Real Estate Happy Hour Show - Episode 36

Watch the Real Estate Happy Hour Show - Episode 36!

On Episode 36 Collier Swecker is joined by guest co-host professional Chef Ken Williams of ChefUBham. Collier and Ken are gonna be talking about everything you absolutely need in your home’s kitchen if you love to cook | Ken’s journey to becoming a successful Chef | and an Update on Real Estate Market Statistics from October 2018 along with the latest Mortgage Rates. Oh and we can’t forget the college football picks! Join us every Thursday at 4pm for the Real Estate Happy Hour. 

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Collier: All right, we are back on The Real State Happy Hour! Guess what? David’s not here, he’s cruising. I’ve got Ken Williams, Chef Ken! How are ya?

Ken: Good, good! Good to be here.

Collier: Man, I appreciate you coming in, Ken is an entrepreneur and professional chef here in Birmingham and man, we’re excited to learn a lot more about you and your business. Man, you’re doing great things here in Birmingham.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I’m excited to talk about it.

Collier: And in case everybody’s wondering, Mississippi State grads.

Ken: Yep, yep, yep.

Collier: Man, about as good as, I mean you’re riding paw with Auburn this year so.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Collier: Well, we sure are glad to have you ‘cause I think one of the biggest things we’re gonna learn from Ken today, is about hey, you’re looking for that dream kitchen? Hey, I think we’ve put a lot of waste out there in or building these kitchens, Ken’s gonna tell you what are a real cook or chef, right? I don’t know what to call you.

Ken: Home cook, personal chef, but home cook is what we’re talking about today so.

Collier: That’s right and you know, and one of things especially when you knew him before, you knew he loved to cook but now, he’s the real deal, so. Oh, we’re gonna be doing that and then of course we’re gonna get into some real estate statistics and the October numbers are in, mortgage numbers are in and interest rates keep going up, up and away! And as David talked about, Ken’ll chime in on that ‘cause hey, he was in real state at one time, so you know about that and then of course his second favorite thing other than cooking is sports,

Ken: Excellent!

Collier: So, I’m sure we’ll get some good opinions from Ken on the football picks and but, we’re gonna just get right into the Happy Hour. Ken, tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from and who you’re married to and all that?

Ken: So, I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, I went Mississippi State and met my wife Brooke, she is an engineer of Alabama Power, her job brought us here after college and been here ever since, 9 years now.

Collier: Man! So she’s a, so she’s an engineer at Alabama Power and then y’all have one child and one on the way?

Ken: That’s right, due December 23rd so that is, that’s is something.

Collier: Man! Man and I tell you what, I mean your oldest daughter Adeline?

Ken: Yeah, almost 3.

Collier: Man! And she’s been around the world hasn’t she?

Ken: She has yeah, our goal for her is to have more stamps in her passport than years alive so.

Collier: Wow!

Ken: She’s ahead of that right now, she’s been to Belgium, the Netherlands and to France.

Collier: Wow! That’s incred, I mean you realize adults can’t even say that?

Ken: No.

Collier: And they can’t even get to Canada, Mexico.

Ken: Right, that’s the.

Collier: That’s crazy!

Ken: Yep.

Collier: And I think it’s great, I mean you know we’ve talked about before here, I mean I think one of the best gifts you can give somebody is travel.

Ken: Absolutely, you learn that other people live way differently than we do, and they’re perfectly happy living that way.

Collier: Ain’t that great, now I picture you being a chef you loved Anthony Bourdain?

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: Or did?

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: I mean, he’s still around.

Ken: So sad, so sad.

Collier: Oh yeah, although I think he lived a pretty rough life.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Growing up.

Ken: He had some, I think he had some demons, I think that’s fair to say.

Collier: (Laughter), I think that, I think he wore those demons.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: All right so, you graduated from Mississippi State what’d you major in?

Ken: Political science.

Collier: Political sci, well that’s a natural.

Ken: It is yeah, political science to real state to culinary school, and that’s what everybody does.

Collier: Right, absolutely! And then I, I assume it was a passion.

Ken: Oh yeah, oh yeah, the original plan when we moved to Birmingham was for me to go to culinary school, but I needed a job, I needed to make some money and not be in school again.

Collier: Well I mean, ‘cause wife’s just getting started too.

Ken: Yeah, right, yeah, we had nothing and no family here and nothing so, yeah.

Collier: And culinary school’s tough isn’t it?

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Monetarily.

Ken: Oh yeah, yeah, you don’t make it, you do an internship, I did an internship in Amber club, which you don’t make money (laughter).

Collier: Yeah (laughter) so, in other words this is fun you might get a free meal.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: Out of it.

Ken: That’s about the best you get.

Collier: And what was your?

Ken: And a great experience.

Collier: Had you cooked a lot growing up?

Ken: I did yeah, I cooked a lot, I cooked, I spent most of the summers with my grandmother, we were always in the kitchen doing all kinds of stuff so, yeah. I cooked a lot growing up, my dad cooks a lot so.

Collier: You know, one of the interesting things is you like taking interesting spins ‘cause it’s not your typical, I don’t wanna call it meeting 3 Southern foods now, it’s mixed with that of course with you being from the South.

Ken: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Collier: Talk about that.

Ken: So, it’s Southern food but a little more modern, a little more up-scale, that’s what most of my clients want but.

Collier: Yeah, you know it’s funny is I’ve known Ken a long time now, and you’re an interesting dude.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: Relative to, I mean we can talk sports, we can talk politics, all that stuff and I, you’re one person I can’t put in a.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: In a favorite spot.

Ken: Yeah, that’s good well, sports, travel and food are the three.

Collier: Right, right, right, but if I were to say travel I don’t wanna say oh, what’s his favorite? I, I’m not so sure that I can really pin you down as that’s your favorite thing to do.

Ken: Yeah no, probably not.

Collier: And food’s the same way right?

Ken: Absolutely yeah, food and anything super adventurous so.

Collier: And, and going back to the training a little bit here in Birmingham, did you go to school here in Birmingham?

Ken: I did, I did, I went to the Jeff State Culinary program, it’s a wonderful program they, in about 2 years depending on what you decide to do and you do, you get a lot of hands-on training, they have a restaurant there at the school that is completely student run, worked in that for 2 semesters yeah.

Collier: Well good, good, the Alabama hammer, what’s happening hammer? By the way, I saw a YouTube video where your nemesis, talked to, talked about you from the stage so, that’s hey maybe some flattery there and I’m talking about the guy who has all the other billboards.

Ken: Oh yeah, we all know him.

Collier: We all know him.

Ken: We all know who he is.

Collier: But anyway, all right so, specialty I know you talked a second ago depending on what they wanna do, what does that mean?

Ken: So, most clients want a multi-course meal usually it’s steak for the entrée but, it’s really just again whatever they want.

Collier: Whatever they and more particularly, I’m gonna get to that in a minute but talking about being a chef, coming outta school you had mentioned that, you choose which route you’re gonna take in the school program?

Ken: Oh yeah, yeah so, they’re 2 different routes you can do an apprenticeship which is a longer, it’s a 2 or 3 year process, you’re a, you can get some certifications with doing the apprenticeship or you can do an internship, it’s a little faster route into a kitchen and it’s just, it kinda depends on where you wanna work. The apprenticeship is more geared towards resorts, country clubs, those kind of things.

Collier: Got you, got you and so really I mean, and you kinda wanted a mix of both like an entrepreneurial route.

Ken: Right.

Collier: Which I’ve always said was really you, you needed to be.

Ken: Yeah, I don’t.

Collier: ‘Cause some of you.

Ken: I don’t do great with a boss.

Collier: (Laughter).

Ken: I know, I’m not too great with a boss so.

Collier: Well that’s fun.

Ken: So, one of my, one of my teachers, the guy, the chef, one of the chef instructors there at school worked with the woman that founded my company on the side, and he got me involved with it and that became something I loved. So, going into people’s houses, cooking, being in big fancy kitchens.

Collier: And, you know how to clean up your own kitchen.

Ken: No, no.

Collier: But I.

Ken: They clean up their own kitchen, we do all the dishes.

