May 31, 2005

The cobbler's son...

Have you ever hear the expression "The cobbler's son has no shoes"? Well, in this house, it's "The Chef's husband eats macaroni & cheese and fish sticks for dinner." I was caught off guard last night, with no leftovers to speak of and nothing defrosted. Kelly came over with Kraft's little blue box, and I had some fish sticks in the freezer. Let's not talk about why those things are in my house to begin with... Let's instead focus on the revelation I had this morning:

Whenever I make food for other people, whether it's a Personal Chef gig or a catered event, I plan out everything. I buy all the ingredients, I practice the techniques, I bring the equipment I need to make it, and I even plan out what platters it's going to be served in. So why don't I do this for myself? Because cooking for myself doesn't generate revenue? Well phooey. I have to admit, feeding gourmet food to my clients while eating plain old thrown-together dinners myself is a little foolish. Practically hypocritical!

So I decided to do something about it. I've put together a daily plan, varying with the kind of protein used, the starch used, and the nationality of cuisine. It's skewed to my own (and Kelly's) tastes, for example, we hardly ever eat turkey, and we rarely eat eggs for dinner. Also, it only applies to weekdays: Nearly all weekends, one day I'm catering, and on the other we tend to go out.

Each day's menu is really quite broad in scope, and the whole menu covers all of the cuisines I enjoy eating. Also, it's intentionally vague. For example: Bread can indicate for tortillas, pita, French bread, naan, rolls, biscuits, stuffing and other flour-based kinds of foods. Pork includes all kinds of piggy products, such as sausage, ham, proscuitto, tenderloin, chops, ground pork, and whatever. It doesn't include veggies because what's seasonal is usually what's best, cheapest, and most readily available.

Also, I have given myself an "out" once in a while, making something plain for dinner and instead spending a little time on making a fancy dessert. Kelly's not a dessert kind of guy --that is, he'll never ask for dessert-- but he'll eat something I've made if I put it in front of him.

Here's a week's worth of examples of what I would probably make, off the top of my head:
pork/bread/mexican = pulled pork tacos, with a black bean, bell pepper & corn salad
chicken/choice/chinese = sesame ginger chicken stir fry, over brown rice
beef/pasta/greek = pastisio, and a green salad
fish/rice/potluck = sole amandine, with green pea risotto
vegetarian/potato/african = South African vegetable curry (on page 191 out of my new book!)
It's a starting point. It's a thing to help me think of what's for dinner in advance of the 30 minutes I'll be cooking it. It will force variety and help me to be as creative as possible. If you eat differently, use it as a template. If you don't eat pork, then perhaps you'll substitute turkey. If you don't eat any meat, then substitute the meats for Tofu, Beans, Tempeh, TVP, Seitan, and whatever you typically use to meet your protein needs. Play with it. Have some fun. Some of them will be challenging... but that's the fun of it, for me. If you're stumped, perhaps you can use RecipeSource to find interesting recipes.

This is a gift, okay? If you think it's beneath you, or you don't think it's any good, then just don't click on it. But if you think it might be useful, give it a try for a couple of weeks. It's here, as a PDF: Chef JoAnna's Menu Helper

Last thing I ate or drank: I made pancakes for breakfast.

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May 28, 2005

School's out!

I'm suddenly getting all kinds of emails and phonecalls from people who are asking me for my rates. Not conversations about menus, not inquring about just my rates. Must be the time that all the the Pasadena kids with their ink's-still-wet certificates are looking for work... Usually I'd be restrained and diplomatic about this... but this one was so funny I had to share. Please forgive me this little transgression, ok? Thanks.

Here's an e-mail I got from (yes, I'm outing him... just in case you're googling him!)
please tell me what your prices are across the board. maybe if you have a price list for everything on your website would be nice...
My suspicious were aroused, but I replied anyway:
Thanks for your inquiry!

