Sunday, January 4, 2009

Feeling Good

It's one of those rare days off for me when I feel pretty content about the quality of our food and the state of our kitchen. We did two back to back Chef's Tastings Friday and Saturday night and the food that we did for both tastings was spectacular, in concept, in flavor, in harmony with the wine pairings, and visually on the plate. Each dish could have starred in a photo in Art Culinaire.

I should have taken photos, but we were on a roll this weekend and I dared not interrupt the flow for fear that by taking photos, I would have ruined the moment, not unlike the observer effect in particle physics.

Although we were working from a printed menu, we still hadn't decided many of the key things about the dishes, including plating, until the point of execution on the line. In a way, as a chef, if you are flexible and can tolerate uncertainty, this is a very liberating way to cook for it lets spontaneity come center stage. In fact, it requires spontaneity.

I touched on this briefly in my conversation with one of the guests on his way out of the restaurant. He wondered something to the effect that if we had carried off such a wonderful meal with just a few days to plan it, what could we have done with six months advance notice? I told him that much planning could very well have ruined things. Sometimes, it is best just to cook on instinct and overplanning is the bane of all things instinctual.

I'm also feeling really good because this is how I like to cook and how I would like to cook every night. Ultimately, I would like to present customers with a parade of jewel box preparations of exquisite composition and flavor. Maybe there's hope for that yet, but I see a lot more crab cakes and filets mignons in my near future. I don't want to rain on my own parade, so let me post this now while I am still feeling good about what it is that I have chosen to do for a living.


  1. nice content.. it really feels good if we are going to do something our own way. some people may not understand it but doing it with our own instict is the only way to let them know who we are and what we are.