Alex spent the day yesterday helping out a friend who is Chef de Cuisine at a soon to be opened restaurant, scooping parisians of foie gras, and plating hors d'oeuvres for a major party. I was sorry to miss the spectacle. It's always fun to get an inside peek into other people's kitchens. Tonight he's speaking at a dinner meeting for the New York Institute of Food Technologists. I helped him put the speech together, but it's still not the same as being there. I guess that I'll just have to get used to that for a little while.
On the bright side I have the evening to myself and a plethora of books to occupy my attention. Tonight I'm leaning towards On the Line, by Eric Ripert. It's the sleeper of the batch and not because we weren't expecting it to be great. It's just that with so many anticipated releases this fall, it seemed to get a little lost in the shuffle. Now that we've had some time with it, I'm so glad that we were smart enough to buy it early. The book really does give you a glimpse behind the scenes at Le Bernadin, a bird's eye view of what goes on in their kitchen. For those of us in the business it's fun because of what we know, for those of you who aren't in the business it's fun because it shows you a side of things you wouldn't normally see. The photography is quirky and well done, and the book itself has great personality. Le Bernadin is one of those iconic restaurants that we've only visited once, years ago. Reading this makes me want to go back and see what the experience is like today. Until I can afford to do that, the book gives me glimpse of what I'm missing. It reminds me of the things I miss most about working in professional kitchens, the inspiration, the camaraderie, and of course, the food.