I don't have prices like a restaurant menu... Give me your phone number, and I'd be happy to discuss what I can do for you.
so he replied with his phone number, and I phoned him this morning. He was very direct, unlike most of the people I deal with. Here is what I remember of the phonecall:
me: Hi, this is Chef JoAnna, I'm returning your message Hi. So, what are your rates?
me: well it depends on what you want no, just tell me your rates
me: well, it's not like you're going to best buy and getting a chef machine, it depends on what you're looking for you're insulting me, why don't you just tell me your rates?
me: because it depends, are you looking for a party, or a dinner for two... the level of service... ok, a dinner for two.
me: weeknight or weekend? both
me: a weeknight is ___ and a weekend is ___ and what about a party
me: it depends on what you want you've got a chip on your shoulder, probably because of your Art |nstitute education. good luck. [click]
me: WHAT?!?
so I called him back, he didn't answer. I left him a message telling him that that was already tipped off that he was just trying to find my prices. Nobody's ever questioned or addressed my culinary eduation, and that he was very confrontative. Then he called ME back, and I DID answer, and he told me that confrontative wasn't a word, and I just kept saying, "Austin, you've changed my life! Thank you!" hee hee. Then, I couldn't resist. I sent him this:
Dear, DEAR Austin,

Seems my vocabulary if just fine....

Have a nice life!
e-mail me offline if you want his phone number! And if anyone knows who this guy is, I'd be tickled to know more about him.
Last thing I ate or drank:My daily latte. Yum!

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...pry it out of my cold dead hand

big sharp pointy knives banned from kitchens what will they think of next?

May 27, 2005


It's recently come to my attention that I've achieved some kind of status as a C-list Blogebrity. I'm not sure what it means, but it seems pretty cool. I didn't ask to be listed. is it a big deal?

Anyway, I'm more tickled when I see that someone who's blog I enjoy has linked to me. Shared headspace is a treasured thing.

Last thing I ate or drank: apricots from the Farmer's Market. YES dammit, I know I still owe you pix. I'm sorry.

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It happens, although rarely, that I'll cook for someone as a Personal Chef, and there's no "chemistry". I don't expect to be called back, which is okay, because I'm not doing this for a living, I'm doing this for the joy of it. (yes I expect to get paid, but if its not fun, the food's no good. Refer to "Like Water For Chocolate", the tears in the wedding cake, the roses in the quail... metaphors for the love --or lack of it-- in the food.)

Imagine my surprise when someone with whom I felt no chemistry (and certainly none was reciprocated back!) calls me up to ask me cater a party for them! "Really? you liked me after all?" how weird. My guard is up, but if they're willing to give ME a second chance, I'm willing to return the favor. but it's weird

May 26, 2005

Prose and Poetry

I bought a new cookbook yesterday after I went to the farmer's market (I know I still owe you photos & a report! today I spent the morning/afternoon doing billing and paperwork, then I spent the afternoon/evening at a waste-of-time nutrition seminar.)

I stopped by the Goodwill in Santa Monica on my way home. I sometimes find something to replace something that broke, or something that matches what I currently own. I also peruse the book section, because I refuse to pay $8 on a paperback, and occasionally I'll find a nice cookbook. This time, I found The Africa Cookbook which caught my eye as it was totally pristine, and it was only $2 for a 360 pg hardcover book. SOLD!

I'm thrilled with this book. There are no food-porn photos, but instead photos of people, of families. The first 75 pages are dedicated to anecdotes, history, culture and a glossary. Foods from all over the continent are addressed: Morocco, Egypt, Togo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and everywhere. These cuisines of Africa are intermingled within each category: Snacks, Soups, Salads, Vegetables, Entrees and Desserts. I did a project on Ethiopian food and made Injera from scratch, letting that stinky batter ferment for three days before I poured them on the grill (and then abandoned that and went for teflon pans!) I still have a generous portion of teff flour in my pantry...but this book with the 1998 copyright printed on the jacket doesn't include directions for Injera. Instead, it recommends making buckwheat pancakes from a packaged mix. Phooey. I'll make my own damn injera when I try the ethiopian recipes. I'm psyched to try the Sudanese, Algerian, Senegalese and Ivory Coast recipes! I am also excited about the impending excursions to find unique ingredients called for such as guege, yete and meloukhia.

