[...] now the hand is coming back. And I think that has a lot to do with food. Farming is gonna be hip again and people are going to think about the things they’re contributing to society.
[...] Hopefully what this is leading to is people learning to shop like all good chefs do: We go and get all the best [stuff] and come home and figure out what we’re gonna make. Italy became cool in the gastronomic world in the ’70s because people went there and the what-the-[stuff] moments or the holy-[stuff] moments were never based on truffles or super-intense technique. It was more like, “God, this is spaghetti and zucchini, and it’s this good?” It was because there was no noise in it. It was spaghetti and garlic and zucchini in season.
- Mario Batali, Batali Beat, Lucky Peach Issue 3, 2012 -
No doubt Lucky Peach is not big on sensoring rough language (I’m old fashioned, so I bleeped them out myself), but the point is with all these new cooking shows, chefs have attained celebrity status (Now the Bay Area has its own cooking show: The Big Dish), and for a really brief moment, I had thought about becoming a chef. On the way to Teance I see this culinary school, and as if I hadn’t had enough on my plate already, I memorized the name and Googled it when I got home. I seriously thought about taking a class. Thank goodness it costs a little more than I expected.
Cooking school is not the best route to chef-dom, though, because “not a single chef I interviewed said that culinary school made any difference in either hiring decisions or an individual employee’s success,” said Mark Wilson (Should You Go to Culinary School? (Maybe, But Probably Not)).
As one chef put it, and I can’t remember who(!), it goes something like this: “if you want to be a chef, you got to ask yourself: do you truly love washing dishes?“
So that’s that. Now I choose the easy route: I’m a chef in my own kitchen, and to follow the trend, I’ll attempt to cook with the season. How do I know what’s in season? I go to the grocery store and see what’s most abundant (not necessarily what’s cheapest, because the out-of-season may look so sad that they’re on ridic sale). For now, it’s peach.
- 3 peaches (let it ripe until it’s a little mushy), peeled, pitted and mashed by hand
- 4 plums, peeled, pitted and mashed by hand
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves (I use lemon thyme, it makes the whole room aromatic!), or 1 tbs dried thyme
In a 3-qt saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and onion, saute until soft and slightly brown. Add thyme.
Add peach and plum, bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stir often (the peach likes to stick to the bottom). Season with salt and serve. (I use it with sweet potato gnocchi)
According to Batali: “this sauce holds for 1 week in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer“.