Toward the end of the evening, Dominick ceremoniously brought out his glorious special dessert, which he makes every year for the party, a mound of croquembouche: pastry cream–stuffed profiteroles piled high into a cone-like mound and linked with crunchy strands of caramel. My mother was the only other person I knew who ever made them (every Halloween, while most kids got Snickers and jelly beans from the neighbors, my mom made croquembouche, and that’s what she passed out to the small ghosts and princesses and aliens who knocked on her apartment door). As Dominick approached with the tray, my mom took one of the doughy balls very carefully with her left hand—her right hand and most of her right side were basically still useless at this point—and bit into it. I remember the look on her face as the taste resonated, and I watched her lick a dab of the custard that had settled on her upper lip. Our eyes met and, although she didn’t utter a word, I knew what she was saying to me: This is why I refused to die.
Q: In your memoir The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, you talk about the importance of having dinner as a family, having everyone together to discuss the issues of the day.
Nobody likes paying high taxes, but I don’t mind. Maybe that’s a luxury, but I don’t need to hire some hotshot to spend 12 hours a day figuring out how to chisel the government out of an extra few thousand dollars. If getting that extra money means a lot of phone calls and talking to financial analysts and lawyers, I don’t want it. I don’t want to have those conversations. A friend said, “You live outside the country more than half of the year. Create a bogus residence in the Caymans and pay no U.S. taxes.” I’d feel like a shit doing that. I’m an American. I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to have those kinds of conversations. I’m putting myself to sleep just thinking about it. I’d rather make a lot less money. It’s honest dollars. Everybody gets theirs: my partners make money, I make money, the government gets theirs. If they call me in for a full audit, great, here I am. It’s all there. I lived a lot of years afraid of the bank, the landlord and the government calling. Nowadays, it’s nice to not be afraid.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain Does Not Want to Owe Anybody Even a Single Dollar (Wealth Simple, March 14, 2017)
Home at last, I haul in the grocery bags, swallow a couple of extra-strength Tylenol, put the entire Van Morrison play list on the stereo, and spend the afternoon roasting vegetables and making pasta sauce, salad, and a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Outside, the rain comes down in sheets. I am singing “Days Like This,” belting out the song. The kitchen fills with good smells.
~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment
Notes: Related posts: Katrina Kenison
There are few perfect things in this world, and one of them is your common everyday pound of butter, cool in its box, printed in blues and greens with pleasant images – a farm, a farmer, a cow at a fence – and divided into quarters wrapped in immaculate paper as neatly tucked and folded as a soldier’s bunk, each section as easy to slide in and out as if riding on soundless rollers, like drawers in a filing cabinet, two two-drawer cabinets placed side by side, the files packed in manila, clean and fresh, with evenly spaced dividers arranged by a tablespoon. To press it to your cheek and then, with a fingernail, to carefully lift the triangular folds at each end, one end at a time, and then, without tearing the paper, to open the final flap and find there butter, yellow, pure, and flawless, too good to be true.
Photo: Rose Water & Orange Blossoms
If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much to boil hot water without attending to a ritual called: mise-en-place.
What is the first thing YOU do when you arrive at your desk?
What 20 word question can you ask yourself to distinguish between tasks that simply feel urgent from those that are truly important?
Find the answers here: How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day
If you are looking for a rainy Sunday afternoon movie, here it is. This movie is charming, moves “briskly” and is entertaining – I loved it. If you are a foodie or just love eating – you’ll find a number of mouth-watering scenes. The movie is showing in theaters and available to watch Instantly on Netflix.
“The story is based on the real-life case of Danièle Delpeuch, a small town regional chef and restaurant-owner who was summoned by President François Mitterrand to be his personal cook at the Elysée Palace. The President had developed a hankering for the food he knew in his youth and decided that she’s just the woman he needs to provide him with “the best of France.” (Noted that she was the first ever female personal chef for a President of France which adds an interesting dynamic into the Elysee Palace kitchens, traditionally a male preserve.)
- NY Times Movie Review: The President’s Chef vs. the Food Snobs (Boo!!!!!!)
- RogerEbert.com review by Hank Sartin Review: Haute Cuisine. (He nails it with this review)