Collier: Hey, I’ve heard that, I’ve seen it, at least on paper.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: And I’m sure you are a good cleaner, I assume.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: If you have a child, let’s talk about Chef U Bham.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: It’s B-H-A-M right?

Ken: B-H-A-M, yeah.

Collier: All right, tell us about it.

Ken: So, we’re a personal chef business, we come in and meet with the clients ahead of time, we determine the menu kinda how the party goes and then, when we get to the house, we do all the cooking there at the house, do all the cleaning, start to finish in the house.

Collier: How far in advance is somebody contacting you to set up this party?

Ken: Usually about a month so.

Collier: About a month.

Ken: Yeah, about a month to 6 weeks out I can fit people into my schedule pretty well, for December, December is almost fully booked, I’ve had people on the books for December from June.

Collier: Wow, that’s crazy! So you know, I mean one of the things that’s interesting to me is you, the idea of you actually being on let’s say, you’re an actor on set if you will, you’re prepping a lot of this time during the week when you say you’re working, right?

Ken: Yeah, not the food.

Collier: Not the food.

Ken: No, no, all the food.

Collier: But you’re buying it?

Ken: Yeah, yeah so, I’ll buy the food, I’ll go and buy all the ingredients 2 or 3 days before the party.

Collier: Got you, and most of them localized so?

Ken: Yeah, oh yeah.

Collier: Lot of produce.

Ken: Yeah, as local as I can get it.

Collier: Have you met any of these guys? It doesn’t buy local.

Ken: (Laughter), yeah.

Collier: No.

Ken: Rather pay for the food that they would guess.

Collier: Yeah, you know I found interesting on, on your website you said set the table, pick the wine and we’ll do the rest.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: I mean.

Ken: And we’ll even set the table if you need us to.

Collier: Wow!

Ken: We can do that part so, yeah we don’t, I don’t have a liquor license so we leave folks handle their own alcohol.

Collier: (Laughter), all right.

Ken: It’s just better that way, but yeah it really is that easy.

Collier: And he was really funny, I think you’re more of a beer guy anyway, yourself.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: But you play into.

Ken: Most folks yeah, with dinner, at dinners like this they kinda want wine.

Collier: You don’t have, you don’t have beer pairing menu.

Ken: I don’t, but I could! It’d be fun to do.

Collier: Actually, I do think it would be fun, the guys would love it!

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: But all right so, you talked about you know again, I went through an, although I know a lot about your business but, one of the things about your website is you do have a lot of the information, and you talked about menus are crafted from what is in season, so what is the meaning like right now and what’s the difference say from, the spring or summer?

Ken: So right now, a lot of winter vegetables Brussel sprouts, butter in a squash, more rich kinda meats so short ribs and gumbos on there, you got a pear salad, pears are in season right now.

Collier: Oh they are? The canned pears are.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Year out.

Ken: Yeah, canned stuff’s always in season I guess, so yeah, lots of root vegetables and sort of heavier meats. In the spring time especially in the summer, lots of tomatoes, Alabama you get wonderful tomatoes in Alabama.

Collier: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ken: Lots of tomatoes, corn, that kinda stuff.

Collier: Am I reading, I mean I’m looking at a lot of this and a lot of it is root, root vegetables.

Ken: That’s right, yeah, that’s what in season right now.

Collier: Ok so, that is.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: I mean I’m not claiming to be a foodie here, but I realize they all have roots.

Ken: Yeah, it starts right, carrots, beets.

Collier: Potatoes.

Ken: Sweet potatoes, that kinda stuff.

Collier: Wow! So that’s interesting so, basically when you go, all this menus, this is a sample menu or would that be a menu you would serve?

Ken: So this is my menu, the current menu on the website is what I’m doing right now so, if somebody was gonna have a party this weekend they would pick an option from each course.

Collier: So, if I’m having a dinner party at Christmas, am I choosing one from each or am I choosing?

Ken: That’s up to you so, the typical meal is 4 courses: The appetizer we serve from the bar, while people are coming in.

Collier: Oh ok.

Ken: And the cocktails I think.

Collier: Got you.

Ken: And then, the other 3 courses we serve at the table.

Collier: And do you provide a waiter or 2 or something?

Ken: Depends on the side of the party, mostly we can do all the weight type ourselves.  

Collier: Wow! ‘Cause you’re that prepared.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: And oh.

Ken: And it’s you know, the average party is 12 people we’re not talking about a 100 person.

Collier: Yeah.

Ken: Dinner party, most people don’t have seats in their house for 100 people so.

Collier: That’s treaty.

Ken: Twelve to fifteen people, we can, 2 or 3 of us can handle it ourselves.

Collier: I mean, let’s go through, I mean look at this, I mean this is a first course I mean duck, liver, moose, I mean charred Brussel sprout crostini with ricotta and peanut, pine nuts, pine nuts I saw a number of times. I mean, this doesn’t sound like somebody coming from Mississippi, I’ll be honest with you.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: (Laughter), but it’s all you know, the thing is it does have a very Southern.

Ken: Yeah, the Southern roots are there for sure I mean, shrimping grids are on the menu.

Collier: Craw fish?

Ken: Craw fish, craw fish picatta’s on the menu yeah, it’s definitely a Southern inspiring.

Collier: When and, now talk about what is the most popular of say, a menu like what you’re looking at here?

Ken: Filet mignon.

Collier: Oh.

Ken: Yeah, filet mignon and chocolate soufflé, I do half the time, two thirds of the time.

Collier: And do you like cherries Jubilee and stuff like that?

Ken: I’ve never done cherries Jubilee.

Collier: Can do it on a crew ship but.

Ken: (Laughter), not yet, we do the desserts get to be kind of creative.

Collier: Well I mean, this is fascinating and now look at these desserts chocolate soufflé, custard tart, peach leaf rice pudding, choc, now what is Frangipane?
Ken: Frangipane is a, is a pastry cream, is an Italian pastry cream, that is made with almonds so, if you’ve ever had an almond croissant.

Collier: Oh yeah.

Ken: That has almond cream filling.

Collier: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ken: That’s Frangipane.

Collier: Oh.
Ken: It’s just a fancy.

Collier: It’s a fancy way to say it, yeah.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: You know it’s really funny, a number of times I’ve been out with Amanda, she loves these you know, nice restaurants and I thought about Tex n’ M going, can you just translate? Be like Google Translate?

Ken: Need an app yeah, you need an app that translated.

Collier: It just puts it over.

Ken: To comment yeah.

Collier: Yeah well, I think it’s a lot of people ‘cause a lot of this, I don’t know peanut, sesame, mole?     

Ken: Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce.

Collier: See there you go, I mean that actually makes it more appetizing then the mole.

Ken: (Laughter), the mole.

Collier: Yeah, yeah, so, so that should mean that you do wine pairing menus?

Ken: I can, when I tell people unless they’re really, really into wine, I tell ‘em get what you like ‘cause if you don’t the wine, even if I think technically this wine goes with this dish.

Collier: Yeah.

Ken: If you don’t like the wine, you’re not gonna think of it as well.

Collier: Right, right.

Ken: If you like a certain style of wine, you’re gonna like that wine with just about anything.

Collier: And will you work with them? ‘Cause I mean, you’ve had to learn I think some of that right?

Ken: Oh yeah.

Collier: A lot of what the wines taste like and.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I’ve done quite a few wine tastings, we did a good bit of wine tasting in Paris and we did a good bit of wine tasting all over Italy, so yeah, I can do that kind of thing.

Collier: That’s gonna get harder as you tap the kids along, ‘cause they’re gonna love just sitting around sipping wine.

Ken: Yeah, we took out a line when Brooke was on maternity leave without a line, she was 6 weeks old I mean and we did the barb n’ child in Kentucky so.

Collier: Yeah, there you go.

Ken: So, she’s just gonna go.

Collier: That’s right, that’s right, all right so, you working, so you said you’ll work in say, Larry Toast’s kitchen.

Ken: Sure.

Collier: Right?

Ken: Sure.

Collier: And you’ll go into the kitchen and now talk about, do you bring all of your own equipment?

Ken: Yes, yeah, I bring anything I need to prepare the food, I bring.

Collier: Except the stove.

Ken: Obviously except the stove.

Collier: Yeah, yeah.