Unlike some people who are food-making fanatics, I'm not a cookbook hoarder. My collection of culinary tomes fits on one three-foot-wide bookcase. Here's what I've got (rounding out the numbers, as I'm only guessing).

Top shelf: 10 vegetarian cookbooks, 20 of those 5x8 sized booklets put out by companies to promote their products, a few booklets that came with my appliances (bread machine, ice cream maker, etc) my pair of SUPERFOODS books, and then about 5 food porn, with the photos that you could practically lick.
Second shelf: 5 catering reference books, about 6 general "gourmet" cookbooks and my BetterHomes&Gardens book, a few garnishing books, a handful of appetizer cookbooks that are more like magazines, and a couple of 3-ring binders of my favorite recipes.
Third shelf: My college culinary textbooks (about 8 of them) plus my pair of Harold McGee books and my prized Visual Food Encyclopedia
Fourth shelf: A partial collection of the ancient Time-Life cookbook series that covers food by nationality... and my big-ass crockpot that doesn't fit on my kitchen counter.
Bottom shelf:All the binders with all my notes from culinary school, plus folios and binders of projects I turned in to school. They take up the entire bottom shelf.

Last thing I ate or drank: Boulder Potato Company's Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper chips. OMG so yummy, and actually not too horrible for you. Like that would matter....

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May 25, 2005

visions of sugarplums in May

I'm a contributor at and SoCalorie posted something about the Great American Bake Sale taking place at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market tomorrow. (scroll a little more than halfway down...tho there doesn't seem to be anything included at the links they're linking to.)

...uh, YUM! And my appointment for tomorrow morning got postponed, so I'm going to head straight down there with a thermos of coffee and a half-asleep husband have me some pastries!

So, anyway, yes it's actually 4:16 AM, but since I dozed off after dinner, I guess I got enough rest to last me a while, and I haven't been sleepy for HOURS. So I'm baking a loaf of bread. I figure it should be ready to eat at around 7am, so I'll have something to take the edge off my hunger before the bake sale extravaganza. Photos will be posted later. Probably after my impending mid-afternoon nap.

Last thing I ate or drank: a nicely-spotted banana & a handful of dry-roasted peanuts

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May 24, 2005

Ask the Chef

Hello! I just wanted to write and say that I love your ChefBlog. I want nothing more than to be a chef ~ I plan to go to culinary school next fall and begin the process. My question is, before I go to school, how do I get a food-related job? I do have a college degree, in marketing, but am ready to leave my corporate position behind. Should I send out my resume to a caterer? Just take a job in any restaurant to get food prep experience?
I live in Southern Indiana ~ there is no cooking school nearby or I would be there already!
Have fun on your day off!
Thanks for your advice,

Thanks for writing, E. Would you believe that I get about 2 emails a week asking for this kind of advice! Your e-mail was so nicely worded and so sincere, I chose to respond to it publicly here.

So, you have no professional culinary experience, right? Well, I've never lived in southern Indiana, so I don't know the catering "climate" there, but here in Los Angeles, you can work for a big caterer like W0lfg@ng Pµ¢k or Pat!na, even if you have very little experience, and earn the whopping sum of $10/hr. It barely pays for your gas to get to-and-from the venues. God save you if they send you to Descanso Gardens or up to some remote Malibu location. They'll work you like a dog, but you get BIGTIME hands-on experience. That's what I did while I was still in culinary school, and I highly recommend it. You know, School of Hard Knocks, and all that. There's a difference between "great experience" and "having a great experience". Those jobs were the former, and NOT the latter.

