October 10, 2016
Today felt like one of those morning where you know it is Monday and you have to get up, but you try and convince yourself it is Sunday again and that you don’t really have school; maybe I was dreaming about waking up at 6:00 and arriving in the kitchen at 7:15. Maybe I did, because today seemed like it was dragging on before the action started.
A new week means a new menu in the cafe. Our Asian influenced menu features Kalbi Jimm — Korean braised short ribs — Shrimp Pad Thai, Chinese Sausage Fried Rice, Beef Pho, Shaved Brussell Sprout Citrus Salad, and Salmon & Red Rice Stuffed Cabbage (the bomb!). As you can see, we have some pretty tasty things. I have always wanted to start learning Asian cuisine, I think the flavors used just taste like nothing else. Since I know so little about this cuisine, it seems harder to cook in a way because there are multiple things you need to keep in mind. Pad thai for example I always used to think of hard to make, but it isn’t. You just have to make sure the noodles are completely soaked so they aren’t hard when you cook them. Proper seasoning is key, but not always with salt. Sometimes you use soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, maybe ginger or citrus even. It seems there are a multitude of things you can add to make a dish pop in that special way.
The road was bumpy, so to speak, this morning as we prepped and prepped….and prepped some more. The hardest thing to transition from in cooking at a small restaurant on a small island is the quantity of how much you need for a week. Or even the way you cook the food and present it on the plate. There is more to explain in dishes that reach over to the fine dining end of the food spectrum, only because there are so many different ingredients and components of the dish you cannot sum it up in one or two words. Everything that I am learning this week is new in the simplest sense of the word. New things are scary, but we learn new things and perfect new things and learn from those mistakes along the way. When you take that mistake and transform it into an accomplishment that makes people say, “Wow! That was the best thing I think I have ever tasted!”, then you know that you did something right. And that is one reason I love to cook so much; I like to see the faces of people eating really good food (or smelling it cook for that matter).
More pictures to come in the next couple of posts, today was so busy I never got a chance to snap a photo or two. I hope Sal starts to feel better soon, we missed him today! 🙂