Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A couple shots I popped of of a beautiful eggplant. No editing needed.

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Foodsnap ... Friday Sept 18th.

Kathy and I spent some time and served up some edible cocktails at Foodsnap, a Foodista event held in Georgetown on friday. A day long event for food photographers, bloggers, and enthusiasts to learn about professional food photography and get some on the spot tutelage from some of Seattle's best food shooters. The event hosted Lou Manna, a professional food photographer from New York who was also on hand to give pointers and thanks to the golden age of digital, attendees could instantly upload their shots for on the spot reviews and feedback. The whole event was slathered with new technology and social media buzz. Any social event these days is a flutter of instant twitter and flickr uploads which gives a whole other dimension to these types of events. People 'know' each other through tags and handles, like truckers on the super highway communicating through ceebee. "pappa bear this is big daddy niner, I see you've already eaten at (insert newest restaurant here), what do you think about (insert newest bacon concoction here. "
The light in the studio, a beautiful open space in one of the old Rainier Beer bottling buildings, though the floor to ceiling windows wreaked a little havoc on the delicate edible cocktails we we brought along. There was no shortage of light.

We brought cucumber gelee to event, tragically the heat in the studio made photographing gelee quite a challenge, and for that matter the copious amounts of vodka in each one of these tasty edible cocktails made them hard to resist. I was preoccupied watching the trays of them jiggle as I walked the room offering up samples to the busy photographers, but I took a moment to snap a couple photos myself.
While I have no idea how these little gems tasted, their sweetness and contrast of petals and pastel against the distressed wood table they rested on was enough to catch my attention. The petaled rose cupcake looked as if it were in a suspended state of melt. I will make my way to Wink in hopes they taste as good as they photograph.

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House Cured Salmon Roe with Cucumber and Goat Cheese

house cured salmon eggs

My first attempt at curing salmon eggs. Kathy got some fresh eggs from a neighbor and I cured them in sugar salt and a little soy. The result delicate balance between sweet salty and briny. The only real challenge is getting the menbrane off of ther egg sack, but totally worth it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

solo quiero libertad

All over Chiapas was a new breed of tagging or graffiti, theme, for obvious reasons equal and civil rights for women, and campasinos, and indiginas. I especially liked this one of "the tramp" stating only... 'solo quiero libertad' ' I only desire freedom, cast among the vibrant blue tag of a local ganga.
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 These are photos from my last trip with the Frontera Grill staff to Chiapas Mexico.  
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Late night ramblings

Two years ago to date, I was in Chicago nursing a nasty breakup. The love of my life, had slowly become a stranger. I spent every waking moment trying to suplicate until I believed that I was the only one to shoulder the blame. It was the kind of break that took forever, and all concerned parties split feeling a dirty and used. There was still so much love, there was so much dependency, and there was so much left to hope for, there was always an opportunity just out of reach to make it all better. My love was Frontera Grill. My Job. The highest place I had ever soared, the most brilliant of experiences, but none the less a job. Jobs are the only relationships I have ever had. They are something I can throw myself into with wild abandon and become completely consumed by. The same approach rarely works with the opposite sex making it that much easier to give myself completely to a plate. I can't say I never looked back, I look back everyday, not because Rick won Top Chef Masters, or for any reason of status, but because everyday I made amazing food, food with history and culture, with people who were just as crazy in love with it as I. And to watch the end become so evident for reasons that haunt my better judgment, for loneliness, for homesickness, loss of a friend that I trusted so dearly, the mountaintop dissolved into a sea of my own insecurities and self depreciation. I rebounded for another year at a fish company, where the smell of low tide as I entered the office every morning enticed me to entertain the notion of going home.
I returned to Seattle via Alaska, where for a millisecond I thought I'd move back and reap the small pond benefits of being a big fish. It was fleeting, but in Seattle, in the midst of unseasonably warm fall, there loomed a question mark trialed slightly by an exclamation point. Mt Rainer appeared voluptuous and awkward in the distance when looked at with eyes that had since become unacustomed to the ebb and flow of geography. The city curved and danced around hillsides and expanses of water, the skyscrapers only tickled the sky with the slightes threat of scrape. People wore jeans like jeans should be worn, not with mile high heels and matching handbags encrusted with diamonds. Pabst was only a couple bucks a pitcher, because it's what people like to drink not because it's ironic (well only slightly). The world just seemed a little smaller and the grass undeniably greener. It was an intoxicating and magical buzz . In an instant it was milk and honey, it was the path of least resistance. I had forever argued that to turn back to a place I had already been was a mark of failure. My forward momentum had brought me full circle and the thought of return was not such a bleak idea.
Then there was a boy, there is always a boy. For days we lay twisted and giggling, the thick blanket over his window masked any distinction between dawn and night. We drank beer and played video games and waxed romantic about all the things we had in common, the years we'd known each other and the good friends we shared, and how those friends had partitioned off with each other, forming a nucleus of friendship thick as blood and only slightly more salty. I always thought an accomplice would come to me defined as my corresponding crazy, that it would simply take time and patience and dedication to someone other than myself. This had to be him. We were the two oddballs, the two slightly damaged, somehow we earned and deserved each other at the same time. There was a certain change of momentum in the air and I was willing to leap and let the net appear.
Last year at the same time, the Labor in Labor day was again a waterlogged life jacket on a sinking ship of doubts. One rainy afternoond I sat by the ship canal crying, convinced I was pregnant, dying of sinus cancer and freaked the fuck out that I was about to become Chef of a French restaurant with no more knowledge in French Cuisine than I had when I left Culinary School and a couple of books from the library. But as the owner of the place had so boldly proclaimed, I apparently a 'set of balls' worth taking a risk on. It didn't make me feel any better to levy that much faith on a set of anatomy I didn't even have.
The aliens in my sinus were escaping through my nose, making me sick, and smelling of dead meat. So much that everything I tasted or breathed smelled like rotting flesh. A bit of a handicap when you've stepped onto the line as Chef in a kitchen full of boys who think your a 'skirt' from 'some Mexican Restaurant' who knows nothing of pot eu feu.
Furthermore, there was nothing sexy about the shit coming my nose. Like I'd returned from the mother ship in some science fiction movie, and now the 'thing' is trying to get out. And the cursed snoring! Leaves no appetite for promiscuity, except the rare occasion when the boy I thought I loved would now do little more than grace me with his presence long enough to keep me from feeling I had any other choice but to be crumpled up and disposed of then picked throught the garbage and retrieved at will.
Labor Day has become my milestone, my new year, and I am sad to report that I still snore.
But, I am compelled to gush to my four followers and whomever is bored enough at work to read through my rambling sentence structure that I am what you might call 'happy'.
It seems foreign to say. The black oil of doubt that coats and covers everything in the deepest moments of self loathing seems to have been washed clear, momentum has shifted.
I have found my way back to a place where I feel worth something. Where I feel smart and beautiful. Where I have something to move toward. I have retrieved my self worth from the trash and will no longer need the fleeting invites of the damned to make me feel sexy and alive.
I am writing a happy ending. I am writing that million dollar check that will manifest itself on sheer faith....
Even as started this four days ago, the doubt set in suddenly. That little tick in my brain started up it's engines ready to rumba around my head setting to motion a series of doubts that could bring the house down.
But, then I have days like today and days like last week and days to look forward to. That will most certainly do. I will leap and the net will appear.
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