And let me caution you, restaurant work is not catering work. Very Different. In a restaurant, you have to be able to put together a meal from a bunch of half-cooked and partially-prepped ingredients, and in most nice places, you'll get about 15 orders at a time. Catering is having to have 30/50/100+ servings ready all at the same time. It all has to be hot at once, and it all has to look great from start to finish. You don't get to focus on just apps, salads, desserts or sauté... you get all the stations, all at once. Anyway, I digress.

If you can't get an entry-level paying job, just offer yourself to a local caterer and volunteer to work for free. You can make your own schedule, which is a bonus you won't get at any school. Offer them at least 6 months of free work before you even ask for a paying job. Maybe, three months in, tell them you need "a few days off" from this work-for-free job, to give them a chance to miss you. If you're any good, I'll bet that they'll make you an offer before that 6 months is up.

Hmmm... Maybe I should set up a program like that, like a working vacation for people who want to get in this industry. Let's say, you come to Santa Monica, and put yourself up somewhere, you can "intern" for me and I'll teach you whatever I can while you're here. You just shadow me and watch how I do things, and even do some of the work. Instead of paying for lessons in culinary school, you do the stuff I need you to do... I'll teach you how to do it in the process. The stuff I have to do on days I DON'T cook is not the stuff you learn in culinary school, anyway... and it's the most important part of my business!

I kept all my exams and paperwork from school, so I'll use those to quiz you. I'll even print a fancy certificate with the number of hours you put into our little work-study program. I'll emboss it with my corporate seal, and it will look official..even sexy! A "certificate of completion" from a Los Angeles caterer might be enough to convince a company in southern Indiana to give you a shot at a paying job. Regardless, you get to spend your vacation in my beautiful adopted home-town of Santa Monica and you will have learned a lot about how I run my business. (I guess I'd have to stipulate that you can't be from Southern California. I'm not training my competition! )

I don't want to get in trouble with my husband, since he reads my blog: Don't worry, honey, I'm not setting up a hostel for culinarians-in-training. Well... not exactly!

Last thing I ate or drank: leftover Gyros meat, cold from the fridge. And a coke. Some days, food's just food.

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May 23, 2005

Busy Week!

Today is Monday and I have vowed to not get out of my pajamas until 5pm. This past week was a very busy week. I had 2 Personal Chef clients, and 2 catered events (one that went overtime!) I also had to spend a day shopping and doing paperwork for each of the the caterings. I am wearing pink pj's and flipflops and doing nothing all day. So there.

Friday's event was hectic, then dead. I was onsite at 11:30 for a party that started at 3pm. clarification: was to have started at 3pm. The apps were to be ready at 3, and the entrée at 5. at 5:30, with only 2 guests there, I grilled up a few handfuls of chicken, beef and shrimp... and that took them a long time to eat. at 7:30, it was still only the 4 of them. at 8:30, a few more people showed up. they were expecting 30 people, but they only got 12. and those 12 drank plenty, but they hardly ate. I felt bad for the hosts. they were SOOOO sweet and VERY nice and I can't imagine why the people they invited didn't show up, except for the flake-factor that every host has to deal with. My all-girl crew rocked. Kecia was crankin' out everything I gave her to do, and kept me entertained with her stories. Michelle was amazing, and very patient with how slow things were going. We got a whole bunch of cleaning done early since there was nothing left to do. The clients were happy, anyway, and the guests enjoyed the food and one especially friendly guy made everyone give us a round of applause.

