I am the lucky recipient of much of Aki's cooking. I can walk into the kitchen and she will hand me partially prepared ingredients or a list of what is cooking and what approach she is taking with the ingredients. She does not always have an end in mind for these ingredients, she is just cooking how and what she wants. I am then handed the baton and begin to integrate her culinary insights and endeavors into a variety of dishes. Over the weekend Aki braised celery. Celery is not an ingredient that gets much acclaim, though everywhere you look its influence is seen. Think about it. From soup to deviled eggs to Victor, celery is there. Aki took this simple ingredient and cooked it with green Chartreuse and salt. The herbal notes of the Chartreuse brighten the flavor of the melting and tender celery. The amazing flavor and texture of the celery sparked a scallop dish which married a salad of the braised celery with a stew of preserved strawberries, celery leaves and scallions. We accented the braised celery with vanilla salt and the dish was done.