Ken: But pots and pans, any kind of equipment we bring, it just guarantees that one we don’t have to run through people’s cabinets, and I know that I’m gonna be able to make the food that I wanna make, on equipment that I’m comfortable cooking on that I’ve been cooking on for years.

Collier: Well of course yeah, wow yeah and so pans and stuff.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: It’s yours and then, talk about owner’s involvement in this process ‘cause you’re very interactive.

Ken: Right, is as much or as little as they wanna be so, we have people who are hands-on and they’ll come in and help chop vegetables, if they wanna do that if that’s something they’re interested in, most of the time we’re in the kitchen people if there’s a bar, people sit at the bar and ask us questions while we’re cooking, that’s, we love that part of it the people who work with me, all enjoy the interaction so.

Collier: And you got the demeanor, I mean it’s funny when we worked together you know, I can get wound up at times and Ken just hey, it’s OK, we’re good.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: And I think that’s in a kitchen is a, I mean there’s people waiting on that food to get out.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: At a specific time.

Ken: That’s right yeah, and thing go wrong.

Collier: (Laughter).

Ken: And we’ve had things wrong yeah, you burn something, we don’t have a freezer full of stuff or cooler full of stuff to go and get extra help, so yeah.

Collier: So it’s tough!

Ken: It can be a challenge yeah, yeah, but it’s fun, that’s a lot of the fun.

Collier: Have you ever had to make a run to the.

Ken: A few times, a few times.

Collier: Hey! He’s honest too, which is true.

Ken: Yeah but, it’s better to do that than to serve bad food or serve something’s missing an ingredient or something because we screwed something up.

Collier: Oh absolutely you know, one of the most interesting things that you do, I was talking to some ladies today and I was talking about Chef Ken coming on cooking classes.

Ken: Right.

Collier: And like real food, not just like how to cook brownies.

Ken: Right.

Collier: Right?

Ken: We can do that if you want that, but yeah.

Collier: This is like.

Ken: Whatever.

Collier: I think of it as a sips and strokes of culinary.

Ken: Yeah, yes, yes, yeah, very similar to that so yeah, new thing that we’re offering classes I don’t think anybody else in town it’s really doing it, at least not at this level where we come in an teach you to make things that you want to make, that you’re going to make after you leave.

Collier: I mean, it’s impressive 100% hands-on.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: You’ll go to them.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: So there’s no need to take Uber home.

Ken: No, don’t take it home.

Collier: (Laughter), and so, talk about of who you typical I don’t wanna call ‘em student, ‘cause this is a fun activity.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: But who are these people and how do they know what they’re gonna cook?

Ken: Mostly it’s people who are interested in food, who want to be better home cooks so, the food we’re cooking in the classes is a little bit different from what we do in the dinner parties, it’s not as formal, it’s not quite as fancy, it’s things that people can cook on their own, that they want to know how to cook so, we have a consultation ahead of time, determine the menu, kinda get an idea of what their skill level is and what they’re looking to do, what they wanna learn and tailor the menu to fit that.

Collier: Well yeah and you got let’s say, I, I counted 7 different types of parties but, like you said hey, Ruby said Hey! from the Philippines.

Ken: Hey Ruby how are you? Good to hear from you.

Collier: He’s big time now.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: You know, we’re kind of a big deal but, he’s really big so.

Ken: Yes.

Collier: Seven different types of knife skills, what in the world?

Ken: Knife skills so, the biggest thing that can take somebody from sort of an average home cook to a really good home cook is being comfortable with their knives, you want the food, the size of the things that you cut to be consistent, to be even and the food cooks more evenly that way , you don’t end up with a big chunk of onion and a small piece of onion and the small piece gets burned, and the big chunk is raw and your food’s not any good.

Collier: Well.

Ken: So, knife skills is the basics, we spend on culinary school several weeks on it.

Collier: And we’re gonna talk about it in a few minutes with Ken, he’s offered to kinda talk to us a little bit about.

Ken: Well.

Collier: I mean what we need in that kitchen you know? Date night, this is a big one I think.

Ken: Yeah, date night, people love to cook for their significant others and.

Collier: Especially in the courting stage.

Ken: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, and you know, if you can cook something a date night type meal, you don’t have to go out on Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to go out on New Year’s Eve and fight the crowds, pay crazy prices, just stay in.

Collier: Yeah and one thing, we’re, he’ll talk to you freely about the cost, you know it’s funny you may look inside hey, look at what you’re paying when you’re going out to eat.

Ken: Right.

Collier: And you’re not even getting what you want.

Ken: Right.

Collier: Necessarily.

Ken: Right.

Collier: He’s giving you exactly what you want, I think what would really bring down the price, I mean I don’t know if Larry Toast’s still on here, but we had to get a, we were in Turks and Caicos  and had to buy a case of Corona if I’m remembering right, it was 80 dollars right?

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: I mean now, it’s a.

Ken: It’s gotta be flown in.

Collier: Flown in all that, I get it.

Ken: Yeah and so.

Collier: But I was willing to pay for that.

Ken: Right, because yeah.

Collier: ‘Cause I wanted it.

Ken:  You wanted it, yeah.

Collier: So, I think we get what we want.

Ken: Absolutely.

Collier: And so by, I think these prices are phenomenal.
Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Baking, any thoughts there?

Ken: It’s again, a lot of people enjoy baking and cooking you know, cook these pies, whatever.

Collier Whatever they cook right? ‘Cause there is an art to that, I mean.

Ken: It’s much more of a science.

Collier: So science.

Ken: Yeah, most of cooking is more art, you can have a little bit of this, a little bit of that and it’s fine, change if you like it whatever, but baking is much of a science, you gotta have the right ratios of flour, eggs, butter, baking powder, baking soda, you use whatever it is to make the thing, your baking come out.

Collier: I just thought of something, I bet you’re a big corn bread guy.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Being from the South.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: I mean, you would mix it up.

Ken: Did you see my, did you see?

Collier: No, I didn’t even see.

Ken: You can notice that.

Collier: It says make corn bread not war.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Yeah, you know so, (laughter), Larry all right, week night dinners and, and well let’s go there first week night dinners.

Ken: Week night dinners is exactly what it sounds like, things that you can make in 45 minutes, as few pots as possible so you don’t have a bunch of dishes to do you know, you wanna go to bed whatever and things that will make for good leftovers.

Collier: And replicatable.

Ken: Right.

Collier: Right? I mean that’s the biggest he says and I drink and all.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: Yes.

Ken: You should for 80 dollars and all.

Collier: For 80 dollars (laughter), I was not gonna leave that half, but yeah so ‘cause I think that, that is one thing, ‘cause you know we’ve seen some of these companies come and go, that just made ‘em for you, the problem is I don’t have time to stop there but I might to, I have to go to the grocery story anyway.

Ken: Right.

Collier: And so you’re solving that problem by saying, let me show some easy ways.

Ken: Yeah, and hopefully something different you know, a lot of people get stuck in the same rut.

Collier: Chicken casserole?

Ken: That’s right, the same meat loaf, the same 3 things every week, week after week and, and this hopefully it’s something a little bit different maybe a little bit better.  

Collier: What about special diet? ‘Cause there a lot of families that have a kid with an allergy or.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Or wife with an allergy.

Ken: Yeah so my daughter has an egg allergy and a banana allergy.

Collier: For a cook?

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: That’s interesting.

Ken: Yeah so, it’s been interesting, it’s been fun, to kinda learn specially any kind of baked goods have eggs and all, so yeah so.

Collier: That’s tough!

Ken: Yeah, yeah so, we’ve learned how to kinda make replacements so, that’s what the special diet class if you have an allergy or if you’re just interested, you’re here to work in lieu or wanna know what that’s about.

Collier: Yeah, all right.

Ken: You can do a whole class on paleo and kind of the pros and cons of it and.

Collier: And how do you, I assume you’re keeping up, I mean do you have places you go to read and learn and all that?

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I have a couple of food magazines I subscribe to, I buy tons of cook books.

Collier: Oh yeah.

Ken: More cook books than I could ever ended and yeah.

Collier: Yeah.

