Yes every time I say I am going to try and post more and more of what I do in my Chef life I seem to trip up somewhere shortly after my post stating my objective. So I will make a point to not tell anyone how I am going to try and write more, I am just going to write more.
This blog was initially setup to be a place I would post about all the cool chef stuff I get to do in my day to day life. What it has become is a blog about all the cool chef stuff I get to do when I think it's cool enough to share with you. I think that if I really get to the brass tax of the damn thing I should share the truth and reality of what I do, and how I got here. If I take this approach I'd be well on my way to a book about my life, however that is really a boring read.
So let us start over, let's start at the beginning; I can honestly say I do not remember my first cooking experience. Luckily for you my father Dennis was constantly at the ready with his camera and I have photo evidence of the first few times I was allowed into the kitchen. In true kitchen fashion my first task was to wash dishes, apparently I was a afforded a sweet striped dishwashers shirt and awesome blue cooks pants. After seeing this photo I now have a clear understanding of my joy of washing dishes, seriously I love to wash dishes.
I really feel that I was born to cook, I am one of those chefs in the world that can just walk into a restaurant and execute the required dishes with little to no menu training. I have what I typically refer to as "it." Was I born with "it?" Of course I was. You're right! That is really ego centered. If you don't believe me invite me to your kitchen and give me a prep list and spot on your line. Moving on...
Cooking has afforded me some of the most amazing experiences. In fact it has defined my life. I'm not just talking about working in restaurants or catering or hot sauce, I'm talking about life, love, and spirit. Growing up on a 12 acre fruit farm in Glen Ellen, California just outside Sonoma, where my parents acted as care takers lead to many home cooked meals. It was here that my father taught me the joy of cooking at home, I can still remember the smells of breakfast on Saturday mornings before watching The San Francisco Giants play baseball. In these Saturday mornings I found true joy, a boy and his father. As I grew old enough to join my father on hunting and fishing trips, I learned the importance of respecting every animal; I truly respected these animals for giving their life in order for me to have mine. My father taught me the importance of treating nature with respect and we would often just photograph the wild game and fish. I am so grateful I had these experiences with my father.
I spent my teen years living with mother who was a single mom working 12-16 hours days at the local emergency room in order to give me the best possible teen years a kid could have. I can't tell you enough about how much I love and respect my mother, her work ethic is directly visible through my own. My mom taught me the value of being a respectable employee, hard worker, and great co-worker. The respect I saw my mom receive from her co-workers was and still is, beyond encouraging. Since my mom worked these incredible hours I was left to my own devices many nights. It was in these nights I began to experiment with recipes I would find in cookbooks my mom had given me, as she new how much I loved food and the pictures in these books; I still love a good cookbook and actually have over 100, I kinda collect them. It was in these books I learned that a recipe is simply A GUIDE for creating your own dishes. However when starting out I strongly suggest following the recipes until you grasp the concepts of cooking.
Ok, since my mom allowed me the task of cooking at home, she and her co-workers often benefited from these meals. In these experiments I found absolute joy. When I would arrive at the ER to do my homework I would bring dinner for most of the staff and they would openly except and eat these experiments. I'll be honest many were absurd and over thought and the staff would smile politely. However it was in the meals that were well received that I gained the most satisfaction. The smiles, the head nods, the happy feet and chatter of happy customers. This is where the drive to please palates took hold. From here there was no looking back, I knew what I was going to do. I was going to make people smile, twitch, and wiggle through food.
I'll stop here for now, but I promise to continue this story in the near future.