Thursday, November 21, 2013

Food For Thought

Making Ravioli
Most people who know me know I like to cook. My dad, on the other hand, always seems to have
made some new discovery when he sees that I take a certain pride (and hours) creating, what should be, in his mind a simple meal, and asks how come I know so much about food. I then reply that I have always liked cooking, from the time I was little, and food has been my business for twenty years. I am not a chef, but I play one at home.

A large part of my experience being back in California now has been the role of Cook. I have adjusted to the reality that, given our circumstances, I can't go out and spend $100 for four courses for one meal. Also it helps that I have had some difficulty locating the Dean & Deluca here in San Bernardino. In any
case, I've been in the kitchen a lot... and I like it! (Please nobody tell Gary Porter what "on the fly" means or I might start cursing like a real pro.) While my technique, time management (far better), and overall finished product are often less than perfect, I find myself drawing from experiences ranging from Food Network shows to travels abroad to my years in many restaurants:
"Make sure to get all of your colors." - Grandma
"Oooh, that (crepe) is a nice pancake!" - Chef Andrea
"Is our food coming??" - countless guests
"Wow, I don't know how I ever managed without a garlic peeler!" - my uncle Sam
"Your burger was... okay." - Jose

Lima, Peru
Decades of travel and being in the restaurant business have made me who I am. It turns out to have been quite helpful in aiding in the performance of my new job. Leaving the big city though, I look up, and everyone now are married, have kids, have a home, have a life, et cetera... Life happens. What serves me well here and has served me well providing hospitality to my guests has been patience. Of course, not everyone else is as patient, and that is where things pass you by. Some changes recently reflect that.

I should conclude for now that life is a process - like cooking - that requires preparation, knowledge,
Christmas Brunch - Coffee!
skill, discipline, creativity, flexibility, memory, patience, and timeliness. There very well may be a recipe, yet it may be revealed only bit by bit. I have always believed that both life and cooking are fueled by dedication, desire, and determination. A little luck helps sometimes, but hopefully we all find ourselves at the feast... with as few regrets as possible... and never run out of wine. Time, of course will always chase the feast; even the latest Christmas Brunch must end. Perhaps with enough of the right ingredients and good people, success will never be too far away.

Buon Appetito!
Japanese Salad

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