Every day that I wake up, I prepare myself mentally for the grueling tasks ahead. In order to cope, I answer this brief yet thorough checklist:
- DO YOU LOVE TO BE IN NATURE? check
- DO YOU LOVE TO LEARN?? check
- DO YOU LOVE TO MEET NEW (AND INTERESTING) PEOPLE? check
- DO YOU LOVE TO EAT FOOD AND DRINK AND GET INSPIRATION ON YOUR CRAFT FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE IT LONGER, IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, OR EVEN IN THE SAME CITY, BUT IN BETTER RESTAURANTS, FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, AND HAVE MAYBE A BIGGER BRAIN OR A SMALLER BRAIN – BUT AT LEAST THINK IN DIFFERENT WAYS THAN YOU? check check check check check. (do you love run on sentences? did I count right? Oh what the hell proportions are only important for the human body…and baking)
To me, cooking is 53% science, 62% art. 100% heart – and you better put all your heart or your food will taste like a microwave dinner (Okay, Stouffers French Bread Pizza! = Nostalgia, yes better than Mozza and Posto and Lombardi’s and Grimaldis and Joe’s and definitely better than DiGiornio ;)). That was a bad analogy huh? Oh WELL!…and we cave men never learned math.
What I love about what it is I do is I get to be a player in the above bullet pointed game, and then some. It’s like waking up to the same sun shining in your face (if you don’t wake up that early you are missing out; or in my case, staying up that late) but in a totally different location – one day on the white sand beaches of BFN, the next on a NYC highrise. Same sun, different location. Every day, through ever person I meet, I add to the contents of a metaphorical funnel. What I mean is the knowledge of hundreds if not thousands of years of hunting and cooking information from too many chefs to count started like a huge funnel of coffee grinds, and now has percolated into a special, concentrated cup – blended just for you. Drink up.
Lately, I’ve been uninspired to try new restaurants, disappointed by 1-3 Michelin starred restaurants, critically acclaimed joints, most notably after my brother and I took our Mom out for her birthday (and spent a good deal of money)…but found refuge in the devourment (i know) of a $5 Vietnamese Pork Chop plate. After the 8 course meal. But every now and again, I venture outside the simple way of cooking that I do – the type that aims to highlight just one ingredient usually some sort of seafood that was just harvested.
The intimacy of Chef Kevin Meehan’s Kali Dining (previous post here) “pop-up” 8 person restaurant was astounding, and exactly why I
love LOVE food. In one sentence – FOOD brings people together. Over a shared experience over something so essential. Never fail to recognize that good food is a choice, no matter the budget. For instance, it costs the same to watch a crappy movie, or watch The Rock.
I thoroughly enjoyed dinner.
Not every chef takes risks. I like the aggressiveness of the duck foot next to a duck egg. though it was used just for garnish. Some took it home to be used as a nosepicker. 🙂 *twiddles thumbs*
This Escabeche was delicate and refreshing. Chef Meehan cooked the striped bass briefly in oil then poached in vinegar overnight and served cold. yum f’n yum. What complementary textures, and what beautiful colors! And normally I don’t like a lot of bullshit on the plate – serve me more of the protein. Name: Loup de Mer Escabeche, Provencal Vegetables, Black Pepper Gastrique, Pepper Coulis
This dish I’m not sure the name, but I think it’s something like: Big ass Scallop, Clam beurre blanc, Fried leeks
Lavender Mousse, Strawberry Ice, Goat Curd(from a goat that he milked), Balsamic Glaze and random herbs that were for garnish but I ate anyway. During dinner, someone asked, “Was the milk from a Male or a Female Goat?” HAHaHAHAHAHahahahah I think you’d get a different taste if it was a male…
My good friend once said her favorite chefs in LA (after having gone to all the top restaurants) are……MEEHAN and…Drumroll…wait for it…yours truly!) Now I’m friends with Meehan. That’s what it’s all about 🙂