Ken: And could, this is interesting, cooking with kids and before we started I was telling him, I really think this is huge! ‘Cause now I have a 9 year old girl, Karen Charles is on here she’s got some young, young and hey I think, this is huge.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: Cooking with kids I think the, I started cooking at 7 years old, not doing a lot, not handling a big knife or anything, but mixing up cookie dough, that kinda thing.
Collier: Simple.
Ken: I think getting your kids in the kitchen is huge, and definitely can help them appreciate the food a little bit more and then, eventually be able to feed themselves which.
Collier: And you know, I mean we’re here you know, we talk personal finance and real estate here and I think, it does relate because you’re gonna save money.
Ken: Oh yeah.
Collier: Cooking and not going out all the time.
Ken: That’s right, yeah, yeah, cheaper and better for you not go through the chick filet.
Collier: I mean you work in restaurants, I mean going out to eat has, I mean there’s overhead that you just don’t have when you go buy that stuff.
Ken: That’s right.
Collier: And.
Ken: When you’re, you’re out to eat a lot of the price you see on the menu is for the bill.
Collier: (Laughter).
Ken: And that’s it.
Collier: That’s just crazy.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: It is funny I mean, there’s sometimes.
Ken: Which is fine, they’ve gotta yeah, they’ve gotta keep the lights on and it’s fine, but that is a lot of what you pay for.
Collier: Right, right, damn it’s crazy isn’t it? Now the dinner party, you’re gonna, you teach them on how to serve a dinner party, right?
Ken: Right yeah, so separate from the dinner parties that we come in and do, which is our traditional service yeah, they come in and I’ll teach them sort of how to make a prep list, how to time things, so everything’s ready at the same time and to sort of decrease the stress of them throwing their own dinner party.
Collier: Wow, and talk about growing you know, for the folks here that like to, ‘cause you know one of the biggest things now is, I think people like to play farmer, I mean more people are having chickens.
Ken: Yeah, they have chickens.
Collier: All that you know, raise garden.
Ken: Yep
Collier: Which I know you have.
Ken: We do.
Collier: Talk about that, about, about growing your own and some of the tips you may have for folks and that.
Ken: Tips for growing, read about it, there’s plenty of books, plenty of resources online to learn, the biggest thing is knowing when to plant and to have things ready when they need to be ready, yeah you can’t plant tomatoes right now obviously, most people in Alabama know that .
Collier: Well, I think what you’re saying is that taking you know, Ken’s menu that they can see on his website.
Ken: Yep.
Collier: Of thinking that through in the spring.
Ken: Yes.
Collier: Or in the fall you might be making these casseroles.
Ken: That’s right.
Collier: With butter nut squash.
Ken: That’s right.
Collier: Right and so, I, I think that’s and I’m sure there’s plenty of resources that can help you do this.
Ken: Oh yeah, yeah, all over easy things to find online, you can find books on urban gardening specially.
Collier: Urban gardening?
Ken: Yeah, yeah, so we have 1 book in urban gardening and it’s anywhere from you know, 5 square feet and have a vegetable garden that’s not you know, not gonna be a lot but.
Collier: And what’s, what’s, what does it cost for someone to establish a, just a, just something to ‘cause I know it costs money, ‘cause you gotta get all the equipment and.
Ken: Right, so a garden.
Collier: Yeah, a garden.
Ken: Most of the cost is the soil, when we built our raise garden we spent a couple hundred dollars on soil.
Collier: Well, not bad.
Ken: No, it’s not specially with all, with what we get from it we got more than a couple hundred dollars’ worth of vegetables from it, but that’s it, the main cost in dig a hole, if you’ve got the yard just dig a hole.
Collier: Yeah so, you don’t need a raise bed necessarily.
Ken: You don’t have to so, what you wanna do, you may be raised 6 or 8 inches off the ground.
Collier: Of new soil.
Ken: Of new soil, you might dig down 2 or 3 inches,
Collier: Oh wow, yeah, yeah.
Ken: You know so, it’s still raised but the roots are gonna go down so, you have that, that really good soil.
Collier: And what is, what is, what is, what’s one thing that damages that we, they need to watch out for in terms of insects, animals?
Ken: Depends on what you’re growing, mostly it’s insects, aphids are real bad, moths, moths will go in and lay eggs and the, that larva comes and eats up the plant so, get a chicken.
Collier: Wow.
Ken: Chickens eat all that stuff.
Collier: One that you know, I wanted to ask you too while you’re here is about organic.
Ken: Cooking?
Collier: What are your thoughts there? Because so much of it, it’s a scam, I when I say, I don’t think the organic move is a scam.
Ken: So organic, is a marketing label.
Collier: There you go, that’s where I’m getting at.
Ken: There’s no question, but that doesn’t mean that everything labeled organic is bad.
Collier: No.
Ken: It doesn’t mean that things that aren’t organic are better you know, better than not, the biggest thing, the main example I use is milk, we don’t necessarily buy organic milk, and they’ll say how you don’t eat healthy if you don’t buy organic milk, cows are meant to eat grass, they’re not meant to eat corn and salt.
Collier: Yeah, right.
Ken: So, we put more of an emphasis on buying products that are raised or grown the way that they’re naturally meant to.
Collier: Like grass-fed beef.
Ken: Grass-fed beef, milk from grass-fed cows, organic milk can be from a cow that’s been fed organic soy beans, and that’s organic milk because the food it’s been fed is organic, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best milk for you.
Collier: It migh-tish, I mean it’s, it’s a, Wholefoods made a living off of.
Ken: Yeah, yeah, no.
Collier: And I’m not saying Wholefoods is bad.
Ken: No and a lot of the products are better if they’re organic, but not because they’re organic.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: What I would say is research the farms, and find out what the practices are of the farms that you’re buying the food from.
Collier: Gotcha, gotcha, and, and how does somebody do that?
Ken: Talk to ‘em, go in Birmingham especially go to Pepper Place.
Collier: Great place.
Ken: Yeah you can talk to farmers, they love when people ask questions about how they grow their vegetables.
Collier: So, do you, do you suggest people go to places like that to get their vegetables?
Ken: As much as you can yeah, and sometimes you can.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: But as much as you can go there, you’re gonna pay a bit higher price, but you’re getting better quality so.
Collier: That, that begs the question and you know, of all and I’m not trying to pin your hole, pin on your own what are some of the better of the grocery stores for produce and vegetables?
Ken: Trader Joe’s surprisingly, I’ve always thought of it as sort of packaged food.
Collier: I do, too and.
Ken: But, they have a wonderful produce selection and it’s as cheap as you can find it.
Collier: Really?
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: Now, what about this whole new deal with Aldi and these other guys.
Ken: I haven’t shopped much at Aldi, I’ve heard good things.
Collier: I heard milk’s like a dollar.
Ken: Yeah, yeah, I, I wonder how it could be that cheap.
Collier: Yeah, (laughter).
Ken: I guess they’ll be quality but.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: I’ve heard good things.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: Oh yeah.
Collier: Who knows but that, that’s interesting, but well moving on to the next segment, House Logic came out with a soar when they interviewed, I was reading this and they were interviewing 2 professional chefs on how they would bring the perfect personal home kitchen and hey, who better to answer that question than Ken and I asked Ken about this, and he said yeah these are good things. One of the, number one things I said when you’re planning that kitchen is to plan for more than 1 cook.
Ken: Absolutely yeah, most people unless you’re single, you live alone, most people at some time are gonna have multiple people in their kitchen cooking.
Collier: And to cook you need to be able to move (laughter).
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: As the main cook right?
Ken: That’s right, yeah, that’s right.
Collier: And this is something we can spend a little bit of time on here, is you know we talk a lot about the kitchen triangle, and that is what the prep area, the cooking area and the?
Ken: And the sink.
Collier: And the sink.
Ken & Collier: Or the refrigerator (in unison).
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: What, what makes that most important for someone that loves to cook?
Ken: It’s, you don’t wanna have to take a bunch of steps or you don’t have to walk around in an island to get from one thing to another, you’ll wear yourself out so especially like in a professional kitchen, everything is within reach pretty much so, when I worked in restaurants all I would have to do was turn my back to the stove, turn my back around to the prep area, everything’s was right there within arm’s reach, it’s not really realistic in a home kitchen but, you want things as close as possible.
Collier: But, if you’re designing it or you’re redoing it.
Ken: Right.
Collier: And what, ‘cause I assume you see in a lot of these kitchens I was thinking you know, and we were talking about this earlier, was a lot of times I put in that sink right nil and right behind you.
Ken: Right.
Collier: But, that’s your drop zone right?
Ken: Right.
Collier: If you’re pulling around.
Ken: Right.
Collier: But you had, it’s like, to me it’s like these doors are cramming everything they can.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: (Laughter),
Ken: Yeah, too much equipment into a real small space yeah.
Collier: And what are some other things relative to this triangle we’re talking about, that you would be on the lookout for?
Ken: Its ease of use so, one of the big things that I see is not enough counter space on either side of the stove.
Collier: That’s interesting.
Ken: Where you can’t, where you can’t actually work right next to the stove so, if you’re cooking a couple of different things you might have something on a cutting board that you’re working on, while something else is on the stove cooking, it’s nice if you can be right there next to it within arm’s reach, a lot of times people will put the stoves in real narrow area with just a foot or two of.
Collier: Clearance?
Ken: Kinda, yeah.
Collier: Yeah right and then, next thing they talked about was buying the right stuff.
Ken: That’s right.
Collier: And not skipping, talk about that.
Ken: Yeah so, to me the biggest thing that I like to see, when I go into a house to cook a dinner party is a deep sink so, you can get a lot of stuff in there as you’re cooking.
Collier: So you, does a real cook want the deep one partitioned.
Ken: I prefer 2, I prefer 2 compartments that way you can fill up one with soapy water and you can put dirty things in there and then as you rinse ‘em off, you can put them into the other side.  
Collier: That keeps ‘em from getting broken.
Ken: That’s right yeah, that keeps ‘em from getting broken and helps clean but, I would rather have a 1 compartment deep sink than a multi compartment.
Collier: Where they’re all over the place.
Ken: Right.
Collier: Man so, talk about the quality of equipment we’re talking stoves, those type things.
Ken: Yep.
Collier: You know, one thing they talked about was hey, we don’t want you to have commercial.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: Appliances, we want you to have top of the line residential.
Ken: That’s right.
Collier: What are they talking about?
Ken: So, commercial appliances are made to cook a lot of food really, really fast, so that when you sit down in a restaurant and order you don’t have to wait 30 minutes or whatever.
Collier: Does that mean they’re burning your chal?
Ken: It’s a lot of energy.
Collier: Hot.
Ken: It’s a lot of energy usage, really, really hot, lots of burners, most people cooking at home they’re never gonna use more than 2 and 3 burners at a time, and a commercial stove might have 8 eyes on it.
