Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One of my inspirations

Two words: Iron Chef.

I was in college in the middle of my college career and was invited to a close friend's house for one of his famous co-ed sleepovers.  My friend Sean had cable and my family chose not to go that route insisting that regular TV was where it was at and cable, the idea of paying for channels, was just a fad.  While sitting in the living room at my friend's house, with many women present, Sean turned on Iron Chef for us to watch a bit.  I was hooked.

I forget what the ingredient was or who was battling but I became enthralled with how a chef can take an ingredient that he/she may have no idea how to prepare and cook then in about 60 minutes, have 5 dishes from that product.  Many parts of the show was insane such as placing fish into an ice cream machine for salmon ice cream or making chocolate covered chicken feet or something strange like that.  The ingredients were often odd even for Japanese taste but always interesting to watch how the chefs work with them.  Plating was also a big factor in the final presentation but taste was number one.

What made the show 'real' was how the chefs were given 3 possible themes that they would be presented with.  So, they had an idea, but they still had to prepare everything in only the hour that they had, as well as make 5 dishes.  That is what I always liked.  I wanted to be able to cook like that.  When I saw the show, there was no culinary school in the St. Louis area.  Furthermore, I messed around in the kitchen at work, Old Country Buffet, and always wanted to prepare food for friends and family.  I thought how cool it would be to be given an ingredient and then to prepare things from that.

After all this time, I am happy where I am now.  I have cooked with cactus leaves, quinoa and even strange vegetables that I normally don't use like fennel or rutabagas.  I have cooked with molecular gastronomy as well as prepared a strange mix of desserts out of savory things.  I like knowing now, that if someone asked me to make 5 dishes out of bacon, I could do so; including a dessert.

No comments:

Post a Comment