Sunday's party was a baby's christening, with the cutest blue-eyed tow-headed baby you ever saw. Repeat clients rock... but they'd moved from the last time I cooked for them, in their bungalow in West Hollywood. We were out in a part of town that was Very Very Hot... and the menu consisted of grilled chicken, grilled burgers, and grilled veggies. My poor sous-chef, Victor was a trooper, tho. I called him Saturday night to tell him that he could wear a white polo, shorts, and decent shoes...(a variant of my servers' summer uniform) but he insisted that he wanted to wear a chefs jacket and checks. And he did...and he sweat like a pig. poor thing. I tried to get him in the air-conditioned kitchen as much as possible. oh man did I love that we got to work in an air conditioned kitchen! This was another one where the guests were late. The food was to be ready at 1pm, but nobody hit the buffet until 2:30. It was so hot, and they took so long, the mustard dried out. My greens were wilting. The grapes on the cheeseboard were becoming raisins before my eyes. No matter, one of the grandmas was exclaiming over everything, going around to people saying, "Did you try the rice salad? Did you taste the burgers? Have you had any of the Caesar dressing yet? She made it from scratch!" I wanted to hire that lady as my own personal ego boost. The whole thing was supposed to be torn down at 3pm, but I approached the host about it and he asked if we could hang on until 4pm. I let Victor go, he said he had another job to go to (!) and asked if the girls would stay on.

I had Caroline as my Kitchen Assistant, and she is just a ball of energy, washing things before I even ask, and asking for more to do. Michelle pulled a two-fer with me this weekend, working hard and intuitively knowing how stuff should be done.
here's something wonderful: Alicia and Zach worked for me at the "Above Coldwater" party on the 7th. (L.A. people will get what that means) Carolyn is Zach's mom, and Michelle is Alicia's friend. How cool is it that the people who work for me refer other people to work for me?! That's the best.
Oh... and finally I cut a cake for service without having to teach the people who work for me how to serve cake. Hurrah! Before we left, the hostess/mom let us all pick as much fruit as we wanted from her backyard. I left with about 15 lbs of lemons, tangerines, grapefruit and kumquats. I have visions of marmalades, lemon curd, sorbet and granité... but we'll see!

Last thing I ate or drank: rainbow sherbet

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May 15, 2005

Fifty Things...

An article in the Guardian suggests 50 things that every foodie should do. Presumably before one dies. Which I think is an important stipulation, because if I attempted to do all of their suggestions, my husband would certainly make sure that a homicide was in my immediate future, seeing the expense that I would incur in the attempt. I suppose if you had as much money as Gordon Ramsay (who's England's version of Wolfgang Puck, times two) that it might not be such a hazard. Alas, I am not yet burdened by unlimited funds. Pity.

Anyway, here's a sampling of the suggestions proposed by hoity-toity British food personalities, most are names I dont' recognize: Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Aikens, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Terence Conran, Terry Durack, Fay Maschler and Jay Rayner, and many, many more people with much more money and free time than you.

  • 8) Dive for sea urchins
  • 11) Make love in a vineyard
  • 17) Lick an ice cream in Sicily
  • 25) Sniff a white truffle
  • 36) Drink a bottle of 1947 Cheval Blanc
  • 42) Take coffee at Caffé Florian
  • 47) Kill a pig
Click here for the full article.

I'd settle for 10 that are attainable...and justifiably more fun than killing a pig to feast on its entrails. (eww?!)