Collier: And you know, one of the interesting things somebody asked me today when I was telling you were coming was ask him about the why gas or induction, by the way I don’t know what induction means, didn’t pass concepts of science.
Ken: (Laughter).
Collier: But, talk about why y’all prefer gas over mic coils?
Ken: It’s an instant heat source so, when you turn on gas you get a flame, and that flame is as hot as it’s gonna be right when you turn it on, it doesn’t take time to warm up, the coils though, if you turn a coil on.
Collier: All the way.
Ken: Right, let’s say medium high or 7 or whatever your stove says, it’s gonna take a few minutes for it actually to get hot, and then it might end up being hotter than you want it to, if you turn it down it’s gonna take some time to cool back on, if you have an actual flame there you turn it on it’s hot, you turn it off it’s not hot.
Collier: Is it?
Ken: So, there’s a lot more control to gas, induction is the same way, induction uses a magnet.
Collier: What does that mean?
Ken: Uses a magnetic field.
Collier: Oh! These are the ones where you put your hand.
Ken: You put your hand on they’re cool to the touch, you can’t use aluminum pans on them, anything that a magnet would stick to you can use.
Collier: Oh ok.
Ken: ‘Cause it uses magnetism to create electro current to generate heat.
Collier: Now, why does it cook like that though? For someone like you or somebody at home that likes to cook, why do?
Ken: It doesn’t, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen so when you have a gas flame, that flame is heating up the pot that’s on top of it, but it’s also heating up the air around it so.
Collier: ‘Cause you’re moving too so you’re already getting hot.
Ken: Right, right so, induction is much cooler so if you have a big kitchen, lots of things going on at once that induction is gonna keep the kitchen much cooler.
Collier: You know, one of the interesting quotes that these guys said was talking about cooking with a feeling, what does that mean?
Ken: It means that, just because a recipe says that this gonna take 10 minutes it may not take 10 minutes, because your equipment is not the same as the equipment that the recipe was written on.
Collier: Ah! Gotcha!
Ken: So yeah.
Collier: That’s what you stove, it’s just a crapshoot.
Ken: Yeah, yeah so, the cooking with a feeling is you, you taste the food as you go and you use your own judgment.
Collier: So, you don’t do like the rest of us and go into the other room and go is it boiling yet?
Ken: No, no, you don’t leave yeah, you don’t leave.
Collier: (Laughter), that’s funny you know, they talk about having a bounded refrigeration in the house, I assume that’s, ‘cause one thing’s that they mentioned too was having if you love to cook, having some of your sauces pre-made and certain things pre-made that you can but, keep ‘em away and bring ‘em in when you need ‘em.
Ken: Yeah and that’s, it just depends on what you’re doing if you’re doing the big dinner party, if you can do 2 or 3 things at a time especially make sauces that are gonna reheat well yeah, you can do that ahead of time and get it in the freezer in the garage and.
Collier: Beer quilling away.
Ken: Yeah, and then it’s out of your way until you actually need it.
Collier: Gotcha, Mike Caberno said why can’t you eat some poultry medium rare like duck and squab? But turkey has it because quell.
Ken: It mostly has to do with the way animals are raised in the United States, big conventional farming practices lead to especially with chicken and turkey, where we consume a lot as a country.
Collier: Ok.
Ken: They’re, and there’s a lot of animals in a real small area and so you have a higher chance of diseases so, cooking to a higher temperature gives you a better chance of eliminating those diseases, ducks and squab that kinda thing are.
Collier: What is a squab?
Ken: (Laughter).
Collier: I mean.
Ken: I believe, I could be wrong about this, but believe it’s a certain type of pigeon.
Collier: Ok.
Ken: And Americans don’t really have a taste for pigeons, if you see pigeon on the menu.
Collier: You’re not gonna eat it.
Ken: Right so, a squab I think that’s right, I could be wrong.
Collier: And that’s interesting, that what he saw so, if I go into a restaurant right now and he’s saying they’re not gonna cook my turkey medium rare.
Ken: Right yeah, if you ordered, if you ordered a piece of chicken medium rare they’re gonna look crazy at you and because it’s a risk for them, it’s a risk for you, but the way those ducks are raised, especially duck is raised usually in an environment where there’s not a high chance of disease.
Collier: I had no idea of that.
Ken: So you remember.
Collier: I mean hey, great question!
Ken: Yep, very good question.
Collier: What, Ken what are the most important appliances small or large? ‘Cause you know, I’m thinking a lot of times we think stove or refrigerator.
Ken: Right.
Collier: There are other things in the kitchen that are most important.
Ken: The, the thing that’s most important to me in terms of appliances is the hood over the stove.
Collier: Really?
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: It’s the most boring to me.
Ken: It is, it’s the most boring, but a good one it keeps your kitchen from getting smokey, you can cook really high heat, you can stir a steak on the stove and you don’t smoke up your kitchen and that’s yeah, and you want one that vents actually out the house.
Collier: Yeah, right, right.
Ken: My, at my house the microwave it blows air right back to your face.
Collier: The air sucker, yeah.
Ken: Right, it’s not doing anything.
Collier: Well you know, and one thing you gotta real careful with when you’re buying a new home is make sure that inspector has gone up in the attic and make sure of what he’s talking about, is that air is getting all the way out.
Ken: Out of the house, that’s right.
Collier: Not into the attic, ‘cause you’re talking about one of the biggest fire hazards.
Ken: Absolutely, yeah.
Collier: But, especially if there’s someone like you cooking (laughter).
Ken: Yeah, yeah, you’re cooking a bunch of meat, real fatty meat and that, all that hot grease is getting blown into your house it’s not.
Collier: I mean.
Ken: So you gotta a furnace in the attic.
Collier: Yeah, puff!  
Ken: It’s not a good.  
Collier: You got Oklahoma City.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: Going so, all right so what about like anything that cuts, like the cuisine art, I might be showing my lack of knowledge her, but anything else in small appliances?
Ken: A Vita mix blender.
Collier: Really?
Ken: I’d buy a mixed blender yeah, you can cook soup in it, you can make smoothies in it, it’ll take, it’ll blend anything, the old, you remember the old commercial for Will it blend?
Collier: Right, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ken: So that was the Vita mix blender, and it’s, they’re expensive and they’re absolutely awful.
Collier: Yeah, yeah, Karen Charles asked about well that question, whatever you should have to use? A Vita mix blender.
Ken: A Vita mix blender.
Collier: This is like the Bullet type thing, right?
Ken: No, the Bullet.
Collier: No?
Ken: No, this is a big, it’s boxy and bulky, and they’re 4, 500 hundred dollars, but they will last until your grandkids can have them.
Collier: Really?
Ken: Absolutely.
Collier: And now, when did they come out? Did they?
Ken: Years ago, 10 to 20 years ago, make it 30 years ago.
Collier: All right, what kind of counter top when somebody’s designing their house you know they show many, I know you know all of them but, what would you put in your home?
Ken: Either coarse or granite.
Collier: Really?
Ken: Yeah, they’re, they’re good with heat, they don’t stain, the biggest thing that I would stay away from is marble, they’re beautiful but they stain way too easy, they’re sensitive to heat.
Collier: Especially if you’re a cook.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: And we’re talking specifically about cooks.
Ken: Right, you get a little bit of tomato juice on that marble and you have pink marble.
Collier: That’s crazy.
Ken: And you can get it off, there are ways to get it off.
Collier: Oh well, you’re staining it down.
Ken: They’re hard to clean and there not as, as.
Collier: I say, I assume soap’s on soft too.
Ken: I think so yeah, coarse or granite it’s.
Collier: Laminae it’s not.
Ken: (Sigh), if it’s, if it’s what you can afford it’s.
Collier: Oh no, it’s what you can afford, but if you’re a cook what’s with the splurge on these?
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: I don’t know if you might know Kate from Great Realtor here in town and you know, Kate, Kate, her big splurge you know, her husband owns a restaurant over there in Ross Bridge, she wanted a, she bought herself a Italian stove.
Ken: Ok.
Collier: And it was one of those things though, I mean apparently it cooks things very well and better.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: But, just find what you like, right?
Ken: That’s right, that’s right, especially knives so that’s, I knew you were gonna ask about knives on what you’re.
Collier: We’re getting there.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: All right now, ‘cause that’s kinda the cool stuff with you here, but what kind of flooring do you enjoy? ‘Cause you in all these houses.
Ken: Yeah.
Collier: What’s the best for, in the kitchen?
Ken: So, I just put bamboo in my house, the whole house.
Collier: Wow.
Ken: I love it, bamboos in the kitchen.
Collier: It’s soft.
Ken: It’s soft, I love it and it’s great but.
Collier: You’re looking for my cooking stand point? ‘Cause you’re dropping, I certainly idolize dropping stone.
Ken: She does, she does, the only I guess most of it it’s easy, it’s like most floors for what we’re doing, I mean when we leave stuff down we’ll wipe it right away, bigger if you’re gonna be doing a lot of cooking it’s get a pair of good shoes.
Collier: Really?
Ken: Yeah, yeah, the shoes are more important than the floor to me, if you’re gonna be in the kitchen for a long time.
Collier: And there’s no stress mats maybe?
Ken: Yeah, yeah, no stress mats but when I worked in restaurants we had cement floors and this hard rubber mat.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: And I spend a lot of money on shoes and it was well worth it, my feet never hurt.
Collier: Just crazy, you know it’s funny I was getting my hair cut the other day, and I was laughing with the lady ‘cause she was talking about she, her own shears, like she can’t deal with another shear. The same thing can be said about you guys and your knives.
Ken: That’s right, absolutely right.
Collier: So, talk about what Karen Charles here needs to make sure she has in her kitchen, if she wants to be a good cook.
Ken: So, a couple things is the cutting board that you cut on, either wood or plastic, nothing else, a lot of heat will.
Collier: Wood or plastic, ok.
Ken: Because they’re softer than the metal that the knives are made out of so, a lot of people have glass cutting boards, the glass is harder than the knife and it dulls the knife the way it does.
Collier: So, don’t be taking that sharp knife and cutting on a glass cutting board.
Ken: Glass cutting board or your granite counter top is gonna ruin your knives.
Collier: So if I go to Bed, Bath & Beyond in Bay, are they’re gonna have a lot of glass cutting boards?
Ken: Yes, absolutely.
Collier: Oh, wow.
Ken: That’s, they’re pretty and all but, if you’re gonna cook a lot and you, if you’re gonna invest money in knives, knives are, good knives are expensive, you want them to last.
Collier: And do you, do you, do you recommend folks buy a set of this together or do you wanna go find different knives?
Ken: Individual knives.
Collier: Who knew?
Ken: Most sets are gonna have things that you’re never gonna use, what I did, what I recommend is go to a store like Williams & Arman or a store like (inaudible) Summit, and they’ll let hold the knives in your hand, all the different brands whatever they have, hold them, they let you kinda pretend to chop vegetables, whatever and find.
Collier: (Inaudible).
Ken: Yeah, they’re not really gonna let you go outside and.
Collier: (Laughter), yeah,
Ken: Find what’s comfortable in your hand, that’s.
Collier: Yeah.
Ken: The main thing.
Collier: Hello mother!
Ken: Some are too heavy, some are too light, some are off-balance, it's just really whatever you're comfortable with.

