- Poach a perfect egg.
- Make mayonnaise.
- Whip cream by hand.
- Make veal stock.
- Butcher a chicken.
- Fillet a fish.
- Grill a steak to medium rare.
- Bake a yeast bread.
Identify a wine’s varietal by blind taste.Differentiate between a cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir by blind taste.
- Host a dinner party for ten without hired help.
It seems everyone has become a critic. It’s nearly effortless to pass judgement, publicly, on every dining experience.
Trends in television have created an environment in which a chef’s success is no longer measured by time spent in front of a stove, but instead by time spent in front of a camera. A dining public is also a viewing public, who can easily mistake what makes good television with what makes good food.
I have seen a line cook laid low by an overcooked steak, a baker by an unrisen loaf, and worked beside a server who smiled through a shift despite his infant daughter’s hospitalization. A plate placed before you is most often the product of hours of labor, and love.
I ask for very little. Before you post your next Yelp review, complete the ten tasks I have listed above.
Maybe your next meal won’t revolve around criticism, but instead a shared sensory experience. The table will become a place for conversation, intoxication, and rest. Your dining experience will be enriched by what you have learned. I promise.Follow @icinthedark