An Elegant Christmas Brunch

“Ingredients are not sacred. The art of cuisine is sacred. It is at that altar I worship, and I shall go to sacrifice the fat geese and tender cattle to serve its ends. The holy icons of the chef’s faith—fragrant truffles, rich foie gras, well-marbled meats and other luxurious ingredients – these are not God. Their synthesis and their miraculous transformation into a sum greater than its parts is creation, and this is what I find most worthy of reverence.” Tanith Tyrr

Dim Sum for Three

 Yuen has been feeding us the leftovers from her soirees into Atlanta’s Chinatown for weeks. Tony the grill guy, had spent two years  in Hong Kong teaching English, fallen in love and found a wife before returning to the United States, suggested it would be fun, if we all met up for Dim Sum one Sunday. We all agreed, and Yuen volunteered to take us to her favorite restaurant. Chinese restaurants usually serve Dim Sum on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 am and 2pm which would be perfect for our little crew on the night shift. We could meet, hang out, eat and be at work in time for our 2pm shift.  That was a month ago. EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES Celia – “Sorry, I’m pulling a double this Sunday, can’t make it.” Like Murphy’s Law if something could go wrong it did. Tony –   “my father is coming that day to help with repairs on the house, can’t make it.  Finally, I decided that with or without my coworkers, I was going, so Yuen and I made plans for this Sunday, December 12th. This is my first Dim Sum experience; I’m twelve years old again and dreaming about opening all my presents under the Christmas tree. The night before, I made sure to set my alarm for 10:30am, but there was no need. At 10 am, my eyes pop open like twin slices of crisp warmed bread from the toaster. Impatient, restless and excited, I try to lie still and […]

Thomas Keller – The Man and the Mystique

“Great artists are excellent craftsmen, they are innovators that do things no one has done before, their innovations are perceived to be of value, and they are influential because others start to do what they started.” Tim Ryan

My Little Voice

“Today is the same as yesterday as it will be tomorrow.”Jomo Morris My little voice grates inside my head, it pulses and seeps through my every waking and sleeping moment, like the stain of roasted coffee beans percolating drop by drop through a conical paper filter. My little voice courses through every crevasse of my soul, a molten tide, seething and powerful. I am in awe at the strength of my emotions. Captive in its grasp, I burn with fever because of its touch. My little voice is reason – my conscience, my fears, my mentor and tormentor. This is my core, my font for inspiration  as a professional cook.  Clogs, chequered pants and jacket, they are mine, a part of my profession and I am proud to wear them.My passion binds me to my craft and it is an exhilarating elixir to taste, as delicious as the best Blue Mountain coffee. The stoves, ovens, steamers, pots and pans are mine to use with skill and precision. In my hands,  they are old friends that speak a language my little voice understands.My kitchen exudes confidence and a unified sense of purpose, as seasoned line cooks adeptly navigate through the tension and underlying currents that build in anticipation of 5:30 dinner service. I am at home in the kitchen.  I wish this were not true, then I would be free to walk on the sun. My little voice knows my passion in life, is a two edged sword – a blessing and a curse. Facing my own fear, leaves an acrid after taste, like ash on the tongue. I […]