Collier: Would have, ok so.

Ken: Whatever feels good.

Collier: If you were to pick 3 knives, you know it's funny it wasn't until recently I'm 42 for crying out loud, and did realize there was a, I just picked the one I felt like could do it, but if you pick 3 different types of knives that everybody could have?

Ken: A chef's knife.

Collier: What does that do?

Ken: It's your main, chopping vegetables, cutting meat.

Collier: That's the big thick one.
Ken: It's the big thick one, sorta of an all-purpose knife and then a bread knife, which is the long blade serrated knife we use to cut bread, you try to use a chef's knife to cut bread.

Collier: That's the, lots of teeth.

Ken: That's right, lots of teeth, it's also what you need to cut really ripe tomatoes and other really ripe vegetables.

Collier: Really? Tomatoes?

Ken: Yeah, it'll slice through it versus smashing it with a chef's knife.

Collier: I didn't think about that, yeah so, a real short would not be good for tomatoes.

Ken: No, a short knife is great you want short, but you need the serrations, the teeth.

Collier: Oh, gotcha.

Ken: For the knife to cut through without squishing.

Collier: So to get through there.

Ken: That's right.

Collier: All right, one more.

Ken: And then a pairing knife.

Collier: Now, what is a pairing knife?

Ken: A small pairing knife 2 and a half, 3 inches, maybe 3 and a half inches and it lets you cut things that you're gonna hold in your hand as you're cutting.

Collier: I'll translate for you: a lime.

Ken: Yes.

Collier: (Laughter).

Ken: Yes, yes.
Collier: I don't know how I know that, it's called the Happy Hour for a reason.

Ken: There you go.

Collier: You know, the, I mean all this stuff Ken, I mean is there anything else you would say in a kitchen that just folks, when they're building or thinking about building one out, they gotta have?

Ken: I don't know, I think we covered most of it, I think gotta haves is really things that you're comfortable with, you know as much as you can in a show room or whatever, play with it, stand at it make sure is the right height, 'cause that's the big key, position compromise.

Collier: I didn't think about height yeah, that’s a, that se, these are hug nuggets I mean, I, I think if people can take away anything, in prepping for this I never in a million years would’ve thought of I would’ve heard the vent hood.

Ken: Oh yeah, yeah, black one most importantly.

