I can start with a very joyous moment in my kitchen journey. I have started a new station, and that station is the grill. Day or night I handle a live fire and I shovel coals. There is immense pressure, immense heat and loads of exhaustion and possible dehydration. It is however, very exhilarating to cook a piece of protein well, and handle that beast of a fire. I come home with small blisters from flying embers that crackle off the coals that find themselves latching onto my skin. I come home with cuts, knicks and burns from hot sizzle platters, and from lord knows what.
But I can’t step away. When I was training a few weeks ago on the day grill I felt what it was like to almost be on the verge of a mental collapse. All the tickets that were piling up…having to figure out the timing of each protein…calling out the time to the expediter…what cheese goes on what burger…what temp for each burger…toasting the buns…grilling the mushrooms to order…fish goes with that…pork goes with that…and a whole new setup?? DAMN YOU MODIFICATIONS!!! Never before have I hated customers and their complicated orders and never have I really began to loathe the server. I had some very awful thoughts of failure, but I told myself to breathe through it, and that the day would eventually end…that day. When the person training me had asked if I was okay, I soon went from internal frustration and combustion to external and my eyes began to well up. SISSY. I know.
There is something so satisfying about he feeling that you have accomplished a day or night of work. I have learned a so much since being on the grill and I am still learning each time I step on that place mat and shovel those dark black coals into the blazing hot fire and ash.
Skip to a few weeks later and I am working more night shifts on the grill. Pork chops, flat irons, tuna, bass, halibut, grouper, salmon, pork tenderloin, grass-fed beef hamburgers. Before this I had never really worked a hot line before except the fryer, and getting to know the feel of a protein and its doneness, and there is still more to come.
I have also moved into a more centralized and more convenient spot of the city. Public transportation is abundant and now I have a nice little kitchen to cook in. But I also have to mention that the best part about this new cozy home is the access to the wonderful lush garden that is my backyard. Here I have access to a few superb varieties of herbs, and greens as well as beautiful violets and strawberry blossoms peaking through the soil. But that’s not the end…
I have also began a small journey into feeling what it is like to be someones personal chef. Vipul is his name and he recently hired me to cook for him. In the past couple of weeks I have created a surplus of recipes, so many in fact that I have not had a chance to document or keep record of what I have made for him.
I am hoping that changes and I will update the site with more recipes from the past couple of weeks. Vipul said to me the other day that he had told some of his friends that he hired someone to cook for him and that he “…Really feel it you know?” Suggesting that he feels the power of good food. That’s what happens when you begin to eat well prepared meals that take time and loads of heart. I just love cooking, and Vipul’s statement was one of the most flattering things a cook could hear. Spending hours simmering a stock, hand peeling fava beans, hand mincing garlic, and other time-consuming processes in cooking can make a phenomenal difference in how your food tastes.