mandatory, but it is the way I was taught and subsequently teach newbies. The exponential difference between being in the front and back is rough if you're the one in the back.


Q:

I feel that would be rather easy. Book an artist.. Sell 200 tickets, claim you sold 2500? Something like that?

Thanks for your answers man. Great to see someone get out when their ahead. Have a good weekend

A:

Congrats. The game looks like fun.

How do you find manufacturers for your products that you can trust? Are you working on new games all the time and how many do you have planned?


Q:

Whats the rarest condition that you have diagnosed on spot? And how? What was the treatment after that?

A:

yeah, thats pretty much the way.


Q:

Thanks!

The board game industry is really supportive - we were pointed towards some good manufacturers that are based in the US/Canada but have factories in China. That made it really easy.

Yes, we're always working on new games! So far we have released 2, and we're currently testing the next 3 in line. New game ideas are constantly on my brain!

A:

I had a patient with some insane looking rash that went diagnosed for like a month. Never found out if it was contagious or anything. It's been a while so I guess I am good.


Q:

Have you ever hired a hit?

A:

How much of the $325k went towards income versus expenses related to production of the game?


Q:

Hello Fellow Ohioian and person in he medical field. I do home rehab I work with fragile and elderly people. I have my med CPR but...

What can those of us that have to call a squad for our patients due to help you? Besides CPR if our patient is breathing on their own but need your services what can we do or get ready for you

A:

Yes I have, but the conflict was resolved before the hit was carried out so I cancelled it. Also re-considered it on moral grounds. Lost my deposit too :(


Q:

About 40-50% goes towards profit and re-investment in the company. The rest goes to production, Kickstarter fees, and shipping costs.

A:

First of all, big props. I dunno if i could handle being with some of the bad patients i've had for days upon days.

As far as calling 911... Put up any animals. Clear us a path to get the stretcher in (it seems a lot of older people have a tendency to hoard), and if your patients do not already have one help them get together a paper that has all their pertinents ie. name, birthday, social, allergies, medical history, and medications. Having all that info waiting and ready to go saves so much time. :)


Q:

Why are you proud of peddling misery? So what if people "are gonna do it anyway"? People are also gonna kill each other and molest kids anyway. Doesn't mean it's right to enable it.

A:

Did you start to make board games first and quit your job once it took off, or did you have an actual business model and quit your job hoping for the best?


Q:

I feel like this should be something everyone keeps in their wallet and most definitely something all geriatricians recommend to their patients.

A:

Im not proud of peddling misery, I'm proud of running a business that people actually paid me to get a quality product they were looking for.


Q:

I quit my job right after our first game raised $100K on Kickstarter. So I definitely wasn't leaving blind. It was nice to have that safety net to start with!

I also had a few other side ventures that I was working on as well at the time that were bringing in some revenue.

A:

For sure. That and an ICE (In case of emergency) labelled contact in their phones.


Q:

Have you donated to any charities?

A:

Are your games being sold anywhere other than kickstarter? Will this remain viable when you're not "kickstarting" a new project?


Q:

Do you take lots of heroin overdose calls? What % of calls are due to drug abuse these days?

A:

yes, i've donated to DNM avengers in order to fund drug testing.


Q:

Yes, we sell our games on our website, on Amazon, and in game stores around the world. They bring in a great monthly income even outside of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a great way to get the ball rolling on a project and build interest and awareness in a new game.

A:

It comes in waves. You can definitely tell when a bad batch comes into town. I was a part of that, what was it, 45 overdoses in a day spree i'm sure you heard about recently.


Q:

What filler is used in the bars?

A:

Had a friend OD two weeks ago, a neighbor OD two days later. Everyone sort of shrugged and said there must be a bad batch going around. Like it's a bad storm or the flu. Baltimore. Heroin. Shrug. Stay away from that shit and just shake your head and frown when these things happen.


Q:

mostly cellulose.

A:

Check into narcan from the pharmacy for your friend. Obviously kicking the addiction is preferable, but in the mean time...


Q:

What happens when you are called to a scene and person has died prior to arrival? Do you turn around?

Also when you get to a scene and there is a body do you handle the dead at all or does a coroner?

I live in canada and those are rumors i have heard about ehs drivers

A:

We confirm asystole. Note the presence of lividity and rigor to insure it isn't recent and I pronounce them dead. From there law enforcement takes over if its suspicious. If not a funeral home comes and gets them.


Q:

Do you feel like people need to be more educated about what your job entails?

And do you feel people should be more thankful or respectful to first responders?

A:

I think everyone should have to take an, at least abridged, EMT course in highschool. Everyone knowing how to preform cpr and to stop bleeding would be invaluable. Other than that, I think knowing when to or to not call 911 or to visit an ER vs urgent care is something that should be more widely known.

As far as respect goes... You cant force people to respect something. I try to conduct myself in a respectable manner, but there are certainly dicks in this job like in any other that don't deserve an ounce.


Q:

I work as a receptionist at an Urgent Care facility. It is insane when a pt will walk through the door with life threatening conditions and assume that we have the facilities to treat it.... All in an effort to avoid going to the ER. Pt will come in with symptoms of stroke and come here first just to be referred to the ER, wasting precious time. I totally agree with educating people on what kind of situations are an Urgent Care visit vs. an ER visit/when to call 911.

A:

Oh for sure, and I get calls at 3 am for "My mouth tastes funny." haha


Q:

What would you say is the hardest aspect of your job, mentally? And how do you handle it?

Thank you for your service!

A:

Just the repeated struggle of dealing with death and dying. The best way I've learned to explain it is "Imagine the worse moment of your life. Now imagine doing that 5-10 times a day several times a week."

I man up and go to therapy. A lot of alcoholism and broken relationships in the job though. I think last I heard we have one of the highest suicide and divorce rates.


Q:

Craziest story? Like craziesssttt

A:

I picked up a passed out drunk chick in her car on the side of the road. She woke up enough on the way to the hospital to start rubbing one out. haha