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Between arriving to the now gringo-laden metropolis of Cancún to canoeing the rivers of Chiapas, Mexico, there were numerous impactful moments when I was seduced by food. It started with Tita (Carolina's Grandmother), who may have never received formal training in the kitchen but acquired her skills like most Latin women, by watching and tasting in the kitchen with her own mother. There is no other way to say this--Tita was an inspiration to me and I wouldn't have become engaged in what the home cook was preparing had it not been for her wisdom. I spent countless hours by Tita's side, as we prepared dinner each day. We did not speak the same language. I was quick to learn you can easily communicate through food, and when I would make a mistake, she was quick to tap the top of my hand as if I were a misbehaving school boy, and then look up and smile. There isn't enough paper or keystrokes to express my genuine love for what this amazing woman opened my eyes to.
15 poblano chili peppers
1 cup of canola oil
5 medium, yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups of Mexican crema
1 cup queso fresco
Flash-fry the poblano chili peppers, until blistered. Set them aside in a covered bowl for 20 minutes, then remove the skins, seed, and slice them into ½ inch-wide strips.
Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat and sauté the onions in the canola oil. Add the sliced onions and continue to cook until soft. Add the poblano strips and cook together for 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in the Mexican creama and just before serving, add the crumbled queso fresco. Adjust with seasoning, using kosher salt and fresh, white pepper.
Tita always served me this dish with freshly made tortillas and rice on the side.
In recent years Tita's health has been deteriorating. I wanted to make sure she was recognized for her natural kitchen talents and beyond that, what she meant (and still does) mean to me.
destination will be, I take comfort in knowing that at least we’re heading in an important direction with our passion and love for cooking—that necessary activity that can reach the heights of art. David’s balance between logical and astute self-awareness make him successful as an entrepreneur and as a chef. Best Wishes, Siri Mise En Place Introduction Forward The Joy of Cooking Discovering Teamwork The Bona Fide South Charleston Wit Asperges Amsterdam, Holland Tourist to Traveler Crete,
road less-traveled is full of surprises and adventure, but this is getting ridiculous. YES! There just ahead is the horizon line, but how did I get so twisted around? I should know better than to second-guess my internal compass. I see the powdery prize in sight, as I continue to wander through the narrow soi, holding my backpack and marinating lunch. The aromas are becoming stronger and I pick up the pace as this small road is coming to an end. I cross the street, dodging mopeds burdened with
restaurateurs from Lyon. Ganley, to whom I reported directly, was a 27-year-old, Player cigarette-smoking, rock star and lothario who grew up in Windsor, Ontario, the armpit of Canada. He worked several years in Toronto and spent the better part of his young adult life working his way up the ranks at various Ritz Carlton Hotels. I immediately fell in the groove with his leadership style and his commitment to the kitchen crew. Ganley I worked through the first holiday season in the banquet
the Ritz does.” It somehow worked, because I was not only sent to the large French-Dutch island of St. Maarten to work, I was treated like a distinguished, visiting guest at the La Sammana Resort. I was there for two weeks to work, but parlayed that into an additional week of vacation with a ticket I didn’t have to pay for. Ahhh, the power of words and timing, something that has taken me years to understand! How fitting that before I left, the last words from the Chef were: “Make sure you work
It took time to gain the respect of the rest of the team, since they viewed me as the young, pinche gringo—roughly and politely meaning the damned white guy assistant. This kitchen was no different from any other; the only unique variable was me, learning the rules of what it took to keep my position. I was seldom allowed on the hot line except to help refill something for a more senior cook or to grab some of the morning’s comida familiar, the family meal that was served to all employees. From