There are times when I want to write a blog and I get my fingers on the keyboard and nothing happens. I want to write something when the motivation is there, and then it’s as if I have writers block! So, today’s entry is whatever comes to mind, basically…I am going to ramble. I hope you enjoy the small piece. Thanks for coming back to check out the site!
I am excited for the season to change- for food reasons only. The actual weather has been the same here in Napa all year almost! It never got cold, never really rained, it just felt like an extension of spring all year long. It is not a terrible place to live- being surrounded by small farms, artisan food purveyors, Michelin-starred restaurants and people that LOVE wine. It’s also pretty cool to have San Francisco less than an hour away. So, last night I had dinner at Morimoto. I really love it there. I have my staple dishes that I return to order every time I go, and the chefs send out new creative dishes in a friendly gesture when I visit. It’s a lovely place. Out of the 10+ dishes we had, my favorite of the evening was Kamachi Collar grilled on an earthenware, table-top Japanese mini grill- a Yakitori Hibachi. It was so simple, so beautiful with a grilled lemon half and spices such as ground Japanese peppers. It had crispy skin and succulent flesh. It was perfection to say the least. This is the way I like to eat. The salmon that we ordered had come in so fresh that they had to let it rest an hour before serving it to allow the protein to relax. That is pretty special. Can you imagine experiencing something similar in Japan? I MUST go. It just reminded me that this is how I cook as a chef, this is who I am as a chef and I need to remember that when contemplating a dish. Overcomplicating is unnecessary when you have ingredients that speak for themselves.
Having ingredients that speak for themselves is so important. That is why I have made major moves in my cooking to be a “responsible” chef when it comes to ingredients. Sourcing, researching, and learning constantly helps me to form good decisions when feeding myself and others. For example, one resource for fish besides the Monterey Bay Seafood Aquarium Watch list www.montereybayaquarium.org that I have recently found is www.fishchoice.com. It is important that we have the resources available to us to help us chefs locate the product that is sustainable and “in season”. There are some really good articles including one very informative article on orange juice on the website www.civileats.com . Did you know that Tropicana is owned by PepsiCo. and that Simply Orange and Minute-Maid are owned by Coca-Cola?? Interesting read.
Enough of that talk. A new concept will come with the fruition of some research currently taking place. Lot’s of new projects! I will be doing some traveling between now and then, so I hope to run in to you in your town! Follow me on Twitter and if I run into you out and about make sure you say “HELLO”!
I trust everyone is well. Drop me a line if you have a chance. See my updated calendar and try to attend some events! See you soon!
I have been enjoying some treats along the way during my recent travels …
Cabernet Grapes from Howell Mountain
Miyagi Oyster, Wasabi Pop-Rocks
Here is my next subject…
Sustainablilty. Seasonality. Renewability. Well, that’s 3 subjects really, but it is a serious subject that I have really focused on in my cooking. One thing I realize is that what’s in season for one place may not be in season for another. It is interesting that what I find in my markets, might not hit the other side of the nation’s markets for a few more weeks or even months. I am in a search of the answers to the many questions I have and I want to share my searches with you.
This is heavy stuff. But, I am bothered by not having the answers of food controversies. I think the first place to start is to begin to understand how the global food system really works. I have vowed to myself to understand and make sense of it. I began by joining the Food Alliance.
Stay tuned for information as I begin my quest.
If you can recall, there is a limited amount of bread and pastry making on Top Chef. It is not that we do not enjoy eating, using, and cooking them of course. Quite honestly, there isn’t really time to bake bread. But, of course, I serve it in my restaurant. I LOVE bread. The biggest problem I see with baking bread at home is the kneading, the proofing, the waiting. I like the idea of wanting fresh baked bread and actually getting to eat it in the next couple of hours. …Read on…
Is it me? Or did this past week’s show play a love/hate role with me? I was on the edge of my seat and I know what happens! At the end, I couldn’t tell what in the hell was about to transpire. The chef’s families commenting and the judges in love with everything as if they were at a war time peace rally- or better yet, Woodstock! The chef’s have come a long way, and they are actually looking pretty good mentally healthy and ready for anything. Too much love and not enough competing! Though I am proud of the way they support one another and want each other to succeed. That is the way I would want it to be if I were still in the competition. But, secretly, aren’t you waiting for that very moment when one of them is going to snap?? …Read on…