I could not believe it. I still cannot believe it. I went out for a quiet lunch with Aki and my mom. We were catching up, something that a lunch without constraints allows. We ordered a number of dishes to share. Aki and I always share and Mom was game. The food was tasty. I was actually a bit winded during the beginning of the meal after having parked the car too far away and then running back to the restaurant while Aki and mom waited. As it turns out, Aki waited the longest as my mom had an almost equally difficult time finding parking. I, being me, and now having wasted too much time looking for a space was not going to succumb to a parking lot. I was going to find a spot. And I did, it was just at a one hour meter. S**t!!!! I could not take another parking ticket: its cost and Aki's lament, in the long run a lot is cheaper than a ticket. So, I popped into a cute flower shop and asked the owner if he would mind feeding my meter? He said sure. I handed over the quarters, mentioned it was the green jeep and was off to lunch, where Aki and my mom were still patiently waiting. Well, they did order a few bites in my absence although fortuitously the bites arrived at the table with me.
We ate, we drank, I caught my breath and took a moment to relax and catch up. During our lunch, one dish we had was strikingly good. It was based on a single ingredient, one which I stumbled across at Sunrise market, though I had not seen them in such fine, petite form, with such an exquisite taste as we had just enjoyed. So, after lunch, I stepped over to the service area and expressed my pleasure to our waitress. She said, she would ask the chef where the ingredient came from and where I could procure it. I handed her a card for good measure. I figured chefs share information.
Boy am I f*%ing stupid. She came back with a smile on her face. She said, (in so many words) "the chef said it's a secret. You might be able to get them from Sid Wainer, though ours come from a very special source."
I was floored, I still am. Silly me. What was I thinking? Probably thinking too much. But seriously, why on earth would someone keep an ingredient source a secret? Truly why? Alright, sure, to be the only one to have something. That gets old quick. Imagine if all the small farmers who provide truly great ingredients to restaurants and kitchens were never talked about? They would go out of business. Think about chefs, creators, wine makers, china manufacturers who openly share ideas, techniques, and resources. If everything is a secret, then how the heck can we get better, improve, challenge each other to do better, tackle new ideas, climb higher mountains and drink a better cup of coffee?
It is not a secret, it is merely an obstacle to overcome.