Well I knew this day would come. The moment when my whole world collapses in my hands due to carelessness. Yep, I dropped my phone into the grill. No more blackberry. Alas, this Greek tragedy has a happy outcome however. I’m sure anyone who reads this is familiar with the Iron Chef competition, where they are given a secret ingredient and are asked to make a menu from just that one ingredient. Well, at my house yesterday we did this, and my ingredient was apricots. Delicious, orange fuzzy diminutive fruit that were the main staple of my meal plan. I decided to get to work.
My first idea was for the main course which happened to be a smoked pork loin. I made an apricot puree with cilantro and basil, strained it and basted it slowly on the meat while in the smoker for several hours. Next I decided to smoke some corn and made a sweet apricot butter. Then I took a little of the apricots and pitted them, sauted them with some caramelized brown sugar, removed them to place in the ROBO, then sliced up some zucchini. I then made a quick apricot vinaigrette,and sauted the zucchini in the caramel and vinaigrette. This wonderfully orange colored meal finished with a hand tossed salad served with the vinaigrette. Easily one of my all time masterpieces.
I respect the chefs who are on the show Iron Chef. They have obviously earned their place for being able to invent using just one ingredient. At culinary school, its easy to see how young chefs idolize these people and wish to be famous like Kat Cora or Bobby Flay, but they fail to realize that they are celebrity chefs. This brings me to my next point, would you rather be a celebrity chef or a chef famous for advancing the craft? Emril Legasse or Ferran Afria? Bam! or brains? It is of my own personal opinion that celebrity chefs should be respected but never emulated. I have absolutely no interest in acting like Guy Fieri, especially now that he has branched off into being a television personality (Minute to win it, is by far the best game show ever however, but Guy is a little too much in it sometimes). Cook with passion, love your food, don’t love being famous. My own chef once told me, “Daniel, the best piece of advice I can give you is don’t go acting like you need to be noticed, try your hardest and love what you do, and you’ll be noticed soon enough.”
Next post will be about techniques, starting with saute and why I love golden brown. Go get cooking!