Friday, February 11, 2011

Serving Up Some Eats

The only thing I do better than these guys is look good in a hat.
     Are you ready for this one, Company?  I am in awe of professional chefs and cooks.
     There.  I said it.  Those guys can do some pretty sweet stuff, and to do it under the sort of time restraints that they have is amazing.  Think about it like this: if you go to a gourmet restaurant, your food is probably brought out to you like a half hour after you order it, and each of those meals is made fresh and prepared specially.  Granted, they usually have quite the staff working in the kitchen, but still.  That's impressive.
     I came to this sort of realization and appreciation the other day when I decided I was going to make dinner.  Sautéed shrimp and vegetables (zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and onions, with a little fresh tomato on mine after it was done cooking because I don't do shrimp) with a Parmesan garlic sauce over spaghetti.  Sounds pretty fancy-pants, doesn't it?  I know, that is what I was going for, but the neat thing is that it isn't terribly difficult.  That is about as invested as I get when cooking and let's be honest, if I can do it, you can do it too, Company.
     That being said, cooking still is stressful for me, mainly because I have trouble managing all the parts at the same time.  It is like extreme multi-tasking.  I was cooking all sorts of stuff in all sorts of ways: boiling and sautéing and tossing and chopping and draining and stirring and etc, etc, etc for a bunch of stuff that all has to be done at the exact same time.  I wish that I was Vishnu with all the extra arms to help me get stuff done.  There are four burners on the stove and I was running out.  It was nuts.
     And oh the mess.  The kitchen was, at one point in the middle of this escapade, an unmitigated disaster.  FEMA was actually there for a little while with their trailers and the whole nine yards.  They even had the guys with clipboards along for the ride.  Thankfully, I got it sort of straightened up by dinnertime and all the emergency responders could go home to their families.  In the end though, it was sort of successful.  It tasted good: all the right flavors were there in the right order and proportions, but in the shuffle the sauce didn't come together like it should have.  The stirring got lost to the sautéing, but that is life.
       So anyway, the point is that I couldn't pull it off perfectly one time in my own kitchen, but professional chefs and cooks do it hundreds of times a day.  They do it over and over and over.  So hats off to them and their craft, you guys deserve it.  Whether your are a line cook at a greasy spoon or you have a tremendous amount of stars affixed to your restaurant's name, you deserve a little bit of thanks.  And a little bit of admiration.  Keep up the good work.  I am pretty hungry you know.

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