The invitation could not be refused. It was a combination of my favourites. Chefs, Italian cooking, vegetarian cuisine, demonstrations with a special kitchen tool, and tastings. While I can cook, this was way beyond anything I can do. The three hours were magical. The results were stunning and inspiring. I walked out enthused and filled with hope.
As I plan out my menu with the lessons and ideas gifted to me on the day, I find myself listening to whispers that go beyond cooking and the kitchen.
Know your limits. Before the workshop, my limits were well-defined. Italian desserts were a step beyond. Pasta sauces were limited. With the insights and experiences shared by the chefs, I find myself looking at the process differently. My future is enhanced by their teaching. My limits can change.
Good can be better. My risotto was very nice. What I experienced was way beyond nice, it was exceptional. As I think about the risotto I have in mind, I find myself using new techniques, different ingredients, and new twists in the process. I know I will not get there in my first attempt, it will be a path with many steps. Each is a moment to celebrate, enjoy, and grow.
Ingredients matter. Going cheap on flour, oils, and fresh herbs will not lead to the best result. Care and attention to what goes into anything will increase the likelihood of the result you are looking for. It is not a price-driven formula. The details of how things were grown, harvested, and milled all come into play. Not all combinations work for all dishes.
I am looking forward to great dining experiences in the future. The story told long ago remains true; “If you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it – you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked – well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.” (Romans 4.5)