These Old Shoes

 Chef shoes  Little umbrellas for feet Stronger than plastic wrap Tougher than burlap. Made for the kitchen, no good for sitting Run a mile round and round,  In the cooler, climb up, then down. Spray them with Armor All Protects like a coverall More lustrous than a Cadillac Or truffle duck fat fries For a Scooby snack. Skechers, clogs, Birkenstocks  find a shoe that fits your price  Rubber molds for your feet  Cushioned insoles to absorb the heat A pit bull’s grip – they never slip Like a feather in Hercules’ grip. We love these shoes, but cannot lie: A barefoot chef is happiest.    

Beer With Me

It was as natural as eating and, to me, as necessary. I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking a beer.” Ernest Hemingway The world is divided into two categories of people: those who drink alcohol and those who won’t. Whatever your viewpoint on alcohol and its effects, people will continue to drink – even as others tread  the path of sobriety. I like to drink beer, you prefer apple juice – and that’s fine. It’s freedom of choice that makes us unique individuals. But to deny yourself the chance to enjoy the guilty pleasures of this great world is to spend a lifetime with a brown paper bag on your head. With luck and perhaps a small dose of fortitude, your gastronomic adventures will lead you to a slice of foie gras seared medium rare with caramelized bananas and brioche,  or the salty clean taste of the ocean from a fresh shucked oyster. Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”  Dave Barry Personally, I like beer, it’s an unpretentious drink made from four simple ingredients – grain, hops, yeast and water. When combined and allowed to ferment, the result is a slightly effervescent alcoholic beverage which can be bought at any convenience store, supermarket, gas station, pub or restaurant. The bottle is easily opened. Twist the cork with your thumb and […]

On Working & Photochefs.com

Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.  –  Julia Child I try to post at least once a week on PhotoChefs. Usually it takes at least five days of thought, writing, pictures and editing before I’m satisfied with the published content. In my initial research on food blogs, I bought two books on the subject: Blogging for Dummies, and another…. I can’t remember the name.  They recommended posting as often as twice weekly to build content and keep readers interested.  I also spent quite a bit of time studying the design, look  and content of the most popular food blogs: eggbeater.typepad.com, chocolate and zucchini, Chez Pim, Orangette. A common thread among the authors of most food blogs: most of them DO NOT WORK IN PROFESSIONAL KITCHENS. Many have the time and money to travel the world, eating and blogging about famous chefs and  restaurants. I appreciate and sometimes envy their ability to dine in places you and I can only dream about. For most readers (including myself), these sites allow us to be voyeurs on a restricted budget. To know that they were there – at El Bulli in Spain, The French Laundry in the United States, Noma in Denmark–  and were thoughtful enough to let us share their experience through words and pictures is a privilege. Ninety percent of the time, I’m the person […]

Diverse Impressions of a Passionate Cook’s State of Mind Eating New Orleans Soul Food – Part II

The swamp gives life and it takes life. This primordial cycle is simple, brutal and unforgiving: the laws of nature rigidly enforced in a lonely landscape painted pastel colors of green, blue, and gray. The heat, humidity and mosquitoes rise from the swamp to assault human inhabitants with unbridled ferocity.  They state the obvious: “You Are Not Wanted, Stay Out”. This vast expanse of marshland is interspersed with bodies of brackish water, cypress trees, Spanish moss, marsh grasses, vines, palmettos and irises. It is wild, pristine, harsh and beautiful. The marsh is teeming with life – crayfish, frogs, snakes, turtles, catfish, snowy egrets, blue herons, pelicans and alligators.  The city of New Orleans stands as a solitary fortress in the middle of this alien landscape. Its citizens have erected barriers of concrete, roads and highways along with the trappings of human habitation to keep the swamp at bay. But Mother Nature is an implacable adversary. The swamp is hers, and all who choose to live in it must eventually bend to her will. “What is born of me, shall return to my bosom, and the earth will shelter and provide shade in this, our final resting place.” As the citizens of New Orleans are nudged closer to deaths’ embrace, The City of the Dead waits patiently to house them. Rows and rows of concrete tombs bleached white by the sun stand as testament to the futility of fighting the cosmos. In the years 1787 and 1788, New Orleanians suffered and died by the […]