Monday, August 27, 2007

And now, my world as viewed through the lens of the *ist!!!!!

At long last I have uploaded my first batch of photos off my fairly new camera!!!!! See them all on Flickr. They also serve as a decent photo-narrative of the last 8 weeks during which I've been utterly absorbed in work (and subsequently not blogging).

A few of the more interesting dining highlights from lately:

La Belle Vie's lounge-- the Tomgirl cocktail (fantastic), foie gras (we decadently tried two different preparations), escargots and desserts. Freakin' wonderful. Followed by very good nigiri at Sushi Tango (toro, uni, unagi, hotate and ama ebi).

I also checked out the eagerly awaited Brasa, which was pretty good. I definitely want to go back and try the chicken, creamed corn bread, cheesy grits, braised collards, tapioca pudding......

Wilde Roast is pretty good, too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

On Food and Cooking (according to me)... aka, Juliette gets all new-agey up in here

My current job is having a tremendous impact on my perspective on food....

I am at last coming to fully embrace the fact that food is at the very forefront of my interests. Food is the lens through which I view the entire world around me. It informs many of my decisions, just as my mood informs my taste on any given day. Food is possibly the single most important thing to me in this world, and I'm finally starting to take real pride in that, as opposed to feeling somewhat bashful and geeky. Or maybe it's that I'm learning to take pride in my geekiness. More than anything, I'm coming to realize that I'm blessed to have found my passion so very early on in life, and to have been infinitely blessed with the privelege of being able to pursue it as a career. That is a truly wonderous and wonderful luxury that proportionally few people in this world are afforded. In fact, I experience no small dose of guilt from that fact... years back, at the height of my political activism I wanted to change the whole world, in that way that only kids think they can. Misogyny, racism, heterocentrism.... you name it, I would put an end to it! And then I burnt out. These days I'm less politically hardcore, at least in action, but I feel a real moral dilemma about how to incorporate the task of improving the world into my chosen life of preparing food. I know the two are compatible, in fact wildly so. The need to be nourished, spiritually and physically, exists in every living thing, and these days I find that we as the human race are generally lacking in both regards. So how to approach this task? That's the 64,000 dollar question. The recurring question I ask myself is "do I want to cook food for rich people food the rest of my life?" as well as its follow-up question "if I cook food for rich people the rest of my life, on my deathbed will I feel as though I have helped the world to be a better place for my children and their children?" Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not down on all rich people. In fact, in the grand scheme of the planet, I'm a pretty damn rich person myself. I guess more what I mean to say is, I create art, I am an artist, I create something of aesthetic and gustatory value mainly to serve the hedonistic desires of myself and others. Can't I do more?? Can't I improve the world while practicing my craft? Can't I affect some lasting change in this world on a small or even moderate scale? Can't I help save humanity through foodsy endeavors?

I guess I'll find out. But for now I completely love my job.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Queen of Prime

Last Friday marked my lifetime debut on sauté, and I am hooked. I feel like I never want to work another station ever again! Last Saturday I was almost swallowed a few times by the Prime Monster: three sizes of prime rib, carved to order, cooked to different temps, up with items from other stations... but we pulled through and emerged victorious in the end. It was exciting! Yet to pastry I am wed, and to her I must remain faithful. But perhaps I will be able to pick up some sauté shifts on a regular basis.

Computer finally fixed, I will hopefully soon be able to upload my many, many photos off of my new camera...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

29 Days Later

A day off! My FIRST!!! What better way to celebrate than to go out for a drink at... work! Ironically, I just can't stay away. I want to take a visiting friend there, and it appears as though today is my sole opportunity.
Amazingly, I had the chance to go out and grab some actual sit-down dinner on Friday night. I finally, after years of meaning to go, made it to the 112, which was of course bursting at the seams at around 9:00. I had the duck and radicchio salad and the steak tartare, both of which were good. And today I had yet another chance to eat out in the normal world, this time at the Chicago-y neighborhood joint Chris and Rob's (formerly known as Joey D's). Killer italian beef. Of course I've been photo-documenting all of this (and more than my fair share of last-calls at Grumpy's), but with no computer I can't post anything.