Friday, May 29, 2009

The Making of a Chef


For my post today, I thought I'd let you all in on a little secret. As a chef in Paris, it wasn't all wine and les fleurs.

Oh no. In fact, I had some pretty serious disasters.

For this installment, I'll copy some of my writing from my journal I kept while I worked as a personal chef for Mme. Lavigne. I think it'll give some greater insight into where I have been in my career, and even into my thinking on food and work as a whole. Here goes:


"Jardin des Tuileries 25.08.2006

"Apparently all chefs, even me, have off nights. I catered a dinner party for Mme. Lavigne's friend, Michelle, and her cousins from Belgium. What a disaster.

"Well, plates came back clean (except for dessert, which was a CLEAR disaster), so I guess it wasn't all inedible. I really just didn't have enough time, I don't think. Or I just sucked at executing it all, which was likely the case.

"WHAT WORKED:
- the apricot risotto was fabulous. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.
- the quail wasn't overdone, but...eh.

"WHAT DIDN'T:
- everything else.

"It wasn't that it was horrible. Everything was just "eh," which, to me, is worse than horrible. It's like how the opposite of love is indifference. It works with food, too. I would much rather have someone absolutely hate something and know WHY, and be absolutley certain WHY they hate it than to feel, "Eh. It's nothing special."

"The Nutella souffle was what really crowned the mediocre meal. If I hadn't whipped in the Nutella, it probably would have turned out better. Just a straight meringue. As soon as I touched the Nutella to the meringue, it fell like a 2-year-old on monkey bars. That was a bad simile, but if I had seen a 2-year-old fall from monkey bars, I would have said, "That 2-year-old just fell like a bad souffle."

"Oh well. I'll make up for it on Saturday when I do another dinner party for Michelle.

"I wish I had business cards. I might have to invest in them. I would hand them out to everyone and anyone here basking in the gorgeous day here around the duck fountain at the Tuileries gardens.

"Holly Kapherr
Chef de Cuisine Personnel
06.79.21.24.70"

In retrospect, I wish I'd kept all the recipes for the stuff I made for those dinner parties. That apricot risotto sounds fabulous.

1 comment:

danje said...

i have to ask what recipe you used for the nutella souffle!!! i have a recipe (tres simple) that i use and i agree that the nutella make the meringue fall precipitously, but the result is still pretty light and fluffy and very very delicious. please do tell!

oh, and have you ever been to the souffle resto in paris? never had lighter or fluiffier in my life.