The Chefs at Work

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Kitchen Table

When I think that my life is crazy-busy, I watch the chefs on the food channels and realize my life is tranquil compared to the bedlam that occurs in a professional kitchen.   Professional chefs wear multiple “hats” and display interdisciplinary talents. They are artists, entrepreneurs, performers, communication experts, instructors and risk-takers.  Here is what they have to say…

William Todd English, based in Boston Massachusetts said, “I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.”

On the other side of the continent in Yountville, California, Thomas Keller, founded of the award-winning French Laundry restaurant speaks to the moment he chose his life-work: “I wanted to learn everything I could about what it takes to be a great chef.  It was a turning point for me.”

Italian American chef and television personality, Giada De Laurentiis, was clear in her career choice.  To be successful, she said: “It helps to immerse yourself in what you potentially want to do.  Being involved, learning firsthand and observing the crafts and absorbing all you can, make it easier to define what you want.  It will also ultimately make you a better Chef. ”

The Barefoot Countess, Ina Garten, left a well-paying, prestigious position to follow her dream. “I worked for the Office of Management and Budget in the White House, on nuclear energy policy.  But I decided it would be much more fun to have a specialty food store, so I left Washington D.C. and moved to the Hamptons.  And how glad I am that I did!”

Kitchens, whether professional or in our homes, are the center of family life.  Vincent Andrew Schiavelli, the well-known stage, screen and television actor, once recalled: “My grandfather was a chef for a Baron in Sicily before he came to America. I grew up with him.  I used to do my homework at one end of the kitchen table while he cooked at the other end.”

Food – The Do’s & Don’ts

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A Venice Market

“Life itself is the proper binge.”

Julia Child

According to the expects on New Year’s resolution etiquette, dieting and fitness were on the top of many people’s 2013 News Year’s resolution list.  It does not come as a surprise; it’s been on every New Year’s resolution list for as long as I can remember.  Pick up any magazine and you will find, somewhere in the pages, an article that will either tell you “what to” or “what not to” eat.   Should we have food rules?  The very thought leaves me unsettled.  For inspiration and a little advice, I turned to Julia Child, a chef who did not shrink from giving her opinion.  She said: “I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter.  Most doctors feel that you can have a little bit of everything.”

The statistics are quite clear, however; North America is facing an obesity crisis.  Julia’s response: “As we say in the American Institute of Wine and Food, small helpings, no seconds.  A little bit of everything. No snacking.  And have a good time!”

Bon appétit!

The Love of Food

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Market Day“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.”

Cesar Chavez

 

I love everything about food.  I take pleasure in its aroma, taste and texture.  Where there is a gathering – wedding, baby shower, birthday, anniversary or funeral – food will be the means that brings friends and families together.

Breaking bread is a sacred trust that binds our collective spirit and opens ways in which to build bridges within our diverse communities.  We depend upon food for nourishment; we require fellowship and camaraderie for mental and spiritual well-being.

Access to food is a human right.  The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes the right to an adequate food supply. Everyone has the fundamental right to be free from hunger. While many of us enjoy an abundance of food, others have nothing to eat.  This imbalance serves as a stern reminder that our food supply is for everyone.  A world without hunger is possible.

This week will be dedicated to the enjoyment of food and the blessing of connections.  As Jamie Oliver once said, “What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn – I love it.”