Collier: (Laughter), it’s just I mean wow, but it’s probably true ‘cause you know it wasn’t obvious, I mean that’s just crazy to me so well man, you know we’re, I’m gonna tell you how to get to it, but we’re gonna move on to real state stuff Ken, we’re gonna talk about the real estate market inventory.

Ken: Ok.

Collier: Are WAY down.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I notice in my neighborhood no else, there are 3 houses for sale not 150 houses.

Collier: All right, we do have, before we get in this hey another question for you, what about back splash material?

Ken: (Short sigh), some of it is easy to clean.

Collier: So, they’re making a mistake a lot of times when they’re cooking and grout the tiles.  

Ken: Yeah, that stuff will get stained yeah, I think bigger tiles are better than small tiles, if you really want tiles the other thing you can do is you know, put some sort of barrier, a piece of glass or something, a piece of Plexiglas or something, it kinda looks cheap, it looks cheesy but, it’s easy to clean and protective.

Collier: The, the, the, but I bet over in Mississippi y’all have all those, your seat, your dining room seats covers, you know?  

Ken: Yeah, of course no.

Collier: No, no (laughter).

Ken: The other thing that a lot of people do right now, is build their kitchens, so the stove is in the aisle so that you, there is no back splash, there is no wall right directly behind the stove to get splash, it’s just, there is a few feet of counter top behind it.

Collier: Oh, gotcha.

Ken: It’s just easy to wipe up.

Collier: Gotcha.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Gotcha, all right aim your question just away and I’ll come back to you here, but inventories are WAY down 11% year over year. Ken, one of the biggest problems we got is sales are up, inventories down that has to mean.

Ken: Prices going up.

Collier: Prices going up and we’re seen it you know, prices up 3 and a half percent on single family homes.

Ken: Ok.

Collier: I tell ya and quite frankly, this is, you know is the first time in our generation I can tell ya that we’ve seen rising prices with rising interest rates.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: (Laughter), I mean something’s gonna have to give and it’s probably gonna be, not be the interest rates it’ll be, prices gonna have to level off here so.

Ken: Do you think it’ll push inventory up anytime soon?

Collier: I don’t, we get you people off the snide rack because like in your neighborhood, think of people are pointing at each other, but how about you show your first?

Ken: Right.

Collier: ‘Cause I have nowhere to go ‘cause you’re in Ken’s neighborhood, you’re certainly not moving in the same neighborhood.

Ken: Right.

Collier: But where am I gonna go? And we’ve seen a lot of folks from outta state, these are the points moving the market right now.

Ken: Ok.

Collier: But, one of the best things is you know, we’re seeing a lot of folks out there spreading the message about that we’re in a big market shift, I just think it’s an oddity, I, I, I talked about it with David I don’t know if you have an opinion on this, but that the economy is working for Wall Street which is what we needed to happen, but it hasn’t trickled down necessarily.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: And I’m seeing a lot of people put stuff on credit cards, man, I was looking at a lady today and I was in an office, and she was telling me about having to put like a two thousand dollar bills on a credit card and make payments, it was some emergency type thing.

Ken: Right, right.

Collier: And you know, that’s a shame.

Ken: Yeah, it is.

Collier: We know we talk about it every week, having an emergency fund, being ready to roll, I know you’re a big Dave Ramsay guy.

Ken: Yeah, oh yeah.

Collier: At least Grilled it is.
Ken: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Grilled, my parents went through it.

Collier: But, I tell ya kid, one of the most interesting things is the median days on the market is only 17 days.

Ken: That’s why.

Collier: I mean that’s dead center, I mean a lot of these houses are going right when they you know, hit the market you know so. So anyway, number’s looking good, average price sales in Birmingham about 242 thousand, town homes only about 165, so we saw that decline a little bit, this can a single one for though to see what the Fed does, it’s fun every day to listen to Trump and then go back and forth.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Because they’re like we’ll do what we wanna do, and Trump says I’ll do what I wanna do.

Ken: Right.

Collier: (Laughter).

Ken: Somebody yeah, at some point that’s gonna get.

Collier: When are y’all gonna be wrong?

Ken: Yeah, that’s gotta get ‘em.

Collier: I mean you and I talked about him beforehand, Trump’s a hoot isn’t he?

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: I mean not, we don’t have to talk politics.

Ken: Regardless of the politics, he’s.

Collier: It’s gonna be fun to watch.

Ken: It’s a show.

Collier: Nineteen years from now.

Ken: It’s a show, it’ll be interesting to see what people think

Collier: Oh yeah, it’s, it’s, you never know, all right talk about interest rates, man! When you bought, I remember you bought what? About 4 years ago?

Ken: Yep.

Collier: Right?

Ken: Yeah, 4 or 5 years ago no, 5 years ago.

Collier: What are you about 4% rate? 3?

Ken: I think it’s under 4, yeah.

Collier: Look at this guy!

Ken: 3.75.

Collier: 3.75? People are gonna kill you now!

Ken: Well, the bad thing is though when we’re ready to move up in a couple of years.

Collier: That’s right.

Ken: We’re gonna pay a higher rate.

Collier: You know that’s right, but the, this what we’re talking about, he’s a good example where he’s got to sell at a higher price, to absorb the difference in what his buying power was and that’s the biggest thing in a seller’s market is that buying powers decrease at all price points, ‘cause no matter what he’s moving up too: I mean, I guess if you’re in a tiny house, you’re gonna be moving them bigger house.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: And so at all price points.

Ken: Yeah luckily, Ad binge know what the data says, we bought our house at the bottom of the market for Birmingham so, our neighborhood the prices have grown fairly substantially over the last, I think we’ve been there 6 years.

Collier: Yeah well, time flies and you have 2 kids.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: So! Life’s changed, but it is interesting that, that you know and some of that’s inflation we’ve talked about that too, but where Ken, Ken’s gonna beat that if like we talked about it 2 weeks ago, talking about how inflation plays into a price, I look at my house at 240 thousand I bought it, but I’m gonna sell it 280, but really I look at inflationary numbers.   

Ken: Right.

Collier: It’s really that same dollar from 06 is worth 290 now?
Ken: Right.

Collier: So, I’m losing money?

Ken: Yeah, you’re losing money, where I bought at 150 and we’re gonna sell it 200 and so, we should be able to outpace that.

Collier: Say good info, I mean what good info, good timing.

Ken: Right yeah, I mean there’s just lot cross.

Collier: And I think too, whether you’re someone that bought at the height of the market, I think everybody’s gonna catch something.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I mean we all.

Collier: Ken will get burned here one day.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: I, I might have already you know but, it’s, it’s just about living life.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: Talk about mortgage rates real quick before we get to everybody’s favorite, the football picks, 30 year fix, 4.63 we have taken down about 2 tenths of a point over last week, you might say hey, I didn’t see with my mortgage lender this week, that’s a natural average folks so, David’s not here so have to pull national averages.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: Anyway, 30 year fix FHA, 4.34, hey 15 year conventional if you can do it, do it, 3.9 for under 4 still, the jumbo is only 4.72 this week, and like I say down 2 tenths of a point, hey miss Outtafae how are you? Good to see ya, so hey, interest rates catch ‘em before they’re gone, which is really interesting ‘cause Ken’s not, are you a millennial technically?

Ken: Technically I am.

Collier: You don’t that long.

Ken: Born in ’86 and so yeah that’s.

Collier: Yeah but you know, it’s so funny what we’re dealing with a lot of these millennials and they would say oh, well I’m never gonna get a mortgage over 5 or I’m never gonna buy it, well I’m saying puff! They’re still historically low.

Ken: Right, well my, my parents, my wife’s parents talk about buying their first house and paying 12% so you know, it’s just it’s nuts.
Collier: So whatever you’re gonna, y’all, you and Brooke are gonna pay.

Ken: Yes.

Collier: It’s not bad.

Ken: Right.

Collier: And repeat, a lot of people go but, they only paid 110 thousand for their house.

Ken: Right. And they may’ve.

Collier: Well yeah, but that was worth.

Ken: Yeah, it was in the ‘80s you know, late ‘70s, early ‘80s and like 20 thousand dollars a year.

Collier: The same, it’s 250 now.

Ken: Exactly.

