In recognition of National Personal Chef’s Day today, here’s a trip down memory lane from the end of summer 2014. Neither of my two sons who are chefs are personal chefs, but the recollections made me smile.
My 19 year-old son finished his first year at Johnson and Wales University on May 24 this year. On May 25, he reported to Cornerstone Christian Conference Center as their summer Sous Chef. He proceeded to work 14 hours a day for five or six days at a time. He returned home a week or so ago, begins his sophomore year on September 10. After a year of dorm life, he decided that he would live at home for the current year. There are few downsides, and a great many benefits!
It’s been interesting to note the changes in our house just during this brief interim period and first few weeks of his sophomore year:
- We are eating more, and better, meals at home
- The number of dirty pots and pans has increased exponentially for said meals
- Consequently, we find ourselves running the dishwasher every day at least once, in addition to hand-washing several items
- Therefore, our water bill is undergoing steep inflation
- We don’t have a good kitchen to work in (according to the chef-in-training)
- A remedy to that starts with a little reorganization, including mounting a rack to the wall
- Fresh is always best
- It’s amazing what wine does to enrich ordinary sauces and dishes
- The proper knife and technique make preparing fresh foods fun
- If he had a proper mixer, we could be having fresh breads, pizza, and other pastry items on a regular basis
- His explanation of culinary terms is straining my two years of French (that, and the last French I regularly spoke/heard/wrote was over 36 years ago)
- When we eat out, we now have an instant food and service critic with us
- He’s pretty good at what he does, and he’s eager to learn more
His oldest brother (twelve years his senior) has been involved in food service since he was a sophomore in high school in 1997. From dishwasher to general manager at a national chain and everything in between, food and the preparation of it remain a part of his life.
Taking a look at the above, and thinking of about a dozen more stories, and combining it with my long-time love of culinary reading and research, the idea for a new periodic series on 27gen is swirling in my mind: Chef Stories. I hope you will enjoy these little interludes in my normal postings, but be careful – you might just learn something here as well!