Friday, May 23, 2008

Where Did You Train?

It seems that almost every new table that comes into the restaurant wants to know where I trained. I'll take this as a compliment, but I don't really see how it matters. Either I can cook or I can't. I think this question is just a polite conversation opener anyway.

Short answer: nowhere.

Long answer: I've been cooking a long, long, long time. Seriously cooking for almost thirty years now. Going to restaurants, reading cookbooks, and turning out better food than most restaurants. And culinary schools in America are of a very recent vintage; certainly there were few if any such schools when I was thinking about college. And if the truth be told, cooking professionally was not even a remote thought back then, even if there were back then the cooking school opportunity which everyone seems to take for granted now.

I learned a lot from watching my mother, her mother, her sisters, and my father cook. I've always gravitated towards the kitchen and I learned how to make a lot of things by watching. When it came time to make the dishes, I just did what I saw done.

I don't really know how to say this without coming off wrong, but I don't know how to say it otherwise. Cooking for me is intuitively obvious, as easy for me as breathing is for most people. I guess I'm just doing what I was born to do.

I've never worked for another chef or in another restaurant. One Block West is my first and likely only restaurant.

No comments:

Post a Comment