Collier: It’s so crazy, but all right, everybody’s football picks and by the way I get more, I get more texts and emails over this stuff than anything ‘cause God bless Ame, let’s, so let’s, we’re gonna talk about Syracuse, they are Syracuse grads, I’m like hey, it’s just a pick.

Ken: That’s right, that’s right.

Collier: It’s a good pick, well some weeks but anyway, All right Ken need your best analysis here.

Ken: Ok.

Collier: Syracuse, number 12 Syracuse is at Notre Dame, big game for Notre Dame.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: Notre Dame is ten and a half points, what do you got on this game?
Ken: Notre Dame needs to win big, if they’re gonna be in the college playoff, they gotta beat everybody, they gotta beat big, Notre Dame’s not covered, if they’re at home they’re covered.

Collier: Yeah, I agree with Ken for one reason if we were at the carrier down, totally different game.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: You know it’s really funny, I found out when I was up there I was talking to some people at the game there a few years ago, that they would even plow, it’s called the carrier down for a reason, carrier is a what? AC.

Ken: That’s right.

Collier: Matter of fact or whatever, they went up and down that depending on who they’re playing.

Ken: No, they’re playing yeah.

Collier: There’s not anything they can do, I found it fascinating, all right probably I think one of the highest scoring games of the week.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: West Virginia -5 at Oklahoma State.

Ken: Yeah, the big 12 seems to always beat themselves out of a chance to be in the playoff, Oklahoma State’s gonna cover, I think Oklahoma State’s just gonna win the game all right.

Collier: All right, I, you say outright so, you’re taking that money line, I’m gonna say it’s an Oklahoma State cover, I think it’s a field goal game, but we’re both on the right side we’re just on the wrong side.

Ken: (Laughter).

Collier: Now, here’s the game that’s gonna be the toughest, Trista says hello Ken.

Ken: Hey Trista, how are you?

Collier: Liberty I cannot believe, now hold on let’s go back to the fact that I don’t even have Alabama on here because they don’t even have a line.

Ken: There’s no yeah, who they buy (inaudible), but.

Collier: I think I found the citadel.

Ken: Ok, the fact that both of you do this every year is disgraceful and that the FCC let’s you do this is disgraceful.

Collier: Yeah, all right, well no, this year it’s a tough game apparently because we’re only 27 and a half points favorites against Liberty, all right I mean these are people that, kids that didn’t B1 but, 27 and a half points all, I’m going Liberty.

Ken: No, Auburn.

Collier: Plus 27 and a half points.

Ken: Yeah no, right you’re not taking that, Auburn’s gonna cover the sprint.

Collier: He’s got more faith than I do.

Ken: Auburn’s gonna cover the sprint, I don’t, it’s, it’s lovely.

Collier: (Laughter), hey have you, it’s Gus mouths eyes it’s what I say.

Ken: (Laughter), it’s a good point.

Collier: Yeah, yeah, he forgot that point and.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: All right, here’s, here’s one you take pride in.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: Arkansas plus 21 at and I know you love to hear this, number 21 back at the you know, top 25 here Mississippi State.

Ken: Yep, Arkansas is always tough, we always play them right after we play

Alabama, we’re beat up from last week, we’re gonna win but, we’re gonna be down by 21, I’ll take Arkansas I’ll take the points.

Collier: You know, Arkansas is one of those teams that is weird to share.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: Especially against a spread.

Ken: Yeah, yeah, I don’t, I don’t think our offense is good enough to hurt once down by 21 points, our defense may be if we squad defense we might cover that.

Collier: Well I will say this, you got one of the best quarterbacks in the league, I mean obviously I remember quarterbacks it’s a league of its own, your, your quarterback’s really good and really tall.

Ken: He’s really good, he is very tall, he’s a very good runner, I’d like to see a little more out of him in the passing games, we’ll see.

Collier: Man, I love it when Mississippi State’s good ‘cause you know, I really think there’s a good Mississippi State team, actually can get better national attention than Ole Miss, so we need Ole Miss forever.

Ken: Yeah and a different spot.

Collier: But it’ll take ever, so anyway all right, the big one around Birmingham this week, this is an interesting game UAB plus 17 at A&M, what a game! If they can ever pull this off.

Ken: Oh yeah, they can pull it off but, I don’t think they can pull it off, (laughter), I mean.

Collier: (Laughter), is it a talent issue?

Ken: Yeah, it’s just talent A&M has too many good players I don’t know, they’re not a great team but, UAV is a notch blowing up for sure.

Collier: Well you know, well you know, I agree with you, I think A&M covers the 17 but, I go back to the Stanford-Florida State game from earlier this year, they had no business being on that field.

Ken: No, not at all, not at all but, A&M this year I think is better than Florida State.

Collier: Texas A&M is highly determined on winning this kind of game.

Ken: Oh absolutely, yeah absolutely, they may end up playing in Birmingham at the bottom of.

Collier: Yeah, that’s my worst fear for Auburn.

Ken: (Laughter), that’s right.

Collier: It’s that I can get up in the morning.

Ken: Yep.

Collier: And roll out of bed and go see.

Ken: Yep, just walk I, buy a ticket for a couple of dollars, I think UAB it’s a wonderful story and I hope they win.

Collier: What a coach!

Ken: Yeah, hope they keep him.

Collier: But I, I, he’s invested in it, they need to pay him whatever.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier; Although, I don’t where they’re catching their revenue to come in, ‘cause that’s what sad about this whole thing.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: We talk about all the time in the weekend, abut Birmingham and sports, we’re the only town in North America to put the baseball stadium and the food and entertainment district on the other side.

Ken: Yeah, it’s not.

Collier: It’s brilliant!

Ken: (Laughter), it’s not great, it’s not great but, when UAB gets their stadium built it’s gonna be right there.

Collier: Oh good.

Ken: At the entertainment district.

Collier. Thank you, makes sense.

Ken: They’re gonna share a stadium in the city and folks will go.
Collier: I hope they will too.

Ken: But, I don’t know if we actually made our picks, A&M, A&M’s gonna be in the center so.

Collier: Covering’s everything, I also took A&M so, let’s see what happens!

Ken: Did we agree, did we agree on all?

Collier: No, I think we did but.

Ken: We did.

Collier: The problem was the game.

Ken: The game?

Collier: No, no, no, Liberty, I took Liberty.

Ken: Oh you did, ok, ok.

Collier: I took Liberty, no but we disagreed on Oklahoma State and West Virginia there.

Ken: But, we both took, we’re taking the 5.

Collier: But you, no, you made a.

Ken: I think they’re gonna win! I think Oklahoma State’s gonna win yeah.

Collier: So, you see that’s the hook.

Ken: Yeah.

Collier: So, if we somehow were to, that’s the other one.

Ken: Yeah, yeah.

Collier: But anyway, Ken thanks so much for stopping by!

Ken: Absolutely yeah, thanks for having me.

Collier: And how can folks find you?

Ken: The website is, the Instagram is @ChefUbham, Facebook is ChefU Birmingham.

Collier: And we’re gonna link it down below, if you’re watching this on YouTube or you’re listening to us on the podcast, by the way everybody go download the podcast! You can listen to it in your car, you don’t have to watch and let this face make you react, but anyway, and pound that like button on YouTube and share this, everything else by the way, the podcast on Apple podcast, Google podcast, wherever you can find good pods. So, Ken man! Thanks so my man! And watching your success has just been awesome! I mean you were, to say somebody and I, we talk great entrepreneurs, it’s fun watching somebody grow.

Ken: Yeah, it’s been fun growing, it’s been fun growing for sure and continuing to grow in the next years.

Collier: And give this guy a call!

Ken: Yep.

Collier: If you are looking something fun to do with the entire family during Thanksgiving Week through January, check out Shadracks Christmas Wonderland which is thousands of Christmas lights that are set to music. You drive through the presentation while the music is pumped through your radio. This year the Christmas Wonderland is being held at the Birmingham Race Course. For more information visit:

Collier: I think you’ll really enjoy it, thanks so much we’ll see ya at Next Thursday’s Thanksgiving so, we’ll probably make ‘em a day early, make ‘em a day late but, we’ll have a show next week so, have a great week and if don’t talk to you before then, Happy Thanksgiving! All right we’ll talk to you soon, bye-bye!


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