Kitchen Confidential

And yet another passion! It’s been there, all along, but now it gathers steam up and it is ready to burst. Kitchen Confidential opened up another world to me. OK, I knew a bit about food and eating, I like cooking and I cook whenever I have the chance, but never thought about food with such a passion as Bourdain writes about it. Actually, when it comes down to it, I don’t think I read something like this before. It’s not a novel, it’s not an essay on cooking, it’s not just an autobiography, it’s not a cookbook. Difficult to shelve it. But it is about food. Definitely about food. It has a good dynamic, almost like the moves of line cook. It does go slower at times (do not want to know too much about his drug addiction and his many faults, although they may be important in understanding the book as a whole). And sometimes, the fact that it’s been (perhaps) pasted together is not well enough covered (I mean, at times, the stories do not really have a smooth continuity). Nevertheless…

I wrote earlier that, perhaps, I would stop being a vegetarian (+fish) after reading it. And I think that might happen (sooner or later). The reason I eat what I eat does not have anything to do with the mumbo jumbo about the intake of animal protein and profaning this temple that is our body (as he writes). I remember beginning to develop a certain kind of aesthetic argument for my choice. It’s buried somewhere in my notes. Cannot bother to dig it out now and paste it in here. However, on my way home from work, thinking about what I’ll write here and thinking about what I just read, it occurred to me that the same sort of argument (namely, aesthetic) would be the impulse to change sides. I mean, I would love to create all these beautiful things Bourdain writes about. And taste them as well, of course! This would be aesthetically pleasing. There is so much I learned in the last couple of days. French cuisine… Did not know who Escoffier was. Now I do. Or Cesar Ritz. And what French cuisine is all about. I thought I knew, but obviously, I did not. Did you know about the mother sauces? Well, I did not. Now I do. Did you know about how a kitchen is organized, how it works, how much is made from scratch and how much is already prepared? And then, there are all these names – (Scott Bryan, Marco Peter White, etc.) which I get to learn and which I, inevitably, have to google and learn about. All the terms used in this book (perhaps I knew a couple of them before but definitely not so many) I had to check up and learn what they mean. Just imagine how it might be to cook like that and manage to crank up food that looks good and tastes heavenly. And this is what I would like to do in the near future. Whatever dreams I had about cooking must be now re-dreamt. They cannot remain the same! A restaurant? I should know better! And I hope I could convince everybody else who has the same idea to forget it. If you know how to cook a couple of dishes good enough, it does not mean you are a good cook. Forget it! Now, guess what? I’ve spent some time browsing blogs about food and subscribing to them. I don’t know if I chose the right ones now but I will wait and see, test and taste. I want to cook every week something new. I want to do it myself, from scratch, lay it on the plate, put it on the table and enjoy it. There is so much to learn! So much to try! As I said – another passion has emerged!

How am I going to manage with all this? I do not know. Learning new painters’ names or getting more familiar with the old ones. Every day, hundreds of (bad) photos of paintings go under my eyes. When I find a bit of time, I read – so much as I can, in the underground, before going to bed, on my lunch break, whenever and wherever I can have an open (e)book in front of me. Then, I learn about photography and I try to take a couple of photos every day. Just to try different settings. I just found out, for example, that with the a200 I could make an exposure last as long as I like (the only thing is, I have to keep the shutter button pressed, which is rather annoying but, with a couple of bucks on ebay, I could get a remote shutter controller and that should make it significantly easier). And then, of course, there is my life (because I have to live as well). The people I love and are close to me, those with whom I want to spend time and be together, talk, joke and have fun…

It’ll work out somehow. It always does…

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