  • 1) Make truffles from scratch, then roll them by hand. There's something amazing about the combination of warm cream and good chocolate, how it feels in your fingers, and the taste of it when its at your precise body temperature.
  • 2) Grow something you can eat...from a seed that you planted. You can start small: tomatoes, radishes, beans, peppers... All hardy and all delicious. The time that you spend caring for that little plant is metatative, and there's something spiritual about consuming, literally, the fruit of your labor.
  • 3) Eat a crêpe in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. OK, I just got done whining about how those other things were rich people things, but you really should, truly, honestly, go to Paris once in your life before boorish Americans ruin it for everyone (no darling, the OTHER Americans, not you).
  • 4) Work at a restaurant. Whether a fine restaurant, a family-dining place, or a fast food place, the experience will alter your perceptions of how food is made. A good place will show you how things should be done. A bad place will show you how things ususally ARE done. Ultimately, you learn that commissary is a dirty word.
  • 5) Eat at a "destination" restaurant. The kind of place you go so that you can say you went. The kind of place that you can't afford to go to more than once a year. Save up for it... don't use a credit's about the anticipation.
  • 6) Participate in a wine tasting. Whether you're touring Napa, Spain, or the cheap section of Trader Joe's... Get a whole bunch of wine and a whole bunch of friends and open them all (the wines not the friends) and swirl and look for rim variations and bemoan/praise the herbaceousness/minerality accented in that varietal. Plus, it's fun to get a buzz off all that wine. P. S. Hangovers are to be enjoyed as Part Two of your experience. Spend the morning in bed, reading the paper/Internet while making a breakfast of just toast and tea.
  • 7) Point at the menu. Go to an ethnic restaurant and order something you can't pronounce. If it was terribly awful, they wouldn't put it on the menu, would they? And if it does look like something the cat dragged in, you don't have to lick the plate clean... But you DO have to try it.
  • 8) Eat dessert for dinner. Bananas are fruit and nuts are protein and ice cream is dairy and the cone is a starch. Go for it, it's not gonna kill ya.
  • 9) Take a teenager out for a fancy lunch. Show him what you do when you order a good bottle of wine. Explain to her how to graciously offer to pick up her share of the check (and why she should be prepared to pay for the whole thing -- oh god, remind me to tell you about my crab legs story!) Show him how to act like a gentleman. Show her how to ask like a lady. They'll be grateful, and so will their future dining partners!
  • 10) Experience food. This last entry isn't a catch all, or a cop-out, I swear, it's more like an admonition to myself. Buy something at the farmers' market, and eat it with the vendor. Go out for dim-sum and just say YES to whatever's on the next cart that goes by. Go to a new grocery store and buy something you've never heard of, then go home and figure out how to use it. Expand your experiences and see what happens!
Not necessarily in that order...but licking warm chocolate off your fingers is a rather nice place to start, I think.

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May 14, 2005

Why you care who Sandra Lee's Husband is, I'll never guess.

When I look at my stats, I see 10 or more searches a day for "Sandra Lee's Husband". Or "Is Sandra Lee Married" or something like that.

Why do you care? Why you do queries on this information, and click on my site, especially where I say she should be "damned", is beyond my comprehension.

For the record, Sandra Lee is married to Bruce Karatz, CEO of KB Homes.

Click here for an article and Click here for another.

Now move on!

Obi-Wan Cannoli! ROTFL

OMG - this is toooo funny!

(Click here to link to this entry)

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Walk Tall and Carry a Big Knife

A Chef ran amok with a 12-inch kitchen knife after he was driven to distraction by young tearaways banging on his front door. Three children ran away down the street in fright after Giovanni Mattioli, 32, threatened a couple in a car outside his home in Flower Street, Carlisle. “He was just running amok, frightening all and sundry in the street,” Judge Paul Batty QC said after hearing details of the case outlined at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday. (click on the link for more)

Last thing I ate or drank: My friend Erica spent the night so I made her a sumptuous brunch: fried eggs with Cured Smoked Pork Belly that I sliced thin and cooked like bacon, plus French toast made with 1/2" slices from a walnut & raisin country-loaf, drizzled with real, pure maple syrup.

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May 11, 2005

don't look down!

It's hard to be "chef to the stars" when you're afraid of heights. All my clients live in these really beautiful homes that are way the hell up in the hills of these amazing communities. I am driving my truck 1 super slowly up these winding, twisty hills and hoping that I don't wipe out down the side or an earthquake doesn't shake me off the ledge.

stare at the road, stare at the road, look ahead for oncoming cars, stare at the road, stare at the road, look behind for people seething at you for going too slow, stare at the road, stare at the road, stare at the road!

