We had brunch this morning at home. Alex made a version of his old favorite, the Montana Breakfast, and this combined with some strong coffee and good cheer was a recipe for a relaxing morning of food and friends. The dogs were on their best behavior and even Lucky was receptive to playing with the children. It was a nice break from the everyday routine and we enjoyed every minute.
We're slowly putting a list of properties together to explore when we get back East. As much as we'd like to move to a permanent location, we're looking forward to some quality time in New York. The cruise is the first two weeks in February and we're contemplating doing some catering in the New York area while we're looking for our next place. Feel free to email us if you're interested in doing a dinner during the late winter season.
The new MacBook has arrived and I love it. We were able to save the hard drive off my Powerbook (thanks Mark!) and it's housed in its own little case now. So I have two back-up drives to work from and theoretically there was no loss of data. I have yet to boot it up and check for myself. Somehow having a new computer is very freeing and I am loath to revisit my old information. As long as I have access to it I don't feel the need to tap into it yet. A fresh start can be a beautiful thing.
The MacBook is bigger and slightly heavier than I was expecting. I actually love the size of the my new computer, it's so much more portable than my old one. The enclosed keyboard is pretty cool an it fits perfectly in my lap. I'm still at the stage where I almost hate to use it because I don't want to get it dirty, but I'm getting over it quickly. It's such a pleasure to use, who could stay away from it? The increased speed is wonderful, it's especially noticeable at home where we have dial-up. I didn't think that I would like the glossy screen but it's actually pretty cool. I haven't had any real issues with reflection at all.
We had a lively debate about eating at Ramsay's again today. Alex is convinced that he's still serving the same dishes that he served ten years ago. I find that hard to believe. They may be variations on dishes that he created many years ago, but there's no way to be a great chef without growing over the passage of time. Our palates change with age and so do our dishes. Besides, even though the food may not be cutting edge, most reviews agree that it is executed almost perfectly and tastes delicious. That's no easy task. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of experiences I've had where restaurant food was close to technical perfection. To me that's worth going to see and taste. Every meal does not have to be comprised of something new and different. There's something to be said for execution, flavor, and technique, for without these base skills to stand on, why bother cooking in a restaurant at all? Strong technique, a great palate--which results in the ability to create amazing flavors, and the ability to teach your staff to execute them both to your standards, are the building blocks that make restaurant chefs great, regardless of the kind of cuisine that they choose to create. That's what makes a meal inspiring to me, the passion and the drive that go into creating someone's vision of pefection in the kitchen. Hydrocolloids and enzymes are fun, but true passion, if it exists, is where I look for inspiration. Now the only question is whether or not Ramsay can provide that. We'll find out in January.