As I’ve said before, the best things happen when you get carried away. Two people who share this view are Diane Cu and Todd Porter, photographers and filmakers, aka whiteonricecouple. Two weeks ago, at the BlogHer food conference in San Farancisco, they asked to film me talking, I’m still not sure why. Diane said she wanted to film me thinking. I thought that was going to be kind of difficult. I’d just come from the concluding keynote panel with glutenfreegirl and orangette, two people I really admire, and had a few minutes before heading to a bacon curing demo orchestrated by Elise. I’ve got no excuses other than the six cups of coffee before the panel.
The book of which I speak, is Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Harvard Anthropologist Richard Wrangham. I’ve talked about this book before. It’s an important book.
On a lighter note, there’s this, on Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller, and not saying no. I hope you’ll watch, hope you won’t say no:
I’d just started spending time at The French Laundry in the Napa Valley when the infamous dinner happened, and the “craziness” I refer to was the quantity of finished courses the kitchen could produce. Chris Gesualdi, a chef who’d worked with Thomas at Rakel was out there at the time. Chris had recently left Montrachet in Manhattan. He had 13 apps and 13 entrees more or less on his menu—”and that’s plenty,” he told me. That night I counted 53 different courses that could come out of The French Laundry kitchen. Good courses. Most of them with multiple components. There had been seventeen different menus that weekend. I called this to chef’s attention. He also named all the courses not even listed, just ready to go for VIPs. Seventeen more. Seventy dishes. Keller was midway through a 45-hour work weekend. Later that night, after service, he’d describe to me his perfect restaurant, what it would be like to really cook. (See page 250, Soul of a Chef, use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.)
Thanks, Todd and Diane.