On the other hand, you know you're in for a treat when you're given directions to the place and you find that the home has a name. Honest to god, some of these homes have names! Names on brass plaques, worked in to the wrought iron on the gates, or painted in fancy floral patterns on the wall nearest the entrance.

Then there's the breathtaking entrances, the amazing kitchens, the sumptuous dining rooms...even the bathrooms of these places are an interior designers handiwork. Not to mention the views! Mountain vistas by day, sparkling expanse of lights by night. Crystal blue water against ocean beaches by day by day, twinkly ribbons of coastline by night. I'm honored to work in these places, to get a glimpse of that beauty from the kitchen window as I'm doing dishes. It's quite amazing.

Of course, practical little old me, all I can think of is, "geez, driving through these curves, and up these hills, it takes an extra 30 minutes to go anywhere or to get home!" Perhaps I have to spend a whole bunch of time at a place with a view to understand why such a place is so attractive.

1 I drive a Honda Element: it doesn't feel right calling it an SUV, but it's not a car, so I refer to it as my truck. It handles well, but it's so full of stuff all the time it's hard to see out the windows.

Last thing I ate or drank: Hansen's Peach Berry Smoothie

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BlogLink Survivor!

I did a double last weekend. That means 2 parties, one right after the other, one on Saturday, one on Sunday. Chef was a dead girl on Monday, lemme tellya, and decided to take Tuesday off too, for good measure. I'll write about them tonight, tho, while I'm waiting to meet a friend for coffee this afternoon. I'm going to be all hip and cool, blogging from a cafe. Go me...

So, the thing prompting this posting is that I look at my stats every couple of days, just to see what google searches result in a click to this blog, and I'm finding that there are some really fun, fascinatingpeople linking to me! And yet, I'm linking to some dead blogs, over there in the right-hand column. I am a lazy chicky, tho, so I haven't been purging the flakes like I should.

So... if you read this blog, and you want me to list YOUR blog instead of some non-posting deadbeat* , then you can nominate someone to be eliminated, and I will put a link to your blog in its place. You can post in the comments, or you can send me an e-mail, and I'll make the switch tout-de-suite!

*non posting deadbeat = someone who hasn't posted anything in 2 months or more.

Last thing I ate or drank: just a latte. that's it. I'm so boring.

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May 06, 2005

Recidivist Clients?

When someone who you used to work for contacts you to work for them again... and you'd rather lop off your thumbs (and thrust the severed digits into your eyes, for good measure) than submit youself to the mental anguish... well...

...that's the differenct between a repeat client and a recidivist client.

I'd be a FOOL to return to the scene of THAT crime!

Last thing I ate or drank: An apple turnover from Jons and my beloved latte.

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May 02, 2005

If my ramekins could talk...

Last night as I was buttering the ramekins for the spinach soufflé I was preparing for my formal dinner for six, it occured to me, "Wow, it's so strange to think about all the people who have eaten from these ramekins!" Some are moderately famous people, some are very wealthy people, some are the "rock stars" of their industries, and some are "just regular folks" that wanted to do something special for their friends & families, and hired a chef to make dinner for the night.

That got me to thinking about exactly how many people have eaten what I've cooked. Not the huge parties I've worked as a lowly kitchen assistant for Pat!na and Foodw0rks and J@ck Whi+e, and all the other catering companies - that ranges in the thousands! - I'm talking about the events where I've been the Chef ...and when I think about that, it hard to grasp that number! 150 at a party one weekend... then a Personal Chef gig for one on a Tuesday. Then a dinner for 10 on a Thursday, then another dinner for 25 on the following Saturday. I can't say why I think it's so cool to think that this number increases every week... but it sure is cool!

My posts lately sound a little "kumbaya"... even to me. I wonder why that is?

Last thing I ate or drank: toast made from Italian bread, the way we used to eat it as kids (4" chunk of a crusty loaf, then cut lengthwise, buttered & put under the broiler until browned & crispy) and a latte.

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